Digital solution creates better service and more time on the farm.
SKOV service technicians have become mobile and digital. A new mobile solution built on the company’s SAP system saves SKOV two-thirds of the employees normally required to handle the typing work that was previously needed.
Why should skilled employees have to do the work that a machine can do as well?
This is the attitude of SKOV A/S, a leading supplier of climate and ventilation solutions for agriculture. SKOV’s technicians carry out around 8000 visits to pig and cattle farms a year which add a significant amount of entries to their systems. After the company has completed a digitization project the technician now has more time for the actual task. There is always an updated stock and two thirds of the re-entry of information and other concerns regarding the farm visits have become obsolete.
“The overall quality of our work has been improved with the new system, and now we are going to expand the adoption of the solution to benefit our employees abroad. This will provide increased uniformity in our work”
– Holger Prip, Senior Manager Global Support.
Large administration work.
For more than 40 years, SKOV has developed ventilation systems, production computers and agricultural management programs for customers worldwide.
In the spring of 2017 many of SKOV’s work processes were automated via a newly developed application from the Danish company 2BM Software called 2BM Mobile Work Order. Initially, 30 Danish service technicians were connected to the new system.
“Earlier we had a huge administrative burden. When a technician went to visit a customer, he received an email with the address and any information about faults on the facility. When he performed his work out in the plant, he could risk missing spare parts and having to drive to collect them – adding a significant amount of extra time. After the visit, a lot of time was spent receiving registration, documentation, report writing and stock updates. All of this was manually entered into the system by an administrative employee in the office. It was time consuming and posed a high risk of errors in the entries” explains Holger Prip (Chief Global Support Officer at SKOV A/S).
Mobile solution combined with SAP.
SKOV has now expanded the existing SAP system with an advanced mobile solution for their SAP ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system that connects the core business processes in the organisation in order for them to become available in the field via a mobile device. The solution is called 2BM Mobile Work Order and is built on SKOV’s SAP system – Customer Service, Inventory Management and Time Registration. 2BM Mobile Work Order is fully available offline so technicians can access and edit work tasks as well as take pictures as documentation – without an internet connection.
“All of SKOV’s business logic was already in SAP. What we’ve built on top is the mobile solution that connects the engineer on the ground with the entire system, “
– Martin Pock, CEO of 2BM SOFTWARE.
»2BM Mobile Work Order allows the technician to retrieve information from SAP while standing in a barn and working on the ventilation system. Among other things, we have made it possible for him to add photos in order to improve the documentation of errors or simply document the work he has done, “explains Martin Pock. In the collaboration between 2BM Software and SKOV, it became clear that there was a need for service technicians to have access to standardized checklists in the mobile solution. This feature was developed in conjunction with the “Design Thinking Workshop” that preceded the project and ensured that the business, service technicians and IT department in SKOV got the solution that was “right” and made it easy to align the service process.
In addition, all components are equipped with barcode, which makes registration easier for service visits, and even GPS can be connected so that the technician can easily find the correct location on a service visit.
The first employee group now uses 2BM Mobile Work Order, and there is no doubt that workflows have become more logical and time-saving.
“First of all, we avoid a lot of double registration, and it saves us two-thirds of staff in the administration, who can do other things. In addition, we provide better service because the customer immediately receives a visit report, where he can see what improvements the technician has made and what spare parts are used“ explains Holger Prip.
Service technicians have quick access to their assigned work orders and can complete them from their mobile device on-site, including timer registration, image attachments, checklists, and material handling. The implemented system is automatically linked to the storage system, so if a spare part is used to fill a work order, it will be registered immediately in the warehouse.
Previously, SKOV experienced a countdown in inventories of up to one million DKK, but this figure has already been reduced significantly due to digitization.
Won time is spent on service.
The next employee group to be linked to the new system will be SKOV’s installers, and then employees in Latin America and Asia will be involved. Within the new year, approximately 50 employees will use 2BM Mobile Work Order daily.
SKOV had a turnover of NOK 684 million in 2017, and in recent years revenue has grown by a two-digit percentage a year.
“It has been important to find a solution that can grow with the company. This solution is scalable and allows other work areas and departments to be connected. In addition, the company generally has a more professional digital expression“ says Holger Prip.
Initially, the time gained will not be used for efficiency but for better service.
“There is no doubt that the technicians also save time on each task because they do not have to sit and write reports in the car, but we have not yet calculated that time. When we get to that point, it will make sense to set targets for the technician to make more visits in the same period, but we prioritise service at all times. The extra time that the technician now has available because of the easier registration, he now uses on the customers. Now he has time to engage in conversation and answer questions the customer may have. Our technicians see hundreds of customers and therefore it is obvious that they also act as an unofficial consultant for our customers. If they have seen a good solution on a farm, it is part of the expertise that they provide to bring that experience to the next farm. In the future, it will be an integral part of the service we can provide“ explains Holger Prip.
SKOV A/S is a leading supplier of climate and ventilation solutions for agriculture. SKOV’s technicians carry around 8000 visits to pig and cattle farms a year.
2BM SOFTWARE is a provider of mobile and user-friendly software solutions for companies that use SAP for maintenance and service (2BM Mobile Work Order), warehouse (2BM Mobile Warehouse) and security (2BM Qualification check). Among their customers are Banedanmark, LEGO, Aalborg Portland, National Grid (USA), SARA (France) and LUCITE (England).
2BM SOFTWARE is 100% owned by 2BM, Denmark’s largest Danish-owned SAP consultancy with over 100 employees distributed in Copenhagen and Aarhus.