InterPro Solutions, which offers the only suite of mobile solutions designed exclusively for IBM Maximo®, expanded its EZMax Suite today with a new Field Service Management offering targeted at managing mixed workforces. InterPro’s new EZMaxVendor app allows organizations to extend mobile work management tools to their outside vendors performing requested services, anywhere.
Most organizations rely on a growing mix of internal and external labor resources to operate and maintain their facilities and physical assets. As such, they need mobile tools designed to assign, schedule and coordinate vendor work that mirror what they are already using for their own internal staff. EZMaxVendor does just that by extending operations and maintenance capabilities to include coordination, scheduling and work performance reporting from external service providers, and helping those partners become more integrated and responsive to the organization’s needs. The end result is timelier and more effective resolution of operations and maintenance (O&M) issues and reduced operating costs.
“It’s rare to find an O&M team that doesn’t rely on trusted partners to keep operations running smoothly,” said Bill Fahey, InterPro Solutions’, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “We heard from our clients that they want to easily communicate with those external teams, quickly schedule work requests, track on-site arrival and task progress, and record all the details of the job in their Maximo system. EZMaxVendor was designed to do exactly that, streamlining communications between O&M teams and their service providers to accelerate vendor responsiveness, improve first fix rates, and importantly, capture the data they need to make better decisions.”
The six biggest challenges in managing remote vendor work are:
having both parties aligned on the specific scope of work and asset location;
knowing which vendor technician(s) to expect on your site and precisely when to expect them; knowing when those technicians arrive on your site; knowing exactly what work has been done (or remains to be done); getting all of that information into your Enterprise Asset Management system (IBM Maximo or other EAM); measuring and comparing vendor performance efficiently.
EZMaxVendor securely addresses each one of those challenges with full transparency every step of the way. Encrypted information is pushed and pulled from the EZMaxVendor Cloud using authorization tokens, so the organization’s EAM is never accessed by its vendors.
Here’s how it works:
Work requests are initiated directly from EZMaxMobile, EZMaxPlanner, or native Maximo, alerting the selected vendor with real-time push notifications to review the work request details, including the date and requested time of arrival on site.
Using EZMaxVendor, the vendor can then choose to accept, reject, or request additional details about the task, including proposing alternative dates or times, or even a modified work scope. This information flows back and forth in real-time until the parties reach agreement on all critical terms, eliminating time-consuming and error prone phone calls and email exchanges.
Authorized work is then assigned by the vendor to a technician(s) from within EZMaxVendor, in accordance with the agreed upon schedule. Once assigned, the vendor’s technicians are alerted and the job is automatically added to their Technician Work Calendar, along with critical instructions and mapped location details. Assignment details are also added to the Client Calendar so that specifics about who is arriving (and when) can be easily viewed and shared across the organization.
Upon arrival, technicians use the app to scan a barcode, NFC tag, or initiate an update to notify the client of their arrival and ongoing work status. Accordingly, the client always knows whenever vendors are on-site, where they are, and precisely what they are doing at all times.
At the completion of the job, all details, including any messages between technicians, along with supporting documentation such as marked up photos, videos, or reports, are submitted through the app and integrated automatically (and securely) into the organization’s Maximo/EAM system, with no secondary data entry or delay.
Finally, a configurable dashboard of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is available to measure and compare vendor performance against SLAs or other established metrics. Importantly, vendors can see their KPI results and client-established performance standards, so everyone knows the score at all times.
“EZMaxVendor is a game changer for organizations that rely upon outside vendors to supplement their internal teams,” continued Fahey. “Instead of phone calls and other off-system communications, organizations can now manage their service vendors with the same level of security, control and transparency they have with their internal resources. That’s going to result in faster vendor response and time to action, improved first fix rates, increased asset availability, improved data capture and reduced operating costs. The shared KPIs will lead to improved client vendor relationships and productivity.”