24 February 2012

Timetra Ltd, based in Bellshill, Central Scotland, is a property maintenance and building services company specialising in reactive maintenance contracts with public sector clients.  The company has steadily grown over 40 years and now operates a fast response 24/7 emergency repair service alongside less time-critical planned maintenance works.  Timetra have made large investments in IT over recent years with the implementation of a Microsoft Navision solution to streamline the management of information in the office. This manages employee records and all contract information, however the scheduling of repair works and subsequent job sheets were still paper-based.

Given the scale of operations, many thousand job sheets are generated every month making the administration of the completed forms back into Navision very labour intensive and often inefficient. An automated, real-time solution was desired to both reduce admin and improve customer service by making sure client service level agreements were being achieved.

The real-time nature of the PODFather PDA system allows us to monitor how well a team is progressing through their work schedule each day..

After consulting with Timetra, the PODFather system has been integrated with Navision, and replicates the existing paper job sheets using rugged handhelds. A weekly scheduling module within PODFather is used to allocate jobs to the service teams according to their skill set.

Scott Murray, Managing Director of Timetra explains, “We were introduced to PODFather by our Navision consultants who did not have an off-the-shelf product. They worked with team at PODFather to integrate both systems and we’ve now got a complete solution that meets our needs and helps prove our response times to our clients in a completely transparent way.”

When jobs are booked into Navision, instructions are automatically sent into the PODFather system where they are scheduled to the appropriate service team. Jobs are downloaded to their PDA, which displays the customer address, target time of visit, and fault report as keyed into Navision. Once the job is complete, the PDA user adds details of the completed works; including materials used, photographs of the repairs, timesheet, customer name and signature.

As soon as the job is completed on the PDA, it is sent back into Navision and is permanently archived in the PODFather web archives for viewing by both Timetra staff and customers.

Scott continues, “Thanks to the PODFather we have been able to share the workload of scheduling between members of management which provides greater flexibility during sickness and seasonal absence.”

“The real-time nature of the PODFather PDA system allows us to monitor how well a team is progressing through their work schedule each day, and extra work can be allocated accordingly with new instructions going from the office to the PDA in seconds. This is hugely beneficial for emergency works as the service team then have the exact job details available to them without having to call into the office.

“Once jobs are completed they get stored permanently in the PODFather archives. This includes a search function which is hugely beneficial as we can find specific jobs completed on a given day, week or month and for a specific client within seconds. This helps ensure we are consistent with our maintenance contracts, and we’ve responded within contracted SLA times for emergency call-outs. Our accounts department are also able to view completed jobs and invoice much faster than before.

“We are extremely happy with the PODFather and would recommend it to any company that generates lots of job sheets as part of their daily operations.”