Nokia has published a case study of another UK company adopting their software and device solution, in this case UKDN Waterflow, a water and waste water infrastructure solution company.
The 600 person company with 19 bases through-out UK is involved in both domestic and large scale projects, were already using a Microsoft back-end infrastructure and a rugged PDA solution, and wanted to upgrade to a system which allowed greater communication between field and back-office workers.
In considering mobile solutions, they found iPhones too expensive and fragile for a working enviroment.
For Mark Cooper, IT Director, said: “Nokia outperformed other smartphones hands down.” For the cost of just one of their previous PDAs, UKDN Waterflow could deploy five Lumias and the Lumias could also act as the employees mobile phone. To encourage engineers to keep the devices safe, UKDN Waterflow decided that after 18 months engineers could have the devices free for personal use, which seems a pretty smart strategy.
Windows Phone integrated seamlessly with UKDN Waterflow’s existing Microsoft systems and field operations and managers were be able to communicate more efficiently with field engineers, for example by using Outlook and Lync.
“The intention is to be far more customer focussed. Our commercial customers expect a different journey to our domestic customers and the Lumia will help us develop more targeted, customer-centric services,” said Mark. “No question, the Lumia has sped operations up greatly and reduced operational costs. There has been a 50% reduction in the time it takes to complete on-site tasks.”
Now, 50% of jobs requiring back-office contact are done automatically via TaskMaster on the Lumia devices – reducing time to input data from 25 minutes down to around 10-12 minutes.
They noted that engineers were already familiar with touch screen smartphones, so minimal training was required, and were in fact a vast improvement on the small fiddly keys of the PDAs.
The offer to keep the smartphones after 18 months has also proven very successful in reducing breakage, and in fact no breakages or returns have been reported since deployment.
Mark added: “Incentivising has proved crucial. If I’d got this wrong, we would have already had some devices with cracked screens and they would not have been cared for. It’s about trusting your workforce. With the right incentives they adapted very quickly. I was amazed that most had their own personal smartphone, so find using the new device easy.”
70 devices were rolled out initially and there are plans to roll out 130 by February 2014 and 200 for 2015. UKDN Waterflow’s Lumias are set to integrate with their intranet and Uview, and there are plans to roll out Microsoft Dynamics in 2014 to allow stock visibility and management on the move. Nokia Drive is also being considered. In future, engineers will be able to pick up what they need direct from suppliers and go to a job without having to visit their base to find out what they need. This will dramatically reduce all-round mileage and further increase their productivity.
Mark Cooper said: “The Nokia Lumia with Windows Phone has opened up a world of opportunity for doing things smarter. I would definitely recommend Lumias to other businesses.”
I am sure this recommendation is music to Nokia’s ears, who recently announced at Mobile world Congress 2014 that, besides the 10% market share of the consumer market in UK they have, they also have 17% of the enterprise market, with strong moves to acquire 20% before the end of the year.
See a video below describing the company’s journey.