Business Management Solutions For the Field Service Industry

Companies in a wide variety of industries provide customers with field services as a primary business or as part of long-term customer service and support. Field service operators may include, for instance, manufacturers who offer after-market service, mechanical contractors, and property or utility managers. Depending on the size and type of organization, field services may involve a handful of employees in a local area or thousands of staff internationally. Regardless of whether such field services represent the primary business, a secondary profit center, or a competitive differentiator, organizations with a field service component depend on efficient coordination among distant field employees, dispatch and office staff, and the organization’s collective customer and business knowledge.

Unfortunately, managing field operations accurately and effectively can be a challenge. Manual processes and uninformed decisions are the rule, not the exception. Inconsistent work practices, lack of, inadequate, or untimely visibility into field activities, and volumes of paperwork hinder efficiency and drag down both customer service and profits. Manual reporting of time and materials use requires redundant data entry, increases the likelihood of errors, and delays planning and billing. In addition, intellectual capital and know-how frequently resides in just one or two experienced people, leaving the organization at substantial risk of operational chaos and loss of intellectual capital if the unexpected occurs.

Yet even with the most experienced dispatchers, work-assignment decisions rarely take full advantage of timely data on resource availability, qualifications, service history, optimal routing, work priority, and other demands on the resources. There are simply too many shifting factors to quickly incorporate into a manual scheduling or work assignment process. This is particularly true given the competitive environments of most field service markets, wherein customers are expecting not only faster service and more accurate estimates of arrival and completion times, but also that they “get it fixed” the right way the first time.

Despite these challenges, field service operations are often the last part of an organization to capitalize on information technologies. Although many businesses enjoy the efficiencies of enterprise resource systems and supply chain automation, those systems rarely extend through the management of field operations. Moreover, the gains provided by existing business management solutions and supply chain systems are subject to the law of diminishing returns. In most organizations, however, field service operations still represent the last frontier for technological innovation. There, process integration, targeted automation, and electronic information can still dramatically enhance productivity, operational insight, and management.

You need an end-to-end field services management system that can efficiently integrate customer, business, and operational information, making that information accessible to both office and field staff as needed for maximum efficiency in work scheduling, assignment, completion, parts inventory management, equipment management, reporting, and billing. Research your area for a group that can match the appropriate field services management solution to your specific business requirements, and determine what solutions, like Microsoft Dynamics, are available to you.

How to Produce a Greener Kiosk Enclosure For Digital Signage and the Self Service Industry

Green is big business and represents a new way to do business, it has a two fold effect and helps improve the bottom line whilst helping the environment. Now digital signage kiosks and enclosures are going green.

There is a movement in the kiosk and enclosure manufacturing industry for greener products, these units will be manufactured from renewal materials and will not damage the environment as previous units did. Coupling this with cutting edge dynamic signage is a winning solution.

There are three key steps to follow:

  • Adhering to RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances)
  • Using recyclable material
  • Reducing power usage

One Major Step for a Greener Solution.

In July 2006 a policy was implemented in Europe for RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances), this policy was soon accepted within the businesses throughout Europe and into Asia.

This new policy was seen as a problem by some manufacturers, as it limits the amount of lead and mercury in a particular product as well as specifying which type of flame retardants to use.

The policy was one reason a company decided to buy back any kiosks or enclosures they were replacing and recycle them, by sending the old kiosks or enclosures to a specialised company that melted the steel and plastics then re-processed the product so it could be used again.

Another company has gone one step further by producing a green enclosure, that is made from nothing but recycled materials, Olea Kiosks Inc are leading the way in green kiosks!

This is the way forward, with greener digital signage kiosks everyone wins including the planet!

Booming Internet Phone Service Industry

Today with advanced telecommunication products and services, a revolution has come in the communication industry. By the means of phone services such as conference calls, video talks, chats, etc. the Internet service providers has gained the lime light and are in huge demand. With the help of Digital technologies, the companies offering phone and other related services via Internet are not only saving a lot of money but, can only interact with their clients or customers quick and easy, anywhere and anytime across the world. This speaks how convenient these services are for everyone, especially the corporate world.

Whenever you are running a business (small scale, individual or widely spread), you need to communicate with various people regarding your work, products, services and other necessary issues. In case you go by normal land line service you undoubtedly end up costing a huge phone bill for yourself or company. This can be resolved as there are many call service providers available online who offer cheap rates for conference or any other calls. This makes your job easy and trouble free.

As you surf through the net you can find countless Internet phone service firms but, make sure that you choose an adequate one that suits you business or phone requirements the best. In case you just need some network to reduce down the cost of your conference calls made through Internet then the scheme or service might be different than a scheme that involves web-cams, Mac chat options, international calls, etc. So, first you need to specific your requirements and then compare few phone service providers near your reach that offers you the most. After comparing them all, pick and choose the best among the rest.

No matter whether you want specific VIP business phone service solutions or H.323 and SIP IP telephonic protocols, you will get it all with a renowned Inter phone service organization. All you need to do is just make sure that your Inter service firm is technical sound and strong. It must be proficient in picture resolution and voice codes such as G.723 and G.711u, G.729, ACD, ASR, etc. Keep an eye on other technical aspects as well while choosing them for your business or personal use.

Now days, the high speed Internet service providers broadband connections that delivers voice as well as data, thus, one can not only transfer business files, pictures, videos but, can also talk with several people face to face all at a time. With efficient and professional 24/7 technical support, your potential and experienced phone service company can make you interact online via phone, chat, email, conference call and other interactive mediums.

Business and Industry in Glasgow

As the major ‘heavy’ industries in the city collapsed during the 20th century, Glasgow suffered the ignobility of reputedly being a city of high unemployment and social depravation. However, by the 1990s the city had reversed its fortunes and Glasgow City Council was attracting inward investment in the burgeoning finance, ‘hi-tech’ and tourism tertiary sectors of employment; the boom in the tourist trade mainly arising after the city became ‘European City of Culture’ in 1990.

Between the 1950s and 1990s the number of jobs in the city was reduced by almost one third, from around 560,000 jobs in total, as the ‘old’ industries saw their work disappear abroad to cheaper Far Eastern competition. From that economic low, with the aid of UK and European grants, the city made a staggering recovery. Using its economic development strategy Glasgow now supports over 430,000 jobs that create an economic output in excess of £13.5 billion a year. In the past decade alone, the economic growth has been so rapid that nearly 80,000 jobs were created, helping to get nearly 40,000 Glaswegians into full-time employment. As with most UK cities a lot of the growth in the employment market came from the service sector. Whilst the single largest employment sector in the city is Public Services, the second largest group is now in Financial and Banking services. A total of 105,000 employees now work in this sector, making Glasgow a serious contender to Edinburgh for being known as the financial capital of Scotland. Sadly the number of manufacturing jobs in Glasgow is continuing to fall by about 5% a year and currently stands at 23,000 – compared to over 200,000 in the middle of the 20th century. However and perhaps alarmingly, Glasgow remains the fourth largest city for employment in manufacturing industries in the UK.

The days of shipyards like Harland and Wolff, at Govan in Glasgow, employing tens of thousands of men are gone. However, shipbuilding and what are classed as heavy engineering industries are still important to the city’s employment profile. Recently, British Aerospace completed the first of the Royal Navy’s fleet of new Type 45 Destroyers, HMS Daring, at its Glasgow BAe Systems Naval Ship building works at Govan, on the river Clyde. As well as shipbuilding Glasgow has a long tradition of involvement in railway engineering. The engineering company Babcock International has its First Engineering division at the Hamilton International Park, in Blantyre – Glasgow. The company is one of several in the Glasgow area that provides solutions in all aspects of modern railways from track to signalling and power units.

The financial district of Glasgow is to the west of the city centre and is now the third largest in the UK, behind London and Edinburgh, it is also the sixteenth largest in Europe. Eight of the ten largest insurance companies in the UK have their head offices in Glasgow, which also has major offices of all the UK’s leading banks.

The development of the Glasgow tourist industry is one of almost unparalleled success. Although rarely seen today the renaissance of Glasgow began when the city came up with the slogan “Glasgow’s miles better”, which featured a graphic that was a cross between a ‘Mr Men’ character and a ‘smiley’ face. The city then started to bid for and attract awards; in 1988 it started its own Garden Festival, which was followed in 1990 with the award of European City of Culture. The city continued bidding for events that would bring tourists to the city and in 1999 became the UK City of Architecture and recently the city won its bid to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games. About 30,000 people are employed in the tourism industry in Glasgow and the industry is worth about three quarters of a billion pounds to the city annually. With a newly built conference centre Glasgow is 25th on the international list of conference destinations. An industry that today works in tandem with the tourist one is the drinks industry. Glasgow has a reputation as being a ‘drinker’ city and it certainly has the companies there to keep the bars, clubs and supermarket shelves full. Many famous brands of alcoholic drinks are produced in the city including: Whyte & MacKay’s and William Grant & Sons whiskey, Tennent’s beers and lagers and interestingly Pernod Ricard, which is now the owner of Ballantine’s whiskey. Sadly one of the best known names in Scotch whiskey – Johnnie Walker Whiskey – is also now owned by a foreign company, the Diageo Corporation.

Tertiary sector developments include companies working in the Bio-Science, Telecommunications and Creative industries choosing to locate themselves in Glasgow. Recent growth in these sectors has led to Glasgow being included in what is known as the western end of the Silicon Glen. Companies working in the ‘hi-tech’ end of the tertiary sector include house-hold names like ICI and lesser well known ones like beCogent who, although only established in 1999, is now one of the top 10 contact service providers to companies in the UK and employs nearly 1000 people at its Glasgow headquarters.