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How Tech is Transforming Parts and Service Operations

How Tech is Transforming Parts and Service Operations

How Tech is Transforming Parts and Service Operations

Hugg & Hall Equipment Company (Hugg & Hall) has implemented a new software platform into their development strategy.

Geared to bolster the efficiency and timeliness of services across the organization, Xalt, formerly known as Catavolt before integrating with Hexagon’s technology offerings, is a powerful framework for accelerating digital transformation, fast-tracking an organization’s ability to harness data and extracting its full potential and value across businesses and industry, according to their website.

Hugg & Hall is incorporating the framework in an initiative to transition from an all-paper system on the service side of the business to a streamlined, digital system. So, whereas road service technicians working in territory away from their office location may have submitted information/work-orders from jobs once every couple of weeks, they now can submit the data immediately using the digital interface. This new system has reduced the invoicing process from what was up to 15 days to what is now a three day process. 

Xalt uses tools and expertise to provide seamless applications in cloud orchestration, mobile platforms, edge computing, enterprise integration and AI, according to their website. These applications were created to help businesses integrate technology to make their processes and functions more efficient. Xalt ensures integration with existing information and operational technologies to bolster organizational processes. The platform helps organizations leverage existing technologies in use with cutting-edge digital options. This is accomplished by enabling connectivity across all functions with the purpose to improve operations.

Hugg & Hall is mobilizing the platform to assist with the behind-the-scenes structure of applications, which the company can then customize for various initiatives. Where some companies may pay millions to build a system from scratch, Xalt enables the company to avoid the initial design process and use the template structure to then customize for various purposes.

The company used Xalt technology to develop the Mobile Service App which is transforming how the service sector of the company operates.

“The Mobile Service App is and will continue to be one of the most significant productivity enhancements we’ve see at this company,” said Chris Shields, Vice President of Parts and Service at Hugg & Hall. “All the benefits of it have yet to be understood, I can only say they are numerous.”

In congruence with enhancing the efficiency of procedures, the Mobile Service App is also supporting the company’s sustainability efforts.

“We process or invoice approximately 7500 work-orders a month between nine locations,” said Shields. “That’s 90,000 in a year. Before the Mobile Service App, that equaled 7500 pieces of paper a month.”

The streamlined process the Mobile Service App has created breaks down a multi-step, multi-department system into a few, simple steps.

“Those papers got moved around from a technician’s van to a service administrator’s desk to the parts department back to the service administrator’s desk to a product support sales representative to the service manager, etc., before it got invoiced. Approximately 80 percent of our technicians are mobile and work as far away from an office as 2 to 6 hours. Yet, at some point, they had to get a paper work-order from there to here. Imagine the opportunities for errors and delays in providing timely and accurate invoices for our customers.”

Through the Mobile Service App, Hugg & Hall is increasing sustainability practices by reducing paper usage, putting maintenance and machine records at technicians’ fingertips, expediting the work-order approval process and vastly accelerating the current invoicing system.   

“All the inefficiencies associated with what I just described are gone,” said Shields. “Work-orders are opened and assigned almost instantly after a service request is made. All the information and accounting associated with an order is realized in real time. The clock starts in terms of how fast we are at solving the problem (fixing the machine). The movement of that work-order is now fully electronic. Parts used in a repair is posted to the work-order immediately (no parts personnel/interaction needed) and all inventory accounting is executed instantly.”

As well as streamlining processes and creating more efficient procedures to better serve customers, the application also assists technicians with their actual diagnostic capabilities which, in turn, improves the overall service.

“In addition, through this application, we’ve put better information at the fingertips of our technicians. They have the ability to see all repair history associated with a given customer or piece of equipment, in the field. This information provides a significant tool in their diagnostic capabilities.”

The company is also strategically planning to implement Xalt to streamline processes throughout parts operations. Recently, Tom Mitchell, Regional Parts Director at Hugg & Hall, spoke on how Xalt’s digital service is modernizing the company’s parts procedures.

“Xalt accelerated the use of QR codes on company applied part labels,” said Mitchell. “These QR codes will soon be used by field technicians to put parts on work-orders via their iPads. This will eliminate transcription errors on field work-orders when recording and entering part numbers in EBS,” said Mitchell, referring to software used by the company.

QR code, Xalt

Example of Hugg & Hall part label with QR code

The company is vitalized by these new applications which are making day-to-day procedures more efficient. The Hugg & Hall team looks forward to continually seeking ways to streamline operations with the purpose to create excellent experiences for each of their customers.

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