Horis SAS is a subsidiary of Illinois Tool Works (NYSE: ITW). We have a presence in France with more than 15 sites. Horis has 650 employees and, in 2017, generated €85 million in revenue.
We have three lines of business:
Horis Services uses the Praxedo solution within the French market.
Praxedo was selected in 2015. Today, 165 technicians throughout France use it daily as they carry out preventive maintenance and troubleshooting. That’s approximately 80,000 work orders per year completed using the Praxedo field service management solution.
It’s like night and day! Before, we used paper: these included work order reports and maintenance records. Parts orders, as well as daily reports were handwritten by each technician. Then, the technician had to mail work order reports to the Horis Service regional administrative unit. It took two days. The administrative assistants would prepare the billing and customer care records with all the usual miscommunication, delays, and errors….
As you can see, we had a very important billing lag problem, not to mention spending several tens of thousands of Euros per year mailing work order reports.
That’s why we were looking for a digital solution to automate the entire work order management process, so we could speed up billing, reduce operational costs, and provide better customer service.
Our information systems department made a thorough study of the various mobility solutions available on the market. Praxedo was selected because it is a well-known solution with a good reputation. It is easy to use, easy to handle, and interfaces well with the different ERPs on the market.
We have 165 technicians who work nationwide. But they are not the only ones who use Praxedo.
Praxedo has three uses at Horis Services:
First, every field technician has access using a tablet. The technician can access and create work orders and take pictures of the equipment being serviced. Our work order forms are standardized according to the job type—be it preventive maintenance, equipment installation, spare parts, or emergency response to service request. For each form, the technician must fill in the mandatory fields depending on the work order type. It is very convenient and very helpful because it captures the data and the information is carried through the work order follow-up, and the invoicing.
This allows me to talk about the second use of the Praxedo solution at Horis Services: administration. The assistants use Praxedo to plan the technicians’ work order schedules. They also use it to send appointment emails to customers.
Also, there is a third use of Praxedo at Horis Services: management. Managers of the technician teams and assistant teams use the solution to monitor field activities and carry out quality analysis.
Finally, there is data processing. The Praxedo solution is fully interfaced with our ERP. At Horis Services, the ERP is the backbone of the company. So from the beginning, when we looked for a digital solution; we wanted to select the one with the best possible ERP connection.
In this sense, Praxedo has allowed us to optimize our entire operational and administrative chain, from handling customer requests to sending invoices. Praxedo is an essential link in the optimization of our internal processes. Since its introduction, the solution has permitted us to reduce time, improve the quality of customer service, and reduce our internal administrative burden.
In quantitative terms, we have improved post-work order processing times. With Praxedo, as soon as the technician has finished a work order, it is validated using the mobile app; it is communicated in real time to the client, and all the data goes directly back to our administrative center. It can be processed immediately, and now we can bill for the work order same day. This was an important step forward for Horis Services.
Speaking quantitatively, I must also talk about time saved when creating technicians’ schedules. Praxedo allows us to optimize these schedules in a very visual way, with only a few clicks. That way, we can plan the most efficient route possible with a consistent route for each technician.
Using the graphic visualization of the route proposed by Praxedo, we can also optimize the travel time and the charge rate of each technician. As a result, we are seeing real productivity gains.
Technicians are also happy to use Praxedo. They have all the necessary information available in the application, for each work order. It is very convenient for them. Work order forms that are pre-programmed simplify entry of content. We will not return to the use of paper books.
Efficiency is maximized—on the part of the technician and the administrative center that provides the post-work order treatment. We have seen a real increase in productivity in the field and in the back office. As I told you already, Praxedo has become a vital link in optimizing our operational chain.
To finish on the subject of benefits, I would like to say a few words about the deployment of the Praxedo solution among our teams. I have a lot of experience deploying IT projects in business, as a user. Praxedo is the most successful deployment project I have ever experienced. We started with a test with one or two teams. We then validated the solution and, in just 3 months, including training, the solution was being used by all of our technicians.
Adoption was very fast. Today, returning to the old way would be totally out of the question. None of our technicians could give up Praxedo. Even those who were a little reluctant at first, are now the solution’s best ambassadors.
That’s what makes me say Praxedo is really a good tool—it’s very practical and meets the needs of our technicians.
The first point, and I just talked about it, is that we can no longer do without it as a field service solution.
The second point is we will continue to use the solution for planning and the mobile app for technicians. We will even expand our use of the various features offered to further optimize our processes. We want to get as much as we can out of the Praxedo solution.
Listen, it’s not easy to summarize this solution in two words. But if I had to, I would talk about adoption and productivity.
Ease of adoption because the solution is easy to use for planners and technicians. Today, no one would want to do without it. Moreover, we rolled out a new computer system in just 3 months for 165 people throughout France without any operational problems. For me, it’s quite exceptional. The results were there right away. The ROI has been extremely fast.
Productivity because we have gained a lot of time. We are able to book and bill more work orders without increasing our staff. It’s amazing. The after-sales service flow has accelerated and has become more efficient, to the benefit of our customers.