Case Study – The AA Home Services Increases Productivity

An end-to-end field service software integration from Solarvista and AnswersAnywhere delivers mobile knowledge management technology like never before to The Automobile Association (The AA) Home Services’ heating and plumbing field technicians.

One of the UK’s most trusted brands and the undisputed leader in Roadside Assistance, The Automobile Association (The AA) also provides cover for home and heating emergencies and maintenance as part of the AA Insurance Services. While both parts of the business had been operating on a single platform, it became apparent that Home Services required a separate operational system to drive the growth of the business and deliver the efficiencies it constantly sought in addition to increased customer satisfaction.

After a complex Request for Proposal process, Solarvista was chosen as the supplier best positioned to provide the AA with the service, system and support necessary. Solarvista was also poised to fully integrate its field service system with the PartsArena Pro solution, developed using the AnswersAnywhere platform. The result would prove to be of great benefit to the service technicians out in the field.

The AA Home Services operation wanted a field service management solution that would:

  • Drive and measure field service technician efficiency
  • Provide high levels of customer service
  • Ensure end-to-end job management
  • Provide a flexible system that could develop and grow with the business

Proven results show the benefits of integration

While delivering quantifiable results from the field workforce of heating and plumbing technician was just one objective of the software installation, this is where AnswersAnywhere and Solarvista delivers the greatest value and has so far contributed to some notable performance improvements since first launch in September 2016:

Overall productivity improvement of 15% (this is continually rising)

  • 17% improvement in ‘First Time Fix’ rates
  • AnswersAnywhere specifically improving ‘Second Time Fix’ rates
  • 8% reduction in time on site
  • Tasks per shift improvement of 15%
  • Reduction in calls made to the contact center by 20%

AnswersAnywhere is now supplying critical knowledge to the AA’s Home Service technicians, via offline mobile devices. They can access the latest interactive data and information from manufacturers and suppliers such as exploded diagrams, parts codes and manufacturer technical manuals while out in the field, facilitating a speedy and accurate parts search coupled with the ability to add parts lists to jobs for automated ordering. This helps to reduce field technician and back office effort and has markedly improved ‘Second Time Fix’ rate.

Ash Cripps, Home Services Business Systems Manager for The AA, comments: “In the age of self-service and automation, delivering fully integrated systems to the benefit of our members, employees and business alike was a critical requirement within our transformation project. The integration between Solarvista and the AnswersAnywhere platform that we have developed supports our technicians in resolving our members’ home emergencies as effectively and quickly as possible; and more of them per day, while also delivering a world class experience to our members.

The project has delivered significant improvements to both First and Second Fix Rates, significant improvement to our technicians’ productivity, while also enabling our technicians to very quickly and accurately order parts and book their own return visits face-to-face with members via their mobile devices.  Additionally, their own core van stock of parts auto-replenishes without anyone having to place orders.”

Paul Allen is a service technician for the AA. Shortlisted for Engineer of the Year, he has this to say about AnswersAnywhere: “Using this software has become part of my routine when servicing or repairing appliances to either get part numbers, fault finding charts or specific servicing routines that certain manufacturers ask for.

The time and money saved by not having to phone manufacturers or merchants for parts numbers or technical information is just one of the benefits of this software. The installation manuals and detailed diagrams make doing the job so much easier, which reduces the time spent on each job, helping you to get more visits completed in your working day.

And you also have the confidence that the part you have ordered will be the correct one as you can see it clearly in the diagrams. Most parts also have a photo in the information to help you identify then accurately. It is great to not have to pick up the phone to order parts or arrange any return visits.”

Continual improvement for optimum performance

The provision of data and functionality is very much an ongoing process for AnswersAnywhere knowledge engineers, with improvements and enhancements introduced at frequent intervals and data updated on a daily, almost real-time basis utilizing the new custom-built CMS built in house.  AnswersAnywhere will continue to work closely with Solarvista to ensure that the AA is receiving the optimum level of service.

AnswersAnywhere CEO, Jonathan Ralphs comments: “We’re delighted that our technology is part of the performance success of the AA Home Services, delivering enhanced customer service to homes across the UK. The project very clearly demonstrates the potential of our AnswersAnywhere platform. We can create an innovative knowledge management tool for any industry worldwide that suffers from an unproductive “knowledge gap” between manufacturer and parts information, and the field service engineer out on site.

Service technicians need the right knowledge at their fingertips to make informed, accurate and quick decisions; increasing their level of productivity significantly. To achieve this is a distinct competitive advantage and that is exactly what AnswersAnywhere can do.”

Contact us today to learn more about how AnswersAnywhere can benefit your field service organization.