ATS Euromaster, a member of the Michelin-owned Euromaster Group, is a major vehicle fast-fit specialist operating across Europe. In the UK, ATS Euromaster has over 540 company-owned and branded centers and a fleet of more 200 mobile tire-fitting vehicles. It runs the industry’s most advanced call center with over 180 agents handling more than 50,000 calls a month and providing round-the-clock service.
Exceeding customers' expectations
The task for ATS Euromaster was to make more efficient use of its vehicle fleet, increase stock control and improve data reporting methods. To accomplish this, the company decided to replace a manual voice and fax-based system with a mobile CRM solution for its tire fitters.
Now ATS has about 160 vehicles providing rapid response and fleet maintenance service to private and corporate customers. Each vehicle is equipped as a mobile workshop with state-of-the-art tools for tire fitting, batteries and related parts. The wireless data application, which was developed by Three X Communication and runs over UK operator Transcomm’s Mobitex network, supports the entire UK operation.
Powerful and flexible platform
Built around Three X’s powerful field service software, the ATS Euromaster application uses the Three X Service Resource Center, a PCbased resource management application running at ATS’s Birmingham Customer Service Center that provides vehicle location information, mapping and scheduling. This system exchanges information over the Mobitex network with Three X’s remote client software running on vehicle-mounted Fujitsu PenCentra 200 Windows CE devices.
"When running over Mobitex, the ATS application uses Broadbeam’s Smart IP middleware, Three X Message Queueing and Nexus mobile application software,” relates Keith Faulkner, head of product management at Transcomm. Russell Rhodes, chief technical officer for Three X adds "Nexus is an extremely powerful and flexible platform that allows us to develop applications for customers in a matter of weeks. This obviously has a significant impact upon cost and means that smaller organizations are now able to benefit from the efficiencies and increased productivity delivered by mobile computing."
Transcomm has also installed a Smart IP server in its network for use by its partners for rapid prototyping of applications. With this middleware, solution providers can develop end-to-end IP applications that support push functionality.
"Broadbeam’s Smart IP middleware helps Transcomm and its partners to provide the products and services that IT professionals expect,” continues Keith Faulkner. "IT departments want familiar tools that match their backend systems. Middleware helps us to provide an environment with which customers are familiar and makes it easier to deploy such applications as the ATS Euromaster tire fitting application.”
Optimizing resource usage
The key to resource optimization is to minimize the distance traveled by the mobile fitting vehicle to reach the customer via the stock collection point. By combining the visibility of van movements across all geographical areas with intelligent resource scheduling and realtime data exchange, we have a powerful tool with which to drive our mobile fitting business. Our aim is to deliver a service that exceeds customer expectations at every level. I believe that mobile data gives ATS the means to achieve this,” concludes Ian Thomas.
The Three X system uses GPS (Global Positioning System) to precisely track vehicles and allow smarter scheduling of jobs. Upon receiving a request, the operator at ATS’s customer service center keys the details into the Service Resource Center. Color-coding is used to indicate the status of each vehicle on the map (on a job, collecting stock, available, etc.). The operator is able to cross-reference service vehicle location, availability, tire stock and breakdown location and to allocate the job to the most appropriate fitter.
Customer information, including location, tire size and quantity, are sent directly to the Fujitsu Windows CE device over the Mobitex network. When the job is finished completion details are transmitted back to the Service Resource Center, so that inventory and accounting records are instantly updated.
"I am extremely positive about the ways in which the system equips us to meet the rapidly increasing demand for our services,” says Ian Thomas, Business Development Director of ATS Euromaster "We operate within a highly competitive area, and quality and responsiveness are key to all our customer dealings. The deployment of mobile data is a strategic decision that further improves service levels."