Aftercare customers of leading dry freight bodybuilder Bevan Group are enjoying even more rapid and efficient back-up following its introduction of a new computerised job allocation and tracking system.
The system relies on hand-held personal digital assistants (PDAs) which are carried by each engineer and linked to a central control room.
These allow the location of every service van to be tracked at all times, and enable the engineers to communicate quickly and easily with base, whether receiving details of a call out or updating the control centre on the progress of a job and its completion. Customers can also log on to a live on-line update and follow the progress of their call-out – or even add a job to the system themselves.
Best known as a supplier of high-quality box, curtainside and platform bodies to some of the biggest names on Britain’s roads, Bevan has also forged a reputation for the excellence of its market-leading aftercare service – the company’s team of mobile technicians provide nationwide cover.
Now Bevan Group, which is based in Halesowen, West Midlands, has raised its service game still higher by investing in the ‘call2field’ computer software and associated hardware.
Aftercare Manager Roy Shelton explains: “Our response times were already good but since introducing the new system we’ve been able to reduce them still further.
“This is because the operator in our control room who takes the call requesting assistance can see at a glance where all of our engineers are, and allocate the job to the one who is closest to the customer’s location at that precise moment.
“Using his PDA the engineer can then update us quickly and easily when he reaches the scene, identifies the problem, and – where possible – fixes it. He can also take photographs of the repair, attach them to the completed job paperwork, with the customer’s signature. Each of these updates is sent directly to our control centre and can be relayed immediately to the customer’s own traffic office, so they are kept fully in the picture.”
Roy adds: “We can also see if there are any other scheduled calls the engineer can make while he’s in a particular area. This means he spends less time driving between jobs, and more time helping our customers to keep their vehicles on the road – and it reduces the cost to the customer too.”
Bevan Group’s Aftercare and On-site Repairs division offers a complete maintenance service to vehicle bodies, ancillary equipment such as tail lifts, and even cab bodywork, with engineers available on a 24-hour callout basis. The team also offers a service to retro-fit a range of solutions to provide safety for staff working at height, including its Skyhook inertia-reel safety harness, and KeepNet removable side netting panels.
As well as Bevan’s own bodies, the company’s team of mobile engineers also maintain and repair units built by rival manufacturers, and ancillary equipment such as tail-lifts.
“That level of service really sets us apart in this industry,” continues Roy, “and explains why even operators buy their bodies from our competitors often come to us to have them looked after.
“But we’re constantly looking for ways to improve our service still further, and the introduction of the call2field system represents a significant step forward.”