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Quality Forklift Case Study

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Quality Forklift

Quality Forklift is a family business that repairs, services, and sells all makes and models of lift trucks. Founded in 1981, there are now 3 locations across the state of Minnesota. The owner, who has owned the business for 28 years, started as a technician, so the leadership has a solid understanding of the challenges faced by front line staff in the field.

Quality Forklift sells forklifts but now a major source of revenue comes from servicing the machines sold. Technicians travel to customer’s sites and service forklifts on site. In fact, of the 80 employees, almost half are technicians.

Quality Forklift’s mission is to provide customers with quality service and sales, at fair prices, in a timely manner. They realize the importance of good running equipment their customer’s bottom line and operations.

Business Situation

For many years, Quality Forklift’s field service technicians used pen and paper to record job and customer details when out in the field. They would then scan or eventually email copies of the work order in to the head office. Often, papers got lost or damaged, and tracing past paperwork could become a challenge. In addition, it took time for technicians to send in the paper information, leading to delays in processing the information.

As other competitors also switched to paperless methods, Quality Forklift saw that this was a better way. No more information loss or losses in translation. Instant feedback from office and customers.

Quality Forklift had been working with their partner FXB Technologies and using Epicor Silk for over 10 years. They were not interested in changing their business system. No company could prove they had worked with Epicor to implement a similar system, other than ExpandIT. Going with ExpandIT meant it would be a proven process without any fears.

To make technicians as efficient in the field as possible, the right solution needed to allow them to execute as many tasks as possible through their mobile device. This included receiving, managing, and closing service orders, as well as having the customer sign off and sending the completed order directly into the NAV system without generating paper work orders. Ideally, the solution would also allow the technician to generate new requests for service and create invoices in the field if the job was paid by the customer on site.

Solution

The decision to upgrade to ExpandIT was a joint effort between many people in the company. The owner and CFO went through the process of evaluating the software making sure it met all the needs. All the service managers and service staff as well were shown how easy the system is to use.

Initially Quality Forklift wanted to deploy the solution to the road team who were out travelling. However, the shop technicians ended up being the first to use it since they were closer to the office them. The whole team was aware before the solution was implemented so they were ready to start using it. All the technicians received a tablet and were allowed the choice to use the tablet or their phones to use the ExpandIT solution.

The data entry and procedures were easy to adapt to, and there was a short learning curve. Everyone clearly understood the benefits and liked the modernization.

To make technicians as efficient in the field as possible, the right solution needed to allow them to execute as many tasks as possible through their mobile device. This included receiving, managing, and closing service orders, as well as having the customer sign off and sending the completed order directly into the NAV system without generating paper work orders. Ideally, the solution would also allow the technician to generate new requests for service and create invoices in the field if the job was paid by the customer on site.

Benefits

Customers often have a desire for instant gratification, and now with ExpandIT, customers get estimates much faster. Customers like to see Quality Forklift’s staff using tablets and modern technology, it gives them the impression that the company is well organized, and that their information is getting recorded in the most up-to-date way possible.

On the administrative side, there have been a lot of efficiencies created in the office. It used to take 6 to 7 days before a customer was invoiced, now it gets done within 1 to 2 days.

On the operations end, there is a lot more awareness of the customers. Field technicians have the customer’s detailed information pulled up on their device when visiting, so they know about past work that was done, or regular service items. Customers are happy to know that technicians are aware of what happened at the last interaction the customer had with the company.Technicians had a lot of positive stories on how the experience with the customer improved in various situations. Technicians could quickly bring up the work order, and adding in detailed notes was easy, adding photos and getting signatures from customers was a breeze. Better connection between the sales and service teams meant no more frustration due to miscommunications. Everything is all within their device, meaning lost work orders were a thing of the past, and it is now much easier and faster to get everything done.

In the future, there aren’t many software changes planned. As new staff come on, there will be training, and more fine tuning of the software for changing needs as the market evolves. The partner, FXB Technologies, along with ExpandIT, are always ready to work on enhancements as needs change. Overall, Quality Forklift is happy to have an integrated field service solution, and Quality Forklift is well set up for future growth.