The Newer “New Guy”
Posted: 04.01.05 - By Eric M. Zeman


The marketing campaign is familiar to us all. Sitting with
his sad-eyed Basset Hound, neatly dressed in a blue uniform with red bow tie, is Ol’ Lonely, the Maytag repairman. He’s usually twiddling his thumbs or drinking a cup of coffee. Somedays he’s counseling the “new guy” on how to pass the long stretches between service calls. The reason they have so much time to kill is that Maytag—a $4.7 billion home and commercial appliance company headquartered in Newton, Iowa, with approximately 20,000 employees worldwide—makes quality white goods that are “so darn reliable.”

While that hasn’t changed, what has is the way Maytag equips its service staff for the (purportedly few) service calls that it does make. Knowing the clipboards and paper-based systems of the old days were no longer efficient in servicing their customers on site, Maytag chose Agentek, a Roswell, Ga.–based wireless mobile computing solutions provider, to help it modernize its field force. Agentek’s Agent Field Service and Agent Mobile Communications supply the paperless application that interacts in real time with the Maytag backend host enterprise systems for parts lookup, credit card validation and service call dispatch.

“Our desire to provide exceptional in-home service quality to our customers led us to seek out leading-edge technology for our service technicians. With the ever-increasing expectations of consumers, it is vital that our Maytag service professionals have real-time information on parts
availability and direction assistance, as well as other vital details housed in our data warehouse,” says Darin Endecott, Maytag’s director of eastern factory service operations.

To accomplish this goal, Maytag equipped its drivers with Intermec’s ruggedized PPT760 mobile computers using Microsoft Mobile OS with integrated 802.11 and GPRS radios. Trucks that service remote areas are supplemented with Wireless Matrix MBS multi-mode radios to ensure that there is always a connection available. By communicating wirelessly from inside the customer’s home, each technician is able to draw information needed from both the handheld computer’s database and the enterprise systems at Maytag, all in seconds. State-of-the-art customer service is the result of the project, making the Maytag service organization even more efficient at getting its job done.

But none of this would have been possible without Agentek’s help. Agentek is a full-service solutions integrator and software applications development company, specializing in mobile and wireless data collection. Agentek provides pre-packaged and customized solutions by using terrestrial and satellite networks to securely feed information to and retrieve information from backend databases, such as AS400 and Mainframe. Its solutions cover a range of vertical markets, from field service and field sales to route delivery and pick-up.

“Agentek responded on all fronts in delivering a full turn-key solution from application and hardware to communications and training. They delivered on time and on budget. That was the key to success,” says Craig Hansen, director of information technology at Maytag Services.

“Where others deliver part of the solution, Agentek has the complete answer for us. That means we can deliver the quality of customer service that our customers expect today.”

 


Leisure Publications
http://www.mobileenterprisemag.com/