Amada UK Ltd has designed, developed and implemented a bespoke electronic service reporting system in order to offer its customers a number of important advantages.
For instance, it is now possible for remote working Amada engineers to complete their reports at the conclusion of each job using an interactive online form. The system completes the customer’s details and email address automatically before the engineer inputs details of parts used or recommended along with any remedial action required. The customer’s signature is captured, using touch-screen laptop PCs, before the data is ‘wrapped-up’ in an email and sent to Amada via a GSM data network.
In nearly all cases a concise and legible standard document is waiting in the customer’s email inbox before the engineer has left site, allowing the customer to make quick decisions on any action needed to reduce the risk of downtime and maintain production at its highest level. Furthermore, the customer is now able to keep an electronic record of all machine histories.
Amada’s document process management software archives a copy of the service report automatically and notifies all of the relevant Amada internal departments of the actions requested. The data is also fed back to Amada’s headquarters in Japan for analysis. Additionally, standard digital checklists ensure a continued and consistent level of planned work, while electronic data collected allows recurring issues to be analysed quickly and dealt with using planned preventative measures.
“Despatching jobs by phone and relying on the postal service for the return of service reports meant that reports could take one week to reach us and be processed,” says Amada’s National Service Manager, Leo Feeney. “This was not a problem in the majority of cases as we repair 96% of faults within 24 hours, however, in the small number of instances where remedial action was required we needed a better solution for our customers.
“With the introduction of electronic reporting we are able to action remedial work within minutes of the engineer completing his report, keeping the amount of downtime on customer machines to a minimum,” adds Mr Feeney.
Other benefits of the innovative system include functionality to provide immediate action after the engineer’s visit to ‘follow-up’ any outstanding issues, information requests or quotations, and a real time replenishment of consumable parts, carried by engineers, to ensure visits are concluded ‘first time’.
Trialled initially for routine service work with simple, locally hosted digitally generated reports, the groundbreaking new system is already proving a great asset for the 80 or more Amada staff in employed in the company’s service and support departments.
Amada is now developing the system further to allow customers access to data through a secure portal. Current trials are enabling pilot project customers to access, online, their machine service history, invoices and account information. This is expected to be rolled out in the near future to all Amada users.