Building services engineers Smith & Byford have been working closely with Causeway’s software developers to customise the mapping function in Vixen Service & Maintenance. Smith & Byford offers a wide range of installation and maintenance services and within the maintenance side of the business encompasses a number of specialist areas. These include gas services, electrical testing and building management systems – each requiring engineers with particular skills and qualifications. The company has been using Vixen Service & Maintenance for a number of years, integrating the mapping function with the engineer’s diary to facilitate job allocation. Initially, this function enabled the company to locate the 10 engineers nearest to a site’s postcode.

More recently this functionality has been upgraded to include ‘skills codes’ linked to the plant items associated with the job. As a result, the system will now ensure that the 10 nearest engineers identified have the necessary skills for that particular job. Furthermore, where one of these top 10 is also the normal engineer for that site, he/she will be highlighted by the system. Another new function enables Smith & Byford to calculate the best route for an engineer based on appointment times. It also incorporates a ‘snail trail’ function that can be used to compare the actual routes taken by engineers with the best route calculated by the software.

“The new functionality has brought a wide range of benefits in terms of the way we manage the mobile workforce,” explained the company’s Managing Director, Will Smith. “The integration between mapping and engineer’s diary is more intuitive and reduces the chances of time clashes. This makes it easier to offer the two-hour time slots for appointments required for our social housing clients”. “Also, we can plan more strategically and make optimum use of the workforce while keeping travel time and fuel consumption to a minimum, which helps our overall efficiency and our carbon footprint,” he added.

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