Flexible Working Case Study with T Mobile and Konica
Konica Minolta Business Solutions (UK): Mobile Technology to Support Business Growth Targets
• Flexible and transparent price plan drives cost savings
• Robust PDAs popular with large mobile workforce of engineers
• Extensive network coverage essential to Cognito software usage
Industry: Digital imaging systems supplier
Number of employees: 900 in the UK
Number of locations/offices: 20
Devices: 230 Symbol MC 70 devices, 100 T-Mobile BlackBerry handsets, 86 T-Mobile Mobile Broadband sticks
“T-Mobile has been very supportive in catering for our diverse communication needs, ensuring that we have the right technology for all individuals within our organisation and offering the extensive network coverage we require to run our business.”
Rhys Davies, Head of IT, Konica Minolta Business Solutions (UK)
Konica Minolta Business Solutions (UK) Ltd is a subsidiary of Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The company markets digital imaging systems through a direct sales force and a network of independent dealerships and has a UK turnover in excess of £150 million.
In the UK, Konica Minolta has set ambitious goals to be the leading supplier of colour imaging systems by the end of the decade and to secure a significant share of the commercial digital production print market. In both these key market sectors Konica Minolta already has considerable success. However, it is constantly exploring new technology to help improve business processes and give it greater competitive advantage.
Konica Minolta has a large mobile workforce of engineers whose roles involve maintaining and installing digital imaging systems. Two years ago, the company started using software developed by Cognito to manage the process of the engineers’ customer visits. The Cognito software allows the engineers to record details such as the completion of jobs, the equipment used and any follow up required. This information, transmitted by PDAs across the T-Mobile network, can be accessed by head office in real time.
The company also has a large travelling sales force which relies on access to mobile technology to communicate with new and existing customers, using a mix of BlackBerry devices and Mobile Broadband sticks. The extensive use the company makes of mobile communications means that Konica Minolta required access to fast, reliable mobile network coverage, spanning the whole of the UK. A flexible and transparent price plan to keep tabs on the costs of the extensive use that Konica makes of mobile communications is also essential to the business.
Konica Minolta has been a T-Mobile customer since 2006. In December 2008, following a competitive pitch amongst the network operators, T-Mobile was once again selected by Konica Minolta to provide its mobile communications. All of the 230 Konica Minolta engineers were provided with Symbol MC 70s, robust PDAs which allow them access to data, voice and the Cognito software. Key to the decision to remain with T-Mobile was its extensive network coverage and flexible pricing plan. The level of support T-Mobile offers, which includes a dedicated account manager for Konica Minolta and readily available technical support, was another key selling point.
“T-Mobile has been very supportive in catering for our diverse communication needs, ensuring that we have the right technology for all individuals within our organisation and offering the extensive network coverage we require to run our business,” comments Rhys Davies, Head of IT, Konica Minolta.
The PDAs are popular with the engineers, who find them easy to use. With all the necessary technology in place, they can run their daily schedules with maximum efficiency. It is estimated that this switch to the Symbol MC 70s combined with the use of the Cognito software has saved an average of ten minutes per call out for the engineers. This time saved is hugely significant to the company, which commits to a response time of two hours for some of its clients requiring engineer call outs.
Davies explains, “As our company looks for a larger share in its market, our ability to respond quickly to customer requests is essential to our progress. “T-Mobile and Cognito have engineered a high availability service which has helped us to improve our response time, making them a valuable asset to our progress.”
With a combination of Symbol MC devices, BlackBerrys and Mobile Broadband sticks being used extensively by several hundred employees at Konica Minolta, keeping a close eye on expenditure is a high priority for Davies. Konica Minolta has in place a tailored tariff from T-Mobile, providing as much detail as they require regarding the breakdown of costs.
As well as this transparent view of spending, the Symbol MC 70s can also provide the business with a clear view of the equipment used for each task. Each one is equipped with a barcode reader which scans all parts used during a servicing call out. This system makes engineers more accountable for the parts they change and ensures Konica Minolta can monitor parts usage; a crucial factor in its expenses.
“It is important for us to record as much information as possible regarding the company’s use of the equipment so we can identify areas where cost savings can be made or business processes should be changed. T-Mobile provides us with a transparent view of our usage and expenditure,” says Davies.
Konica Minolta is constantly reviewing its communications strategy, as it has plans to increase its mobile workforce in the future. The company intends to work with T-Mobile to remain ahead of its competitors in adopting and using the latest technology and ensuring it offers the best service possible to all of its UK customers. The next step the company is investigating is the move towards a range of 3G devices to make the most of T-Mobile’s high speed Mobile Broadband network which Davies believes would further improve the efficiency of its processes and result in an even greater improvement in customer service.
“The use of PDAs is becoming integral to our sector. It is therefore important for us to keep examining how we can make more innovative use of mobile technology and add value to our business to ensure we remain competitive. We are very satisfied with the level of support we have received from T-Mobile and are looking forward to exploring further innovations with them in the future,” concludes Davies.
For more information on Remote Employment:
Call us on 0844 800 8355
Find Flexible Jobs Working from Home!