Patterson Dental, a division of Patterson Companies, Inc., headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, provides dentists across the United States with a large range of products, from toothbrushes and gloves to digital imaging and operating room equipment, to ensure patients get optimal care.
Its workforce is 7,500 strong, of which more than 800 are field service technicians who are responsible for supporting thousands of customers. The company was challenged by inefficient, manual processes for daily route planning to execute repair and warranty activities at customer sites, as well as a cumbersome coordination process for customer appointments and time slots for repair.
Empowering Technicians in the Field to Deliver Additional Value
Patterson knew it could empower employees to provide better customer service related to on-site visits for equipment repairs and realize significant savings at the same time. To achieve this, Patterson needed new insight to better coordinate these visits and help technicians spend less time on visits and on the road.
Integrated Field Service Management Helps Save Time and Cut Costs
The business case the company built was to:
- Increase revenue per technician (billed hours/day)
- Optimize routing and reduce mileage
- Cut costs for coordinators by more efficient scheduling
- Increase customer experience by improved interaction and scheduling
In 2021, Patterson began to use SAP Field Service Management, a cloud-based solution that helps support the company’s goal to streamline field service management processes with an integrated solution while easing life for technicians, dispatchers, and coordinators as well as, most importantly, improving customer satisfaction. SAP Services and Support was at Patterson’s side to help implement and integrate the solution with its existing IT landscape.
“Every part of the field service process has improved with SAP Field Service Management. Coordinators can connect with our customers quickly, and technicians now show up for customers’ appointments faster and better informed,” said Larry Fox, senior director of Technical Service at Patterson Dental.
New Solution Provides Millions of Dollars in Value Every Year
The SAP Field Service Management solution helps provide key data for scheduling field service appointments with customers and completing repairs more efficiently. In particular:
- Two to five minutes per job are saved related to the effort required to schedule and manage field service requests per coordinator.
- Thirteen minutes of unbilled travel time is saved per billed hour, freeing up time for Patterson to serve more customers.
- Forty metric tons of carbon emissions are saved per year due to more sustainable routing, 5% less miles traveled per day, and reduced fuel usage.
Thanks to an add-on tool, the company can also leverage real-time and historic data, such as traffic jams, to optimize routing and save time for technicians.
Overall, Patterson was able to cut costs due to improved coordination of customer appointments; increase customer satisfaction thanks to streamlined processes; increase revenue thanks to improved efficiency for technicians, leading to more billable hours; and gain greater insight into the fuel use, travel time, and other costs related to field service.
Karin Fent is senior director of Global Customer Success Digital Supply Chain at SAP.