T&A on the move

September 2016 Access Control & Identity Management, Asset Management, EAS, RFID

Econz Wireless has provided Metro Telworks with an accurate field service tracking system. Metro provides a service to network operators such as Vodacom and Cell C, but also takes on projects which they manage from end to end.

The bulk of its work is performed by field engineers who are driven each day along specific network routes to check signal strength for 2G, 3G, and LTE networks, thus allowing network providers to deliver seamless and reliable signals for millions of cellphone and data users. Each team consists of a vehicle, driver and engineer. They are dispatched to check signal strength along requested routes, as well as in-building/campus signal stability and strength.

“Because the teams are out in the field for long periods of time, we needed to know where they were, did they use the correct route, which hours were worked,” says Tajuddin Mohammed, human resources manager at Metro Telworks, South Africa. Other pain areas for the company involved speeding, robberies of expensive equipment from the vehicles, misreported hours worked, especially in overtime, damage to vehicles and accidents.

“We needed a solution that would solve all these issues and give us management reports so we could issue reprimands for speeding and causing accidents. We also needed to check on the locations where robberies were occurring and thus provide this information to our insurers. We wanted to know when the team clocked in and out, and whether they actually did work overtime,” says Mohammed.

“As the engineers use their own phones, we also needed a solution that would run on a variety of mobile device brands, including iPhones and Android devices. We chose Econz Wireless Timecard GPS as this covered just about all our requirements.”

Simplified management

The company runs teams that consist of two employees per team – driver and engineer. Clock in and clock out is performed by the engineer on his device, thus saving Metro the costs of individual subscriptions for two separate phones. Team clock in/out can cope with up to 45 members in one team on one device.

The Speed Trigger feature allows head office to see speeding reports, location, and if the speeding incidents led to an accident. These reports fulfil insurance requirements which then enables the company to penalise the driver and to recoup speeding and accident costs. “For us this has been a tremendous help in disciplining our drivers, even terminating them if necessary. It has also saved us costs in speeding fines,” says Mohammed.

The Speed Trigger feature in Timecard GPS also activates an email to the office so they can take immediate action by contacting the driver.

“We have been using the Econz solution for over a year now and are extremely happy,” says Mohammed. “The system was accepted quickly and willingly by the field teams as we can provide them with immediate assistance in the case of a breakdown or accident. Econz is quick to resolve any reported issues with the system, and to provide regular updates that meet our needs.”

Admin assistance

One such recent update is the Alert Admin feature. Alert Admin provides management with a new report called “Clock In/Out Exception Report”. Admin teams need to know if someone is late, not turned up at all, who is working or not. This also allows field management to decide whether it is necessary to send a temporary worker from nearby.

They can configure specific time limits for clocking in, and follow up to see if the person is sick or always late, before taking action. “We used to have such a problem discovering whether overtime was true and justified, but now we can track this easily with our reports. We have saved on fuel costs due to Speed Trigger and breadcrumb trails. Speeding fines, vehicle damage, and robberies have decreased exponentially.”

Metro Telworks will shortly be installing an SAP ERP system globally and Mohammed is looking forward to the integration Econz will provide him with into this system.

Thomas Marshall, national sales director for Econz South Africa says Metro Telworks has been a model customer for the Econz Timecard GPS solution. “Our customers constantly challenge us with their specific requirements. But once delivered, new features are released to benefit all customers across the globe. It’s a win-win situation.“

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