MCR, a manufacturer and distributor of EPOS Systems, is implementing cloud-hosted field service management software Siclops from Advanced Field Service (Advanced), to improve visibility of customer projects and increase efficiency.
The Leicester-based firm will go live with the solution, which will integrate with Advanced Exchequer’s core accounting system, in September 2015. Both systems will enable MCR to compete with larger companies and win new business.
MCR has 45 staff and works with large organisations across the UK, such as contract caterers and universities and also writes back office software hosted in the cloud. The firm previously used another field service management solution for 10 years, but it lacked end-to-end functionality from quotation to installation and support.
Advanced was chosen from a shortlist of three software providers due to Siclops’ ability to manage an entire project from the initial order to completion. Siclops is an integrated service management system designed for companies which provide installation, service or maintenance via a field or site-based workforce.
The systems will be hosted in the cloud by sister company, Advanced 365 and used by around 15 employees in technical support, administration, accounts, and project management roles.
Previously MCR had a manual system which required re-keying the same data four times. For example, information entered at quotation stage would then be copied by individual departments, such as accounts, into their own systems. With Siclops the information only needs to be entered once into one centralised system, at the quotation stage. Other departments across the organisation then have automatic access to this data, once the order is confirmed.
Siclops also tracks the progress of projects. Previously accounts would need to be informed when a customer could be invoiced, and if a manager wanted to check the status of a job they would need to ask the appropriate department for an update. Now all the relevant departments will be able to update and view all progress online in real-time.
Leigh McManus, Operations Director, MCR, says: “The Siclops system will effectively run our business. It will take the order right through from quotation all the way to ongoing support and billing, eliminating the need for re-keying data, reducing the possibility of mistakes through human error.
“The system will allow us to have a 360 degree view of every job online, which will speed up invoice payments and free up time spent on manual data entry. These combined efficiencies will enable us to continue growing without having to expand the workforce, allowing us to compete with larger companies in the sector.”
Field service engineers will also be able to update the system from their mobile phones while on site, meaning once a job has been completed, and the details uploaded, an invoice can be generated immediately by the accounts team, without the engineer needing to return to the office.
The invoices generated in Siclops will automatically also be available in the Exchequer accounts system. This integration between the two systems will mean information is more accurate and up-to-date, ensuring the creation of financial reports is quicker and easier. In particular the time taken for month end reporting is expected to drop from one day to two hours.
McManus adds: “The integrated software will provide us with a total, end-to-end solution enabling us to work smarter and faster. We will leverage this technology to give us the competitive edge and compete with larger companies.”
During phase two of the installation, MCR will implement a web portal that will allow a longstanding customer to directly input orders into Siclops and track it themselves.
Advanced Field Service, Advanced Exchequer and Advanced 365 are all divisions of Advanced Computer Software Group Ltd.