Attacking Field Service through ERP

Electronics company extends enterprise planning solution to support field service initiative

Atlanta  December 30, 2002  Schneider Electric Mexico's new services division has implemented a field service application designed specifically for its needs by software company MAPICS as part of an initiative to offer customers value-added services and solutions around its products.

A user of MAPICS' enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution for more than 15 years, Mexico City-based Schneider Electric Mexico turned to the enterprise solution provider to support its initiative to offer customers more than just products such as electrical devices and automation components.

In early 2002 Schneider decided to sell value-based services and solutions around its products. To successfully accomplish an expansion of its traditional product offering, Schneider needed a solution that would support a service-based business by managing projects from development and engineering through execution.

MAPICS responded to Schneider's needs by combining relevant components from its Maintenance and Calibration, Customer Service Management, Order Based Production Management and Enterprise Product Data Management solutions with custom code to accommodate a service and solution-based business. The newly designed field services application provides the capabilities necessary to track and manage service projects, a task that cannot be performed by traditional ERP systems that require product or catalog numbers.

"A key concern was finding a cost-effective software solution that could support this line of business and integrate well with existing systems," said Herve Iweins, solutions director of Schneider Electric Mexico. "Based on our strong relationship with MAPICS, we were confident it was the right partner to help bring this solution to our customers. We looked at others but none came close to meeting the requirements for functionality and integration."

A subsidiary of French-based Schneider Electric, Schneider Electric Mexico is looking to the MAPICS field service solution to provide a number of valuable benefits, including better testing techniques, better control of margin of business, increased ability to make sound business decisions at the right time and improved management of service orders.

Currently, the MAPICS field service solution is up and running at one of Schneider Electric Mexico's eight locations. The company plans to have the other locations live on the solution by early 2003.