Astea Aims to Improve "First-time-fix" Rates in Field Service

Offers new inventory visibility, GPS mapping and scheduling capabilities in solution for mobile service organizations

Offers new inventory visibility, GPS mapping and scheduling capabilities in solution for mobile service organizations

Horsham, PA — May 1, 2006 — Service lifecycle management (SLM) specialist Astea International has rolled out a new version of its solution for mobile service organizations, updating capabilities to improve "first-time fix" rates, resource optimization and customer satisfaction, the solution provider announced.

FieldCentrix Enterprise 4.1, currently available, comes less than 30 days after Astea introduced Service Management OnDemand, its first managed hosting solution for the small and midsize business market.

Version 4.1 is the first upgrade to the FieldCentrix Enterprise product suite since Astea acquired the company in September. The latest version introduces updated features for real-time, remote inventory insight and staff optimization. It also includes a new fleet management solution.

Additionally, Astea is introducing a new toolkit for customizing, extending or building new mobile applications intended to synchronize and speed workflow with flexible options for reporting and tracking.

Features that Astea is highlighting include capabilities for "first-time fix," which allow technicians worldwide to view parts inventory from their mobile units for better planning, as well as search capabilities that let technicians locate parts from any stocking location, which can reduce ad hoc purchases and cut time-to-repair, according to the solution provider.

The GPS and fleet management module lets dispatchers select the best team, by location or skill set, for emergency repairs. Animated maps provide a full-fleet view and driving directions from any location, which can cut transit time. In addition, technician selection optimization features can improve how managers assign technicians to jobs by matching skills and preferences for specific equipment types.

New scheduling flexibility includes specifications to meet customers' requests, such as "the second Tuesday of every month." Technicians can now capture extended billing information, including portal-to-portal time and after-hours conditions. Improved workflow and reporting can help managers drill down into these records.

Meanwhile, tracking tools capture safety and performance issues, cutting administrative time and providing record-keeping and reporting data in case products later require service under warranty. Customization features can let organizations extend their existing mobile application or build new mobile applications that "talk" with back-office applications.

Astea said it currently is working on integrating the FieldCentrix Enterprise solution into the Astea Alliance Suite to offer a solution that addresses the entire service lifecycle.

Additional Articles of Interest

— For more information on solutions for the service and support chain, see the articles "In the Field and All Grown Up," the Net Best Thing column in the June/July 2002 issue of iSource Business (now Supply & Demand Chain Executive), and "Time to Prove It," the Net Best Thing column in the April/May 2003 issue of the magazine.

— For best practices in service parts management, see the article "Three Keys to Successful Service Parts Management."