A.O. Smith Wins Award for Service Management Software
June 24, 2008 Alex Woodie
An implementation of Vertical Solutions‘ PowerHelp service management software has garnered an award for A. O. Smith Water Products Company. The capability to pull information from multiple data sources, including an i5/OS-based server, enabled the manufacturer to dramatically boost the efficiency of its call center.
Based in Ashland City, Tennessee, A. O. Smith Water Products Company manufactures several brands of gas and electric water heaters for commercial and residential use. The company, which is a division of the publicly traded A.O. Smith Corp. of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, runs ERP software from Logility on its i5/OS server, as well as replenishment software that runs on Windows servers.
A.O. Smith needed a way to give customer representatives quick access to all of the various back-office systems it uses, including four database management systems: DB2/400, SQL Server, Oracle, and Access. Traversing these systems manually was too time consuming and difficult for representatives to provide timely service to customers.
Eventually, A.O. Smith settled on Vertical Solutions’ field service management software, called PowerHelp. The software uses Web services to connect 11 A. O. Smith databases and applications into a single screen that encompasses data-warranty information, service history, skill sets, and geographic availability, and more than 70 fields of product-specific data.
The software had a fairly immediate impact on A.O. Smith. The time it took representatives to answer customers dropped by 50 percent, call transfers were reduced by 20 percent, and access time for retrieving historical data dropped from days to minutes.
The implantation was so successful that it was nominated for, and won, Worldwide Business Research’s (WBR’s) Service Award for Seamless Technology Implementation & Deployment to Increase Service and Support Levels. “A. O. Smith’s award . . . was testament to its efforts in creating a bridge from its past to its future in order to streamline processes, improve interactivity from people to data, and people to people,” says Jonathan Massoud, executive director with WBR.