Mobile Business: All the Information

By leveraging enterprise service-oriented architecture, composite applications from SAP connect handheld devices to business data and processes located in the home office. Barloworld Handling UK, a division of Barloworld Industrial Distribution and the UK distributor of Hyster fork lifts, has implemented an SAP composite application for mobile business to provide its more than 600 service technicians with remote access to the information they need to be more productive and make better business decisions. As a result of the implementation, Barloworld Handling UK is seeing an increase in worker productivity and customer service, and a decrease in overhead costs.

Barloworld Handling UK serves the global material-handling needs of customers based in the United Kingdom by providing equipment, services and support. Every day, hundreds of field technicians help customers on-site optimize their handling operations. To more effectively predict and service customer needs, these technicians require remote connectivity to the enterprise. The company selected SAP xApp Mobile Asset Management (SAP xMAM), one of the SAP composite applications for mobile business, to give its service engineers instant mobile access to work orders and equipment information from various back-end applications.

“SAP has helped us to implement our vision of a ‘mobile engineer’ as part of our quest to deliver world-class service to our customers,” said Robert S. Tennant, CIO, Barloworld Industrial Distribution. “Before the system was implemented, our field employees communicated travel and work time, parts requests, work requests, subcontracted work and damages either verbally using cellular phones or with handwritten forms. By extending SAP software access to our mobile engineers, we now have paperless, real-time data entry, immediate parts lookup and availability checks with overnight delivery, timesheets completed as work progresses, and automatic dispatch of work orders. Barloworld has been able to significantly reduce overhead and improve productivity – and we expect the annual benefits will exceed the project cost.”

Prior to the implementation, the company had a decentralized office structure with multiple service back offices and customer contact points. With SAP xMAM, the company now has centralized its customer call processing, field technician dispatch and parts logistics. In addition, service technicians now have access to inventory via their mobile devices. As a result, the company has been able to raise its level of customer service, increase data accuracy and reduce its back-office overhead. Service workers are now also able to communicate new sales opportunities back to the central office via their mobile devices, so that a salesperson can follow up immediately.

“Companies such as Barloworld Handling UK are increasingly turning to mobile solutions for their service technicians, who are one of the largest groups of information workers,” said Udo Waibel, senior vice president, Information Worker, SAP. “SAP is meeting this need by offering mobile solutions that focus on giving information workers simple access to data anytime and anywhere. With more than 850 customers worldwide using SAP mobility solutions, SAP has become one of the leading providers of mobile enterprise applications.”

SAP mobile solutions

SAP xApp Mobile Asset Management is one of several mobility solutions offered by SAP, including composite applications to support mobile sales, mobile in-store inventory management and mobile direct store delivery. Providing the foundation for SAP mobile solutions is SAP NetWeaver Mobile, a component of the SAP NetWeaver technology platform. Based on a flexible enterprise service-oriented architecture, SAP NetWeaver Mobile enables organizations to easily build customized applications and integrate new applications with their existing IT infrastructure.