Winterhalter streamlines field operations by adopting Getac notebooks and fleet management
Winterhalter has been operating in the UK since 1971 and is headquartered in Southern Germany. The Bavarian engineering that goes into its products makes it a leading force in commercial glass and dishwashing for the foodservice industry. Winterhalter is the only company that manufactures warewashing equipment and chemicals as well as providing service and water treatment. Its clientele include a host of pubs, restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, hospitals, universities and prisons as well as specialist caterers in sports stadia, conference centres and music venues. The firm’s UK operations are underpinned by its nationwide network of technicians. To streamline its repair and maintenance activities, the company recently decided to update its existing system, which used Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) whose screens were too small for viewing manuals and wiring diagrams. The software also crashed repeatedly due to limited processing power
The device problems meant a considerable loss of time, and users had to revert to paperwork as a backup option, which increased pressure on the back office personnel. The company therefore upgraded its software and started looking for more effective and powerful handheld or similar devices that could increase the efficiency and productivity of its servicing operations in the field.
As the parent company in Germany uses Getac equipment, Winterhalter asked Getac for its advice given its expertise as a leading provider of rugged computers to a range of industries operating in challenging environments. Neil Tolchard, Winterhalter’s IT Manager, explains: “We wanted handheld devices that would be very rugged and that used a Windows operating system. To save time, we also wanted to be able to transmit details about new and completed jobs over Wifi and from SIM cards within seconds.”
In response, Getac recommended its V110 convertible rugged devices, which are designed to drive greater productivity and flexibility, allow rapid and secure data transfer and greater workflow efficiency for those operating on the front line. The V110 convertible notebooks are lightweight and IP65 rated, meaning they are protected against dust ingress and water splashes. The devices run Windows operating systems to allow for easily integration with field management software and includes a number of important security features.The large 11.6” multi-touch display uses Getac’s proprietary LumiBond sunlight readable screen technology allowing technicians to easily see important documentation clearly and quickly. The five megapixel auto-focus camera and webcam enable field workers to visually record site visits, problems and fixes, while dual hot-swappable batteries provide a continuous power supply to ensure the new solution is fully available for the whole shift. The V110 offers a full range of connectivity options, including GPS, 4G/LTE and Bluetooth allowing users to rapidly transmit data to and from central servers.
Neil comments: ”We’re already seeing the benefits of the new system. Our technicians can go to a site; carry out all of their survey work; and then use the Getac device to send off the notes to our main system over WiFi or 4G. The V110s save a considerable amount of time by cutting down on an awful lot of paperwork. They also enable us to do invoicing more rapidly, which improves our cash flow.
“The Getac devices are much more reliable than our old PDAs. Some 99% of calls are now closed on a Getac, saving time in the office that would have been spent manually closing calls – and our technicians spend less time rebooting devices. With the large touch screen, the technicians can easily see documents such as wiring diagrams and manuals. The whole system is much more flexible and upgrades can also be carried out more easily.”He concludes: “We’re very happy with the new system. Working with Getac and Spirit has been a great experience. Winterhalter is continuing to grow, and we hope to have a total of about 200 technicians on the road in the next year or so. We’ll therefore be making further use of Spirit’s expertise and Getac’s devices.”
“The V110s save a considerable amount of time by cutting down on an awful lot of paperwork. They also enable us to do invoicing more rapidly, which improves our cash flow.”
Neil Tolchard, IT Manager, Winterhalter
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- Posted at 16 January 2019