IRS Truck and Trailer (IRS) is a service business providing maintenance and repair trucks and trailers. IRS mainly services corporate customers with fleets of trucks requiring maintenance and repair on a regular basis.
IRS has been successfully operating for many years in the truck and trailer service business, but as their business continued to grow their internal procedures were becoming more and more inefficient over time.
IRS used a manual paper based system to manage the internal processes of the company. When a customer came into the shop, a work order was filled out documenting the nature of the problem and the customer’s detailed information. Information was recorded on the work order pertaining to the customer and vehicle being serviced. Industry standard service codes were looked up in books and used to estimate the number of hours it would take to repair the customer’s vehicle.
The work order was a multi part form and a copy was given to the service technician, stores (parts), and the front desk for tracking purposes. As work was performed, each area recorded detailed information for time and part usage on their work order. If the customer requested a change to the work order, someone would have to find all of the copies of the work orders and make the required change. Once the work order had been completed, all of the copies were given to accounting and keyed into their accounting system. It usually took several weeks for the invoice to be prepared, as accounting had to manually reconcile the parts invoices to each of the work orders before invoicing could take place.
The challenge that faced the potential vendor of IRS’s new business management system was to integrate all of these processes into one system and significantly automate the process.
In 2000 IRS purchased Blue Link ERP as its business management and service software. A Blue Link consultant worked together with IRS to create a single integrated system that would handle all of their business requirements.
Modifications were made to Blue Link to track multiple vehicles and the detailed information pertaining to each vehicle at the customer level. This allows the front desk to simply select a vehicle and update a few select fields such as mileage when a new work order is started. The industry standard service codes are stored in the system with the estimated number of hours which allows for an estimate to be created very quickly.
Blue Link’s order entry features were modified slightly to allow for detailed tracking of labor per standard service code. Now, as technicians complete their work, they record their hours directly onto the work order. Special reports have been developed for management to show hours worked and productivity per service technician.
IRS stores many of the most commonly used parts in inventory, but special orders are often required for specific parts. Required parts are now recorded directly onto the work order and the Stores personnel can immediately tell if the parts are in stock or not. If the parts must be ordered, a purchase order can automatically be created, which is cross-referenced to the work order. When the parts are received, the work order is automatically updated and ready for billing which removes the requirement for accounting to manually reconcile every parts invoice.
With the new modifications, an invoice can often be prepared at the same time that the work order is completed.
Andrea Stramenga of IRS says, “Utilizing Blue Link’s custom project methodology has allowed us to drastically increase efficiency removing many of our manual, time-consuming tasks. The flexibility of Blue Link Solutions has allowed us to incorporate business processes into Solutions that we would have never dreamed before.”