Our client, ENGIE Services Zuid, is market leader in technical services and energy projects in The Netherlands. Every day, their service technicians in the field have to solve technical problems on-site in the fastest and best way possible. ENGIE’s clients are large enterprises and every minute an operation is down costs money. Service Level Agreements with clients require successful intervention within a short time frame (2 hours).
Like many other companies, ENGIE is confronted with a shortage on the market of experienced technicians. At the same time, the older, more experienced technicians have all the necessary skills and knowledge ‘in their head’ and are over-solicited since they can fix the most complex and rare problems on-site faster and more efficiently. ENGIE was looking for a solution to solve these 2 conflicting challenges: shorten the training time for young, inexperienced technicians and transfer the ‘unwritten and non-documented’ experience of the senior technicians to the younger generation.
“The training and startup time for technicians in our industry is long. It takes time before new technicians know all the locations, the installation setups and maintenance settings. When they are confronted with a problem on-site they cannot fix immediately, they used to call me to explain the problem over the phone and ask for help. Quite often, I had to jump in my car and go to the problem site to help the technician. This means travel time for me, waiting time for the mechanic and most importantly, operational down-time for the client,” says Patrick Colpaart, Contract Manager Technical Maintenance Services.
ENGIE Services Zuid equipped 4 young technicians with a pair of Iristick smart glasses. When confronted with a problem they cannot solve alone, they set up a remote assistance session with P. Colpaart, the senior expert on the team. He can see what they see, assess the situation, zoom in on details (meters, codes, parts, …) and indicate problem zones or action points. They have real time 2-way communication, feedback and instructions. It’s as if the expert is looking over the shoulder of the junior technician. ENGIE uses the RemoteEye platform from our partner Wideum to setup the remote assistance sessions. Moreover, by fixing the problem himself, the junior expert learns in a more meaningful way and will remember how to solve the problem the next time.
The advantages are very clear for all the stakeholders concerned:
- The technicians can solve complex problems faster and in the correct way.
- The technicians feel more secure and less stressed, because they know they can always ask for immediate help from the senior expert as a backup plan.
- The senior expert gains about 4 hours a week in travel time, since he can solve problems from his desk or from wherever he is at the time.
- Customers get better and faster service on-site.
- Young technicians are able to operate in the field much faster.
“We notice that it takes less time to solve a malfunction and that it takes less time for the experts to transfer the knowledge and information to the person on-site. So basically, it’s a win-win,” says Maurice Baert, Commercial Director Engie Services.
Based on the proven advantages of the use of the Iristick smart glasses for remote assistance, ENGIE is considering to roll out the project in other subsidiaries in The Netherlands.