Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:40 pm
Mundelein, Ill.-based Sysmex America Inc. manufactures diagnostic systems for medical laboratories, but had always outsourced the required service and maintenance on its instruments.
That is, until July 2003, when the contract between Sysmex and its service organization abruptly ended, forcing the company to deploy its own field service organization.
“We needed a CRM (customer relationship management) system,” said Andre Ezers, vice president of technical services for Sysmex America said. “We inherited a live service business without the infrastructure.”
Sysmex turned to Waukesha-based Metrix Inc. for help. Sysmex implemented the Metrix 4e Service Management Suite, a CRM system designed for field service engineers to manage their service team, customers and products.
“Broadly speaking, from the moment a unit is sold until it is no longer in service, our software helps keep track of everything associated with it, including service contracts, parts and billing,” said Larry Laux, president and founder of Metrix.
The Metrix 4e software solution offers features for a contact and support center, field service and dispatch, mobile services, customer connect, partner connect, contracts and asset management, a global repair center and inventory and logistics.
The system was built on open-source software, allowing it to integrate easily with other applications, Laux said.
Sysmex applied Metrix 4e with its financial software suite for seamless integration, Ezers said. Information inputted into the Metrix service module is immediately passed on to the financial software to invoice the customer.
Sysmex needed a system that could help the organization grow but also accommodate that growth, Ezers said.
“It is absolutely necessary to be able to measure all key aspects of a service business,” Ezers said. “What you measure is what you manage, and to the extent that we have an extensive measurement capability using this system, we are pretty satisfied that we can manage to the expectations of both our customers and senior management in this organization.”
The Metrix 4e stood out because of its specialization in the service industry, Ezers said.
“In this space, it is important that the management organization understands the business that we are in, and one of the things that Metrix brings is experience and knowledge of the service industry,” Ezers said. “They are more than just a technology platform. They are a business solution.”
The software can help an organization build a sensible schedule for routine maintenance, Laux said. The system can send an alert to a mobile device as a reminder that a product needs servicing. The system also allows service history to easily be drawn up on the mobile system or by drawing up an account on the Web-based version.
With the subscription service, smaller companies with less complex service products can benefit from Metrix, Laux said.
“In theory, a company with five plumbers could use the software over the Web subscription,” he said.
Metrix is currently redesigning its product to be more approachable for smaller businesses.
In the beginning of October, Metrix announced a subscription-based pricing model for its Mobile Techlink field service solution as a start. Mobile Techlink provides real-time, direct connectivity between hand-held communication devices and is a part of the Metrix 4e suite.
The subscription will allow users to sign up for up to 12 months of service and pay a set cost on a month-to-month basis.
“We want the software to be available to everyone who has business function needs,” Laux said. “The price in and of itself should be a sensible cost.”
Ingenico Services U.S. and Canada, a division of Atlanta-based Ingenico Corp., implemented Metrix 4e in 2002 for repair tracking, inventory management and parts inventory and pricing details. Ingenico also utilizes the help desk function of Metrix.
Ingenico develops and sells mobile payment solutions for the finance, health care, hospitality, retail and transportation industries.
“If we had not utilized any new program we would have had a hard time meeting our significant growth,” said Mauri Korhonen, general manager for Ingenico Services. “Just an example, we have tripled our processing volume over three years and added two new facilities to use the same system. The Metrix service software has helped us to grow and meet our demands so far.”
Ingenico was looking for a software solution when it came into contact with Metrix. Metrix answered a request for proposal, and the Metrix solution fit most of Ingenico’s needs out of the box, Korhonen said.
“Our standard theme is that our clients make more money and they can do that in many ways with Metrix,” Laux said.
The price for the Metrix 4e ranges from $600 to $3,500 per user, depending upon the options and configurations ordered.
When Ingenico implemented Metrix 4e, the estimated period for a return on investment was 12 months, however the company saw a full return on investment in about nine months, Korhonen said.
“They truly are a strategic partner, and we have to view it that way,” Ezers said. “For any service business, the provider of the CRM solution is the heart and soul of what you are.”
Elizabeth Hockerman is a reporter for Small Business Times. Send technology news to her at email@example.com or by calling her at (414) 277-8181, ext. 121. Technology news can also be sent to: Elizabeth Hockerman, Small Business Times, 1123 N. Water St., Milwaukee, WI 53202.