You might not know Ali Group by name, but you’ll certainly know some of their subsidiaries and their mouth-watering end products: Metos OY makes professional kitchen equipment, Carpigiani manufactures gelato and ice cream machines & Rancilio makes professional coffee machines, and that’s just a few of their brands. Ali Group is one of the largest and most diversified global leaders in food service equipment, offering the widest, most innovative range of products on the market. Their brands lead in the areas of cooking, bakery, meal delivery and preparation, refrigeration, washing, and ice-cream and beverage dispense equipment.
In an interview with Alessandro Gambarotto, IT Manager, we explore how the companies at Ali Group are leveraging ServiceMax technology to empower their field teams and help streamline their IT portfolio.
Alessandro shares some of the unique challenges of maintaining an IT portfolio for such a broad range of companies. Across the 200 individual companies that make up Ali Group, ServiceMax, Salesforce, SAP and Microsoft are common technologies. As an IT Manager for Ali Group, Alessandro’s goal is to centralize the agreements and plans for systems and processes.
“ServiceMax is a good partner to us,” says Alessandro. “They help us expand across the group and be thoughtful about field service governance. As we roll out ServiceMax, all the companies end up with the same insights and the same actionable knowledge. Together, Ali Group companies can build their know-how of the tool and get even more value out of it.”
Ingredients for Field Service Improvements
Ali Group companies used to use paper to manage field service processes, which didn’t allow for flexibility, visibility, and upsell opportunities. Many times the field service technicians were on site without the key information they needed. In order to gain access to warranty and contract details, technicians had to contact the back office directly. Meanwhile, gathering customer feedback wasn’t formalized. The only way that service managers had insights into customer feedback was by speaking directly to the technicians.
“We needed to optimize daily work to increase efficiency,” says Alessandro. “We didn’t have great ways to sell parts needed as a part of the service experience. We needed a way to support that interaction, from sharing the latest prices, to opting those customers into a new marketing activity or campaign, to sharing details with our commercial sales teams. In general, we needed to unlock our view of the service business – to increase visibility via technology like ServiceMax.”
Many Teams, Many Stages, One Recipe for Success
Carpigiani was the first company in Ali Group to go live with ServiceMax in 2015. Since then, many brands have rolled out improvements for their field service teams. Across the Ali Group, about 325 field technicians are using ServiceMax for field service management today.
Field service teams at Ali Group companies are at different stages in their digital transformation journey. There are many field service leaders and IT teams leveraging ServiceMax as a part of their field service strategy. For example, Metos OY, a market leader in professional kitchen equipment in Scandinavia, the Nordics, the Baltics, and Benelux, have been live with ServiceMax and rolled out the ServiceMax Go app for their field service teams in Sweden, Norway, Belgium, and Finland.
Meanwhile, Rancilio teams in Switzerland and the UK have been using ServiceMax and Salesforce for quite some time. IT leaders have focused on optimizing their dispatching processes, they also leveraged the ServiceMax Go app to provide technicians with an amazing mobile experience. IT leaders at Rancilio participated in ServiceMax beta programs to gain early access to new features and provide feedback and exert influence on ServiceMax product direction.
“Once Ali Group companies went to ServiceMax, our teams rolled out a better field service workflow,” says Alessandro. “This sped up our service execution, improved scheduling, and optimized our technician’s work. By making these improvements, we freed up time to do additional work, which increased profits across our group. We’ve heard feedback from customers that their experience with our field teams has improved.”
“ServiceMax has improved the flow of communication with the customer,” explained Alessandro. “Technicians use tablets and have more information at their fingertips, details on the machine, the service history, and the customer account. Using asset data, our field technicians are more likely to be able to estimate the cause of the problem, to prepare customers who might need to replace the machines.”
On the Menu: What’s next for Ali Group companies?
Every day, Alessandro works to connect experts across the Ali Group when it comes to the technology and systems that make their jobs easier. Many of the companies are manufacturers with robust IT teams, and others have smaller teams.
This July, Ali Group had another large acquisition, and Alessandro sees this as a big opportunity to increase synergies and collaboration. He knows that leveraging ServiceMax and economies of scale can help benefit their bottom line.
“We recently went through an acquisition where 80 more companies joined the Ali Group,” said Alessandro. “In some instances, these are very small companies that have a whole suite of their own technologies and systems for service. Maintaining many small systems is too costly. We want to go further with ServiceMax and see a standard process for field service, where different teams are able to use the same features and gain the same value.”