Making collaboration efficient and most importantly mobile isn’t always an easy task for small businesses. With the European GDPR regulation customer contact is now regulated, having a large impact on businesses in the maintenance, repair, service or construction industry. These businesses need to comply to the same regulations as Europe’s largest companies.
"At the beginning of the year, we were looking for a simple, secure solution that would allow our on-site technicians to quickly send photos to field supervisors" says Christian Reiberg. The engineer has been responsible for IT at Wigger Fenster und Fassaden GmbH for two years and is involved in process optimization. Before implementing Wire in February last year, there were no clear rules, nor a consistent system, for in-office or on-the-road communication in the company - let alone communication with partners and customers.
Christian Reiberg uses Wire every day at Wigger Fenster + Fassaden GmbH. Almost daily, the on-field fitters and surveying technicians of the North Rhine-Westphalian 300-man company communicate with their colleagues in the office. Just send a picture of the construction site? In practice, this is often the easiest option to describe a local situation. "Most of the colleagues used their private WhatsApp account or the files were sent by e-mail," recalls Reiberg. That's what he set out to change.
Together with his colleagues, he set about formulating requirements that the solution must meet. Ultimately, the security of the data and usability could be identified as a sticking point.
Since the messenger is used for internal communication, it has to be ensured that Wire is installed on the service cell phones of the employees. The technical staff, project and assembly managers in the office also use the messenger as a desktop version on the PC. This has the advantage that received files that are used for construction site documentation, can be easily stored on the hard disk. "Especially for complaints and reports of deficiencies, photos are helpful means of securing evidence," says Reiberg.
For the on-field fitters and surveying technicians, the messenger service offers the advantage that they do not have to cumbersomely describe local conditions over the phone, but can simply send a short message or a photo. The employees in the office receive the message directly on the PC and can thus react quickly. "Often, operating instructions or connection diagrams are also sent to the colleagues on site," reports Reiberg.
Problems with the handling of Wire on the part of the coworkers did not exist so far. "The colleagues who previously used WhatsApp were able to use Wire within a very short time," says Reiberg. Meanwhile, partner companies have become aware of the messenger. Suppliers and subcontractors have also started using the app. "For larger construction projects unique groups are created," says Reiberg. Important information, drawings and appointments could be shared easily and directly with everyone involved. "This ensures that everyone is on the same page," says a pleased Reiberg.
Internally, he wants to expand the Wire usage even further. "We intend to test screen sharing on the mobile devices of on-site employees in everyday use," says Reiberg. Wire offers the feature to share the screen as seen in the office with the smartphone of the on-site technician. "Using a CAD drawing, for example, technical details could be displayed live and any open questions could be answered" he explains.
After a year, Reiberg draws a positive conclusion. "Wire does not require a lot of administration and does not put excessive demands on the devices." The internal communication is now way more efficient and clear. “Even for smaller businesses, Wire is a useful WhatsApp alternative” says Reiberg.
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