Overhauling a legacy warranty management system to deliver improved customer service and lower overheads

Since its inception in America in 1883, FMC has become one of the leading global chemical companies serving the agriculture and pest control industries with innovative solutions, applications and quality products.

 

FMC’s use of advanced technologies and R&D programs, help grow the world’s food and protect our built environments while enabling innovative chemical delivery. FMC contributes to a more sustainable approach to the development of agricultural and professional pest control chemicals and advancing the manufacture of hundreds of essential products.

 

In 1994, FMC developed and launched Bifenthrin® onto the Australian market. Since that milestone event, FMC’s Biflex® products (containing Bifenthrin) have become one of Australia’s most trusted and widely used professional pest control products.

 

FMC supply pest control products to over two thousand Pest Control companies throughout Australia.

 

Over one million Australian properties have been protected using FMC’s patented pest control products.

 

These warranties are managed by FMC Australasia and the respective Pest Control company who installed the products into Australian homes.

 

The challenge

 

The legacy system used to manage these warranties, including regular inspection requirements, payments to renew warranties and alerts notifying stakeholders of expiring warranties was met with issues by both FMC Australasia and the thousand Pest Control companies using this system as a business tool.

 

Hands on, Overheads and a poor customer experience

 

FMC Australasia hadn’t previously anticipated the level of hands-on support and administration required due to the complexity of the system delivered to their market.

 

Likewise, Pest Control Companies failed to adopt the system as it was intended. This compounded the administrative requirements as manual handling of data was required by FMC when the anticipation was for Pest Controllers to be able to simplify this administration.

 

The existing software package delivered failed on expectations due to the poor customer experience. Costs were indirectly incurred by FMC for customer assistance in the use and importing of data to the system. Overheads increased.

 

Data entered into the old system was not consistent, reliable or accurate. In order to appease customer complaints, Business Development Managers at FMC wiped fee’s and charges associated with the management of warranties – a direct impact to revenue. Understanding how crucial the user experience was to FMC’s revenue and customer relationships, the decision was made to partner with Increasify to rectify this situation.

 

Workflows

 

Without a proper analysis of warranty workflow and policies, the business rules in place for FMC to pay out a warranty weren’t bulletproof. Costs associated with administering, finding and confirming which warranties FMC legally were underwriting caused difficulties and confusion.

 

Business Development

 

Business Development was affected in the administration of new accreditation applications and partnerships. Manual processes were adopted to on-board new resellers, along with the need to attend an accreditation course. Many of these tasks could easily be automated, and bringing office automation into the solution became critical.

 

The solution

 

Increasify, with a clear understanding of the business and system issues, partnered with FMC and Live247 to turn this around. With a team comprising of System Analysts, Business Analysts, User Experience Designers and Software Engineers, Increasify undertook workshops, gained an initial understanding of requirements and set about preparing a clear and comprehensive Scope of Works and Software Requirement Specification.

 

These documents formed a clear guide on the deliverables, and were backed by the Outcomes of the project.

 

The User Experience

 

Beginning works on the User Experience, Increasify’s professional User Experience application requests, with appropriate status management to ensure BDM’s could manage their client accounts seamlessly.

 

A simpler interface would mean less support requests to FMC, and would address the issue of increased overheads due to the support requirements of clients and provide Pest Control Companies with real time access to their warranty data and certificates.

 

Business Intelligence

 

A core offering of Increasify, our business intelligence modules – allowed FMC and Pest Control Companies to view a dashboard, highlighting KPI’s and critical tasks requiring urgent attention. Statistics which were otherwise hidden away, were now highly visible, giving BDM’s the insight needed to achieve their targets and provide high-level customer support.

 

Data Cleansing

 

Increasify’s Data Analysts, scrutinised the quality of data provided. With over 30,000 home warranties stored in the database, and 1,000 pest control companies, the process of categorising and organising warranties by crucial attributes such as Status (Expired, Active, Lapsed and Voided) was conducted through robust automation techniques. The end result was a database segregated into categories, which allowed FMC to make immediate business decisions on warranties based on the state of the data identified.

 

This insight into the data allowed FMC to put in place policies that would both appease their Reseller base and also ensure FMC’s risk on warranties was controlled. This was a positive outcome for both FMC and their resellers, which ensured customer satisfaction was not unknowingly impacted by developing a new system to replace the existing legacy system.

 

Business Development

 

Working closely with Live247, Increasify’s solution ensured Business Development goals were integrated directly into the corporate website and the new application. The commercial website, (utilising the WordPress framework) was directly integrated into the system. New applications to become accredited FMC Pest Controllers were imported in real-time into the new application, eradicating the need for manual data entry by BDM’s and allowing them to focus on business development.

 

Tools to assist Home owners were introduced now that data was cleansed, allowing home owners to find accredited FMC pest control companies near them. Marketing initiatives like these were identified during scoping workshops as the various stakeholders involved in the project were invited to discuss and brainstorm further ways the system would add value to FMC.

 

Cloud Security

 

The solution was implemented on the AWS (Amazon Web Services) Cloud infrastructure. Migrating to AWS provided FMC with lower hosting costs, a more secure, robust and scalable environment by which the application would be backed by a 99.9995% uptime.

 

Increasify’s managed services means FMC’s new application is now supported by Level 2/3 Engineers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Increasify ensure their environment and application is kept up-to-date, including patching, performance monitoring and technical support.

 

The results

 

The results of a simpler to use, intuitive application displaying cleansed data, speak for themselves. FMC’s overheads have been reduced by $150,000 per annum, while customer feedback on the new business tool has been overwhelmingly positive. Paige Finnegan, the FMC Marketing Manager stated:

 

“FMC is thrilled with the implementation of our new warranty operating system. Our costs have been significantly reduced while our customer and reseller satisfaction has significantly increased. The team at Increasify really understood our challenges and found the optimal solution.”

 

with Peter from Northern Rock Pest Control saying:

 

“ I don’t need to hire a warranty manager anymore, the system is so easy and quick to use now that I can do it myself. I really like that I can get the warranty certificates to my customer at any time they ask”.