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MacAllister Machinery Moves From Paper to Mobile Solution

MacAllister Machinery
Matt Hamilton IT Trainer/Project Manager, MacAllister Machinery- Photography by AJ Mast

MacAllister uses mobile Apple products and originally asked drivers to capture signed customer contracts and before-and-after equipment photos with iPads. Now, the company only uses iPhones, so drivers only need to manage one device.

Benefits for Both Sides

The company also developed a platform-agnostic external portal where customers can sign documents if they aren’t on-site to do so. Hamilton reports that the reduction in paper-based transactions, due to the portal and mobile solution, has resulted in MacAllister saving around $80,000 a year.

And now that condition-report photos are taken both at the time of equipment delivery and pick up, the company can collect on damage claims 99 percent of the time.

“It’s hard to argue with photographs,” Hamilton notes. “Now we show customers the pictures of when the machine was dropped on the job site and when the machine is picked up on the job site. It’s easy to say, ‘Clearly the window was broken while it was on rent to you.’ There isn’t a lot of pushback when you can provide that information. It also helps customers feel like they aren’t being taken advantage of. It works for both of us.”

All electronically captured rental agreements are sent to the back-office Power Systems servers rather than being stored in geographically dispersed filing cabinets. Using a web-based support and document-management component also developed by MacAllister and ICS, company employees can easily access any pertinent data from any location without the hassle of manual searches.

“We can go in and search by many different items, such as contract number, machine ID number or customer number,” Hamilton says.

Return on Investment

Many businesses, no matter the industry, recognize the importance of mobile in everyday operations. MacAllister is a prime example, as it has cut costs, reduced manual overhead, improved data access and enhanced services for both its internal users and customers.

“I think we’ll be able to capture the vast majority of our initial investment in 12 to 18 months,” Hamilton says. “But we’re still making changes and trying to make the [mobile] product better based on feedback from both internal and external users. Just because it’s out in the field now doesn’t mean that development is finished, but we’re well on our way.”

Jim Utsler, IBM Systems Magazine senior writer, has been covering the technology field for more than a decade. Jim can be reached at jjutsler@provide.net.

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