• ClosOmat service

Project Description

Accessible bathroom facilities made easy with Tesseract!

For over 50 years, Clos-O-Mat have been providing innovative accessible bathroom equipment for elderly people and people with disabilities. For the vast majority of that time, they have relied on a manual, paper-heavy system of operation. Almost four years ago, Clos-O-Mat sought the assistance of Tesseract Service Centre to bring their service operations into the 21st century.

Clos-O-Mat’s independence-driven bathroom products include cutting edge combined hygiene and toileting systems, height-adjustable shower seats, support rails and unique, electronically controlled toilet lifters, which Clos-O-Mat are responsible for manufacturing, installing and maintaining. While 95% of their work is for domestic properties, Clos-O-Mat provide accessible facilities for hospitals and care homes as well. They are supporters of the Changing Places campaign, regarded as the most important initiative in community accessibility for people with disabilities in the last 20 years. It aims to install Changing Places toilets, including those provided by Clos-O-Mat, in all public spaces. More than 40,000 Clos-O-Mat toilets have been sold and are continuing to make lives easier on a daily basis 30 years after being fitted.

The importance of a reliable service.

For Clos-O-Mat, reliability is their priority. This is not just reliability in the design and manufacture of their products, but in the delivery of an efficient service. If a product goes wrong for any reason, Clos-O-Mat have to react fast, because the effect on those depending on the equipment could be huge. Clos-O-Mat rely on the expertise of 20-25 engineers, who are charged with installing, servicing and maintaining Clos-O-Mat products.

However, engineers require effective management in order to deal with problems as quickly and efficiently as possible. Manual processes were at the forefront of this management until Clos-O-Mat turned to Tesseract for help in revolutionising their systems. These manual processes worked, but they required huge amounts of time, money and effort. Time, money and effort that Tesseract knew could be saved.

“There used to be a time lag of about a week when we had to wait to receive paperwork in the post from the engineers. The PDAs have cut out this delay and sped up invoicing, enabling faster revenue generation.”
Ian Tomlinson, Clos-O-Mat

Cutting out 20,000 pieces of paper.

In 2011, Clos-O-Mat did some preliminary research on the Internet and discovered Tesseract, who offer centrally hosted service management software for service companies. Clos-O-Mat executives spoke with Tesseract directly at the Service Management Expo at the National Exhibition Centre, and a bold new path for Clos-O-Mat was paved.

“We decided to go with Tesseract because they offered exactly what we wanted, and because they seemed easier to implement than other companies,” says Ian Tomlinson, Commercial Director of Clos-O-Mat. “Also, they had an option to lease a package at a monthly rate, rather than an upfront purchase. This was another important factor in why we selected them.”

Tesseract’s service management software has brought new levels of automation to Clos-O-Mat’s processes. Clos-O-Mat would typically get through 20,000 pieces of paper in a year, but Tesseract have helped eliminate this in favour of an electronic process. Worksheets issued for each job, completed by engineers, signed by clients and posted to the Clos-O-Mat office, have now been replaced by PDAs. PDAs form part of Tesseract’s Remote Engineer Access system, which allows for a real-time flow of data between Clos-O-Mat and their engineers. Engineers use their PDAs to record the details of the job, obtain an electronic signature from the client, close the job down and transmit the data back to the office instantaneously.

“There used to be a time lag of about a week when we had to wait to receive paperwork in the post from the engineers,” says Ian Tomlinson. “The PDAs have cut out this delay and sped up invoicing, enabling faster revenue generation.”

Greater flexibility, visible reporting and faster diagnosis.

The PDAs have allowed Clos-O-Mat’s engineers to be more flexible and communicate with each other more effectively. For instance, when the office assigns a job, an engineer can re-allocate it to another engineer where appropriate. In addition, all the engineers can see what jobs are outstanding thanks to the automated reporting system. Finally, Clos-O-Mat are able to diagnose problems quicker because the engineers can obtain and send digital photos to the technical department.

“Thanks to the PDAs, diagnosing issues has become much easier and more efficient,” says Tomlinson. “The ability for our engineers and technical department to look at the same images whilst the engineers are on site enables an instant response to problems.”

Continuing development.

Clos-O-Mat recognise that there is still room for improvement in the way they operate. Deployment of their engineers continues to be a largely manual process. Clos-O-Mat will receive calls from clients about a maintenance issue or fault, will allocate jobs to the engineers by email or phone, and the engineers will book their own appointments. Clos-O-Mat have staff making decisions about which engineers to allocate based on location and skill set.

“We are planning to change this,” says Tomlinson. “Right now we operate quite a labour-intensive process in the deployment of our engineers. We are planning to integrate Tesseract’s Diary Assist Scheduling tool. This will further automate our processes, with the system allocating jobs to engineers based on skill set and area. This will cut out a lot of time spent on deployment and vastly improve our efficiency. Being a company that’s committed to looking after those less able, this couldn’t be more important.”


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