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Field Service Success Story: National Seating and Mobility
Producer of complex mobility systems uses Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform to provide comfort, independence, and inclusion
National Seating and Mobility (NSM) provides one-of-a-kind mobility and accessibility systems to individuals—from wheelchairs to and bath seats to stair lifts and ramps designed specifically to meet their individual bodies and needs—by bringing together industry-leading expertise, uniquely engineered systems, and breakthrough technologies.
With 200+ branches nationwide, NSM’s products and services provide independence, comfort, and inclusion to clients, reassurance to family and caregivers, and responsive, flexible, professional clinical support to referral sources. Every individual associated with the NSM network is passionate about what they do and strives to provide the best care possible.
THE GOAL: INNOVATE TO DELIVER THE RIGHT CHAIR AND THE BEST CARE
Clients depend on NSM for their ability to live independently and enjoy inclusion, with access to the world as everyone deserves, and the company’s network of 350 specialists depend on the right tools and processes to help those clients. To ensure continued support of their mission to keep clients moving forward, NSM identified several key areas for transformation, which their 20-year-old system could not accommodate:
Get clients moving faster. Decrease critical cycle time to get clients moving by replacing complex, manual processes with an end-to-end, integrated system that would support the entire process of outfitting clients, from collecting and managing a tremendous amount of documentation to getting required signatures. In addition, branches where people can buy products in person did not have a proper POS system.
“Reducing that cycle is of absolute importance to us because we have our clients’ best interests at heart,” said Russell Meade, Senior Program Manager at NSM.
“Yes, it’s a competitive advantage and certainly helps us in a referral-based industry. But more importantly, the devices we provide give clients the ability to be independent and enjoy the world. They are stuck in their current situation until their device arrives, so it is imperative to reduce the time it takes as much as possible.”
Attract and retain exceptional Assistive Technology Professionals. Another big competitive differentiator is a deep bench of Assistive Technology Professionals (ATP), the experienced people who analyze the needs of clients and manage the configuration of their assistive devices. They are highly sought after because they are the key to configuring and delivering a device that works for the client—so it is critical for NSM to provide the environment, tools, and processes that attract and retain them.
Turn data into actionable insights. Any company with goals to grow and strengthen relies on data. NSM wanted a system that would help keep data quality high and had the ability to handle complex reporting and analytics, but it also needed to have the flexibility to be molded to fit critical business processes and ensure transparency between the company’s different lines of business.
Take control of inventory management. Inventory management presented another opportunity to reduce costs. One specific area of focus was associated with tracking loaner equipment (provided to clients while they are waiting for their order) and how work orders are routed through the company’s financial system.
Gain better visibility into margins. This is a challenge in NSM’s industry. These companies have contracted rates and rules with each payor, but those contracted rates vary based on different factors. It was critical for NSM to have a system that could analyze all those rules and contracted rates and provide an estimated reimbursement, which is what becomes the revenue at booking.
Promote company growth and expansion. An overall strategic initiative was to add new lines of business and boost growth through acquisition in a very segmented market. NSM needed ERP/financials and CRM capabilities, as well as other components like field service—to address this overall goal and those that support it.
SOLUTION: THE MICROSOFT STACK AND HSO
NSM has a complex IT landscape: With a global presence and 10 operating companies, they must provide 24/7 support across multiple time zones while ensuring compliance with ISO 27001 and other standards.
After reviewing various software solutions, NSM selected the Microsoft stack for many reasons, but primarily because it allows for easy build-out of process flows for multiple lines of business—the key to NSM’s operations.
NSM’s private equity firm connected NSM with HSO, who worked with NSM to architect a solution that addressed the company’s goals with Dynamics 365 CE (CRM), Finance (ERP), Supply Chain, and Field Service. The solution also includes Azure Cognitive Services for automation of document collection, processing, and routing.
Power Apps, one of the tools in the Power Platform, was used to automate critical planning processes and more, including integrations with Microsoft 365 (Office, Outlook, etc.) and other industry specific software solutions.
RESULTS: A CONNECTED, ENTERPRISE-WIDE SOLUTION THAT SUPPORTS STRATEGIC INITIATIVES FOR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
NSM is now transitioning from a reactive to a proactive mindset, which promotes significantly better client service and a stronger company. For example, many of NSM’s manufacturer partners are investing in IoT (Internet of Things) devices on their equipment. NSM is now in a position to take advantage of such advances and will not be held back by outdated technology.
Specific benefits include:
- Processes will be automated and integrated, with everything moving smoothly between sales, finance, inventory, and client service. This will greatly reduce cycle times, improving the client experience, and giving NSM a competitive advantage.
- An enterprise-wide platform that will scale with the business will support both organic growth and growth through acquisition as well as moves by the company into new lines of business.
- Data quality improvement and centralization will also improve the customer experience, strengthening those relationships while uncovering opportunities for cross-selling.
- With tools that help them deliver a better customer experience, highly skilled and sought-after Assistive Technology Professionals needed to design and deliver these critical devices will be attracted to and stay with NSM.
- IT and staff involved in these outdated, manual processes can now be freed up to focus on initiatives to continue improving client satisfaction.
Learn more about HSO’s leading technology solutions for Manufacturing and Field Service.