Ecolab helps companies in an array of industries maintain safety, sustainability, and efficiency in all aspects of operations. Safety is especially important for food and beverage companies, and Ecolab has expert technicians who visit customer sites to help troubleshoot and monitor equipment and facilities. To make that customer support more efficient, Ecolab uses Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist and Microsoft HoloLens 2 devices. The company’s experts now easily collaborate and help customers remotely without the need to travel, which cuts down on service wait times and boosts customer satisfaction.
Ecolab has been exploring ways that technology can assist its technical experts in assessing and troubleshooting issues at customer sites. The company started by investigating collaboration tools like Microsoft Dynamics Teams, and that effort led to an evaluation of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service. By combining Dynamics 365 Remote Assist and Microsoft HoloLens 2 devices, experts can work together from multiple locations and help customers without the need to be physically onsite. Using HoloLens 2 also provides a safer and easier way to troubleshoot situations that require both hands or the side-by-side comparison of an image or 3D object.
A customer or a field technician on location can use a mobile device and Dynamics 365 Field Service to share what they’re seeing with a remote expert, who can essentially walk the site without actually being there. The expert can provide voice or video assistance and annotate the view on the mobile device with text, pointers, and other visual cues. Wearing a HoloLens 2 device enhances the interaction, giving the customer or field technician an immersive, mixed reality experience, so that they can continue working on equipment while pulling up documentation, work order information, and shared video for help.
Ecolab has found these capabilities particularly useful for complicated maintenance tasks when an expert can’t make it to the customer site. “We had one situation where a customer was having trouble with the cleaning process for a complicated piece of equipment with lots of parts,” explains Rick Stokes, Area Technical Support Manager for Ecolab Food and Beverage North America. “The Ecolab account manager was onsite wearing a HoloLens 2 device while the expert watched in real time. As the manager and customer disassembled the part, the expert saw what was going wrong and directed the manager to perform specific diagnostic tests. It was like he was guiding the manager’s hands, even though he was a thousand miles away, and it led to key insights that solved the problem in just two hours.”
As part of its Dynamics 365 Field Service workflow, Ecolab can save audio, video, chat, and annotations to a work order or service report, with customer consent within Dynamics 365 Field Service. This gives Ecolab a permanent, multimedia record of the work for later reference or for training purposes.