Viessmann : Members of technical services staff sign service reports digitally


The Viessmann Group is one of the leading international manufacturers of heat technology systems, with 9,400 employees worldwide. Viessmann is internationally oriented with 23 companies for manufacturing and plant engineering in 11 countries, sales activities in 74 countries with 32 proprietary companies, as well as 120 sales branches worldwide. The company offers its trade partners a comprehensive range of market services that facilitates their daily work, for example, the assistance offered by the technical service directly from the plant operator.


In 2010, the technical service introduced the signotec signature pad ‘Sigma’ and the related software 'signoSign' for documentation of maintenance work. Since then, employees work exclusively with digital reports, leading to more efficient operations.


Allendorf/Ratingen (Germany), September 2011; “As is normal in many other industries, we were dealing with a multitude of paper reports. The colleagues were used to putting dozens of maintenance and service reports down on paper. These reports were then copied in some cases and sent by post. Later, at Head Office, they were checked, assigned, processed further and then archived,” explains Simon Imiolczyk, project officer for the Viessmann Group. “Our goal was to digitalise this process completely and thus make it more efficient.”


As with their heat generators, Viessmann also relies on innovative top quality with their hard and software. That is why the signotec solution was chosen. The software ‘signoSign’ could be easily integrated into the existing system and the Sigma Pads were ideal for use by technical service employees, thanks to their compact size and flat design.


Simon Imiolczyk: “After a test phase with a Sigma pad, the decision was eventually made for the purchase of 230 mobile use Sigma pads. We had tested the pads firsthand in our company with the corresponding ‘signoSign’ software. Some in-house and field employees were also involved in the testing. The installation and subsequent application were so simple that we could forego time-consuming and expensive training. Compatibility with all existing programmes was also a given, thanks to the system’s many interfaces. The process of further digital processing ran flawlessly. At the push of a button, the reports are forwarded to Head Office and can be processed continuously and without using any paper.” Direct access to all data at Viessmann is now guaranteed at any time. Trade partners’ needs and questions can be answered promptly. Meanwhile, all reports of consultations are digitally recorded and processed. “Contact was made with Mr. Hagner, managing director of signotec GmbH, through the manufacturer of our field service solution. We talked extensively about the issue of electronic signatures and the possibility of integration into our company. Above all, we had to set the greatest value on functionality and compatibility because, for us, quality takes centre stage and we have the ambition to reach a ‘zero-defect’ goal,” reports the project manager.


Characteristic information is also stored together with the signature image with the signotec solution. This individual writing characteristic is exclusively assigned to one person and guarantees the authenticity of the signatory. The biometric characteristics of the signature are reliably captured and encrypted and embedded into the contract document. Separating the signature and re-inserting it into another document is not possible. In terms of security, only a forensic report from an independent handwriting expert provides more security than this legal method of electronic signing.


“From the onset, the pads were used readily by employees. Within a few weeks we had equipped work stations and thus had made the switch to digital. The field staff found the compact and ergonomic design practical, as the robust Sigma pad fits easily into any laptop bag. In-house and field staff are pleased that they no longer have to scan and fax papers, and make phone calls when information on customers and systems is needed. It proved to be a distinct advantage that all employees can directly access all documents and can now respond quickly and easily to requests. Paper is only used to give the trade partner a copy of the report.”


The process:
After completion of maintenance, the ‘create report’ button is activated. The created report is transferred to ‘signoSign’, opened and signed there using the Sigma Pad. The trade partner and the technical field employee now sign on the pad and confirm their signatures on the pad with ‘OK’. The report is then printed once with both signatures for the trade partner, so that he receives a signed paper copy as usual. In addition, the report is archived as a PDF document. With that the process is complete.

The report is archived in the same way as it is printed for the trade partner. If an external document management system (DMS) is in use, the signed report will be archived in the DMS. The manual paper tray of reports is thus eliminated completely.


The signature pad
The pad is robust and waterproof so that it can withstand harsh operating conditions. You sign directly onto the pad. The pad is connected to a local PC via a USB cable. If necessary, the pad can also be mounted in one location.


The advantages:

- Efficient workflow processes
- No paper for your own records/reports
- The end of the expense of having to make multiple copies and the noise of printers
- No storage or paper records, saving time and space
- Signed documents are archived automatically, without having to be scanned.
- Preparation for the bill printing process – with automatic account assigning



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