Case Study: Sit n’ Sleep
An FM Team Sleeps Better at Night by Replacing ‘Legacy Approach’ with Visibility and Accountability of Service Automation
Operating 39 superstore locations (and counting) throughout Southern California, Sit’n Sleep has established itself since 1978 into one of the country’s largest and most respected mattress retailers. A facilities
management team of four supported by a network of nearly 60 contractors across all major trades are responsible for all facilities maintenance and repair service requests at each superstore and the company’s 240,000-square feet distribution center.
Managing service requests in a timely manner is business-critical to Sit ‘n Sleep, as the state of its showrooms is vital to the in-store guest experience, which accounts for the majority of the company’s revenue. Before deploying its service automation platform, the retailer’s FM work order management process was a “nightmare” by the FM team’s own admissions. Some examples of the legacy FM operations challenges included:
- Manual input and tracking of all phone-and-email initiated service work orders through individual spreadsheet per location
- No way to correlate invoices to actual services performed, and little to no visibility into the repair & maintenance (R&M) spending commitments until contractors submitted their invoices
- Highly labor intensive “planned” maintenance often not performed in a regular and timely way
- Facilities issues taking longer to report at the stores because of the cumbersome nature of service requests, resulting in longer issue resolution times
Initially, Sit ‘n Sleep’s FM team attempted to modernize its operations by working with the company’s IT department who provisioned an internal service order system. However,= this system fell short of the FM team’s needs because the external contractors could not have access to it, limiting the system’s value as a work order management platform. Therefore, the FM team evaluated third party solutions and outlined key criteria that supported the company’s FM goals so it could:
- Provide a simple user interface for store employees to describe facilities issues properly in their service requests
- Connect and dispatch contractors to specific service requests, and track their status from source to settle
- Organize data generated through the platform in specific categories that made sense to the FM team
- Manage operations and hold vendors accountable by key performance indicators (KPIs) including:
• Service provider performance by location or trade such as check-in rates, resolution time and cost efficiencies
• Frequently recurring issues in facilities and equipment, which could indicate design or implementation issues
• A KPI unique to Sit ‘n Sleep – the impact from changing a store manager in the number of service requests and work orders in any location – as the FM team wanted to confirm anecdotal evidence that new store managers meant more service requests
- Longer-term goal: Integrate the FM work order management system with a “smart building” enterprise energy and asset management system (Powerhouse Dynamics’ SiteSage)
- Automated processes based on established policies, including SiteSage triggering work orders through ServiceChannel for HVAC and other systems impacting customer experience and comfort
- Pilot trials currently underway in select locations
After evaluating a number of technology options, the Sit ‘n Sleep team chose to deploy ServiceChannel Service Automation due to its ability to meet its key criteria such as work order visibility and service request tracking, and timely invoice processing and payments. ServiceChannel also got the nod because more Sit ‘n Sleep contractors were familiar with and already using the platform, than with other solutions. Sit ‘n Sleep first implemented ServiceChannel Service Automation in 2012 and since then it has rolled out additional functionality including:
- ServiceChannel Mobile App, which has become the primary method to create work orders and dispatch contractors for all the stores. The ability for store employees to take photos and attach them as part of
the work order is instrumental in the FM team’s having better visibility into the true nature of the issues.
- Site Planning Manager, which also leverages enterprise mobility to perform the company’s regular safety audits and inspections. Sit ‘n Sleep users get fully guided site audits on their mobile devices, and are empowered to initiate work orders on-the-spot as they discover major issues.
- Planned Maintenance Manager to reduce the hassle of continually setting up recurring service orders such as for carpet cleaning, fire extinguisher inspections, HVAC maintenance, exterior cleaning including awnings, as well as janitorial, landscaping and pest control. Before automating these regular service orders, Sit ‘n Sleep described this process as “difficult to manage” and fraught with “many delays.”
- Invoice Manager to expedite processing and payment for services rendered and validated. This included simplifying the approvals of numerous invoices generated for planned and preventive maintenance work
orders. These routine work orders are now capped at an established price and approved automatically. Sit ‘n Sleep also improved efficiency in this area through EDI (electronic data integration) by integrating
Invoice Manager to the company’s accounting software, saving time and eliminating data entry errors.
“Accountability to our team means not having things fall through the cracks. By using ServiceChannel, we know when our service providers are there on site and can see when the work gets done. We can also make sure that we’re billed properly and timely for the services.”
Sit ‘n Sleep achieved a number of benefits from its ServiceChannel deployment such as standardizing its work order creation and dispatch process with its contractors. Other benefits included:
- Simplicity for any store employee or FM team member to create work orders from any location at any time
- Significant increase in how prompt store employees are in reporting R&M issues because of increased confidence that requests now will get resolved in a timely manner
- Reduction of hassle in processing volume of planned maintenance work order invoices due to newly established pre-approved pricing rules
- Improved equipment uptime due to more proactive planned maintenance
- Enabling the FM team to go “paperless” with all the documents it needs in the system including work orders, invoices, vendor agreements, etc.
- Shared sense of accountability across all functions as related to FM team’s knowing that all work orders will get dispatched, completed, invoiced and billed properly
Sit ‘n Sleep has been able to define specific and trackable improvements in several key performance indicators important to the FM team and the company’s executives since the ServiceChannel software deployment. Over the last four years, these include:
- 28% reduction in average R&M invoice amount through improved efficiencies
- 68% rate in service order dispatch confirmation by contractors (up from virtually no service provider confirmation)
- 40% decrease in number of repair work orders per year per location, due to better visibility of issues
- 30% decrease in total R&M spend a year per location