Phillips Corporation sells and services industrial machinery used in metalworking and industrial operations. The company chose to modernize its legacy on-premises Microsoft Dynamics solution by upgrading to the latest cloud capability of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Dynamics 365 Field Service.

Phillips Corporation Modernizes Service Operations and Increases Revenue Using Dynamics 365 Field Service


Phillips Corporation sells and services industrial machinery used in metalworking and industrial operations. The company chose to modernize its legacy on-premises Microsoft Dynamics solution by upgrading to the latest cloud capability of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Dynamics 365 Field Service. The upgrade provides the company with real-time insights into the performance of the business, which has helped Phillips make process improvements and helped increase operational efficiency and accuracy of field resources. In addition, the company has experienced growth in new business ventures while maintaining its strong reputation of white glove customer service.

Machinery to power innovation

Phillips Corporation is a global leader in the delivery and use of state-of-the-art, integrated manufacturing solutions. Its mission is to partner with thought leaders and creators to provide the know-how and machinery that transforms manufacturing. For the past 30 years, Phillips Corporation has partnered with Haas Automation, an American manufacturer of computer numerical control (CNC) equipment for industrial operations. This includes equipment like grinders, lathe, and milling machines used to shape, cut, and grind materials on the manufacturing floor.

The core business of Phillips Corporation is selling and servicing Haas industrial machinery to manufacturing companies around the world. Phillips has three divisions that operate domestically and internationally: the federal and commercial divisions serving clients in the United States, both headquartered in Maryland, and the Asian division with a headquarters in India. The scope of the company’s market and the customer demand for servicing large quantities of industrial machinery requires a clear picture of service requests and requirements across the company.

Making do with old software

Aside from direct sales and distribution, the company is focused on servicing the Haas machinery it sells. Regular service and maintenance for machinery improves its lifespan and makes day-to-day work for machine operators significantly better.

But even though Phillips Corporation provided excellent service, legacy software powering the service department made it difficult for employees to do their jobs quickly and efficiently. “Everything to do with reporting was hard work; people would spend hours every week trying to account accurately for their technician’s time, and days every month keeping track of orders,” explains Cliff Reeves, Consultant at Phillips Corporation.

The company used an older on-premises version of Microsoft Dynamics 365 to track requests and resources, requiring a great deal of manual effort. Parts and scheduling were still heavily dependent on offline processes, including paper mail and spreadsheets. Growth in marketing and exploring new businesses was stifled by the limitations of the older on-premises systems.

It was time to upgrade to a more modern system, an integrated platform that enabled innovation and growth.

Cleaning the attic

The company’s international division was already using a modern installation of Dynamics 365 Field Service. So, Phillips made the decision to move its commercial and federal divisions to this singular platform to track service requests, supplies, and overall workflow.

To make the transition as smooth as possible, Phillips Corporation partnered with Velosio, a long-standing Microsoft Inner Circle Dynamics partner. “Partnering” is the right term, as the Phillips team understood every element of their business and what they wanted out of a new system while Velosio knew how best to use the new capabilities of a cloud-based Dynamics 365 system and added the skilled resources to help get it done.

Together, Phillips Corporation and Velosio centralized all existing database information into one place, which sometimes meant finding redundant information between divisions. Velosio brought a disciplined approach to the task allowing the Phillips team to split their time between managing the current system and partnering with Velosio to implement the new one.

“It’s like hiring someone to clear out your attic,” says Reeves. “They removed redundant items and modernized the rest.” Velosio’s process discipline and Dynamics team’s skillset led to the inclusion of Dynamics 365 Marketing and Dynamics 365 Sales to the project. A solution that didn’t simply reduce workload but also showed new opportunities for expansion has been core to the company’s recent expansion into new businesses.

“With a cloud-managed, integrated Dynamics 365 environment, the things you did well you still do well if maybe a little better, but it also shone a big light into the dark corners of the business that we previously couldn’t see at all,” says Pat Mann, CIO at Phillips.

Transitioning everything to Dynamics 365 Field Service has enhanced service by allowing Phillips Corporation to track technicians and schedule their time effectively. Service engineers at Phillips now have better resource tracking, with a central database for parts and diagnostic equipment. “Quick and easy is the key; having reports in one place and automatically updated has been very impactful,” says Ken Potts, Regional Sales Manager at Phillips Corporation. “The new additions allow us to track Haas tooling orders per salesman, and we had never been able to track this information before easily.”

Reeves sees these behind-the-scenes improvements as key to what Phillips Corporation unlocked. “It wasn’t because the other system was broken,” he says. “The other one was doing some heavy lifting, but it was less flexible and limiting. And it was on-premises, so we had to manage it. Consolidating and integrating our systems has really been the magic.”

The company is adapting Dynamics 365 Marketing module to work better with its marketing team. “Integrated marketing was a solution Phillips didn’t know it needed, but once it saw what could be done, it wanted those additional tools,” Reeves says. It was previously difficult to sort out the strongest and weakest leads and direct the team correctly. The new system makes it possible to keep this data accessible and easy to reference while also tracking the time spent on these vital business operations.

As manufacturing expands in the US, the company has seen an opportunity to source some parts internationally. With the Dynamics 365 database and backend in place, Phillips can manage those new sources to fill US orders. The company is also using Dynamics 365 Field Service to help develop its growing high-quality 3D printing business, which will allow customers such as military ships far from port to print necessary parts.

Phillips Corporation would previously obtain hardware from Haas on contingency for later sale, but it was possible to misplace equipment and lose money due to bookkeeping errors. Improvements in efficiency and records mean that Phillips now buys the hardware outright, keeps track of its location, and ensures that it winds up at the correct destination.

Every level of company operation has been impacted positively, but it has all happened in a very natural fashion with the company’s end-to-end view of its field service operations. “It’s like being a better person,” says Reeves.

“The people around you may not thank you for it, but they’ll notice and feel better as a direct result.”

New software means new growth

By freeing up valuable time that had previously been spent on manual processes, Phillips Corporation has not only improved its operations but expanded into new fields. In addition to working on new sales projects such as distribution of robotic arms for assembly and movement in industrial fields, the company has also begun expanding its educational and consulting component. “We have made constant improvements to our implementation, adding more function every quarter,” says Scott Cooper, Consultant at Phillips Corporation. “It’s made us able to easily customize the platform for the unique needs of this type of business.”

Consulting goes hand-in-hand with the robotics division. A team goes in to help train with robotics, but also examines inefficiencies in a company’s supply lines and manufacturing processes. Using the dispatch and time reporting system provided by Dynamics 365 Field Service, Phillips has improved efficiency and time allocation to make this a valuable portion of the company’s operation.

Phillips Corporation has always trained its own engineers to keep them certified by Haas and other manufacturers, and the company also trained a handful of customers per year. The improved efficiency the company is experiencing with Dynamics 365 has allowed the expansion of certification and training as a growing, profitable business all by itself.

Cooper describes the overall attitude at Phillips Corporation as being optimistic. It has created an atmosphere of expansion and improvement. Already the inclusion of part-shipping operations, better marketing integrations, and more efficient inventory tracking has led to new opportunities. Teaching and consulting are still being explored and expanded. And there are doubtlessly new areas for Phillips to expand and improve moving forward. “We have just begun to utilize the system’s sophisticated time recording, work order system, and scheduling functionality, but they are already invaluable in helping our teams manage their time efficiently,” adds Mann.

“Companies are, at their core, valued for growth,” says Cooper. “By updating its processes behind the scenes, Phillips has successfully navigated to a place where it can grow, expand, and improve its operation while remaining highly skilled at the service experience. It has applied the know-how and technology from Dynamics 365 to make the lives of its customers and employees measurably better.”

This Case Study was written and originally published by Microsoft.

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