At ANS, we put our partners at the heart of everything we do. In this month’s partner showcase, Ryan Martin, our Indirect Sales Manager, sat down with Simon Spriggs, Partnerships Manager at FLS – Fast Lean Smart, to discuss their company, our partnership, and how we continue to grow together. With that said, let’s get to know FLS…
First of all, please introduce yourself and the company…
I’m Simon Spriggs, and I joined FLS – Fast Lean Smart as Partnerships Manager around three years ago. FLS develops award-winning dynamic scheduling, route optimisation and mobile job management solutions for field service management. Service technicians, engineers, surveyors, installers (even housing and welfare officers) are all out in the field with their expertise and skills. Our flagship solution, FLS VISITOUR, is deployed in 24 countries across all industries; anywhere that field forces require our unique algorithm to support them in real time.
What does your company stand for? What are your values?
One thing we take great pride in here at FLS is that every client will talk of the immense cost benefits and quality of our solutions. We are in fact, highly committed to providing an experience more along the lines of a partnership. We work hard to prove we’re more than a developer; we partner for the long term. In this way, our clients leverage our unique technology, and we achieve our success through their success. This fosters a relationship with our clients where they know ‘Everything is solvable’ as they grow, and we flex with the changing world of field service.
Tell us about your proposition, key tech partners, and how you want to work with others…
Our solutions optimise resources and processes with complete transparency – wherever mobility and planning accuracy matter. FLS enters the Microsoft Dynamics 365 ecosystem when requirements are not met by Resource Scheduling Optimization (RSO). As a proven and trusted ISV partner, we share our deep expertise in dynamic scheduling algorithms, and have successful deployments together in customers of all sizes and industries. You might think of FLS as the missing jigsaw piece for a complete and compelling solution for field forces sized around 75+ resources. We are quick to deploy (within days) and with 150 functional modules to master every complexity, ROI can often be achieved in the first month.
Ultimately, what do you want your company to be known for?
We always want to be known for a seamless, friction-free integration. For the majority of Dynamics users, the tech does the hard work behind the scenes, designing the best outcomes for clients and their customers. But it’s those extra moments when we hear from the head office teams and the field operatives whose daily working lives have improved. That provides some extra satisfaction. Taking planners away from whiteboards, giving field workers a more balanced workload; even tenants getting their boilers fixed more quickly! Those are the stories we love to hear.
Are there any technology areas on your radar screen/any trends in the market that interest you? And why?
‘Radar’ is very apt! In the customer service space, especially where field operatives are heading to any sort of appointment, any feature that gives customers full transparency and visibility for ETAs is the most important requirement. To remove the pressure from all parts of the communication chain, whilst adding in self-service options – if more industries could mirror this then we would solve many more issues first-time. Post-pandemic, the B2B field service world is catching up. This is a feature area FLS has worked hard to encourage our clients to adopt.
We’re also working hard to put scheduling and route planning tools into the hands of those companies who’ve already made the switch to EV fleets. We are already supporting them through their transition and look forward to a future with fewer ‘charging deserts’ as the UK’s charging infrastructure develops.
What is your biggest achievement/what are you most proud of?
At FLS – how successful our partner pathway has become. Not just for us here at FLS but most importantly, the additional benefits our partners have gained from promoting FLS VISITOUR, embedded within their solutions. FLS helps prove their business case and sets their solution design apart from their competition.
Outside of FLS – at 53, cycling up the stupidly steep hills on my mountain bike – most weekends!
How do you see your company evolving?
We have seen the changing ways our clients do business, and we evolve with them. Take ‘servitisation’ and the different ways this is offered. The combined ‘product’ of a device and ‘limitless’ service, changes the demands made on delivery, monitoring, and repairs/replacement services. There are questions around who takes on these tasks. Is it a manufacturer, a distributor, or a third party? If a machine tells you there’s a fault via IoT, how is the repair scheduled, and what planning is required for future planned preventative maintenance and inspection? Our solutions always evolve with new workflows.
How would you describe your partnership with ANS?
Our partnership with ANS has grown exponentially from day one. ANS are experts who are ready, willing, and able to spot an opportunity for our optimisation solution. As a fully supported Microsoft ISV, we help ANS’ clients to realise their investment; to use their platform for sustainable growth.
What sets ANS apart from the competition?
We recognised early on that ANS’ teams have a great understanding of the field service sector – its nuances and direction of travel – and can help their customers transform more than their initial requirements.
Brief/Potted history of your company
Founded in Germany in 1992, we set out to solve a highly complex logistical problem: The optimal sequence of 10 field service appointments for a single employee. In its most basic form, then you’ll produce more than 3.6 million results! Thankfully, today FLS VISITOUR is deployed in 24 countries across all field service industries, with our clients ranging from 50 to 1000s of field operatives.
Our UK base was created in 2012 and we have since grown to become a part of the Solvares Group. The companies of the Solvares Group, to their technological core, are experts in solving complex tasks with many parameters, spontaneous changes, and numerous resources. We are always successful when exceptional optimisation creates substantial added value for our clients.
For more information on our Partnership with FLS, please see here.