We were recently shortlisted by the Institute of Customer Service for Best Application of Technology in the Customer Satisfaction Awards, 2016. Competition was stiff, but selection itself was in the words of the ICS’s CEO Joanna Causon “A celebration of those aspiring to lead the way and set the customer service standards which others will follow.”

We would like to share with all our customers an interview with Bill Forrest, M2’s IT Director and the testimonial from Gary Barratt, Senior IT Relationship Manager at Vaultex who endorsed M2 Intelligence and our Service Excellence Culture. Without their input our entry would not have been possible.


Bill Forrest & Gary Barratt talk M2 Intelligence.

Bill Forrest describes the inception of M2 Intelligence application:

“M2 Intelligence started off as an internal device monitoring tool, specifically providing meter and consumable readings into M2. This allowed for more accurate billing and fleet analysis.


“Shortly after, we recognised that with the consumable information we could provide a proactive service. We had recently transferred consumable fulfilment to a third-party and we worked with them to build a real-time interface between M2 Intelligence and their systems so that we now trigger automatic consumable fulfilment off the back of a real-time consumable reading from onsite devices.


“The next step in development was to use this new information, i.e. device information and order tracking information, to enhance the customer experience at the call taking stage. We did this by providing the data to the Service Desk Analysts so that they could inform the customer, as well as introducing new business logic to help improve the customer conversation.


“For example, we often work directly with customers’ helpdesks who are frequently not near the devices themselves.  In this situation when they called to discuss a particular problem we could confirm current device readings, but also through accurate prediction models inform the customer how long consumables should last before running out; and if an order has been placed, what is the current state of the order and who has signed for the delivery and when.


“We next integrated our call logging system into a third-party engineering tracking system. This allowed us to improve the efficiency in getting the call logged directly to the engineer, as well as providing us with accurate engineer location and status so as to make a better dispatching decision.


“Finally we recognised the value in the systems that we had developed to help maintain world class service, and we took the decision to build a customer portal, allowing the customer full access to our service data.”


Bill Forrest explains some of the key challenges met during development:

“The initial M2 Intelligence project was a technically challenging project, but also an emotionally challenging project, it touched every department within M2 and almost every process. This meant some initial barriers in  the wider business as they had to overcome their own resistance to change.


“To win hearts and minds we opened up the future development to an M2-wide development group, where each area was represented. This helped improve emotional buy-in as each department could then request specific changes that would benefit them individually.”


Bill Forrest on The Customer Portal:

“One of the key turning points in M2 Intelligence history was the development of a customer portal to allow our customers direct access to their service data.


“The impact of giving the customer access to this previously internal information has been massive as the customer now has full service transparency.  So when we say an engineer is 20 minutes away they can physically log-on to the portal and see the real-time position of the engineer. This opening up of M2’s systems has allowed us to form a much closer relationship with our customers as they know that they can trust in what we say.


Bill Forrest talks about customisation and integration into Secure Environments:

“Over the years we have customised M2 Intelligence to adhere to security standards of MOD facilities, banks and other secure institutions such as Vaultex. This has been possible for two reasons. Firstly, M2 Intelligence is an in-house developed product, which allows us to deliver rapid bespoke solutions that fully meet our customers’ needs.


“Moreover, the key contributors to the M2 Intelligence architecture have experience of working in similar corporate environments; before development begins we start the journey by talking to the customer at a very technical level to ensure that we have the right solution design to meet their unique criteria.”


Vaultex use M2

Vaultex is one of the UK’s leading cash processors with over 15 locations nationwide. Retailers and other businesses rely on them to count their cash with the highest level of accuracy and settle their customer accounts as swiftly as possible. Vaultex use M2 Intelligence throughout their working day and champion the application.


We spoke to Gary Barratt at Vaultex:

“Vaultex use the M2 Intelligence product on a daily basis as it gives us a full insight into printer fleet performance. Having a reliance on printed output, access to the available information has now become an invaluable tool. The organisation is now able to log and monitor support calls and track consumable delivery.”


“We have been able to implement very detailed measurements linked to SLAs. The benefit is that we are able to measure user satisfaction in many  different areas, whereas previously only anecdotal evidence was available. User satisfaction has improved significantly as a result and less Vaultex time has been spent in resolving issues.”


“M2 Intelligence allows the IT team to expediently answer queries from the business ranging from the location of toner deliveries to specific information around volumes currently being processed by each device. This particular information has allowed Vaultex to relocate areas of their fleet where over utilisation was occurring. The regular service review meetings make provision for continuous improvement and have enabled a strong working relationship between Vaultex and M2.”

Full-service transparency, via the Customer Portal has created trust leading to an increase in customer loyalty and higher retention rates. In 2015 alone, it enabled M2 to secure some key central government wins and renew national contracts with some of the best-known names in the construction and insurance sectors.

M2 Intelligence data drives our internal dashboards monitoring and presenting key information regarding the management of fleets and operational resources. Overall, the application has generated much greater visibility of our current service status, allowing Senior Management to quickly get up to speed on an issue and any resolution path which may require their decision-making.


Finally we asked Bill Forrest what was next for M2 Intelligence:

“M2 Intelligence has a continued improvement plan, with changes being implemented bi-weekly through our SPRINT methodology. We have already invested £1M+ in R&D and have signed-off plans to spend additional funds in 2016 on the next version.”


“In 2015, for instance, we updated the customer portal to provide more service information to our customers, such as support calls and parts requests. We then created a new module to allow us to auto-order device parts via our fulfilment house, which upon notification of delivery, automatically schedules an engineer to arrive on site and fit the parts and currently have a Proactive Service module in development.”

In our most recent customer satisfaction survey M2’s performance was highly rated for Service Reliability 100%, Customer Relationship Management 92% and Continuous Innovation 87%. M2 Intelligence makes ours Service Excellence vision come alive for our customers and is a key factor in M2’s selection to Photizo’s Leaders Index for demonstrating best practice and leadership in MPS for the third consecutive year.