Employee Spotlight: Corey Barss

corey-barss-work-headshotThe FIELDBOSS team is made up of many hard working talented individuals with interesting stories to tell. In our Employee Spotlight series, you’ll meet some of these people, learn what they do, and how they keep FIELDBOSS exciting and fun.

This week we shine the spotlight on Corey Barss, a Senior Application Consultant at FIELDBOSS. Corey will celebrate his five-year anniversary at FIELDBOSS in August.

Corey grew up in Bradford, Ontario but currently resides in Toronto. Prior to working at FIELDBOSS he attended Ryerson University and graduated with a bachelor of commerce degree.

When Corey isn’t busy being awesome at implementing FIELDBOSS, he can be found playing rugby for the Balmy Beach Rugby Club in Toronto. He is definitely sports obsessed and loves playing, watching, and reading about the analytics behind each game.

Read on to find out more about Corey.


What do you love most about working at FIELDBOSS?

The thing I like most about working for FIELDBOSS is the ability to be a part of building something from the ground up. I am able to have my opinions, designs and thoughts heard and utilized through the product development lifecycle.

What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most? What is the number one challenge you face in your role?

My current role allows me to start with an idea and see the results of our hard work on the end user. Analyzing a customer’s current business process and developing a solution that can help them work more efficiently and lead a happier work life is an amazing feeling. Being trusted by a business owner to deliver such a solution comes with a lot of pressure but when the final result takes place it makes it all worth it.

Where is the best place you’ve traveled to and why?

My job allows me the privilege to travel very often. One of the greatest places I have travelled to in San Diego. Sometimes you just go to a certain city or place and connect with the culture right away. For me, that was San Diego; the beaches, laid back lifestyle, weather and of course the endless supplies of breweries may have a part in that as well.

What TV shows/music/apps are you currently obsessed with right now?

I am currently obsessed with podcasts and sports talk radio as I am often working by myself and travelling. When in Toronto I listen to TSN Overdrive every day to get my fix on the Toronto sports scene and am consistently reading sports blogs. I also listen to a variety of podcasts such as TED Radio Hour and Revisionist History to give myself a sports break every once in a while.

If you could have a drink with anyone (fictional, alive, dead, famous, non-famous) who would it be and why?

If I had to choose I suppose it would be Elon Musk. I have been reading a lot on him recently and find his business ventures extremely interesting and think he would be someone worth speaking with.



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When was Your Last Dynamics GP Backup?

Dynamics GPDoes your company have a comprehensive backup system in place? Do you know when your last backup was? If you can’t answer these questions, you could find yourself in trouble. The last thing your business wants is to face a system crash or some form of data corruption without a validated and verified backup system in place. A solid disaster recovery plan will ensure that the risk of losing any business critical data, such as financial information, can be alleviated.

If you want to be confident in knowing you can recover your Dynamics GP data successfully from a systems error or environmental event, make sure that:

  • You have a clear and concise definition of when backups occur, what redundant backups are in place and who is responsible for maintaining the required routines
  • You review your environment and systems to make sure you are taking regular Database and File backups of all the correct data and software, modified files and settings – and these backups are correctly configured.
  • These files are in turn being backed up to an additional device and stored off-site.
  • Testing the access to and obtaining of these off-site backups in a timely fashion is a critical step. When your business is down and you need access to data, time is of the essence.
  • You have scheduled times to check to see that the backup systems are actively running and successful.
  • You periodically try a Test Restore.
  • You have access to all source media and software builds if a re-install is required.

Your Dynamics GP system backup must be a priority. Only then can you be assured that in the event of a systems mishap, you can recover your data in a timely fashion and restore functionality with the least amount of cost, stress, and downtime. Scheduling, restore testing, physical locations, and off-site backups are all things that you should consider when constructing your backup plan.

Contact FIELDBOSS if you have any questions about the quality of your current backup plan or if you would like to discuss developing a backup plan.

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What’s New in the Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators in 2017

two machinist worker technicians at work adjusting lift with spanners in elevator hoist wayAccording to the NEII, passengers across the US travel more than 2.55 billion miles on elevators and escalators each year. During that time, eighteen billion elevator trips and 105 billion escalator rides are taken, surpassing both rail and air travel combined.

While these numbers are quite remarkable, think about what it says in relation to elevator and escalator safety. One of the safest forms of transportation in the world, the elevator and escalator industry works relentlessly to advance safety for riders and employees alike. The elevator industry has one of the lowest accident rates of any form of transportation, due in large part to the constant diligence in improving both the equipment itself and the safety codes and standards that govern the industry.

The safety code for elevators and escalators, ASME A17.1/CSA B44, is updated every three years to ensure that the requirements represent the latest safety and technology available. The code sets standards, which govern elevators and escalators on safety across a full range of industry products and applications.

What’s new this year?  With three years between updates, there are always many revisions and additions to the code. In the 2016 edition of the code, several major changes and updates went into effect. To read them all, click here.

As elevator and escalator equipment ages and new technological advances are made, the codes that govern safety are also modified. FIELDBOSS LIFT software can help you to ensure the greatest level of safety for the public and your technicians by keeping you on top of maintenance, inspections, violations and more.

Contact FIELDBOSS for more information.

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Elevator Safety: Who is Responsible for What?

gettyimages_162494716In our last newsletter, we wrote an article entitled “Who Is Responsible for “Out of Service” Elevators?in relation to the Elevator Reliability Act. The proposed bill put the onus on the contractors when an elevator goes down. If we look at the big picture, there are many factors that ensure an overall safe and effective elevator system. With the astronomical number of elevators, which is growing steadily every year, there are bound to be outages, downtime and, although rare, accidents. So who is accountable for all these elevators?

  • Equipment manufacturers must install elevators and escalators that meet the strictest safety requirements.
  • Building architects and designers must design the envelope in which these machines sit, meeting all of the fire safety, seismic, environmental and structural conditions needed for a safe system.
  • Maintenance service providers must perform the monthly and/or yearly safety tests and inspections, and follow the Maintenance Contract.
  • Building personnel must keep elevator cars and lobbies free of debris or other hazards.
  • State, municipal or third-party inspectors provide an unbiased perspective, making sure the equipment is in safe operating condition and that the MCP is in order and being adhered to.
  • Finally, the building owner has the ultimate responsibility to see that all of these players are performing their jobs properly and that the equipment is safe for its riders.

Elevator safety and maintenance is a team effort. A comprehensive, connected field service management software can help contractors, inspectors, and building owners keep their elevators moving and their riders safe.

Contact FIELDBOSS for more information.

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Canada’s Prompt Payment Act: Why it Needs to Pass

atologwiAs employment in the construction industry contributes to 6.4% of Ontario’s workforce, delayed payments are bound to negatively affect our Canadian economy. A prompt payment act would benefit the 1.3 million people working in Canada’s construction sector. Many countries around the world including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. have implemented a prompt payment legislation so why has Canada not yet taken the plunge?

Over the last decade, these delayed payments have grown immensely leading to job losses, slowed projects and small business bankruptcies. Largely affected by overdue payments are Canada’s trade contractors. While they wait for payment, they must still pay their staff and suppliers. This causes an increase in construction costs to customers. This results in a reduction in the amount of hiring and training that a firm can take on leading to declining growth across the sector and limiting the long-term availability of skilled labor.

Since 2015, the Canadian government has created a new legislation to resolve the issues in regards to prompt payment. Bill S-224 or the Prompt Payment Act was created in order to promote consistency and punctuality when it comes to payments. The new legislation aims to not only help contractors, workers and their families, but it aims to help stimulate the overall economy.

As the legislation was introduced, there has been immense support for the bill including the Contractors Division of the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) and the Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada (MCAC). Support from these associations that both happen to also be a part of the National Trade Contractors Coalition of Canada (NTCCC) helped take the bill to the Senate so quickly.

To read more about Canada’s Prompt Payment Act, or to express your support, click here.

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8 Questions Every Field Service Manager Should Be Asking

cashflowField service management software has transformed the field service business. The process of scheduling field service appointments and dispatching techs to jobs has been streamlined to allow for a more efficient and effective process. Connected mobile software has made it easier for service technicians to access the information they need on site. However, having access to field service management software is not enough if your team isn’t asking the right questions to get the most out of the software. Here are 8 questions every field service manager should be asking:

  1. Where are my field service technicians?

In order to send the most qualified and available field service technicians to each service call, field service managers have to know where their staff is. Using field service management software, technicians can geo-map their location on their mobile device giving schedulers/dispatchers a comprehensive overview of who is available at any given time to answer a service call. This ensures that customers’ requests are met as quickly and efficiently as possible.

  1. How much time is needed to complete the service call?

Service technicians can easily record the start and end times by pressing the respective button on their mobile device. They can even add break times. An accurate log of time spent on a service call synched in real-time so that management has a precise record of how much time a job has taken. The customer can then sign off confirming how much time was spent on the task. This KPI is not only helpful for field service managers trying to organize an efficient field service schedule but is also useful to refer to this information in order to give customers a rough idea of how long a particular service call might take.

  1. Is the customer satisfied with the service?

Plain and simple, customers want the best quality in the shortest amount of time. Call back rates, or first-time fix, is one of the most vital metrics in measuring field service performance. Having to make a second appointment was more frustrating for 61% of respondents than waiting time for appointments and technician not arriving on time. In today’s competitive environment, just showing up isn’t good enough. The technician must have the parts, the skills, and the information to solve the problem on the first visit. A poor first-time fix number not only reflects poor field service processes, but is also an indicator of disgruntled customers, likely customer attrition, and reduced service profitability. The ability to measure and manage your call back rate is the first step to improving your field service processes, achieving operational excellence and having satisfied, loyal customers.

  1. What is our Return on Investment (ROI)?

By tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), field service managers create a precise expense analysis that offers them detailed insight into the ROI. Using this data, they can adjust processes in order to maximize workflow by optimizing logistics, managing inventory and auto-scheduling the best technician for each job. All of this amounts to increased first-time fix rates. And, once again, companies with high first-time fix rates perform better on KPIs like customer retention, service level agreement (SLA) compliance and customer satisfaction than their counterparts with lower first-time fix rates.

  1. How can I increase the number of field service appointments per day?

Field service management software has given schedulers/dispatchers the power to implement intelligent workforce scheduling. Using a system of connected devices can ensure that service technicians with the right skills are sent to field service calls. The same software also makes it possible for them to maintain a real-time inventory overview, find the easiest route to the job site, and know the location and history of the equipment. With all this information at their fingertips, service technicians can work more quickly and efficiently, which results in a substantial increase in service calls per day and, of course, revenue.

  1.  How else can I increase the first-time-fix-rate?

Sometimes, having the right parts and the best people available on a field service call are not enough. Service technicians can not keep track of every issue and all possible solutions. Should they run into trouble while on a service call, a connected field service management software that is equipped with checklists and notes and photo’s from previous service calls can help the tech determine the next course of action. This is very important for field service companies as decreasing your call-back rate will increase your revenue.

  1. How can I sell more service contracts?

Often technicians find themselves at a job when a customer approaches and asks for a quote on a new job or a new piece of equipment that needs service. Empower your field techs to communicate sales opportunities right on their mobile device. With the click of a button, a new case can be created and sent off to the sales team for immediate follow-up.

  1. How can I best manage the knowledge we have?

Service technicians are the key to quality field services. It is critical that knowledge be shared and made available to them. It is just as essential that knowledge be centralized and secured so that employees who retire, leave the company, are off sick, or busy on another job do not take all their valuable knowledge with them. By linking field techs with each other and with back office personnel, mobile technology keeps everyone within the organization in sync, transcending the limitations of geography. A comprehensive field service management software helps build easily accessible knowledge bases so field workers can access information anywhere, anytime, regardless of their location.

Field service companies know that technology is propelling the field service industry in a new direction. How quickly and efficiently they implement these technologies and processes into their business practices will determine how profitable they become and how satisfied their customers are.

Contact FIELDBOSS to learn how you can take the necessary steps to keep pace with the transformations in the field service industry.

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How To Attract And Retain Top Millennial Talent In The HVAC Workforce

Technician_kpis_featureMillennials are the single largest demographic in the workforce today, outnumbering generation x and the baby boomers. Millennials, which are defined as individuals in between the ages of 18 and 34, aren’t done their invasion yet. Construction Executive reports that as much as 40% of the millennial generation are still in high school or post-secondary school and have yet to grace the workforce with their presence. So that means the future of the modern workforce involves integrating the habits and methods of young millennials with traditional ways of doing business. This could mean big changes to a few large aspects of how business is typically done.

Millennials are consistently described by their older peers as “good with technology”. This common description is without a doubt grained in some truth; millennials are the first generation to grow up with computers as a common household device rather than a novelty. They are the first generation to really popularize and inhabit online social networks and communities. So when millennials show up for work and see what they perceive as old and out-dated business practices still in place, they are not inclined to stick around.

So how can established HVAC contractors hope to attract and retain top millennial talent going forward? One possible solution is the adoption of technology in all business processes. Millennials intuitively understand and see value in upending old ways of doing things and replacing it with something newer and faster. As a demographic, they are more open to new experiences and less concerned with a conservative attitude towards business processes. If things can be done better using a new process, millennials are inclined to be on board.

This is where FIELDBOSS® enters the picture. FIELDBOSS® is exactly what technologically-inclined millennials prospecting for job opportunities will want to see at HVAC contracting companies. Top millennial talent wants to be assured that the company they decide to work for is doing everything they can to be at the forefront of the industry. That means having a sophisticated, industry-specific software that helps the business run smoothly and efficiently. It means not relying on carbon paper and copying information on clipboards to transfer data. It means having a searchable database of clients and job sites, or being able to view real-time profit on a work order.

Millennials know that the world is changing. They have grown up in a world of rapid technological development and quick change. What would your world view be like if you were in middle school while the iPhone made its debut and you barely remember the time before everyone had the internet on their phones? The key to attracting and retaining the best of the incoming millennials is presenting a business environment that they can work with. And since millennials are only going to become more and more of a prominent force in the workforce, you can expect that this trend will only increase. For more information about FIELDBOSS®, please contact us here.

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Employee Spotlight: Carolyn Berger

cbThe FIELDBOSS team is made up of many hard working talented individuals with interesting stories to tell. In our Employee Spotlight series, you’ll meet some of these people, learn what they do, and how they keep FIELDBOSS exciting and fun.

Carolyn Berger is a native Torontonian and one of the very first FIELDBOSS employees. She currently works as the Manager of Office Administration and has been at the company for over 19 years (WOW!). Prior to working at FIELDBOSS, Carolyn worked as a manager in Fashion and Retail. She had the amazing experience of living in England and Vancouver before settling down in Toronto with her husband and two children.

When Carolyn isn’t busy being awesome at servicing our customers or hosting our happy hour drinks at her beautiful house across from the office, she can be found cooking, baking, playing tennis, and enjoying family movie nights.

Read on to find out more about Carolyn.

What do you love most about working at FIELDBOSS & how long have you been here?

I have been at the company for over 19 years (YIKES!). I love working with the people at FIELDBOSS. And I also love working with our customers. I’ve created many wonderful working relationships with many of our clients over the years – despite having never met face to face.

Where is the best place you’ve travelled to and why?

Israel – aside from the unmatched beauty/ancient and modern history and fascinating people…it’s where I met my husband.

What TV shows/music/apps are you currently obsessed with right now?

Anxiously waiting for the new season of HOC. I also can’t stop listening to Hamilton.

If you could have a drink with anyone (fictional, alive, dead, famous, non-famous) who would it be and why?

My Dad and grandmother. I would love to catch them up on their (great) grandkids. Both have been gone for over a decade.



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Why We Worry Less When Clients Use the Microsoft Cloud

onedrive-logo-thing-590x330Some of the prospects we come across are still apprehensive about moving their business systems entirely to the cloud. They feel more comfortable and in control, knowing their data is close by in a server room they can hear and see. For us, it is just the opposite. We take a lot of comfort knowing that client data is safely in the Microsoft Cloud.  Here are some of the main reasons why:

  • With the Microsoft Cloud, we don’t need to worry about things that could unexpectedly go wrong such as power problems, physical security of the servers, hard drive or other hardware failures, IT staff who fail to keep things patched and upgraded.
  • With systems today, multiple server and software products are used and connected together to keep users productive. With the Microsoft Cloud, we don’t have to think about keeping things going when one of these products needs to get upgraded. Microsoft handles that for us. They also handle backups, and guarantee your up-time.
  • Microsoft’s current policy is to ship new features into their cloud version before they ship to their premise versions.
  • On top of all that, Microsoft is charging a premium now for premise-based licenses.

When you combine that with the cost of having IT people responsible for patches and upgrades, you get a pretty compelling business case to move things to the cloud.

Contact FIELDBOSS for all your cloud-based questions.

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Microsoft Dynamics 365 Financials Positioning Pivot

ms-dynamics-365-demoMicrosoft recently changed the positioning of Dynamics 365 Financials, their new accounting software solution. Launched in November 2016, Microsoft originally positioned D365 Financials as a more robust and low cost alternative to QuickBooks. Six months later, Microsoft has done a complete positioning pivot. Microsoft has announced that Dynamics 365 Financials will be a cloud-based derivative of Dynamics NAV, which is a very strong mid-market accounting solution. Dynamics 365 Financials will target companies with 10-500 employees, with very fast configuration features at a low monthly user subscription cost. Microsoft is targeting Q4 2017 for feature parity with Dynamics NAV, which will include strong capabilities in the areas of distribution, manufacturing, and numerous features for multi-location and multi-entity accounting and business intelligence.

Contact FIELDBOSS to answer all your D365 Financials questions.

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