Some 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.
A flexible, connected scheduling software is critical for field service organizations that are looking for ways to provide superior customer service while reducing operating costs. Customers increasingly want faster service resolution at a lower cost; improving scheduling and field technician efficiency is one of the ways to effectively achieve that goal.
When searching for a field service management software solution for your business, it is important to look for one that integrates the mobile field service with the back office, allowing data from the technicians, the scheduling engine, and the business systems to be seamlessly integrated. This not only improves scheduling efficiency, it also provides enhanced visibility into the service operation so that managers can better measure performance and create an auditable data trail to establish a service baseline, improve processes, and reduce costs. A comprehensive solution will give field service organizations the opportunity to improve management of costs associated with the schedule/dispatch operation and return service visits that can be avoided via improved scheduling.
Automated dispatching, scheduling, and routing can have a direct impact on service costs by:
Improving Technician Productivity
Rather than managing their schedules and dealing with dispatchers, technicians can spend more time working with customers and completing service activities. Having access to a map allows technicians to not only efficiently complete their routes but also quickly and easily locate the nearest parts depot. Improved scheduling makes technicians more efficient and productive, enabling them to complete more service calls per day. Even adding one work order per technician per day can increase revenues without adding staff. And by helping them work more efficiently, service companies can reduce or eliminate costly overtime.
Improving Scheduling of Preventive Maintenance
Scheduling preventive maintenance (PM) work between break/fix calls can be a challenge. By automating and incorporating PM calls into the scheduling system, they can automatically be assigned based on technician location and other factors. If technicians have some free time between jobs, they can easily see what maintenance activities are coming up, what the closest location is and take advantage of what otherwise would have been wasted time. Technician proficiency helps improve customer loyalty and can generate add-on business.
Reducing Non-Value-Added Time
In a manual dispatch environment, technicians and dispatchers spend an enormous amount of time on the phone, leaving and responding to messages. An automated solution can eliminate phone calls and reduce reliance on direct contact between the dispatcher and the field saving hours per day allowing schedulers and technicians to be focusing their time on satisfying customers.
Improving First Time Fix Rate
One of the most aggravating incidents for any customer is when a return trip needs to be made because the technician couldn’t resolve the issue on the first visit. First-time fix rate is one of the most vital metrics in measuring field service performance. For companies burdened by low first-time fix rates, the extra expenses required to resolve jobs not fixed the first time add up quickly: multiple extra truck rolls, extra labor, increased dispatch energy and attention, and lost service opportunities elsewhere. The higher your first-time fix rate is, the greater capacity your team will have to make more service calls in a day and service new customers at the lowest possible operational cost. An intelligent dispatch/scheduling solution plays a key role in making that possible.
Reducing Drive Time
Automated scheduling only solves part of the problem relative to getting the right techs to a given location. Routing those technicians is equally important. Routing systems can guide technicians efficiently from one job to the next. Better routing can reduce the amount of drive time between jobs helping technicians arrive on time, complete more work orders per day and even reduce fuel consumption. With the cost of fuel continuing to rise, reducing unnecessary drive time can be a major contributor to reducing operational costs.
Reducing Dispatcher-to-Technician Ratios
Manual dispatching requires a high number of dispatch personnel to manage a given group of technicians, primarily because of the amount of time spent on the phone and dealing with a daily barrage of scheduled and emergency service visits for multiple customers. By automating these processes, the total number of dispatchers can be significantly reduced.
Optimal field service automation is more than just electronically managing work orders. A fully integrated field service solution is required in order to increase productivity while lowering costs. A key component of this solution is a highly automated scheduling, dispatch, and routing system that will ensure that qualified technicians arrive at the job site on time, with the right tools and parts while taking into account technician availability, location, travel time, SLA requirements, and many other factors. The result is improved technician productivity and customer service, and a reduction in operational costs.
Contact FIELDBOSS and see how we can help you get your technicians where they need to be while reducing your operational costs to increase revenue.
FIELDBOSS is excited to announce a major new release to its FIELDBOSS® Contractor field service software. FIELDBOSS® 2.5 includes many significant new enhancements that were driven by existing customer feedback and the competitive marketplace. It also includes some bug fixes, performance improvements and a re-design of current functionality to improve processes and usability. In addition, this release supports Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 and Dynamics 365.
With our Service Task Configurator, it is possible to create customized and automated checklists in the office which are then synched to the mobile device so techs can follow and document procedures or collect data while on-site.
Time Cards can be automatically generated from the field and edited as necessary for multiple resources. Regular, overtime (1.5x) and double time (2x) hours for each person can now be recorded on one “Card”. Individual expenses can now also be recorded on the Time Card.
“Progress Billing” will allow you to create milestones and bill multiple milestones per invoice. It will automatically keep track of amounts billed to date for each milestone.
The Elevator Service industry has changed dramatically in the last few years. Customers want faster service, machinery is getting more complicated, and competition is fierce. Elevator service companies are trying to keep pace with the hectic growth of the industry while at the same time trying to increase revenue from maintenance and repair, eliminate fines, increase up-time, and provide better service to their customers. With so many new challenges, the only way to win, keep, and grow your business is with the help of an Elevator Contractor Management Software solution.
Here are 5 major challenges that an intelligent software solution can help you overcome:
Challenge 1: Increased Expectations of Customer Service
Customer service expectations have dramatically increased in the past few years. Thanks in part to 24/7 connectivity and the ability to reach companies via a number of different channels, customers now want instant response to questions, repairs or replacements to be dealt with immediately, and to solve the problem on the first visit. For Elevator service companies the pressure to fix it right the first time has never been higher, a near impossible task without the help of technology. With a comprehensive, intelligent Elevator Contractor Management Solution, technicians are always on-time, prepared and armed with all the information they need to offer superior customer service and to fix the job right the first time. Customers will always be satisfied and never need to look elsewhere!
Challenge 2: Avoiding Fines & Violations
In an industry that is continuously transforming, it’s no surprise that elevator compliance is also constantly evolving. The Department of Buildings (DOB), OSHA, and other governing bodies have been boosting regulatory efforts in an attempt to keep elevators code compliant and millions of passengers safe. In the past five years alone, there have been significant code and rule changes that have had a major financial impact on building owners, managers, and elevator service companies. There is no evidence the continued flow of compliance changes will be slowing anytime soon. NYC has been the most enforced city where elevator violations are now the most commonly issued DOB violations. Although the majority of elevator violations are issued as a result of routine maintenance inspections, new administrative violations for failure to conduct and file paperwork for mandated annual inspections are now widely issued. The only way to stay safe and compliant is to use an Elevator Contractor Management software that automatically and continuously updates, collects critical data, and issues alerts on violations, complaints, inspections, fines, hearings, jobs, and permits for property owners, managers, and service companies. In today’s environment, compiling manual information on a spreadsheet is not enough to prevent critical issues from slipping through the cracks. Constant attention and technology are required to prevent the accumulation of risk factors that can lead to violations and fines.
Challenge 3: Synchronizing All Those Moving Parts
One of the great challenges of delivering stellar elevator service is the number of “moving parts” in the process. From the moment a customer calls to the time the case is closed and an invoice sent, there are a number of steps that can be mismanaged, especially if a company is still primarily paper-based. Companies can conquer the multi-step field service process by automating and synchronizing it. Field service software designed specifically for the elevator industry can help managers in the office organize the workforce and help field technicians on the move better manage their individual workflows all in one central place. With a connected field service management solution, all duplicate data entry is eliminated as data entered once is instantly synced.
Challenge 3: Real-Time Communication
Keeping track of the location of field service technicians used to be impossible, unless they called in. It was difficult to re-assign tasks, to know if they had run into problems, or if they had completed their assigned job ahead of schedule. Real-time communication and the ability to see where field service engineers are and where they are in their schedule or job can help managers rapidly re-assign those technicians that are running ahead of time, or send in additional help to those that have run into problems. Technicians can update the status of their job with the click of a button to let the office know if they are on-route, starting a job, or job completed. Elevator contractor management software enables real-time communication so everyone is on the same page working as a cohesive and efficient team.
Challenge 4: Operational Costs Are Rising
Not only are customer expectations rising, but so too is the competition to deliver the best service. Add to this pressurized environment the fact that operational costs are also increasing. Keeping operational costs under control is one of a field service manager’s biggest headache. Parts that need to be ordered in, excessive drive times, extra truck rolls, warranty leakage etc are all costing businesses money. Using an end-to-end elevator contractor management software, managers and owners can easily pinpoint where their operational costs are escalating and how to bring them under control. And all of it can be done in real-time….no more waiting for end of quarter reports. Find out immediately when your modernization jobs get off course in time to redirect the project. Gain visibility into your technicians’ performance. Just because your techs are working 40 hours doesn’t mean they’re productive during those 40 hours. Take advantage of real-time data to facilitate intelligent business decisions to lower your operational costs and increase your revenue.
Challenge 5: Keeping Field Service Staff Happy
Elevator service technicians are the face of the company. Letting them perform their jobs without wasting time on operational or administrative tasks keeps them happy and, therefore, keeps your customers happy. Equipping technicians with all the knowledge they need and the ability to get help quickly if things go wrong can dramatically improve their performance. Giving them tools to easily locate the job site and equipment, ensure they have the correct parts, have all the customer and equipment history, and minimize their paperwork lets them concentrate on the job they were hired to do. Happy technicians are productive technicians!
As your business grows, it takes a lot of work, organization and communication to succeed. There are dozens of moving parts and tough decisions to make every day, and you need to stay on top of it all in order to move the company in the right direction. Whether for tracking client needs, arming your field staff, connecting departments or making data-informed decisions, you’ll find that implementing a synchronized system that works for you 24/7 and effectively eliminates human error is a natural, effective and revenue-generating investment.
It’s amazing the number of times executives from successful HVAC Companies have inquired about HVAC Field Service Management software only to say that they’re too busy to make changes or have their service technicians learn something new. The problem is, during the time upgrading is put off, their business is missing out on growth and revenue opportunities.
HVAC Companies and their technicians can really benefit from a connected, streamlined operation process. Many companies, however, still manage their workforce through an inefficient paper process resulting in missed opportunities, low first time fix rates, lack of critical information and loss of revenue. With no comprehensive field management software, techs have to make unnecessary trips back to the office to look for parts, paperwork, and other information instead of creating new opportunities and servicing customers.
HVAC Companies that have taken the time to upgrade their field service operations and connect the field with their back office have realized significant improvements in field efficiency. This has not only created a more satisfied workforce, but ultimately it has improved customer satisfaction, resulting in additional opportunities for growth and revenue.
So how do you rationalize implementing a new field service management software for your company? Are you experiencing any of the following challenges?
Call-to-service time is causing customers to wait too long
Poor optimization in dispatch and scheduling, causing unnecessary truck rolls
Low first-time fix rate
Service-to-cash cycle is slow
Lack of visibility into field service operations is resulting in poor forecasting
Inventory is lost or being stock-piled in trucks
Field employees are driving to/from the office just to drop off or pick up paperwork
Invoices/Work orders are getting lost, destroyed or are illegible
Information is being re-keyed into disconnected back-office systems
Customer retention rate is low
Each day that you delay is costing you money, and potentially putting you at a competitive disadvantage. Automating field service operations not only helps to reduce revenue leakage, but improves customer satisfaction, freeing up resources to focus on growth. With a knowledgeable and experienced partner, the transition from paper to automation can be seamless.
Contact FIELDBOSS to find out how we can help you stop venting about losing money and start optimizing your service to grow your business.
One of the most aggravating incidents for any customer is when a return trip needs to be made because the technician couldn’t resolve the issue on the first visit. For customers who rely on elevators, more downtime is not an option. Whether it’s because a part is missing, a technician does not have the right tool or skill set, or a scheduled task wasn’t performed properly, a return trip always results in unhappy customers and lower profit.
The extra expenses required to resolve jobs not fixed the first time can take a substantial chunk out of your bottom line: multiple extra truck rolls, extra labor, increased dispatch energy and attention, and lost service opportunities elsewhere. The cost burden adds up quickly for companies burdened by low first-time fix rates. As a result, field service leaders’ end up adding more technicians and more overhead just to keep pace with high-performing competitors.
With the right Elevator Contractor Management Software, companies specializing in repair and maintenance of elevators, escalators and moving walkways can overcome the challenges with first time fix rates.
With mobile tools technicians arrive on site equipped with the most accurate information and the required instruments to diagnose and repair problems immediately.Technicians with complete information can make better on site decisions. Access to the tasks that are scheduled to be performed, previous work done, and upcoming maintenance as part of the service activity can have a dramatic impact on getting things done properly the first time.
Using paper orders for managing parts results in inefficient inventory management that could cause colossal delays in busy places such as airports or high-rise buildings. Enhance inventory visibility to give technicians access to real-time inventory information and the ability to order parts from the field. This will ensure that the right parts are available where and when they’re needed while reducing technicians’ tendency to stockpile parts in their vans. As a result, technicians complete more work on the first call than ever before, thereby increasing first-call fix rates.
Techs have remote access to the collective knowledge of your entire company through real-time social and collaboration tools. This way, technicians can get the answers to their questions quickly, right on their smartphone or tablet, to troubleshoot problems during the first visit.
Equip your dispatchers with the all the information they need to assign jobs to technicians who have both the appropriate skill set and the parts on hand to resolve the customer’s issue correctly the first time. With GPS and mapping capabilities, your technicians will always know the quickest way to the job site so there is no time wasted getting started.
Each moment that your elevator technician can’t resolve an issue in the field due to the lack of critical data, it costs you money and makes your customers unhappy. First-time fix rates reflect how efficiently and effectively your organization can service existing customers. The higher the first-time fix rate, the greater capacity your team will have to make more service calls in a day and service new customers at the lowest possible operational cost. High first time fix rates are a win-win for everyone.
Contact FIELDBOSS and learn how to keep your technicians moving so your clients’ elevators never stop.
Companies who invest in mobile technology for their field service workers are finding more success than their counterparts. Purchasing the right mobile field service app can empower your technicians helping them increase productivity and improve s
ervice delivery, which ultimately increases customer loyalty ensuring repeat business. Here are 8 reasons why it’s time for your HVAC-R company to equip your technicians with the right mobile field service apps:
Never Fill Out A Time Sheet Again A good mobile field service app will allow your techs to easily record all aspects of their service call from their time spent on site, parts used and follow-up work that needs to be done. No need to fill out time consuming paperwork.
Impress Customers with Knowledge and Tech Savvy
Access your customer’s equipment and service history with the click of a button. Easily answer your customer’s questions and always have accurate calculations.
Assign the Right Technician with the Right Information
Schedulers can make accurate assignments based on actual technician location, availability and skill set. Technicians automatically receive site, problem and contact details on their device and with built in GPS can create the most efficient route for service calls.
Easily provide Accurate Estimates and Quotes Quickly and accurately convey to the customer what needs to be done, how much the job will cost, and how long it will take.
Keep Track of Parts and Inventory No more searching for missing parts or holding excess inventory. Always know what you need, how much to order and where to find it.
No More Miscommunication with Customers
Collecting evidence of work performed is fast and easy with photos, customer signatures, inspections and other service app-integrated means of backup for work done at a customer site.
Improve Team Communication Easily connect with the office, other field technicians or your supervisor. Technicians can quickly connect the work they’re doing with the scheduling and service management group making for a more connected and accountable team.
Eliminate Duplicate and incorrect Data Entry Data is collected in the field and reported in real time to the back office. Workers no longer need to manually re-enter data taken in the field or struggle to read illegible hand writing.
By providing your technicians with mobile apps, you can start providing the best service possible to your customers, while immediately increasing business profitability.
For more information on a field service mobile app for your company, contact us here.
How your company handles day-to-day work, from the time sales come in the door until the work is complete, has likely developed over many years of business experience and staffing changes. Often a business will have very senior resources both in the office and in the field that have over the years put their stamp on the business by instituting new and improved ways of working. The desire to improve how you do things is a good thing and generally encouraged by successful companies. Improving the way you work has been around a long time before technology and the micro-chip. It’s just a matter of how fast it needs to happen.
With the rapid pace of technology and automation now available to business, the need to change and improve is not only more important but it is in some cases essential to growth or even survival. “Change” can be extremely difficult to accomplish for businesses with their processes still stuck in a hybrid of manual paper, phone calls and old back-office systems. It also becomes nearly impossible to implement change quickly due to the many old manual paper process and legacy systems. Along with this hybrid of manual processes and technology, there is usually a parallel of old and new staff using them. This combination of manual or old systems and the staff that are holding on to them dearly, creates significant tension and resistance to change. The newer generation are born and grow up with smart phones, tablet and social media while the people with the deep business acumen in your business in many cases are still writing manual work orders and phoning or emailing when they want something.
The good news is that all of the technologies have now evolved to the point that most all sizes of businesses can afford them. Yes, sometimes it is a stretch, but a lot is on the line. You can now remove the majority of paper and have end-to-end integrated processes with intelligent data at your fingertips through mobile devices, secure browser or even directly inside Outlook. All of this great technology is served up in the cloud from servers that you no longer worry about. The not-so-good news is there is both a cost and effort to make the decision to dive-in and to implement a new system across your business. The easier decision is to procrastinate and put it off for another year. When you finally do make the jump, and you probably know you will have to, your staff will need to be managed and supported through the change and the way you work will need to adapt at most all levels, including management. More than ever you need an experienced company to partner with to help you through this transition. Change is not always easy for people. However, there is never a better time to slow down and do it right. You don’t have to change everything overnight, nor use all the great new capabilities, but you will find that the short term pain will be just that, short term. Your more experienced staff may take longer to come on board but once they do, their creative juices will be re-invigorated. It is pretty exciting to see your teams not only embrace the culture of change, but finally have the tools and technology to do it quickly.
For more information on how you can improve your business processes, contact us here.
Today, Microsoft announced they will be releasing the next version of CRM — Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 — in Q4 of this calendar year. This will be the most comprehensive CRM release and a milestone in the company’s efforts to reinvent productivity.
Here is a sneak peek at the new capabilities:
1) An enhanced Excel experience within CRM, including new Excel templates to automate many core tasks. This helps our customers across the board but particularly in the sales as it allows them to do things like calculate commissions or manage a sales forecast. They get analysis and insights directly in their sales processes, without the need to export or switch – just easy toggling to reduce countless steps and eliminate the complexity.
2) The next generation of our CRM app for outlook enables people to track emails, add contacts from within an email or even create new records to track emails through the browser on PC, Mac or mobile browser on a phone.
3) Delve functionality to surface trending content that is most relevant to what a person is working on and what is trending around them. For example, Delve might show popular presentations or proposals to help our customers with their opportunity or account.
4) Contextual documents across SharePoint, OneDrive for Business, and Office 365 Groups for any CRM record. Our customers can now seamlessly open various Office apps within CRM or the CRM mobile app. We’re making it easy for people to open a document in the CRM app using different application on various devices like Microsoft PowerPoint for iPad or Microsoft Word for iPhone. After reviewing the document, they can return back to the CRM app simply by just tapping on the “back” button.
5) Personalized sales documents based on CRM data are now easier to build with Document Generation. People no longer need to manually extract CRM data for documents such as account summaries, quotes/orders/invoices, product sheets in Word. Automation of this core sales task is another way we’re saving people time.
The software company who produces American Contractor (Maxwell Systems) was recently acquired by Viewpoint Construction Software and because of this, there has been an ongoing influx of leads looking for software alternatives. Seems that not everyone wants to jump so quickly to the “recommended” upgrade.
Are you using American Contractor but looking for an alternative software system? Look no further. We’re here to offer you the American Contractor alternative.
Why consider FIELDBOSS? Because FIELDBOSS and Viewpoint Construction Software differ in a few important areas.
Field Service and Contractor Management with Best in Class Financial Functionality
Contractors require sophisticated accounting functionality. FIELDBOSS goes way beyond Viewpoint because FIELDBOSS is built within Microsoft Dynamics GP. This means you get best in class financial reporting, budgeting, multi-company, electronic banking, revenue recognition, collections, procurement, inventory, payroll, human resources and more. Not only is Microsoft Dynamics GP highly functional, it is also flexible, configurable and scalable. It is quick to configure and deploy, easy to use, and provides forward-looking insights to help drive your business growth. Microsoft continues to make significant investments in the system so you are always current with today’s fast moving changes in technology. These are all very significant differentiators.
Business Intelligence on Any Device
Both FIELDBOSS and Viewpoint offer standard reports that are out-of-the-box, but FIELDBOSS also offers additional reporting options with design flexibility, collaboration, and drill-down capabilities that are embedded with Microsoft Office. With our Microsoft Dynamics GP and CRM reporting tools, you get everything from custom consolidated financial statements, to dashboards with your organization’s Key Performance Indicators. Customized reports can be delivered to your email every morning, or presented on any device in dashboard format.
Customer Service & Support
FIELDBOSS is known for providing timely and highly effective support to users of Microsoft Dynamics. Our team of professionals doesn’t just handle support requests, each is a Microsoft Dynamics certified specialist with years of hands-on experience implementing systems. This means that the same team who implemented your solution is the same team handling your support.
Leverage the Microsoft Stack
FIELDBOSS is completely woven into Office 365, SharePoint and other Microsoft products, offering unbeatable strength when it comes to the technology integration area. Other software systems have trouble integrating with other Microsoft technologies, like security, two way Excel integration, Dynamics Word document templates and real time business intelligence.