Leverage Microsoft Teams for Remote Work

Did you know that Office 365 includes Microsoft Teams?

Depending on your Office 365 licenses, you likely already have the Microsoft Teams capability. Due to the current Covid-19 climate, working remotely has become a higher priority, even mandatory in many cases. Microsoft Teams can help ease the transition for both employers and employees.

Communicate and Collaborate

Microsoft Teams enables your organization to communicate and collaborate with each other via instant messaging on an individual or group basis. It also offers an efficient way to schedule and record meetings and calls with full Outlook integration. Teams can be used in any internet browser, computer desktop app or mobile device app , which means you are also connected to your field staff.

Our clients that have Microsoft Office through FIELDBOSS, and are on one of the following Office plans, can download and use Microsoft Teams for easy remote working:

  • Office 365 Business Premium
  • Office 365 Business Essentials
  • Office 365 ProPlus
  • Office 365 E1
  • Office 365 E3
  • Office 365 E5

Customers that have any Office plan other than listed above can use the trial version, Microsoft Teams Commercial Cloud, and we can help provision the necessary license.

New Walkie Talkie Feature

Microsoft will soon be adding a new Walkie Talkie feature to Teams. This new push-to-talk experience enables clear, instant, and secure voice communication over the cloud, turning employee- or company-owned smartphones and tablets into a walkie-talkie. The functionality, built natively into Teams, reduces the number of devices employees must carry, and lowers costs for IT. Unlike analog devices with unsecure networks, customers no longer have to worry about crosstalk or eavesdropping from outsiders.

Implementing Teams is easy.

We helped several of our FIELDBOSS clients get up and running with Teams, and the benefits were realized immediately. Together with your FIELDBOSS cloud-based solution, it’s a great way to connect to the field, and to each other.  

For more information, or assistance with enabling or implementing Teams, please contact us here or email [email protected].  

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MTA Escalator Accident Could Have Been Avoided

A new report from the MTA shows transit mechanics ignored repairs on an escalator in Midtown that broke down last February. The top steps of an escalator at the Fifth Avenue-53rd Street subway station were shredded to pieces during rush hour. No one was seriously injured, and a safety mechanism stopped the escalator before passengers were dragged into the pit of twisted metal. However, the escalator was full of commuters at the time and left many feeling they had nearly stepped into the teeth of disaster. 

The escalator was ignored for six months by transit mechanics who were supposed to make sure it was safe, said a report released by the MTA inspector general. The audit says the worn parts on the escalator weren’t noticed because of “preventive maintenance visits which NYC Transit either canceled or did not complete.”

MISSED INSPECTIONS

The MTA’s Inspector General released a scathing report earlier this month on the Transit Authority’s escalator maintenance program, noting that a lack of work and accountability led to the escalator accident last year. She notes six months had gone by without scheduled maintenance on the escalator at the subway stop and parts just wore out over time until the escalator broke, endangering passengers. Preventive maintenance was scheduled on four separate dates between August 2018 and January 2019, but the maintenance was either canceled or left incomplete each time. According to the superintendent responsible for that station and the maintenance of that escalator, his team was severely understaffed. The MTA at the time vowed to inspect all 231 escalators in its system beginning right after the incident.

Part of the problem, the Inspector General report says, though, is that the MTA keeps no comprehensive records on escalator maintenance. There is no management report that captures an individual escalator’s history of canceled, delayed or incomplete preventative maintenance visits. This means that a manager can’t easily see the impact of a missed maintenance call. To check the maintenance history of any one escalator, management currently has to compile and analyze data from two separate sources, the report says. Subway supervisors also have no way of knowing when maintenance work on escalators is skipped or rescheduled — but MTA officials promised the IG’s office they would quickly put a tracking system in place.

MOVING FORWARD

Following last year’s wreck, the MTA has already begun to make some changes. They have hired more mechanics and helpers and have taken significant steps to overhaul their escalator maintenance program, revamping the process when it comes to the frequency of maintenance work. They have also started to roll out mobile devices to record maintenance work in real time. Other steps they’ve taken include a full review of how they compensate difficult-to-find tradespeople, and the development of a special training class to help managers in the field run reports- to improve operations. Additionally, New York City Transit responded to the Office of the Inspector General’s findings and accepted all its recommendations. The have issued a directive describing the circumstances under which preventive maintenance can be cancelled or deferred and established a new protocol so scheduled maintenance cannot be cancelled for an escalator that did not receive its preventive maintenance visit the prior month. New York City Transit says they will implement all the changes recommended by the inspector general by the end of the year.

FIELDBOSS stays current on industry trends to keep you informed on what’s happening in the elevator world. Read our blog and sign up for our newsletter for all the latest news.

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2000 NYC Elevators Tagged After Inspection

More than 400,000 elevator inspections conducted between 2017 and 2019 shows 2,127 instances where elevators were given “satisfactory” or “no violation” ratings by private inspectors — only to attract violations issued by the NYC Department of Buildings in the next 90 days. We know elevator contractors are working hard to keep the elevators in New York City safe, so why is this happening?

Every passenger elevator in New York City undergoes a pair of annual inspections but in thousands of cases, elevators are passing those inspections only to be tagged with city-issued violations in the days and months immediately thereafter. This raises the question, is there something wrong with the system?

TRAGIC ACCIDENTS

Of the 35 million elevator trips that New Yorkers take everyday, most don’t go wrong. But when they do, it can be horrifying. Samuel Waisbren, a 30-year-old resident at the Manhattan Promenade , was crushed to death when the elevator he was exiting malfunctioned. He was crushed against the lift shaft between the lobby and the basement floors and was pronounced dead at the scene. The deadly accident unfolded just three weeks after the elevator passed an inspection conducted by a company called LCD Elevator. The scheduled test conducted by elevator technicians involved an “exhaustive review of all the elevator’s safety systems, including the brakes,” according to the city’s Department of Buildings. The inspectors found no violations or deficiencies and approved the elevator for service.

Another incident that occurred in 2015 was equally as horrifying. Eran Modan was stepping into an elevator when the brake gave way, causing the elevator to fall with the doors still open.  In a panic, he turned to jump back up to the quickly disappearing lobby floor, but the car continued its descent and its ceiling landed on him, crushing his head and torso. Residents of the luxury rental building had been wary of the elevator and its unexpected jerks. Despite complaints filed with the city’s Department of Buildings in 2012, the agency’s experts found nothing wrong in follow-up inspections of the unit. P&W Elevators, the company that did maintenance on the lift regularly and conducted annual safety tests, flagged no issues with the agency. Six months after Modan died, an investigator found that the elevator’s brake wasn’t functioning properly.  

A SNAPSHOT IN TIME

Some say it’s unfair to hold an inspector accountable for predicting all the problems an elevator might experience in the months after an annual inspection. The idea of an inspection that’s a snapshot in time and that tells you what the condition was on that particular day. Timothy Hogan, the Department of Buildings Deputy Commissioner of Enforcement, said the city’s elevator safety record is “fantastic.” Hogan says, “We have 70,000 plus elevators in this city. They do over a billion trips a year and in the last 3 years we’ve had one fatality, an unfortunate incident. But if you look at the overall number incidents and accidents that we have with our elevators, it’s probably the safest mode of transportation that you have anywhere.”

How can inspectors and elevator contractors make sure these incidents don’t keep happen? It’s hard to find a solution to a problem with an unidentified cause. At this point, we will have to wait for future developments in the elevator world to ensure the safety of all elevator mechanics and passengers going forward.

FIELDBOSS stays current on industry trends to keep you informed on what’s happening in the elevator world. Read our blog and sign up for our newsletter for all the latest news.

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Mental Health in the Construction Industry

ALARMING STATISTICS

When you think about the hazards of the construction industry, physical risks probably top the list- an unprotected fall, an unmarked restricted zone, etc. But what about the dangers you can’t see? Anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts are as dangerous to worker safety as any tangible jobsite threat, but these can’t be mitigated with caution tape.

The frequency of mental health issues within the construction industry is alarming- with one in five construction workers reporting struggles with mental health issues. According to the CDC, the construction and extraction industries have the second-highest rate of suicide – 53.3 per 100,000 workers. As such, it is an industry imperative for contractors, unions, project owners, and industry service providers to address suicide prevention in construction as a safety and health priority. While regulations and monitoring for physical safety have increased dramatically over the years, mental healthcare lags behind.

RISK FACTORS

Working in construction is tough, and there is no denying it. But, is there a direct correlation between working in this industry and mental health issues? The CDC study found that the construction industry exhibits many common risk factors that are associated with feelings of helplessness:

  • Competitive, high-pressure work environment
  • End-of-season layoffs
  • High prevalence of alcohol and substance abuse
  • Physical strain and chronic pain caused by manual labor
  • Travel which may separate workers from families and friends

All of the above issues are only compounded by a work culture which valorizes “toughness.” As such, many workers feel forced to “deal with it,” not seeking out the help they need. Of course, an undeniable cause of the high suicide rate is the stigma surrounding mental health in the industry, and with men generally. Construction is a male dominated industry, and men have higher rates of suicide. In fact, for men between the ages of 25 and 54, suicide is the second biggest cause of death. A ‘tough guy’ culture is damaging to people’s mental well-being and safety because employees don’t feel comfortable discussing mental health. They may shame themselves for experiencing anxiety, distress, depressive and suicidal feelings because it contradicts the idea ingrained in them that males should not be affected by their emotions. 

PRODUCTIVITY AND SAFETY

Every good employer cares about the wellbeing of their employees. It’s hard, however, to justify spending money on benefits packages or offering mental health days just because you care. Did you know that caring for employee mental health is actually better for your business? Employee mental health impacts productivity and workplace safety- two major factors in how much money your business is making. 

Missed days is a big way that mental illness and mental health impacts productivity. One study found that employees with depression miss the equivalent of 27 work days a year though time off, lowered productivity, sick and personal days. Other impacts to productivity include social anxiety and depression. Fear of uncomfortable social interactions can stop an employee from reporting any mistakes or problems on site.  Lowered communication abilities can impact understanding between an employee and supervisor. The result could be higher rates of miscommunication, incorrectly completed projects, and general confusion on site.

Mental illness can impact a person’s ability to be fully present in the workplace, which results in an increased risk of injury. Depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses can lower awareness, cause sleep loss, impact decision making abilities and reaction time. Construction is an industry more prone to accidents as a whole because of the nature of the jobs; working around equipment, at heights, around electricity, and using tools all increase the chance of an accident happening. In 2010 workplace injuries for construction workers which resulted in 6 or more days off work cost the industry over $50 billion. General 2017 workplace injuries cost U.S. companies $161.5 billion in workers comp, medical bills, missed time, and administration efforts allocated to injuries.

By caring about the wellbeing of your employees and striving to create a physically and mentally safe work environment, you can make your business more productive and safe.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

To counteract this long-standing challenge, the mental health of your workforce needs to be prioritized at the same level as wearing safety goggles and tagging out live circuits. The key is to create a supportive environment where people aren’t afraid of being reprimanded or judged.

The best way to help employees who are suffering from a mental illness is to help them get the resources they need. This can be done through benefits programs, education of supervisors for how to speak about mental health, and creating a workplace culture which takes mental health seriously. Listen, show that you care, and make sure your business has the resources to make it easy for them to get the help they need. You can do this by:

  • Provide mental health days separate from sick days, and encourage employees to take them
  • Providing employee benefits which cover counselling, medication, and other medical resources
  • Train supervisors and company leaders in mental health first aid so they are equipped to help employees 
  • Encourage conversations about mental health and include mental health awareness in safety training
  • Make sure all employees know that their jobs will be there for them if they take time to seek treatment for mental illness 

One of the most powerful tools in your toolbox to fight against mental health issues is education. No progress can be made without a culture change, and every educated worker is a step closer to quashing the stigma that keeps workers from facing their inner demons. Research mental health outreach programs, and make these resources readily available to workers. Something like the Suicide Prevention Hotline is a proven resource that could save a worker’s life.

FIELDBOSS helps you manage your business so that you can reduce the stress and increase the efficiency of your organization. Our focus is to help you get the most out of your labour resources and deliver the information you and your staff need to run your business

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FIELDBOSS Version 4.0

OVERVIEW

We continuously update our FIELDBOSS software introducing new features, bug fixes, and performance enhancements. We also plan major new releases based on feature and technology improvements from our customers as well as to take advantage of new capabilities in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Platform. Microsoft is now upgrading Dynamics 365 with two major, mandatory releases or “waves” per year.

Our newest release, FIELDBOSS 4.0 is now in development and testing. We anticipate it will be available for previews by March 30 2020. It is a mandatory upgrade for existing clients, to be completed no later than September 28, 2020, which is the date Microsoft has notified customers worldwide that certain features will no longer be supported. For example, the Service Calendar will be replaced by a new Universal Resource Scheduler.

FIELDBOSS VERSION 4.0

Version 4.0 is a substantive upgrade to the underlying Microsoft platform. The new user interface is a more efficient design and the new service calendar is a material improvement over the current one used today. Here are some exciting new features coming to FIELDBOSS 4.0:

  • Support the new Service Scheduling in D365.  This will replace the Service Calendar and provide scheduling/dispatch a substantial improvement in flexibility, ease of use and automation.
  • New Maintenance Contract Parent Entity and automation for setting up new contracts.
  • New Safety Testing functionality for quoting and scheduling regulated safety testing.
  • Convert sub-grid associated views to editable grids.
  • New Utilities Tool to help automate installations, upgrades and data migration.

FIELDBOSS VERSION 4.5

After we complete the upgrade of our client base, we are planning to release FIELDBOSS 4.5, which will focus on features and functionality. The FIELDBOSS 4.5 release is being planned prioritizing the following features: 

  • Enhanced Job Costing and Estimating for large projects / jobs using a more granular Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).
  • Improvements in Purchasing automation including adding to existing PO’s and the ability to create PO’s in the field.
  • Enable “Point-in-time” historical Job Cost/WIP reporting.
  • The ability to handle Truck Stock (inventory in field).
  • Improvement in Expense Tracking with the ability to manage expenses from the field to the job and and/or use Excel Online D365 feature for inputting expenses.
  • Improvements to Service Activities and Time Cards including automation, data migration, budgeting, variances, banked time, mileage and Time Card approval.
  • Enhanced Billing Automation for best practices and to standardize emailing, printing, voiding, deposits and overall document generation.
  • Review and optimization of Integration with Dynamics GP including vendor integration fields, balance owing for account, building location and project.
  • Performance improvements for application functionality and workflows.
  • Many additional features focused on enhanced capability, ease of use and automation.

As a single, integrated system, FIELDBOSS provides you with the tools you need to run your business more efficiently, and leverage the resources you already have. Click here to watch our new videos, and be sure to subscribe to stay up to date with our latest features and functionality.

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HFC Emissions Are Actually Increasing, Plus the Future of Refrigerants

Ideally, after the global phasedown of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerant gases, we would all transition to a refrigerant technology that would never have to be replaced again. Climate hawks often describe hydrofluorocarbons as a kind of white rhino, a rare area of policy that everyone — industry, environmentalists, Democrats, Republicans — can agree on.

After replacing HFCs, some are trying to sell the idea that it is possible come up with a “future-proof” solution that would ensure no further disruptions or further regulations. In reality, it’s unrealistic to think that there is a silver bullet of refrigerants.

INCREASING EMISSIONS

According to a new study by the journal Nature Communications, hydrofluorocarbon emissions actually appear to be growing at record values. The study contradicts previous predictions that hydrofluorocarbon emissions would drop by around 90% from 2015 to 2017.

Two years after China and India pledged to reduce HFC emissions in factories that produce the gas, the countries reported that they had almost wholly eliminated HFC-23 emission. However, in 2018, not only did HFC-23 emissions increase, but they reached an all-time high. Why is this? The study finds that it is very likely that China has not been as successful in reducing HFC-23 emissions as reported. Without additional measurements, it is hard to know whether India has been able to implement its abatement programme.

Expectedly, the new findings have a massive implication on the Kigali Amendment. While the Kigali amendment does not yet bind China and India, their reported reduction would have put them on course to be consistent with Kigali. Had the emissions reductions been as large as reported, the researchers estimate that the equivalent of a whole year of Spain’s CO2 emissions could have been avoided between 2015 and 2017. However, it looks like there is still work to do.

HFC ALTERNATIVES

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were invented in the 1930s, and due to their safety and efficiency, became the standard. In the 1980s, as their negative environmental impact on the ozone layer became known, the industry met the challenge with HFCs, which have no ozone layer impact. Today’s challenge is to address HFCs’ potential climate impact. Once again, the industry is ready to provide safer and more efficient solutions.

The new generation of choices available today all have a reduced impact on climate, but also come with their set of drawbacks. All of them, including those marketed as “natural refrigerants,” are in fact factory-made. Ammonia and HFOs are synthesized in chemical reactors. Hydrocarbons are petrochemicals produced by cracking in oil and gas refineries, and CO2is a purified industrial gas. Ammonia is highly toxic, hydrocarbons are highly explosive, and CO2 requires very high operating pressure, complicated controls, and may not be efficient in all climates. All must also be further refined to meet the purity requirements of today’s equipment. All consume raw materials and energy and produce waste when manufactured. All must be packaged and transported. The user must decide which trade-offs they can accommodate to best meet their needs.

THE FUTURE

Can any of the above solutions provide us with a future free of disruption? If you have to deal with ammonia leaks, hydrocarbon-related explosions, systems breaking down, or complex systems that are hard for users to adopt or transition to, your business will be disrupted. Although we know the global HVACR industry will continue to improve, it’s impossible to call any solution “future proof”. New scientific advancements, along with progress in the industry will continue to push new innovations forward in order to maximize equipment efficiency, while keeping a focus on safety and the environment.

FIELDBOSS stays current on industry trends to keep you informed on what’s happening in the HVACR world. Read our blog and sign up for our newsletter for all the latest news.

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Insect Protein: A New HVACR Opportunity

If HVAC contractors found meeting the demands of cannabis growers challenging, wait until they start working in the latest growing field — insect protein. The edible insect industry is projected to be reach $1.336 billion by 2025, and could be worth $8 billion by 2030. Roughly 2 billion people in 130 countries, including Kenya, Thailand and Mexico, already regularly eat insects. 

People generally associate the word “insect” with something disgusting. But many insects are incredibly nutritious, and a key, sustainable solution to help us tackle food shortages, global warming, and increasing greenhouse gas emissions. The meat industry already takes an enormous toll on the environment, gobbling up huge amounts of land and water. To put it in perspective, to produce one pound of beef, you need around 5,000 gallons of water, whereas to produce one pound of cricket protein, you need less than 5 gallons of water.

For the most part, feed insects need to breed indoors, and this comes with very exact HVAC requirements. In conventional animal farming, heating or cooling is normally provided just to prevent exposure to extreme conditions; in insect farming, it is a requirement to ensure productivity. As these insect protein businesses scale up, HVAC will be one of their main challenges.

HEATING AND COOLING

To keep the temperature at the required level, several elements could be used depending on the requirements of the insect species. Each species of insect comes with its own requirements. For example, crickets need a temperature of 85°F and 30-40 percent humidity. However, in order for insects to become a viable food source for people and animals, they need to grow everywhere. This means replicating the natural conditions in which the insects grow.  

There are various devices that can be implemented for insect mass rearing. This includes water heating systems like storage tank water heaters, on demand water heaters, heat pump water heaters, hybrid heat pump water heaters, hot-water supply boilers, and a combination of them. If heating is provided from the floor (eg, through hot water piping), the heat will distribute uniformly in the room by lifting the hot air from the base to the top. But if heat is to be distributed by air, this can be done using hot-water heat exchangers. Construction of this type of system is costly, but when heating requirements are high, this is one of the most commonly used systems.

Air conditioners or heat pumps could be used either to heat or to cool down rooms. Heat pumps are often used in insect mass rearing facilities because, in addition to being energy efficient, they can be used for cooling and heating using one single device and are easy to implement in climate automatization systems. Implementation cost is high but they are very flexible and have a fast reaction to changes. One of the latest innovations in heat pumps is the use of geothermal energy (geothermal heat pumps). They save energy but are more expensive due to ground perforations required for installation of the geothermic heat exchanger.

THE FUTURE

Right now, the industry consists of a lot of small players, although there are some large U.S. companies, such as Aspire Food Group. As a result, most improvise their HVAC systems using off-the-shelf technology. Although climate control is a must for these companies, it’s also a major investment for a low-margin business. This makes investing in necessarily robust systems a challenge. The low margins also means farm owners have concerns about energy efficiency and other ways to control costs.

Vendors interested in pursuing this industry need to understand these concerns, along with specific requirements of breeding. If they do so, it could mean a lot of potential work for HVAC contractors who aren’t bugged by working with bugs. There is huge potential in this marketplace, and as planet earth warms and the population grows toward 10 billion people by 2050, we will need to rethink our approach to food production. Insects might just be the solution we’ve been looking for.

FIELDBOSS stays current on industry trends to keep you informed on what’s happening in the HVACR world. Read our blog and sign up for our newsletter for all the latest news.

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Elevators: New Innovations and Technological Advancements

IoT

Smart Elevator technology is on the rise! Over 12 million elevators are in operation around the globe, which move over a billion people each day.  This makes elevators the most frequently used mode of transport in the world – well ahead of cars, planes, or any other mode of transportation. 

In the past few years, we have witnessed many innovations that are transforming the way elevators operate as well as how elevators are serviced. Artificial intelligence, connected systems, and smart elevators are just the beginning of what will lead to more out-of-the-box technological innovation.

Here are 3 major advancements from the last couple of years.

1.Smart Elevators

Similar to other technology we use everyday, like televisions and phones, elevators are also becoming more high-tech. Skyscrapers continue to grow in number and in height making it necessary for elevator manufacturers and contractors to adjust the safety and speed of elevators in order to keep up. Smart elevators have brought big changes to the industry.

What is a smart elevator? A smart elevator uses technology to create a more efficient way of moving passengers, especially during high traffic hours in busy buildings. Smart elevators can even be programmed to operate in different ways at different times throughout the day. For example, a passenger pushes a button in order to set his destination. Then, an indicator directs them to a specific elevator that will transport him to that specific floor the fastest. This results not only in much faster and better organized service, but also a decrease in overall travel time and a reduction in energy consumption. 

2. Internet of Things (IoT)

Connectivity is the future of elevators, and it won’t be long before internet-connected elevators become the norm.

How do they work? Elevators that work alongside the internet have sensors that gather data about usage and other factors such as wear and tear on parts and machinery on the elevator car. These devices are now making predictive maintenance easier, cheaper and less labor-intensive for elevator service providers. The information is retained on a cloud-based platform where it is then processed and analyzed to predict if, and when, maintenance will be needed. The information on the cloud could also predict future problems allowing elevator technicians to make repairs before there is a bigger issue/breakdown. As a result, the vertical transportation industry is starting to take advantage of the technology to help maintain these expensive assets with a high cost of failure.

3. Augmented Reality Diagnosis

There are thousands of different configurations and millions of parts for elevators, but with augmented reality, technicians can dig into the problems on site more quickly and safely. Before a technician even gets to the site he or she can get familiarized with the machine room layout, zoom in and out and learn how it all fits together. This new technology can give technicians the ability to look at a component and see a catalog of its parts right in their field of view.

There are major innovations and advancements happening in the elevator industry. Every year is bigger and better. With technology evolving, elevators, and the way they are maintained, will continue to evolve too. Who knows what will be new in the elevator industry by 2030.

FIELDBOSS stays current on industry trends to keep you informed on what’s happening in the elevator world. Read our blog and sign up for our newsletter for all the latest news.

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Knowledge Management is Power in the Field

Knowledge Management

For service leaders, knowledge management must be a top priority. One reason? As field workers retire, companies are losing significant amounts of “tribal knowledge” that isn’t well-documented anywhere except in those technician’s minds. Customer expectations are higher than ever, and service organizations simply cannot afford to operate in a massive brain drain. Another reason is that companies increasingly recognize how powerful the collective knowledge of their workforce could be, if only every employee could access it. Knowledge management is power in the field.

But wait a minute, what is knowledge management?

Gartner defines knowledge management as “the formalized management of intellectual assets, enabling effective action through their use… which promotes a collaborative and integrative approach to the creation, capture, organization, and use of intellectual assets”.

The lack of knowledge at the point of service results in extended downtime for customers, secondary service visits, low productivity and lost revenue. Proper knowledge management benefits all stakeholders:

Customer Satisfaction

With real-time access to customer service history and equipment details, technicians will be able to diagnose and resolve problems faster, improve utilization and productivity, and resolve more customer issues on the first visit. Customers will have a better service experience, improved product uptime, and faster answers using self-service customer portal.

Money in Your Pocket

Field service organizations that leverage knowledge management have higher first-time fix rates, better Service Level Agreement compliance, and improved profit margins.

Dynamic Checklists Empower Your Service Technicians

Service technicians generally find themselves on their own when providing field services. However, this does not mean they have to be without access to key knowledge and insight. Nowadays, thanks to checklists and file libraries, they can remain connected to the know-how they need to provide quality service. Dynamic checklists enable workers to perform efficiently and effectively thus maximizing productivity and customer satisfaction.

Checklists also ensure conformity and compliance and guarantee that processes are standardized across the board. This means that all your customers receive the same level of quality service regardless of the level of experience and expertise of the assigned technician.

Service Excellence and Efficiency Through Shared Knowledge

With knowledge management, you can ensure that all team members share the same data by applying information captured in the field to business processes and practices. Whether online or offline, your employees in the field will have access to all the necessary information to ensure that your customers receive the right response on the first visit.

Centralize Knowledge Base in Cloud

Even if different teams create the content, having a centralized warehouse to publish the content makes it more effective to manage, maintain, and share. Data Silos, fragmented content, and disparate applications cost more and lower the user experience. With cost-effective and secure cloud storage, field service organizations can keep the information consistent, up-to-date, and available in real time, anytime and from any location.

Integration

A connection between key business tools provides your service technicians with access to the same information as your back-office team while they are on site with customers. This means, for example, that they have a complete overview of a customer’s history, previous product issues, and all the necessary handbooks, guidelines, SLAs, and more. And all of this adds up to a higher first-time-fix rate and more efficient customer service.

Capitalize on Knowledge Accumulated by Field Service Technicians

Integration with your CRM makes it possible for field service technicians to provide increased customer insight and overview to back-office employees. With shared access to information like follow-up visits, device models, upgrades and more, field service workers and back-end representatives can work together to increase cross-selling and upselling initiatives.

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. Whether you have technicians that are retiring, off sick, or busy on another job, automating and sharing data reduces the risk of having a single point of information. A connected mobile device helps build an easily accessible knowledge base so field workers can access information anywhere, anytime, regardless of their location.

Knowledge is the key to success for any business. Collecting valuable field service information like documentation, product manuals, video tutorials, and invaluable accumulated knowledge from experienced service technicians empowers your field staff, and leads to increased employee and customer satisfaction.

Contact FIELDBOSS for a free demo and start building your knowledge base today.

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Employee Spotlight: JP Sebastian

The Rimrock Corporation 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 Rimrock exciting and fun.

This month we shine the light on JP Sebastian, our Dynamics GP Account Manager. JP was born in Manila, Philippines, but moved to the GTA when he was 2 years old, and has been living in Toronto since 2010. Prior to working at Rimrock, JP worked as a Finance Manager at ESKA Water.

In his free time, JP enjoys running, golfing, fishing (he can let you in on some of the best fishing spots in the city!), trying new restaurants, and attending as many sporting events as he can.

Read on to learn more about JP.

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

I’ve been with Rimrock for 3 months. I think the most enjoyable part of the job is helping identify solutions to make our clients jobs easier.

What is your favorite place that you have visited and where is your next dream vacation spot?

Port Antonio Jamaica. The food, the culture and the vibe of the people is contagious. 

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?

Professional Fisherman like Bob Izumi. Being paid to travel to fish is kind of amazing!

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?

Tough choice, but it would be Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.  Of course, the resemblance is almost uncanny!

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

I really got into the show “A Million Little Things” this year. I am also a big fan of The Walking Dead.  

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

I would love to have a drink with LeBron James.  He is an athlete who has been in the spotlight since he was 18 years old, and is always being compared to basketball greats, Jordan and Kobe. I would love to hear about how he deals with juggling the demands of being a high-profile athlete, his family, reputation and legacy.  All in his own words- unplugged.

Tell us a “fun fact” about yourself or your “secret talent” that your colleagues might not already know.

A few years ago, when I worked for Toronto FC, I had to stand in for a player who was injured and back home in France for the annual team picture.  One of the other players asked if I was a new player and why the team would sign someone so fat ☹

Any pet peeves?

Slow drivers in the passing lane, people who do not shovel or salt their sidewalks, and people that place large food/drink orders in the drive-through.

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