FIELDBOSS Releases New Video Library

FIELDBOSS is excited to announce the release of our new video library. With so much functionality within our software, it can sometimes be challenging to explain all the cool tools FIELDBOSS has to offer.

Our new video library offers an easy way to showcase the FIELDBOSS workflows and processes. Watch how we navigate a service call, a maintenance contract, a field request, and a quoted repair. We also highlight some of our unique features including dashboards, case types, and assigning cases.

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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Are Elevator Regulations Failing Us?

elevator regulations

Based on data from the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, 30 people die and 17,000 are seriously hurt in incidents on elevators and escalators each year. Most recently, issues in Washington, Texas and North Carolina are calling into question methods that are used to regulate the industry and keep riders safe.

Washington

Although Washington state law requires every elevator and escalator in the state to be inspected annually, more than half of the states’ 18,000 conveyances were not inspected in 2018. What’s worse, thousands of conveyances had not been inspected for two or three years, and investigators found three that had not been inspected in more than 10 years. The backlog has been blamed on a building boom generating more elevators and escalators in need of annual inspections. The state has also had a hard time keeping its inspectors from taking better-paying jobs with construction firms.

Next year’s audit may show an improvement now that additional funding allows the state to pay its inspectors higher salaries, and legislators approved more money to hire conveyance inspections. Technology is also allowing inspectors to spend more time in the field, rather than back at the office filling out paperwork.

North Carolina

The situation in North Carolina is a similar one. CBS 17 found that thousands of elevators are overdue for those inspections. This is shocking given that the North Carolina Department of Labor has full-time employees who have the responsibility of inspecting the 27,000 elevators and escalators across the state once per year. While the department does aim to meet that goal every year, a recent analysis of the inspection data for those devices found that’s not happening. As of late September, about 14 percent of elevators were overdue for inspection.

The biggest problem the North Carolina Department of Labor has is recruiting and hiring qualified elevator inspectors. To become an inspector, you need five years’ experience in the trade and become certified if not already. An added problem is that the private sector typically pays better. Starting pay for inspectors is $53,083.

Elevator owners are required to have contracts to maintain them, and the state will respond if you call about an issue. But the inspectors are supposed to serve as the extra set of eyes to ensure safety for the public. The department is aiming to get better at recruiting and retaining employees and has hired six new inspectors this year to meet this goal.

Texas

The story is similar in Texas, where a nurse was nearly crushed to death in an elevator at a Fort Worth hospital. State investigators blamed the incident on worn-out brakes caused by lack of maintenance. Since 2004, nearly half of all elevator accidents in Texas happened in Dallas and Fort Worth. About one-third of those occurred at hospitals, which typically have elevators running day and night, particularly in urban areas.

A WFAA investigation found significant problems in the state’s program to ensure the safety of Texas’ 40,000 passenger elevators — including missed inspections, neglected elevators, shoddy record-keeping and failing oversight. A major problem is that the state has no inspectors on its payroll. Although the state does have a chief inspector and a deputy based in Austin, neither actually completes inspections. So who does? Texas issues licenses to approximately 150 independent contractors to inspect elevators across the state. Some have more training than others and are of varying quality and experience. But what is the minimum required training to become an elevator inspector in Texas? A $50 state fee and a three-day class, records show. Needless to say, this is not enough training, when issues with an elevator can quickly become life or death situations.

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation enforces the annual inspection requirement. But analysis of the state’s own data shows 5,617 — or 14% — of all elevators are overdue for their annual inspection – some by years. There are a lot of building owners out there who are either unaware that they need to have their elevators inspected or that don’t care. WFAA also found numerous errors in the state’s elevator database, which is littered with elevators that no longer exist, as well as some inspectors faking inspections.

Conclusion

Lack of trained inspectors, insufficient funding, major inspection backlogs, and incorrect databases seem to be common themes amongst the three states- and likely in many others as well. Increased government funding, adequate training programs, increased inspector accountability, and better inspector vetting processes must all be put in place in order to see drastic improvements in elevator safety across the country.


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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Hundreds Of NYC Elevators Yet To Be Re-Inspected

Elevator Inspections

According to a follow-up audit by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office, the city’s Department of Buildings has yet to re-examine 1,108 elevators more than a year after auditors found that they had been inspected by “ineffective” workers.

Elevators that fall under DOB’s authority must be inspected and tested annually by either DOB inspectors or private contractors. The city’s Housing Authority can perform inspections and tests in its buildings. Likewise, the MTA inspects and tests its elevators. DiNapoli’s June 2018 audit report found at least eight ineffective inspectors who did not work for the buildings department. Auditors recommended the agency go back and re-inspect the elevators they worked on.

But, according to the comptroller’s new report, the department only re-inspected 133 of 1,216 elevators touched by two faulty inspectors. There were 36 elevators handled by the other six inspectors, but the department only re-inspected 11 of them and provided support for just six of those inspections, according to the report.

“Failure to inspect elevators can be a lethal problem,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “Last year my auditors raised a red flag about poor elevator inspections across New York City, but shockingly, the problems persist. New York City’s Department of Buildings needs to immediately address the problems we found.”

The buildings department is in the process of re-inspecting the remaining devices, agency spokesperson Andrew Rudansky said. The department has “taken the Comptroller’s input seriously” and fired two contractors identified in the original audit, he said.

Safety activists have been calling on the state to impose government-regulated training for mechanics who work on the more-than 70,000 passenger elevators in the state.

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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Contractors Need to Be Prepared for an Economic Downturn

Recession

You can’t run from a recession, but you can get your field service business in a better position to survive it. Recession talk is all around us these days, yet nobody really knows when the next recession will hit. Whether the economic downturn happens next quarter, next year, or later, odds are the economy will slow down sometime in the near future. And when a downturn starts, it can move quickly.

The savvy contractors are those who take the time to get ready for a downturn, whenever it might come. In highly volatile and uncertain times, organizations need to develop a resilience capacity, which enables them to cope effectively with unexpected events such as tariffs, trade wars, technician shortages, and interest rate hikes.

Given the volatility of the current economic environment, achieving resilience will require a new, flexible approach to operations as well as a robust, comprehensive contractor management software. By connecting out-dated, disconnected and slow processes, businesses will be able to quickly respond not only to the fast pace of change of digital and other innovations, but also to an aging workforce, increasing costs to run a business, and rising consumer demand for fast delivery.

Companies can increase their readiness for the unexpected by making real-time strategic and operating decisions that improve performance. Even in good economic times these are helpful actions to take, as they ensure an organization is ready, whatever storms may come their way.

Companies should act now, when the economy is stronger, so that they can adjust quickly to a changing environment. Automation, digitization, and analytics are changing industries faster than ever before, and the pace of change is only accelerating. And with political flux and trade disputes on the rise, economic disruption becomes more a question of “when” than “if.”

What worked five or ten years ago no longer works. To pivot in time, businesses need to be lighter on their feet and quicker in their reflexes. By understanding where your operations are slow today, you can take practical steps to become more resilient tomorrow.

So how can your field service company stay profitable in an unpredictable economy? You have to be prepared. A comprehensive field service management software can help your company mitigate risk to stay profitable in challenging times.

Here are 3 ways FIELDBOSS field service management software can help contracting business owners stay profitable in an unstable and uncertain economy:

1. Real-time visibility and reporting: A comprehensive field service management software offers an in-depth understanding of your business. If you know how many service calls you need per day for your service department to stay profitable, then you know in real-time if you are short on calls. If you are short on calls, you can advise your team to follow up on open repair quotes and see if the customer is ready to schedule. Real-time reporting also offers:

– A detailed, real-time view of the whole business

– Intelligence to recognize emerging trends

– Potential to seek and respond to new opportunities or threats

– Power to understand key areas delivering profit and loss

– Make fast, informed decisions based on accurate and live information

2. Maintenance Agreements: Maintenance agreements are the key to off-season profitability and economic downturn stability. They ensure companies stay busy and profitable. As well, many field service industries such as HVAC and Elevator Service are somewhat recession proof: people still need their equipment to work, so they opt for repairs over replacement. This creates more work, and, eventually, that client will still need a replacement. FIELDBOSS can help automate and efficiently manage your maintenance contracts and also alert you to which clients are not signed up yet.

3. Manage unbillable time: During times of economic instability, some contractors become more aggressive in their pricing in order to attract more clients. However, rather than lower your rates, look at what you can do to lower your overhead and expenses. Think about managing unbillable time — time between calls, organizing and inputting paperwork, or any labor you pay that does not have revenue associated with it. An end to end field service software can help decrease unbillable time by:

– pinpointing which technicians aren’t pulling in any revenue

– creating the need for fewer dispatchers, schedulers and back-office personnel

– invoicing more quickly

– eliminating duplicate data entry

– reducing technician paper-work

– increasing first-time fix rates

– decreasing technician drive-time

An unstable economy doesn’t have to mean the end of your business. Contact us today and learn how with a little lateral thinking and the help of a comprehensive field service management software, your company can sail through the hard times and come out stronger than before.

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8 Ways Connected Mobile Software Increases Field Efficiency & Productivity

Mobile Software

The goal of any field service company is to get as much productivity out of their available resources as possible. Compared to other business models, running a field service organization can be especially challenging. In addition to the financial, customer service and administrative tasks involved with running a business, you also need to manage field service technicians, keep track of schedules and equipment, and ensure your organization continues to deliver fast, efficient and effective service to your customers.

Without a connected mobile device, technicians are wasting time and money by dealing with unnecessary customer issues or driving back and forth from the office to the client. If a team of 10 field technicians who work 250 days a year could guarantee one new service call per day, that would equal 2500 additional service orders worked per year.

Here are 8 ways connected mobile software improves field efficiency and productivity:

Smart Scheduling

Automated scheduling and dispatch together with a connected mobile device create a two-way connection between schedulers and technicians. Technicians can update their status so dispatchers see their availability and know the right person to schedule for each job. Technicians receive job
details, addresses, and service information on their mobile device. Since many service organizations receive dozens of calls per day, saving as little as five seconds per call adds up to thousands of dollars per year.

Save Time and Resources

Automating work order processes eliminates paper from the operation. That means no more illegible handwriting, lost invoices or important forms, and no more time wasted re-entering data. Empower your entire team by making critical data readily accessible in the field and in the office, providing the visibility and velocity you need to succeed in this competitive environment.

Eliminate Duplicate Data Entry

An end-to-end field service software will connect your field service technicians to the back office, dispatch teams, and management to eliminate duplicate data entry and enable seamless data sharing. Data entered once is instantly synched across the company. A connected mobile allows the technician to enter data once and eliminate thousands of man-hours of duplicate entry and re-keying errors.

Real-Time Warranty Information

Warranty and service contract leakage happen when a technician performs a service at no charge, assuming it’s covered by the customer’s contract. A connected contractor management software will not only help technicians spot the “leaks,” but also “plug” them by providing them with the data they need, when they need it, to ensure they don’t give away service or parts for free. That means more money in your pocket!

Turn your Techs into Salespeople

Technicians often 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 a click of a button, a new case can be created and sent off to the sales team for immediate follow up. Don’t throw away money that’s already in your pocket with lost paperwork, forgotten emails, and missed opportunities. With a powerful, cohesive mobile tool, your team can turn quotes around in hours instead of days.

360° View of the Building Location and Equipment

Service the right equipment at the right location. For mobile workers who are constantly on the go, trying to figure out which piece of equipment needs repair and where that equipment is located can be a chore, especially if there are multiple locations, assets and tasks. With a connected mobile device, the building address automatically populates into the service activity.  The technician can also see the complete make, model and serial number of the equipment, its location in the building, warranty status, what work was previously done as well as any notes from the last service call. No more guessing which piece of equipment needs what type of service.

Make Time Tracking a Breeze

A fully connected mobile device makes it easy for technicians to let the office know where they are and what their status is. With the click of a button, techs can set their position as arrived, in progress, or done. Their time automatically synchronizes to the back office making payroll a breeze. With mobile capabilities such as time sheet input based on clock-in/clock-out, task status and more, tedious and error-prone time entries are eliminated, opening up time for additional work while freeing field professionals from administrative chores.

Integrated Inventory Management

With integrated inventory management, field technicians can view stock levels at “warehouse locations”, mark inventory items as “allocated” at the time the Work Order is created, receive a warning when placing a Work Order for out-of-stock items and more. Get control over the inventory management process, so that technicians are not manually entering pieces every time they have to build an invoice. It also helps to ensure that technicians have what they need for each service call, resulting in greater first call resolution and more satisfied customers.

Conclusion

If you run a field service company, you know that technology is propelling the industry in a new direction. How quickly and efficiently you implement these technologies and processes into your business practices will determine how productive your technicians are, how profitable you become and how satisfied your customers are.

FIELDBOSS Contractor Management software is an end-to-end solution built within Microsoft Dynamics 365. FIELDBOSS is a flexible and configurable platform that allows you to work the way you want to work, now and in the future. 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 more efficiently, profitably, and with lower risk.

Contact us today for a free demo.

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The Energy Efficient Elevator Market in 2019

Millions of Americans don’t realize that the elevators and escalators they use consume five times the energy Washington, D.C. uses every year. Elevators and escalators account for 2-5% of energy use in multi-story buildings, and much of that happens when the units are idle. Currently, the elevator industry lacks incentives and energy savings recognition programs that would encourage building owners to incorporate elevator efficiency into their building plans. However, there is a growing interest in elevator efficiency and the energy-efficient elevator market is expected to grow considerably over the coming years.

New Technologies

Today, technologies that are more efficient are helping commercial building owners reduce energy costs by as much as 40%, according to a study released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The report also offers a variety of public policy options to accelerate adoption of major energy-saving opportunities in buildings across the country. Providing utility incentives or tax credits for using existing energy-efficient elevator technologies, such as those that reduce standby power by turning off lights and cab ventilation systems while elevators are idle, will significantly reduce total energy use. Other technologies — such as coated steel belts that replace cable ropes and advance dispatching software that can reduce wait time while cutting energy use — are immediately available to building owners. Truly innovative technologies, such as regenerative drives that turn gravity from the elevator’s descent into energy to power the elevator when it goes up, can reduce elevator energy consumption up to 75 percent.

Embracing Change

1 World Trade Center is an example of a building that’s already embracing the change. The building’s efficient elevators use a number of systems that can cut a building’s overall energy needs by up to 30 percent. Not only are high-tech elevators more efficient; they can actually produce electricity. The 1 World Trade Center elevators are equipped with the aforementioned regenerative drive technologies, that generate enough power to potentially feed the building’s lighting system. Like a hybrid car, they take advantage of energy produced by the braking system.

Improved elevator technology can also enhance the experience of visitors by shortening wait times. At 1 World Trade Center, the elevators use a smart system that groups riders going to the same destination.  All elevators connect through a central electronic dispatching system. This prevents the stop-and-go associated with many people using an elevator at the same time; instead, each elevator is scheduled to go to one floor—with the people who want to go there—without a lot of stopping in between. This provides a dual benefit of saving energy and getting tenants to where they’re headed more quickly.

Another, relatively new cross-industry innovation is the cable-free elevator. These elevators can move both vertically and horizontally. These elevators are typically made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic and are powered by linear motors that can move cabs up and down, forward and backward, and left or right on magnetic rails. Cable-free elevators are energy efficient and reduce carbon footprint impacts dramatically.

Conclusion

The demand for efficient elevators is increasing. The reason for this growth is that developers and building owners are becoming more environmentally conscious. Green elevators not only improve building efficiency and increase overall property value but can also help a building gain U.S. Green Buildings Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system points, which are awarded in six categories, four of which are directly impacted by elevators.  With energy consumption reaching all-time highs, more and more builders are looking for green alternatives. Whether modernizing your clients elevators or installing new elevator technology, choosing green elevators is more beneficial for building occupants, owners and the environment.

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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Why Purpose-Driven Companies Have a Competitive Advantage

Do you feel a sense of meaning or purpose in your work? The need for purpose is one of the defining characteristics of human beings. Yet, only about 30% of the U.S. workforce reports being actively involved, enthusiastic and committed to their jobs. Employees want to feel a sense of purpose at work and know how their contribution makes a difference. As Nicholas Pearce, author of The Purpose Path: A Guide to Pursuing Your Authentic Life’s Work and professor at Kellogg School of Managementsays, “It is engaging in the radical act of connecting our souls with our roles.” There is a movement happening where employees want a job that gives them a sense of purpose and customers want to buy from companies whose brands are based on values that they identify with. Today, purpose-driven companies have a competitive advantage.

What is purpose?

Purpose is simply the reason why you do what you do. A clear purpose goes beyond products or services, and instead describes what impact or change the company can make in the largest context possible.  A company’s purpose should motivate what companies do every day because the “why” should drive the “what”.  For many companies, their focus has been on maximizing profit, which is not a compelling purpose or a convincing “why.” Without a doubt, making profit is important, but it not the reason why an organization exists.

An organization’s purpose is like an individual’s thumbprint or DNA. It is what differentiates it from other companies. What distinguishes one company from another should be their “why.” So, there’s an increasing importance on purpose because there are a lot of people who are making employment decisions not based solely on profit potential, or even salary potential, but on purpose alignment.

The why that drives the what

Having a higher purpose (“the why that drives the what”), beyond profit maximization, is different than having a mission statement, and is separate from corporate responsibility or explicitly socially impactful actions.  Pearce points out that workers often feel that community service activities are more for optics, and thus, these initiatives do little to combat purposelessness.

In fact, company purpose requires profound organizational reflection. Finding the reason for a firm’s existence is challenging and Pearce proposes these questions to help find and understand purpose:

  • Who would care if we ceased to exist?
  • Are our best or highest values dictating our company’s actions?
  • Do we feel authentic in our workplace?
  • Is this work I “cannot not do”?

LinkedIn conducted the most extensive global study on the role of purpose in the workforce. Their findings revealed that purpose-oriented employees have higher levels of engagement and fulfillment with their work and outperform their peers in every indicator, including expected tenure and leadership competencies like self-advocacy and comfort with senior leadership. These results were reinforced by another recent study which found that employees who find work meaningful are 69% less likely to quit their jobs within the next six months and have job tenures that are 7.4 months longer on average than employees who find work lacking in meaning.

Purpose-driven employees are also a company’s most influential brand ambassadors. Consumers are influenced to buy a brand, product or service by the words, actions, values and beliefs of a company’s employees—not just the CEO or marketing spokesperson. There is no more authentic way to promote an organization than through employees who are truly aligned with a company’s mission.

Purpose leads to profit

Companies that are thriving and growing understand that purpose is important in order to remain competitive. These companies recognize that purpose not only inspires employees and attracts customers but also improves the bottom line.

Clearly defining your company’s purpose can truly drive your company forward. Purpose helps set long-term business strategy, creates a bigger competitive advantage and differentiation in the marketplace, inspires innovation, increases brand trust and loyalty, and ultimately, helps the company stand the test of time. 

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

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Tell-Tale Signs it’s Time to Replace Your Field Service Management Software

Technicians

Today, most companies with mobile field technicians are using some type of field service management software. If the software is doing its job, your organization should be experiencing improvements in revenue generation, customer satisfaction, excellent first-time fix rates and high rates of technician utilization. If you are not realizing positive performance metrics, than it’s time to replace your field service software.

Unfortunately, many companies are caught in their operational trap; feeling that they’re too busy to make changes and now isn’t the right time to upgrade. They fear the change-induced disruption and extra work that any major software upgrade creates. They know they need to make changes not only for the health of their company, but for their own health as well. Every single day that decision makers put off upgrading their field service software, their business is missing out on growth and revenue opportunities.

Here are some tell-tale signs that now is the right time to make a change:

  • Your current solution lacks flexibility and scalability
  • Your software does not connect your office to the field
  • Lack of visibility into field service operations is resulting in poor forecasting
  • Field employees are driving to/from the office just to drop off or pick up paperwork
  • Service-to-cash cycle is slow
  • Information is being re-keyed into disconnected back-office systems
  • Inefficient Maintenance Control Program
  • Inventory is lost or being stock-piled in trucks
  • Invoices/Work orders are getting lost, destroyed or are illegible
  • Customer retention rate is low
  • 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
  • Inflated timesheets/overtime
  • Your current system is costly to operate and maintain

Each day that you delay is costing you money, and potentially putting you at a competitive disadvantage. 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. With a knowledgeable and experienced partner, the transition from paper to automation can be seamless.

FIELDBOSS Contractor Management software is an end-to-end solution built within Microsoft Dynamics 365. FIELDBOSS is a flexible and configurable platform that allows you to work the way you want to work, now and in the future. 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 more efficiently, profitably, and with lower risk.

Contact us today for a free demo.

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7 Reasons to Move Your Field Service Business to the Cloud

Cloud Computing

Lets face it. For business owners, the thought of making changes to their business, like moving to the cloud, is a scary one. You may be worried that it is less secure than on-site data and file storage, or it will cost too much to migrate or take too much time and your business will suffer. Maybe you have invested a lot of money and time into refining your processes in on-premises servers and infrastructure to the point where it works…but does it really? Is it just working enough to get by? Or is it actually holding your business back because it’s a ticking time-bomb of patches, outdated software and hardware, and security nightmares?

For most field service business, it’s time to seriously look at upgrading your infrastructure to a cloud platform like Microsoft Azure. Field service companies who move to the cloud are reaping enormous benefits such as cost savings, increased productivity and enhanced security that will help their business today and into the future.

If you are unsure about moving from on-premise computing, here are 7 reasons why you should move your business to the Microsoft cloud.

 1. Reduce Costs

With an on-premise system, companies must take responsibility for maintaining, monitoring and updating their system. This includes everything from software and servers to the network infrastructure. The cloud can save businesses up to 80 per cent of their IT budget by avoiding time-consuming admin tasks. Cloud-based service solutions manage all hardware updates, system restores and security software, so IT resources can be utilized elsewhere.

2. Security

Security is a big concern for field service businesses. Every day there seems to be a new data-center security breach from an on-premises server. Thousands or even millions of customers’ data is leaked. It’s a scary thought and you should be doing everything you can to protect yourself from something like that. Microsoft has taken great measures to protect and secure their clients’ data and infrastructure from external threats and malicious activity. The Microsoft Azure Cloud is among the most advanced and protected cloud services in the market, using the latest security protocols to encrypt data. Your data stays secure while it travels between your devices and Microsoft’s datacenters and while it is in the Azure Cloud storage.

3. Scalability

With on-premise software, facilitating business growth often means investing in new servers and processors to handle increased demand. However, with cloud-based software, customers are paying for the ability to use the software, and not the computing power or space to run it. Adding or
removing users, or even apps, is as simple as issuing a service request. In the cloud, your software solution is as large or as small as you need it to be and will flex to your current situation and requirements.

4. Disaster Recovery

Microsoft has you covered should any kind of disaster recovery be necessary. In the event your services are interrupted, Dynamics 365 includes some of the most robust disaster recovery features on the business application market. Built to help organizations bounce back from both planned and unexpected service outages, Microsoft’s recovery protocols include keeping a synchronized, duplicate copy of a company’s data on a second server, allowing users to continue their operations with minimal disruption.

5. Backups

Backing up data should be second nature to all businesses, but it’s one of those tasks that often gets pushed down the agenda. Cloud deployment gives users peace of mind by not only removing the need to safeguard their own servers, but also automatically backing up data, so no information will ever slip through the cracks.

6. Flexibility

In field service, your staff is always on the go. By using cloud-based systems, employees can work anytime, and from anywhere; all they need is an internet connection. This means they can work as productively outside the office as they do in.

7. Improved collaboration

Cloud computing is among the most effective ways of improving team performance. Staff members can easily share data and collaborate to complete projects even from different locations. Field workers can easily share real time data and updates with those in the office. In addition, cloud computing eliminates redundant or repetitive tasks such as data re-entry. The cloud gives you the opportunity to connect separate departments of your business like never before for increased collaboration. This can have a direct positive impact on your
bottom line.

If you’re ready to take your field service company to the cloud and reach a new level of business efficiency, contact us at FIELDBOSS. When it comes to managing your business, the flexibility, reliability, and convenience of the cloud are unmatched. Moreover, adopting a cloud solution is becoming a necessity for contractors in a data driven world.

Click here to download our ebook: The Resourceful Contractor.

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Ransomware: What Your Field Service Company Needs to Know

Ransomware

When you hear the words cyber attack, automatically your thoughts shift to data breaches in well-known companies.  Don’t be fooled by thinking your small to medium sized field service business is safe.  Cyber attacks can happen at any moment to companies of all sizes.  Ransomware attacks are on the rise but there are ways to protect your field service company.

Ransomware is a form of malware that threatens to publish private data or make the victims files inaccessible until a payment is received which will unencrypt them.  Small businesses can be more vulnerable due to lack of awareness and education about cyber security as the business becomes more reliant on technology.  Ransomware is highly profitable for criminals because they can target many small companies in a short period. That is why ransomware has emerged as one of the most serious online threats facing businesses, and the number of attacks has skyrocketed. In fact, a 2017 report from Osterman Research showed that more than one-third of small- or medium-sized businesses around the globe experienced a ransomware attack in the last year.

These attacks can be costly, so now is the time to get smart and protect yourselves before the unexpected intrusion threatens your business.  As contractors, you need to focus on not only keeping your customers data safe, but also your own.  Being diligent about cyber safety will save
your reputation as well as your bottom line. That is why it is imperative for contractors to take the necessary steps to protect themselves from this kind of attack.

PRACTICING PREVENTION

  • Ensure that all computers have updated antivirus/anti-ransomware software; Ensure automatic weekly updates are enabled for antivirus/anti-ransomware software as well as for Windows.
  • Vulnerable passwords are one entry point of ransom attacks. Enforcing rigorous password protocols with your employees can help ward off intruders.
  • Infected web pages, ads and email attachments are also entry points for attackers to gain access to your systems.  Train and educate employees on how to spot malicious files.  Antivirus software with automatic updates is a necessity when it comes to warding off cyber strikes.
  • Back ups are key.  If your company does get a ransomware attack, all of your files will be restored from the last back up (maybe off by a few hours).   You cannot trust a hacker to decrypt your files, even after they receive a payment so this is another way to stay safe.

By regularly backing up data, training employees to strengthen passwords and delete suspicious emails, installing and regularly updating antivirus and anti-ransomware software, and creating a plan to prepare for an attack,
contractors can keep their businesses and their reputations safe and secure.

FIELDBOSS field service software is built within the Microsoft cloud platform, which helps to protect and defend your data from malware, ransomware, and other online threats. Contact FIELDBOSS to learn more.

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