5 Tips to Drive Field Service Software User Adoption

Technicians

You have finally made the decision to upgrade to a new field service management software. In order to have a smooth transition and ensure user adoption, you need to have a clear strategy in place from the beginning. The success of any software adoption within a field service organization depends on how well employees understand and accept the technology and its functions. With proper preparation and by following a few simple tips, you can ensure the buy-in of the users who will ultimately determine the success or failure of your investment.

Here are 5 tips to drive field service software user adoption:

1. Tell Them Why

When implementing software across an organization, one of the biggest roadblocks to adoption and success is the lack of transparency. Without explaining the value, or the ‘why’, employees will quickly become resentful and end up using the software for the bare minimum. Why would they want to make a change when the way they have been doing it for years was fine?

It is critical that you help them understand how it makes their lives better. Explaining the value – the reasons why you need this software, and making it clear how it benefits them – encourages them to invest the time and energy into becoming tech savvy.

You have to sell it internally. Of course selling to your employees isn’t as simple as saying the new solution has “this cool feature” or “that cool future.” You must demonstrate the value of the product for each user group, and show how it addresses their pains and helps the organization as a whole.

2. Simplicity

To ask your employees to use a new field service management system, the user interface has to be simple, fast and easy to use. It needs to be designed in a way where staff feel that they are working more efficiently instead of performing data input tasks.

3. Get Influencers On-Board

Selling value to your entire field service organization might be difficult if you haven’t actually been in your employees’ shoes. Sure, you know the new solution will simplify processes and improve the bottom line, but do you now what pains your employees experience each day?

Begin by getting buy-in from a small group of experienced employees in each user role—planners, dispatchers, technicians, and supervisors. Having been in field service for a while, they know the business and have experienced the pains more than anybody. They might even be more willing than newer employees to accept changes if they understand how the new technology will make their jobs easier. Make sure this group has good communication and networking skills. These influencers can become ‘power users’ who will be the software experts. They will come to know the product inside-out and be the go-to people for anyone in your company who has questions about it.

4. Process and Procedure Management

Process and Procedure Management is the cornerstone to user adoption success. Organizational leaders who can explain, motivate and continually drive standardized processes will ensure employee buy-in and project success. Organizations who back away will find that the staff may return to their old ways of working – negating any system replacement objectives.

5. Schedule Training Often

In addition to including the team in the selection process and getting them on board early, make sure you schedule frequent training sessions. Weak training leads to weak adoption since your staff won’t know what to do with the field service system.  Schedule training and make sure you have several experts trained who can troubleshoot problems and provide on-the-spot training as needed.

There is no magic potion for turning your staff into software wizards. Most of your team have been doing their job a certain way for their entire career. Introducing a new system without the proper preparation can create a steep learning curve and a lot of frustration. While some might be tech-savvy, others may not. And in order to really get the full value from your field service management solution, you need everyone on board – all employees using all the features, allowing management full visibility across the organization and empowering them to make better decisions.

If you are considering implementing field service management software, working with a knowledgeable experienced partner like FIELDBOSS can help ensure a successful transition and user adoption. Contact us for more information.

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8 Benefits of Using Mobile Forms and Checklists

Every day, your field service technicians collect and manage piles of paper-based form data that they then hand over to your back office staff. Accurate and consistent data collection is essential for the success of any field service business. Many field service businesses still rely on paper forms and checklists. This opens up plenty of room for error, from misplaced papers and mis-keyed entries, to inconsistent processes and procedures. The solution? Ditch the paperwork! Paper forms simply aren’t cut out to manage the unpredictable and remote nature of field service operations.

Replacing paper-based forms and checklists for maintenance, service, and inspections with customized field service mobile forms and checklists enables the standardization of processes and procedures across the entire organization. The technician can follow and document approved maintenance or service procedures, including the performance of tests and collection of data, while on-site which is automatically synched to the back office.

FIELDBOSS’s automated mobile forms and checklists enable your field team to easily capture required information, add notes and pictures, and go completely paperless while streamlining workflow for inspections and maintenance schedules with an easy to follow to-do list.

8 benefits of mobile forms and checklists:

  1. CUSTOMIZABLE AND CONFIGURABLE
    Your business is unique and so are your forms and checklists. Whether it’s industry-specific or for different kinds of service calls, with configurable mobile forms and checklists, you can empower your technicians with clear instructions to reduce the margin of error.
  2. SMART CHECKLISTS
    Advanced feature that prompts additional questions or actions based on the technician’s answers.
  3. ALWAYS STAY COMPLIANT
    With ever-changing regulations, complicated equipment and so many customers, it can be hard to stay on top of what needs to be done. Automated checklists mean no step is ever skipped so you always stay compliant and avoid fines.
  4. COMPLETE AUTOMATION
    Have checklists automatically applied to inspection or maintenance work orders and synched directly to technician’s mobile.
  5. MANDATORY FIELDS
    Mandatory fields ensure no part of the inspection or procedure is missed before a work order can be closed out.
  6. SAVE TIME AND MONEY
    Removing the need for a technician to return to the office to hand in paperwork allows for more time spent making money.
  7. ACCURATE AND DETAILED DATA
    With the ability to customize forms and utilize automatic calculations, submitted data is always accurate and instantaneous. Technicians can also note when each task is completed, and follow up with pictures and notes.
  8. STREAMLINED PROCESSES
    Your technicians follow the same procedures to keep your standards consistent and high, completing the same work each time.

Automated mobile forms and checklists have the potential to revolutionize the way your business manages data, and if you’re not capturing accurate data, you’ll be unable to make smart data-driven business decisions. Streamline workflows and drive operational efficiencies by enabling a flow of information directly from the field into the back office system. Drive consistency, efficiency and compliance within your field services team with FIELDBOSS’s mobile forms and checklists.

Contact FIELDBOSS or request a demo to see how mobile forms and checklists can save your field service company time and money.

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FIELDBOSS IS NOMINATED FOR AN ELLIE

FIELDBOSS is honored to be nominated as a finalist for an Elevator Award in the category “Best Supplier – Software”.  

The Awards, known as the Ellies, are presented by Elevator World, Inc., publisher of Elevator World Magazine.  The Ellies recognizes North American elevator and escalator industry businesses that go above and beyond for their customers, employees, community, and the industry as a whole.  This is the inaugural year for the “Best Supplier – Software” category.

We are excited to be recognized as a top software provider in the elevator industry, and proud of our owner and President, Jonathan Taub and the rest of the hard working FIELDBOSS team.

So, you want to know a little more about FIELDBOSS?

FIELDBOSS was developed by its parent company, Rimrock Corporation.

Rimrock is a consulting firm specializing in Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics 365 software solutions for the field service industry. Rimrock has been around for over 20 years, which means our staff are industry experts drawing upon decades of relevant industry experience. We are also a Gold Certified Microsoft Cloud Solution Partner, which means we have the opportunity to leverage Microsoft technology so you don’t have to worry about product uptime, security, or IT costs. Over the years, we have configured the Microsoft Dynamics platform for specific industries, and successfully implemented software tailored to the elevator industry.

Ellies Voting begins on July 16th through August 31st online at www.elevatorworld.com/ellies.  Thank you to everyone who voted for us.

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Down to the Wire for New York Elevator Door Lock Monitor Upgrades

It’s down to the wire now for the New York elevator industry as the deadline to comply with the Door Lock Monitor code is just a few months away. The City of New York issued new guidelines for elevator door lock monitoring systems which requires completion of upgrades and changes by 2020.

In 2014, the city’s Department of Buildings required all elevators to have door-lock monitors installed by Jan. 1, 2020. According to Andrew Rudansky, a buildings department spokesman, the DOB will disclose its enforcement plan before the deadline, but there will be financial penalties for noncompliance.

Rudansky urged owners who are not in compliance to get to work and not leave planning to the last minute. “Building owners have had five years to comply with city regulations requiring them to install these door-lock monitors. The deadline to meet this code requirement is right around the corner.”

Door-lock monitor upgrades on newer elevators won’t cost much, because the required system is likely already in place and only has to be activated or needs only a simple software upgrade. For elevators between five and 10 years old, the modifications could cost anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000, and for those 10 years and older, the price could rise to $25,000. Those prices might go up as the deadline nears.

Regardless of the extent of the work to be done, you will have to go through the new Department of Buildings procedure.  There are four basic steps:

  1. The elevator contractor will have to file a permit.
  2. They will have to obtain a set of elevator electrical prints showing that the door lock monitoring system exists electrically within the control board circuit.
  3. The electrical prints must be stamped by a professional engineer.
  4. The elevator(s) must pass a Department of Buildings inspection.

As the January 1, 2020 deadline approaches, building owners need to bear in mind that it takes some time to obtain a bid and proposal from an elevator contractor, ensure that there are sufficient funds to cover the cost of the work, file the permit, and complete the necessary work on multiple elevators.  The best practice would be to get started on this process as soon as possible in order to meet the compliance deadline.  Non-compliance with Rule 3.10.12 could result not only in violations and fines, but also in loss of service, cancelled insurance coverage, and legal liabilities.  The Department of Buildings will also require installation of secondary emergency brakes on all traction elevators by January 1, 2027 (NYC Building Code Appendix K3 Rule 3.8.4.1), so building owners may want to plan ahead and have this done at the same time as the door lock monitors.

FIELDBOSS can help manage the process and ensure that all your elevators are compliant before the deadline.

FIELDBOSS can be configured to:

  1. Easily monitor which elevators require the door lock monitor device, which have already been installed and which have yet to be installed
  2. Create drop down lists under each elevator to keep track of Door Lock Monitor device status
  3. Create quotes in seconds and send to those customers in need of a Door Lock Monitor device
  4. Create easy to read dashboard views of Active Door Lock Monitor quotes, Active Sites for Door Lock Monitor Installations, and Building Locations without Door Lock Monitors so you can easily stay on-top of what’s going on and keep your customers devices compliant.

Contact us for more information on how FIELDBOSS can help manage your Door Lock Monitoring device installation.

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NY State to Create Elevator Safety and Standards Board

Millions of people in New York rely on elevators to get safely to and from work and home. It is one of the few states that doesn’t require people working on elevators to receive any education, training, or licensing by the state. However, last week the Senate passed legislation to reduce unsafe elevator hazards and help protect New York elevator riders and the people who work on them. The bill, sponsored by Senator Diane Savino, will create the New York State Elevator Safety and Standards Board, and establish license requirements and standards for elevator contractors, mechanics, and inspectors.

The Elevator Safety Act had been introduced 5 times without any luck. This is the first time the bill has made it to the Senate floor, let alone secured approval from the legislative body. If the Assembly passes the measure, New York’s licensing requirements would fall in line with the majority of the country. In 36 states and the District of Columbia, elevator mechanics are required by law to be licensed, which typically involves the completion of an accredited program that can run as long as five years.

To obtain a mechanic’s license, under the requirements of the bill, workers must complete a union apprenticeship, or complete the National Association of Elevator Contractors’ Certified Elevator Technician program or other approved training programs.

“There’s a path to this license for anyone working in the industry, “said Michael Halpin, of the International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 1.

Within the first year of the bill becoming a law, mechanics who have worked on elevators for at least 4 years can apply for a license. The bill would also requires mechanics to participate in eight hours of continuing education every year in order to renew their licenses. The state Department of Labour and the city’s Department of Buildings will be responsible for issuing statewide and city-based licenses, respectively.

The bill also creates a nine-member Elevator Safety and Standards Board, which will oversee the implementation and enforcement of the new training requirements. Under the legislation, the DOB must maintain a list of licensed mechanics, contractors and inspectors and make it available on the agency’s website. The DOB currently doesn’t have any record of the number of mechanics operating in the city.

The measure still awaits approval from the state Assembly. The legislative session ends June 19.

Senate Bill, S.4080-B, will:

  • Require the licensing of persons engaged in the design, construction, inspection, maintenance, alteration, and repair of elevators and other automated people moving devices.
  • Create the elevator contractor license, elevator mechanics license and elevator inspector license.
  • Establish the New York State Elevator Safety and Standards Board which will consist of nine (9) members of which three (3) each are appointed by the Governor, Speaker of the Assembly and Temporary President of the Senate.

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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Elevator Mechanic Ranks High in Canada’s Top Jobs 2019

Technicians

The crowded skyline of Toronto is about to get even more crowded. Toronto is adding 31 skyscrapers by 2024 to accommodate the city’s housing shortage. This vertical building boom also means more elevators.  Are there enough technicians to service all these elevators? According to Canadian Business, this field has been on a growth tear, with 83% more people working as elevator mechanics than there were five years ago.Canadian Business magazine has ranked Canada’s top 100 jobs for 2019 and elevator mechanic came in at number 22.

According to the most updated statistics provided by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority in Ontario, there are 55,812 elevators regulated by the TSSA and 4,634 licensed registered technicians to fix them. That’s a 12:1 ratio. According to the president of the National Elevator and Escalator Association, Kelly Leitch, that is a reasonable
number.

“We do not see a shortage. We have 400 new apprentices coming into the system anywhere from the first to fourth year of (school). We see over the last 10-year period, we’ve seen a (30%) increase in the number of apprentices coming into the system. “said Leitch.

In Ontario, training to become an elevator mechanic takes four years. There’s a 720-hour apprenticeship program which includes one night a week of school for unionized workers at Canadian Elevator Industry Educational Program (CEIEP) or at Durham College for non-unionized workers. According to Canadian Business, the median salary for elevator mechanics is $81,000.

It’s clear that working as an elevator mechanic is a promising career path in an industry that is continuing to grow. This upward trajectory signals a healthy future for anyone looking to enter the elevator business.

FIELDBOSS is a proud member of CECA, NAEC, and ECNY and a supporter of the elevator industry. Please contact us for a free demo or to learn more about our elevator contractor management software.

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Elevator Mechanics: Is Automation Coming for Your Job?

Technology has made major strides over the past few decades. Devices that were once just a plot in science fiction movies are now commonplace in the real world, introducing faster and more efficient ways to work. Technology is changing at an increasing pace, and it seems that new technologies are designed to disrupt, which in some cases means to replace human labour with machines. What does the future hold for elevator mechanics? Is automation coming for your job?

Older mechanics will remember using a giant board where all the places that needed to be serviced and inspected were written out. When the list was full, it was wiped off and started all over again. Those same technicians might have used pagers where several long beeps meant a regular job while short beeps meant that there were people stuck in an elevator and the techs needed to call the office, get the address and rush to the location.

Today, AI and automated systems are already working hand in hand to protect elevator passengers from disruptive malfunctions and relieve the stress on service technicians. Predictive maintenance is here today, in a city near you – not in a galaxy far, far away.

There are two different predictions on how advances in automation will affect job prospects for humans. Optimists see machines freeing human workers to do higher-value, more creative work. Pessimists predict massive unemployment, or a world in which humans exist to serve the robot overlords. What people need to understand is that it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Humans and automation can evolve and work together. By combining human emotion and instinct, with digital solutions, AI and virtual reality, technicians can optimize the way they prepare and run their elevator service, resulting in faster turnaround times and less downtime.

These technologies are a real revolution for elevator maintenance! While only a small percentage of the elevator technician’s tasks are replaceable by the machine, the rest remains at the heart of the mechanic’s professional expertise. Far from replacing it, these technologies will help experienced technicians identify and solve problems more efficiently, enhance their knowledge and simplify their training. Nothing can really replace human instinct, and when it comes to the intricate work, some things will always need hands-on attention.

Contact FIELDBOSS for a free demo and learn how FIELDBOSS can empower your elevator mechanics to always deliver the highest value to your customers. 

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It’s Time to Make Skilled Work ‘Cool’ Again

Technicians

Over the last 30 years, our society convinced itself that the best path to a successful career is an expensive, four-year degree.Pop culture has hyped up the “corner office job” at the expense of the jobs that helped build the corner office. As a result, our society has devalued and discouraged any other path to success and happiness. Well-meaning parents and guidance counselors have labeled community colleges, trade schools, and apprenticeship programs as “alternative” and “vocational consolation prizes”. Students are taught that these are best suited for those not cut out for a four-year degree. The push for higher education has coincided with the removal of vocational arts from high schools nationwide. And the effects of this one-two punch have laid the foundation for a widening skills gap and massive student loan debt.

Today, the skills gap is wider than it’s ever been. The cost of college tuition has soared and student loan debt is the second highest consumer debt category in the United States. We are lending money we don’t have to kids who can’t pay it back, educating them for jobs they can no longer find, while discouraging them from pursuing good jobs that actually exist. Slowly but surely our society is reaffirming the misguided belief that a career in the skilled trades shouldn’t be desired.

How do we change this prevailing misperception of skilled labor?

We need to make skilled work cool again.

In order to close the skills gap we must challenge the stigmas and stereotypes that discourage people from pursuing the millions of available jobs. One of the biggest misperceptions of a job in the trades is lousy pay. What people don’t realize is these are good paying jobs with loads of growth potential. Some technicians can make north of six figures, and many go on to run their own businesses. But we rarely hear those stories in the press. Instead, we get studies that try to justify the cost of college.

Mike Rowe is a television host on the series “Dirty Jobs”.  Since 2008, he has been working to bring awareness of the value of work and has advocated for skilled trades. Rowe refers to one study that compared the income of college graduates with the income of non-college graduates. The study obviously concluded that college graduates made more. But the study didn’t compare skilled tradespeople to college graduates – it compared everyone to college graduates – including those with no skill. In other words, they put high school dropouts and unskilled workers into the same category as skilled tradespeople. If you dig a little deeper, and compare the income of a philosophy major, (or a history major, or a sociology major, or a math major) to that of an HVAC tech, or a plumber, or an elevator mechanic, you’ll see that the trades pay a very competitive wage – without the debt of a four-year degree.

Mike Rowe is on a mission: “To help close the skills gap by challenging the stigmas and stereotypes that discourage people from pursuing the millions of available jobs. We’re redefining the definition of a good education and a good job, because we don’t think a four-year degree is the best path for most people.” He continues, “Our crumbling infrastructure, our widening skills gap, the disappearance of vocational education, and the stratospheric rise in college tuition—these are not problems,” Mike said. “These are symptoms of what we value. And right now, we have to reconnect the average American with the value of a skilled workforce. Only then, will the next generation aspire to do the work at hand.”

When we do see young people entering the skilled trades, it is often by way of the family business. This new generation of skilled tradespeople are looking for ways to modernize the business and make it more desirable for their peers. An end-to-end field service software can help you attract and retain top, new talent (aside from your son and son-in-law). Contact us for a free demo or for more information.

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Government of Canada Recalls 1,739 Elevators After Doors Open to Empty Shafts

Shaft

It isn’t strange to see product recalls posted on the government of Canada website. Officials frequently order companies and distributors to remove items, usually food, that are reported to have made people ill or endangered consumers. Less frequently these recalls target non-perishable products with malfunctions, like cars, for example. A recent recall, however, may be a consumers’ worst nightmare. The government of Canada recalled over 1700 elevators after doors kept opening to empty shafts.

Elevators are used so frequently in our day to day lives, especially if you live in an apartment building, that you never really think about something malfunctioning in them. Although the majority of elevators are safe, sometimes things go wrong.

Health Canada has issued the recall for Cambridge Elevating Inc.’s Elmira, Heritage, and Hybrid residential elevators that have been sold throughout Canada and the United States. While there is not a specific list of exactly which buildings contain these elevators, Health Canada has stated that 1739 of these defective elevators were installed throughout Canadian buildings, while 681 were sold in the United States. 

These elevators are newer models that have been installed sometime between January 2009 until November 2017 and are used for residential buildings. To view specific models and serial numbers that are affected you can view the full recall here. 

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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Meet Bill: Win New Business, Keep Customers Happy and Increase Revenue

With all the functionality FIELDBOSS has to offer, it is often hard to explain to potential customers all the ways they can benefit from ditching their paper process. Our Meet Bill video offers a quick look at how our customers benefit from using FIELDBOSS. As a single, integrated system, FIELDBOSS provides you with the tools you need to connect to your customers, field staff, equipment and data. It also automates your business processes, cuts down on your paperwork and streamlines inefficient operations both in the back office and the field.

Click below to Meet Bill and learn how to win new business, keep customers happy and increase revenue.

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