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 Or is it actually holding your business back because it’s a ticking time-bomb of patches, outdated software and hardware, and security nightmares?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


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.


  • 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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Old School vs. New School: Managing a Multi-generational Workforce


Today’s field service workforce is more multi-generational then ever before.  Baby boomers are retiring at a later age then in the past, and the younger generation is entering the workforce right out of school.  While this can be beneficial to companies, as employers have both experienced older professionals, as well as aspiring new employees who bring a different mindset and work style, it can also be difficult to bring them together in an efficient and acceptable way.  Each generation provides different values and skill-sets, and it is the duty of the employer to ensure they can all work together in harmony.

Old School vs. New School

  • Technology. Many older workers fear technology; they haven’t grown up with it, and may find it overwhelming. They are well practiced at traditional business skills, face-to-face communication, and a more formal way of operating.  Conversely, millennials embrace technology and believe it can help them learn new skills and make their jobs easier. Telecommuting, social networks, online demonstrations, and all things tech-savvy are what young employees thrive on and rely on to get the job done. 
  • Work ethic. Baby boomers tend to view their jobs as a means to an end: in exchange for showing up and getting their work done on a daily basis, they receive long-term security (salary, health insurance and 401k plans). Millennials, on the other hand, tend to view their jobs as stepping-stones on the path to a better job.
  • Values.Money is the most important benefit that older workers expect from their jobs, but for millennials, work-life balance is most important.
  • Learning. Baby boomers have deep knowledge and experience gained over many years; millennials are comfortable with app-based learning and are confident they can quickly become competent when taking on a new job.

Knowledge exchange vs. knowledge transfer

As many field service workers are getting older, companies are focusing on preventing the loss of knowledge in the workplace by ensuring that knowledge is passed down to younger workers. However, the transfer of knowledge should not be one directional. Instead, field service companies need to think about helping different generations of staff to exchange knowledge. For example, younger generations can share technical skills, while older generations pass on industry knowledge and overall wisdom about the workplace.

Since customers also come in all ages, it is important to remember both the older and younger employees bring important skills to the table and that each generation can learn a lot from one another.  Employers should inspire strong communications throughout the workforce and a company culture inclusive of all. Access to training and development, offering mentors to new employees, and organizing events that encourage teamwork are simple ways for organizations to bridge the generation gap. 

The Bottom Line

When there is generational conflict, it is usually due to managers and the team pitting “old school” vs. “new school” as a battle between right and wrong. Successful field service companies see “old school” and “new school” not as polar opposites but as diverse sources of knowledge, experience, and energy that — when embraced — can contribute to a richer and more productive work environment. An age diverse workforce comes with benefits that can be ground-breaking.  Embrace it and see how your business will thrive.

FIELDBOSS is an end-to-end field service 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 for more information.

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5 Tips to Drive Field Service Software User Adoption


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:

    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.
    Advanced feature that prompts additional questions or actions based on the technician’s answers.
    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.
    Have checklists automatically applied to inspection or maintenance work orders and synched directly to technician’s mobile.
    Mandatory fields ensure no part of the inspection or procedure is missed before a work order can be closed out.
    Removing the need for a technician to return to the office to hand in paperwork allows for more time spent making money.
    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.
    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 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, 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


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

“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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