Native integration to Corval’s ERP, Vista by Viewpoint, is key for leveraging the true power of mobile workforce management solutions.

Challenge

Corval initially purchased a third party field service solution that was designed to operate independent of an ERP. However, integration with Corval’s ERP, Vista by Viewpoint, was critical to providing its technicians’ with real-time information, reducing its invoice cycle time, and maximizing its operational efficiencies.

After spending substantial time and resources to undertake its own project to integrate the third party mobile field service solution with Corval’s ERP, the company continued to experience gaps in efficiencies and visibility into its service operation. Plus, Corval’s integration efforts came at a cost.

Every year Vista shipped software updates so Corval had to ensure the updates wouldn’t break the integration they had constructed. Corval budgeted $5,000 per year for Viewpoint’s Professional Services to test and troubleshoot the integration when updates came out. But integration costs didn’t stop there.

“I was spending 20 hours to shepherd the integration updating process during each cycle,” said Steve Bolton, Business Systems Analyst at Corval. “We also had to skip some updates even when we knew there were benefits to the organization because we could only manage one test and remediation cycle per year.”

Furthermore, Corval’s integration did not get all of the business results it initially set out to achieve.

Steve observed, “If we wanted to analyze work, some of the data was in the third party product and some was in Viewpoint. There was no way to run a cost versus revenue report in one application.”

Solution

To overcome its challenges, Corval Group approached FieldConnect to leverage the firm’s mobile workforce management solutions that are built for native integration with their ERP—delivery operation from dispatching and work order completion to service contract management and invoicing through FieldConnect.

Corval purchased FieldConnect’s mobile workforce solution, FieldAccess, and its field project management solution, FieldProject, for its technicians and foremen. All of FieldConnect’s solutions integrate with Vista by Viewpoint’s service management module, inventory module, equipment module and accounting system. This enables a single database for work order management, customer management, time entry, inventory usage, and billing necessary to optimize a field service organization.

Results

By implementing FieldConnect’s solutions, Corval Group realized cost savings, improved real-time visibility, and increased operational efficiencies.

“FieldConnect eliminated more than $5,000 a year in the costs of keeping an integration working,” Steve summarized. “Having FieldConnect maintain the integration lets Corval keep up with all the most recent ERP updates, do technician profitability reporting in the accounting database, and even leverage new integrated capabilities like having technicians collect signatures from customers and consume inventory in real time to improve our visibility of the real costs associated with our service operations.”

Since implementing our end-to-end workforce management software solutions, Corval has nearly doubled the number of its users and is evaluating additional FieldConnect solutions designed for other employees in their business.

Mechanical & HVAC contractor, James CRAFT & Son Inc., drives companywide efficiency and accuracy with FieldConnect

Founded in 1900, James CRAFT & Son Inc. is a family-owned and operated mechanical and HVAC contractor based in Manchester, Pennsylvania. Recognized for delivering top-quality craftsmanship, the company provides HVAC, plumbing, electric, sheet metal fabrication, service, design/build, and custom fabrication. James CRAFT & Son Inc. serves commercial and industrial clients throughout south central Pennsylvania, northern Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia and Delaware.

Challenge

As the company prepared to expand its capabilities for growth, James CRAFT & Son Inc. knew it had to streamline its field service operations and how its technicians handled work orders. According to Bill Craft, Senior VP of Service for James CRAFT & Son Inc., “Our technicians were filling out paper work orders with the details of their service calls and returning them to the office for data entry and billing. This process was labor and paperwork intensive, and introduced opportunities for errors.” The company also experienced other inefficiencies and hidden costs. “We experienced everything from losing important documents in technicians’ trucks to passing documents back and forth waiting for approvals to maintaining volumes of files & documents. The opportunity for improvement was huge for us,” says Craft.

Solution

James CRAFT & Son Inc. turned to FieldConnect and Viewpoint®. “FieldAccess by FieldConnect and Vista by Viewpoint® transformed our manual, paper-based work order process to a completely electronic one.

Instead of managing stacks of paper work orders, our technicians are now dispatched through Vista and our technicians receive work order details on their mobile devices through FieldAccess,” says Craft.

With FieldAccess, James CRAFT & Son Inc.’s technicians have access to real-time information to manage work orders and service contracts in the field. From any mobile device, their technicians can see all work orders assigned to them, read notes related to the customer or the assignment, retrieve maps and directions, upload job site photos & video, collect customer signatures, and even email service reports directly from the site. The technicians can also record their time by clocking in and out of assignments from the field.

Results

Since FieldAccess tightly integrates with Vista, all of the technicians’ data is immediately captured and stored in the ERP. This eliminates duplicate data entry and accelerates invoicing for faster speed of payment and revenue recog- nition. What’s more, technicians and service managers can manage parts, materials and inventory better with FieldAccess. Technicians can quickly locate parts and supplies they need and assign them to work orders from their mobile devices, and generate purchase orders with proper authorization. “Equipping our technicians in the field with the information and tools they needed to get their work done significantly reduced the disruptive phone calls between our field techs and dispatchers,” says Craft.

Thanks to FieldAccess by FieldConnect and Vista by Viewpoint®, James CRAFT & Son Inc. has access to up- to-date information from dispatching and work order completion to service contract management and invoicing. The company also gained complete visibility into its service operations. “As a progressive-thinking company, leveraging field service management software streamlined our operations by eliminating paper work orders, minimizing administrative tasks & data entry and reducing service to billing time,” says Craft. “This has positively impacted our productivity, efficiency and accuracy allowing our management team to clearly see the business value.”

“Equipping our technicians in the field with the information and tools they needed to get their work done significantly reduced the disruptive phone calls between our field techs and dispatchers.”


HVAC Contractor Improves Service with RealTime Workflows Using FieldConnect

Admore Air Conditioning Corp., based in Yonkers, New York was first incorporated in 1946 and has since been providing Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning service to customers in the New York and New Jersey areas. The company is owner-operated and completely hands-on in all aspects of construction, installation, maintenance, and servicing of HVAC systems.

According to Justin Gibb, Service Division Manager at Admore Air, the company sought to improve efficiencies and track work more effectively. That’s what led Admore Air to choose FieldConnect, a mobile workplace platform that provides anytime, anywhere access to information and resources, which allows organizations to enhance customer and employee engagement. A major advantage to Admore Air is that FieldConnect integrates directly with Vista by Viewpoint, which the contractor uses as its ERP solution. “We wanted to be able to send work orders electronically to move away from relying on paper work orders,” he says. “We didn’t have a service management system in place that would allow us to do that.”

Gibb explains how work flows are now a smooth process for the 17 employees using FieldConnect: “The solution made work flows more efficient. Invoices aren’t getting missed and times are being logged properly.”

He adds, “The biggest advantage of using Field Connect is getting real-time information to the eld and back from the field, instead of having to wait for paper work orders to come back in the office. It’s all real-time, so anytime a field technician enters information into a work order, we can see it on our end in the office instantly.”

Being able to connect immediately and reliably is also an advantage for Admore Air. “Having work history on site is huge. If a technician’s on site, they can see what calls we’ve had there in the past, and have a sense of history on any repairs that were done there to help expedite the process of repairing a unit.”

Speed and time-savings are other bene ts that the contractor has realized. Gibb offers an example: “Faster invoice turnaround has helped expedite our billing process. It’s easier to document activity without losing any paperwork, so that helps us in that we don’t have to write off as many invoices.”

Gibb also appreciates that it’s an easy process, saying, “It’s very user-friendly, and the data in FieldConnect automatically goes into Vista by Viewpoint, so no duplicate data entry is required. It’s all real-time and accurate.

Maxson Adopts New Technology to Address Mobile Workforce Efficiency

  • By implementing a field service management solution, Maxson Associates is experiencing improved efficiency and massive reduction in paper-based processes.
  • The company can now verify completion of service calls in real time and kick off the invoicing process immediately, reducing the billing cycle substantially. Invoicing now occurs in
    days, rather than weeks, or months.
  • Maxson accomplished the goal of giving their technicians more time in the field servicing customers, rather than coming to the office to deliver paperwork.
  • The payroll process has become way less paper-intensive and now gets completed in about half a day, down from three days.
  • The efficiency gains have had an overall positive impact on revenue generation. While they haven’t done a formal ROI calculation, Maxson Associates’ last four months have set records for amounts invoiced.

Expanding the Technology Footprint 

Maxson Associates is a family-owned, third-generation business based in Charlotte, North Carolina, offering life safety, space management, and smart day lighting solutions that allow for safe, flexible, spaces for buildings. Based on the deep experience throughout the organization, Maxson is uniquely qualified to successfully tackle some of the most complicated design projects, where other companies cannot. 

For over 60 years, Maxson has made the servicing of their customers a paramount priority. The company’s mobile workforce is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, ready to assist clients on an emergency repair basis, as well as the more typical scheduled planned maintenance. 

The company utilizes cutting edge technology to solve challenges designers face to maintain building code compliance for containing smoke and fire, yet meet the demand for large open space. That same forward-thinking approach prompted Maxson Associates to evaluate and implement technology to more efficiently manage their service technicians in the field. 

The Case for Mobility 

We caught up with Bobby RichardsService Support Specialist at Maxsonwho shared some of the details that led the company to adopt the FieldConnect solution. Knowing that a field service mobility solution would tackle a range of issues, Richards describes the primary issues they were looking to address as maximizing tech time in the field instead of the office, streamlining the payroll process, and shrinking the invoice cycle time. 

The search for a solution took them down a familiar path of vendor websites, as well as asking their industry peers that had already taken the plunge. While Richards was not directly involved in the procurement process, he worked closely with their Controller, Kris Moyle, who whittled the field of three vendors down to the preferred solution, FieldConnect. 

A Spectrum of Capabilities 

Not a company to do things by halves, once Maxson Associates selected FieldConnect as the vendor of choice, they proceeded to implement almost every module available. FieldAccess represents the core of the solution, allowing the mobile workforce to access work orders, site information, and more via a phone or tablet. In addition, Maxson implemented capabilities for dispatch, a customer portal, onsite job quoting, workforce time tracking, and project management. 

With expert guidance from Moyle, the company’s Controller, Richards soon took over as the software administrator for both FieldConnect’s field service management capabilities, as well as the ERP to which it is connected. Richards describes the learning process as straightforward. “I quickly grasped the concept of what we were trying to achieve and found that the FieldConnect solution supported this new approach logically and effectively,” says Richards. 

The Rubber Meets the Road 

Now that Richards had his feet under him and a firm grasp of the path forward, Maxson soon realized serious benefits from this new technology. He describes one of the most obvious benefits that revealed itself almost immediately. “By verifying completed service calls on a daily basis, we were able to reduce our billing cycle substantially. We literally shaved weeks off the time that it took to produce an invoice previously,” Richards says of the solution. “We now invoice in days, rather than weeks, or months, since we receive completed work order information electronically, in real time. This also accomplished our goal of giving the technicians more time in the field rather than coming to the office to deliver paperwork.” 

Two other key areas that showed marked improvement were payroll and overall revenue generation. Describing a situation that we hear from many customers, the payroll process has become way less paper-intensive and now gets completed in about half a day, down from three days, freeing people up to work on other tasks and boosting productivity. As far as increasing revenue, Richards acknowledges the multiplying effect of more time for techs in the field, combined with the improved billing cycle time. The improved efficiency and massive reduction in paper-based processes has definitely impacted the bottom line at Maxson. “I haven’t calculated the exact return on investment for the FieldConnect solution,” muses Richardsbut the fact that we have set records for the last four consecutive months in amounts invoiced certainly says a lot. 

 

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D.A. Dodd Embraces Cloud for Savings and Efficiency

Growing Success in the Midwest 

Founded in 1995, D.A. Dodd, LLC was formed as a fully bonded, insured, union mechanical contractor with licensing in both Indiana and Michigan. First established in Northern Indiana, the company began building on its success and has since expanded into Southwest Michigan and Central Indiana.  In 2007, the company opened an additional branch in Mishawaka, Indiana to serve as a home base for service technicians operating throughout the Michiana area. 

Over the years, D.A. Dodd has handled plumbing, heating, cooling and industrial process piping jobs of all sizes. Their customer base has grown to include customers in commercial, industrial and institutional sectors. With a diverse set of clients including hospitals, private and public schools, colleges and universities, manufacturing facilities, financial institutions and major corporations, D.A. Dodd is poised for continued growth and success throughout the Midwest. 

Modernizing the Business 

We caught up with Raelene Kennedy, D.A. Dodd’s Lead Service Administrator, to talk about some of the technology that has supported that continued growth. Self-described as someone who “wears many hats,” Kennedy walked us through the process that has brought them where they are today. Given an opportunity to re-evaluate their field service software needs as they embarked on a migration from one ERP platform to another, the company decided that they needed to take steps to increase efficiency by reducing paper-based processes. Citing ease-of-use as a major attribute for their consideration, Kennedy and her D.A. Dodd’s Controller were tasked with finding the right solution to extend their new ERP out into the field. 

After evaluation of three different vendors, D.A. Dodd selected FieldConnect FieldAccess, in no small part due to an endorsement from the ERP provider. The decision came down to three critical attributes that were essential to the company – ease of use, tight integration with the ERP platform, and the ability for the application, being web-based, to run on any device. Implementation happened somewhat concurrently with the ERP implementation and was straightforward. 

Realizing the Benefits 

Once implemented, the benefits derived from the field service management solution were revealed in short order. Kennedy points to a couple that really stood out. “For starters, we cut our billing cycle time in half. We also made our payroll process more efficient by removing the paper. The tight integration with our new ERP platform has really had a positive impact on payroll, freeing people up to focus on other tasks at hand.” 

The most recent development at D.A. Dodd has been a move to the FieldConnect Cloud. Questions about hosting applications were the same that many companies ask. “Where is the cloud hosted? How is data security managed? Will it negatively impact our technicians’ ability to do their work?” Once these questions were answered and Kennedy familiarized herself with the setup process and ongoing maintenance plan, the compelling reasons that supported the move became clear.  “We saw that there would be immediate, as well as longer-term cost savings, and we no longer would have to deal with updating and maintaining the software. Expert technical resources at FieldConnect would take that off our plate,” states Kennedy. 

The migration of the solution to the cloud took less than a month and the company experienced zero downtime during the process. Just as important, D.A. Dodd’s 36 field technicians saw no changes to the application that they were using on a daily basis. When asked what she would recommend for other FieldConnect customers considering a cloud deployment, Kennedy does not mince words. “Definitely do it. 100%. The changeover was very straightforward and we feel the cost savings over the long run are more than sufficient to justify the move.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. 

Encore Electric Makes a Move to the Cloud

Encore Electric, based in Colorado, delivers on a wide array of electrical construction projects and maintenance services from multiple locations around the state. Encore has earned a reputation for high quality, innovation, and customer satisfaction throughout the Rocky Mountain region.  

Their service team offers a comprehensive post-construction service and maintenance program including 24-hour on-call support, power quality and proactive maintenance services. Encore manages their resources in the field with FieldConnect, and are leveraging the Cloud for even greater efficiency and savings. 

We spoke with Jeff Cann, Chief Strategist and CIO, to find out more about Encore’s move to the Cloud. 

How was FieldConnect hosted previously? On-premise or by a third party provider?  

Our FieldConnect environment was hosted by a third party provider. 

Why did you ultimately make the decision to move to FieldConnect Cloud?  

We did it for a few reasons. We were already comfortable with a hosted model and could see the advantages. For example, we preferred that FieldConnect keep the software up-to-date and that is easier if we are hosted in the FieldConnect cloud. It also made economic sense, as the switch from paying annual support to subscription pricing saved us money right off the bat. Making the switch also allows for future flexibility to be able to turn on other FieldConnect modules if, or when, they are needed. 

What was your experience in making the move? 

The project executed as we expected.  After a few weeks of planning and testing, we were successful in moving from our previous environment to the FieldConnect environment with a single, one-hour outage.  The most difficult part for us was coordinating the system administration resources from the prior third party environment. 

How did the move impact the FieldConnect users in your company? 

The users of FieldConnect were not impacted other than getting new features and updates, since we were a couple of minor releases behind.  We had to fix a minor reporting problem the next morning after the migration, but overall, the impact was negligible. The FieldConnect support team helped make the whole process go smoothly and were ready to make any necessary changes to keep us up and running with full functionality. 

Any cost savings that you can report so far?  

The hard-dollar cost is roughly equivalent to our prior hosting environment, but that includes the cost of additional FieldConnect Cloud licenses that we added, so it did represent a savings.  In addition, we see ongoing savings into the future, since our Information Technology team supporting FieldConnect won’t have to deal with the software upgrade process. 

What would you say to another FieldConnect customer who contemplating making the move to FieldConnect Cloud? 

If you are self-hosted or self-administering the software in a hosted environment, I recommend that you consider migrating to FieldConnect Cloud and let their engineers handle the complexity of managing the FieldConnect environment. 

With an array of services designed to make buildings more energy efficient, safer, and easier to maintain, C&C Group needed a solution to better manage their mobile workforce. C&C’s CIO, Chad Cillessen, knew that some of their existing processes were less than optimal, especially around work order entry and time entry for their 58 field technicians.

“…since implementing FieldConnect, C&C has seen an overall increase in annual service revenue of about 17% based on this added efficiency, without having to add headcount.”

So C&C began a search for the solution that could address the company’s efficiency challenges. “The first requirement for the preferred solution was integration into our Viewpoint Vista enterprise resource planning platform,“ says Cillessen. “After that, we needed a solution that eliminated the need for duplicative work,” he adds. At the time, C&C was entering time and work order entry twice, which was proving to be costly from both a time and cost perspective.

The selection process involved three vendors, eventually leading to the selection of FieldConnect as the best fit for their needs. “As we went through the evaluation process, we became more aware of requirements above and beyond the ERP integration and time and work order entry,” remembers Cillessen. “The third, main capability that cemented FieldConnect as the chosen vendor involved the support for offline mode for our field technicians.” The offline mode for FieldConnect’s FieldAccess offering allows technicians to continue to work with the application, even where connectivity is spotty or nonexistent.

Once the selection was made, implementation was smooth and quick. The occasional bumps in the road of any enterprise-scale deployment were met quickly and effectively by the FieldConnect implementation team and C&C Group was soon enjoying the benefits of their new solution. Now, Cillessen explains, “our volume of service has increased and our team handling that work has remained the same or decreased as we have been able to repurpose individuals.” Furthermore, they are turning work orders around faster, as they are now immediately able to process the work coming in from the field, without re-entering the information. The field technicians are also enjoying the wealth of critical site information at their fingertips, rather than having to call others to get the background on the building or equipment that they’re servicing.

So, what are some of the concrete benefits now that the system has been implemented? Cillessen points to a few improvements, beginning with a reduction in the time that it takes technicians to fill out a work order. While a seemingly minor improvement on its face, the fact is that the reduced time required actually saved field technicians enough time to allow them to complete 1-2 additional service calls per day. With the average service call representing several hundred dollars of revenue, this time savings became significant as the company calculated the value of those extra calls multiplied by the number of technicians in the field. In fact, since implementing FieldConnect, C&C has seen an overall increase in annual service revenue of about 17% based on this added efficiency, without having to add headcount.

In the back office, other benefits were realized, as well. The time it was taking to turn around an invoice on jobs was cut roughly in half. With hundreds of jobs being completed per month, the delays experienced with their previous system were killing cash flow for C&C. The efficiency gained by implementing FieldConnect has resolved that problem and Cillessen says some invoices can even be turned around “in 24 hours, or less.”

While the company has reaped additional benefits above and beyond the ones cited here, one area of particular pride is the level of service experienced by customers. Cillessen describes one occasion where a technician was able to review site history and previous work done before arriving at the customer’s location. Based on the information that the technician reviewed beforehand, he was able to proactively eliminate other potential causes of the problem and zero in on the area that was the most likely cause. The issue was resolved quickly, saving time on site and making the technician and C&C look great in front of the customer.

At the end of the day, Cillessen feels that they made the right choice. “FieldConnect has been great and treated us as a partner, not just as a customer.” He adds that support has been responsive and that there is a willingness from the FieldConnect customer support team and technical team to listen to suggestions for the product roadmap. “We have a few ideas for enhancements and we’re also looking at the customer portal as a way to gain even greater efficiencies from the solution.” C&C Group’s corporate goal is to free up time for their customers, allowing them to focus on their core business. At FieldConnect, we couldn’t agree more!

A Vision Fulfilled – Moore’s Electric

In 1985, when Dale Moore founded Moore’s Electrical and Mechanical Construction, Inc. he had three primary objectives – to build a company that employees could be proud of and feel is the best place they have ever worked, to give customers the best service they had ever experienced, and to give back to the local communities. Over thirty years later, that vision remains the same, and the company has grown to over 550 full-time employees serving the entire states of Virginia and North Carolina.

That growth and commitment to excellence led the company to identify and adopt technology that would support what they call “customer-focused best practices.” With services spanning electrical, HVAC, plumbing, refrigeration, automation and controls, facilities management, and others, including 24-hour emergency service, the field technicians at Moore’s had a lot on their plate.

“In 2013, we decided that we needed to move beyond our existing infrastructure and systems,” says Troy Shelton, Executive Vice President at Moore’s.  “The technician portal we had been using for years was extremely limited in what it could do.  It was functional, but not really making us more efficient.  We had to come up with a better way.  For us, that better way was FieldConnect, and we are very thankful that we made the change.” With corporate headquarters based in Altavista, VA and branch offices located in Charlottesville, Richmond, Manassas, Chesapeake, Charlotte, and Raleigh NC, the ability to capture, share, and leverage information was becoming critical to support Dale Moore’s mantra of putting customers and their needs first.

Under the guidance of their IT Manager at the time, the company began laying the foundation for adopting the technologies that would allow Moore’s to maintain the quality of service that their customers had grown to expect. The management team did not waste any time and quickly identified Microsoft’s Dynamics SL ERP as the platform of choice for accounting, due to the project-based approach of the system. But what to do about incorporating the 100 Service Technicians that were the point of the arrow for Moore’s service delivery?

Working with the Microsoft partner that was delivering the Dynamics SL implementation, the leadership team chose FieldConnect for the field service management component of their overall solution. Shelton and his IT Manager endorsed the selection based on some key attributes. “The real-time connection between FieldConnect’s FieldAccess offering and the Dynamics SL database was key,” recalls Shelton. “We didn’t want a syncing process, as that was a point of failure for our old system.” In addition, Shelton saw the value in other FieldConnect capabilities such as forms management, time tracking for payroll and billing, as well as historical information for each site. “A technician going out to a call provides a much better level of service when they can review the site history and previous work done at that location,” adds Shelton. “This tends to elevate that technician to the role of a trusted advisor, whether this is the first visit, or the fiftieth.”

So, what does Moore’s Electrical & Mechanical look like today? Shelton points to early work on creating standard operating procedures that would govern their seven distinct territories as a key piece of the process. With that framework in place as a guide, Shelton now says that the combined solution “has improved communication markedly,” whether within an office, between offices, or between an office and their associated field workforce. These communications now occur in real time, and provide more complete and accurate information that drive better service delivery, easier quoting processes, and generally empower the office and technicians to do more, faster. “Our techs are now dispatched more efficiently, armed with the right knowledge to get the job done, and can generate PO’s on their mobile device for material they need, further shrinking the amount of time spent on a specific job.” Shelton adds that the specific interaction with the customer can then be closed out with the ability to immediately e-mail customers with a service report detailing what was done, along with any photos or other supporting documents. The billing department gets all the information that they need to produce an invoice, shrinking the billing cycle and improving cash flow.

When asked if there were any surprises that came out of adopting the new solution, Shelton did point to one. “With our 24-hour emergency service, we had a hard time figuring out the best way to handle call center requests that came in at odd hours.” With FieldConnect, “those technicians that are on call can now enter the emergency requests themselves, taking some of the burden off the call center operators and making sure the emergency is addressed quickly and effectively.”

Shelton now views their technological journey as one that helps fulfill Moore’s Electrical and Mechanical’s mission to create a positive workplace that empowers each employee to have a positive impact on the business. This, in turn, supports the customer-centric commitment to service that Dale Moore made on behalf of his company over three decades ago. With that achieved, the company has most certainly positioned itself to focus even more strongly on the third leg of the stool – to contribute meaningfully to the communities it serves, as it has done since 1985.

Download Moore’s Electrical Case Study

 

Tampa Bay Trane uses Mobile Workforce Software and Customer Portal to Win New Business The Company

Tampa Bay Trane is a 45-year-old, Florida-based, Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning (HVAC) contractor. The company employs 70+ field technicians in its service department with another 20+ in its controls department. Tampa Bay Trane’s service offerings range from servicing of digital temperature control systems to start-up and first-year warranty service, preventative maintenance, energy analysis, and 24-hour emergency repair service.

The Challenge

A local company came to Tampa Bay Trane looking for a quote for service, expressing dissatisfaction with their current service provider.
“They told us that their current provider was still using paper work orders on a clipboard and that they had to tell the provider what needed to be inspected and when, provide the scope of each job, and never knew when the service would actually happen,” says Tampa Bay Trane Service Sales & Operations Manager Tim Barnes. “I told them unequivocally that that would never happen with service from us.”

The Solution

Tampa Bay Trane deployed FieldConnect’s mobile workforce solutions. The company equipped its technicians with FieldAccessTM mobile technician software. FieldAccess automates technician tracking, work order management, and customer invoicing in tight integration with their accounting system. The company also purchased the FieldDirectTM customer self-service call creation & status portal. FieldDirect makes technician schedules, planned maintenance, and equipment history all available to the company’s key customers. Both FieldConnect solutions integrate directly with Tampa Bay Trane’s existing Microsoft Dynamics SL ERP system, streamlining data flow between the office and the end customers with the same accuracy and real-time availability as Tampa Bay Trane’s field and back-office teams.

The Results

Barnes’ team showed the dissatisfied local company how Tampa Bay Trane technicians use FieldAccess to manage preventative maintenance schedules, ensuring the work is completed according to service agreement terms. They can also schedule new service work and look up and equipment’s service history all while on-site at the facility.
The local company saw how Tampa Bay Trane supervisors use FieldAccess to ensure the time tracking is accurate and the technicians are accountable. The company also saw how Tampa Bay Trane’s FieldDirect portal could show a customer accurate, historical and real-time, updates of their service history by site, equipment, or call type. FieldDirect would also let them view upcoming service and request emergency service without ever having to make a phone call.

That afternoon, the local company called Tampa Bay Trane and awarded them a service contract worth $40,000 annually.

FieldAccess improves billing of applied time by 9% reducing billing cycle from weeks to days.

Tampa Bay Trane is a 45-year-old, Florida-based, Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning (HVAC) contractor. Initially, its offerings centered on supporting the sale of Trane equipment; however, over the years Tampa Bay Trane has developed its offerings to include servicing of digital temperature control systems, start-up & first-year warranty service, preventative maintenance, energy analysis, & 24-hour emergency repair service.

The Challenge

As Tampa Bay Trane’s offerings evolved, so did the makeup of its workforce. The company grew to employ 70+ field technicians in its service department with another 20+ in the controls department, all of whom were using 3-part paper forms to document service calls. Using paper to document service calls resulted in errors from manual data entry into the accounting & payroll system. Field technicians were spending time on paperwork in the main office that could have been spent serving customers in the field. And because of the lengthy process of relaying paper work orders to the back office, the billing cycle (activity to invoice) was weeks long.

The Solution

Tampa Bay Trane replaced its existing 3-part forms and manual time cards with FieldConnect’s FieldAccess mobile field technician software. FieldAccess is an electronic work order and time card solution that integrates seamlessly with several popular Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, including Tampa Bay Trane’s existing Microsoft Dynamics SL system.

ERP integration enables real-time communication between the field and back office, updating job and payroll information instantly and accurately in Dynamics SL.

The Results

The implementation of FieldAccess eliminated paper forms, the inefficiencies of paper processing, and the errors due to duplicate data entry. As a result, the rate of field service applied time being billed to customers increased from 76% to 85%. This boost in billing alone represented a 200+% return on the FieldConnect investment.

Invoicing also got faster. With real-time ERP updates received around the clock from the field, Tampa Bay Trane’s time from service activity to invoice was shortened from a period of weeks to an average of 2.39 days, with 94% of invoices going out within 4 days.

Eliminating 3-part forms and manual time cards by switching to FieldAccess grew revenue and improved cash flow.