Integrated by Design saves more than $5,000 per year

St. Paul, MN-based Corval Group is a full service industrial general contractor and engineering firm offering solutions and services that deliver results. As a schedule driven industrial general contractor, they develop specialized plans for each project to ensure on-time and on-budget delivery.

The Challenge

Corval was using a third-party mobile field service solution integrated with their ERP to get the benefits of field technician communication and speeding the invoice cycle for field service activity. The solution they used could operate without integrating to Corval’s back-end ERP system – Vista by Viewpoint – but Corval invested time and resources in a software integration to avoid manual efforts to synchronize the two systems. Corval worked with both Viewpoint and their third-party field service solution to create an integration that made sure jobs were visible in both systems, customer lists synchronized automatically, field technician time data transferred to payroll, and completed jobs triggered billing.

The integration had its costs. Every year Vista shipped software updates, and Corval had to ensure the updates didn’t break the integration they had constructed. Corval budgeted $5,000 per year for Viewpoint professional services to test and remediate the integration when updates came out for the ERP. Integration costs didn’t stop with professional services. Steve Bolton, Business Systems Analyst, reported spending 20 hours to shepherd the process and ensure the success of each cycle. As Steve described the situation, “Corval had to skip some updates even when we knew there were benefits to the organization for updating because we could only manage one test and remediation cycle a year.” Furthermore, the integration did not get all of the business results Corval set out to achieve. Steve observed, “If we wanted to analyze work, some of the data was in the third-party product and some were in Viewpoint. There was no way to run a cost versus revenue report in one application.”

The Solution

Corval Group purchased FieldConnect’s FieldAccess mobile field technician software initially for 18 field technicians, which is Integrated by Design with Vista by Viewpoint and other ERP and accounting packages. FieldAccess, along with other FieldConnect products, integrates with the Service Module, inventory module and equipment module in Vista so that there’s only one database for the service activity, customer management, time entry, inventory usage and billing necessary to manage a field service organization.

The Results

Corval Group experienced cost savings and a new level of transparency with FieldConnect’s Integrated by Design approach. “FieldConnect eliminated more than $5,000 a year in the costs of keeping an integration working,” Steve summarized. Steve continued, “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 introduce new integrated capabilities like having technicians collect signatures from customers and consume inventory in real time to improve our visibility to the real costs of our service operations.”

Since implementing FieldConnect solutions, Corval has nearly doubled the number of users of the field service solution and is evaluating solutions designed for other users in their business.


FieldQuotes Delivers Rapid Returns

Tampa Bay Trane, is a large Florida-based Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR company founded in 1969.) Tampa Bay Trane has grown to employ 100 field technicians in its service department, along with another 40 in its controls department. Their service offerings range from digital temperature control systems, start-up and first-year warranty service, to preventative maintenance, energy analysis, and 24-hour emergency repair service.

The Challenge
Tampa Bay Trane technicians often saw additional work opportunities while servicing equipment at customer sites. They presented their recommendations to their customers, who in turn, requested Tampa Bay Trane to quote the additional work. The quoting process took too long. “Techs used to send in leads with pictures, estimates, and work scopes. Then our estimators would quote it, send it to our sales associates and the sales state would follow up with our customers. Under the best circumstances, this would take 24-48 hours” says Tampa Bay Trane General Manager, Tim Barnes.

Delays in quoting appeared to have a negative impact on sales. Tim believed that enabling the techs to quote in the held could lead to new revenue and better close rates. “Instead of having a team of 5 estimators processing all of our leads, I wanted to enable 80 technicians to turnaround quotes onsite. Onsite FieldQuotes would be much more efficient, more effective and I knew our close rate would be much higher. For most of our customers, our technicians are their trusted advisors when it comes to their HVAC system.”

The Solution
Tampa Bay Trane implemented FieldConnect’s FieldQuotes mobile field quoting software for 45 field technicians. FieldQuotes integrates with Microsoft Dynamics SL and other ERP packages.

FieldQuotes empowered Tampa Bay Trane technicians to quote add-on business at the job site and eliminate paper-based quotes. The integration with Dynamics SL ensured that quotes used established pricing with minimal back office involvement.

The Results
Tampa Bay Trane experienced revenue growth following the implementation of FieldQuotes. Tim Barnes said, “In the first month that our techs started using FieldQuotes, we had over $11,000 in new service sales as a result of using the application.” Just one month later, Tim reported that sales through FieldQuotes grew to over $25,000. Tim commented on why the success with FieldQuotes was so rapid. “Our technicians are very comfortable using FieldAccess and FieldTime for mobile work order management. FieldQuotes has the exact same look and feel as the other platforms so once they did their first quote in the field, more followed. Now the entire team is using FieldQuotes and momentum is building.”


S&W Services Uses FieldAccess to Improve Back Office Efficiency by 76% and Grow its Service Business

S&W Services, Inc., is a Syracuse, New York-based, multi-location, petroleum equipment distributor and factory authorized service provider. S&W has managed jobs from initial planning through project completion throughout the Northeast U.S. for more than 15 years.

The Challenge

Field technician paperwork was overwhelming the back office staff.
“We were processing around 150 paperwork orders daily,” says Co-Owner & Service Manager, Chris LaFever. “We had four back office coordinators inputting the data, reconciling, scanning, and filing for around eight hours every day. We were looking for a way to free up the coordinators’ time so they could spend it quickly dispatching technicians to jobs and interacting with our customers.”

The Solution

S&W selected FieldConnect’s FieldAccess remote electronic work order and time entry software for its 17 field technicians. FieldAccess integrates with S&W’s existing Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate (Sage CRE, formerly Sage Timberline) accounting software, providing real-time streaming of critical information between the back office and the field.

The Results

FieldAccess streamlined back-office workflow to help S&W grow its business. Before the introduction of FieldAccess, the needs of the field technicians overwhelmed S&W’s four back-office coordinators. Since the implementation, S&W has nearly doubled the field force to 30 technicians – all managed by the same four back-office coordinators. In other words, one coordinator now manages 7.5 technicians as compared to 4.25 technicians prior to the FieldAccess implementation – a 76% improvement in back-office efficiency.

“Since the implementation, our coordinators now spend as little as 15 minutes throughout the day on data entry and reconciliations,” says LaFever. “Now that the data is completed and streamed in real time from the job site, errors that need to be addressed are vastly reduced. The coordinators are now able to spend that extra time on the phone with customers, providing quotes, and ordering parts, which has meant a terrific boost in our level of customer service.”

Construction & Maintenance Company Saves Big Money with Mobile Electronic Time Card Solution

KDC Construction is a commercial general contractor offering construction services in California and neighboring states. KDC employs a large staff of project managers, as well as 36 field technicians, who bring a wide range of commercial construction knowledge and leadership.

The Challenge

KDC Construction sought to replace paper work orders and time cards with an electronic solution that would integrate with their existing Sage 300 Construction & Real Estate (Sage CRE, formerly Sage Timberline) accounting platform.

“We were using manual time cards. An average of an hour a day per technician was being added to time cards by rounding. This was for 32 techs,” says KDC Service Manager Chat Goben. “Then we had five managers who would spend 1-2 hours per day reconciling time cards and work order numbers. One hour per 32 techs making $20 an hour is an extra $3200 per week! Then you add manager time at $30 an hour and you have an additional $1200.”

The Solution

KDC purchased FieldConnect’s FieldAccess mobile technician software for its 32 field technicians.
FieldAccess provides remote access to electronic work orders and time cards, integrating seamlessly with Sage CRE in the back office, streaming information in real time to and from the field.

The Results

KDC noted immediate gains in efficiency, resulting in dollars saved. Eliminating the manual time cards and managers’ reconciliations “adds up to a total savings of $4400 per week,” Goben summarized.

KDC also found that FieldAccess’ integration with Sage CRE’s payroll module save the company additional time and money by eliminating manual data entry of hours worked in the back office.

Since implementing FieldConnect solutions, KDC has been able to expand their business, hiring an additional four technicians and equipping them with FieldAccess.

Soefker Services, LLC grows business using FieldAccess to reduce billing cycle time by 84% and recover $1,800 per week of opportunity cost

Soefker Services, LLC is a division of Memphis-based W.A. Soefker & Son, Inc., a major regional provider of mechanical services for commercial, institutional, & industrial facilities. Soefker’s 30+ field technicians perform a variety of services ranging from construction services to energy management to HVAC repair, maintenance, plumbing, and mechanical contracting.

The Challenge

Soefker wanted to improve the billing cycle by automating the back-office invoicing process using a mobile field software solution. The back office transcribed paper-based work orders and time cards to generate invoices. In addition, field technicians were spending time reconciling their payroll hours with work orders instead of spending time serving customers.

The Solution

In 2009, Soefker implemented FieldConnect’s FieldAccess mobile electronic work order and time card software to integrate with its existing Sage 300 Construction & Real Estate (Sage CRE, formerly Sage Timberline) accounting software. The integration eliminated the need for transcribing paper-based time card and work order data into the accounting system. The software also streamlined the reconciliation of work order activity with payroll hours.

The Results

The integration of FieldAccess with Sage CRE reduced the billing cycle from an average of 8 days to 30 hours – an 84% reduction in billing cycle time – and Soefker used the software to grow its service business.

“The implementation also eliminated the need for technicians to spend 1.5 hours every Thursday to reconcile payroll hours,” says Service Manager Steve Harvey. “With that time freed up, Soefker can now realize $1,800 each week in additional, billable technician time.”

FieldConnect Customer Uses Field Workforce Automation Software

to Improve Workforce Efficiency

A FieldConnect customer focused on Maintenance & Construction and headquartered in Indiana, performs construction and maintenance work throughout the country. Their services include stormwater system maintenance, erosion control corrective action and prevention, petroleum equipment installation and maintenance, environmental consulting and remediation services, landscaping, and concrete and asphalt maintenance. The company dispatches more than 100 field technicians from its multiple locations.

The Challenge

The company’s technicians needed real-time access to information that would help them complete their work swiftly and accurately. They were using paper work orders and other documents, and the distribution of before-and-after repair photos, repair manuals, and worksite history was hampering job completions. Errors occurred from the manual data entry of paperwork orders into the company’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, Sage 300 Construction & Real Estate (Sage CRE, formerly Timberline).

In addition, the company’s 25 crew leaders maintained paper time cards for their crews, which resulted in many man-hours spent reviewing and entering data.

The Solution

The company purchased and implemented FieldConnect’s FieldAccess mobile technician software for its 100 technicians, as well as FieldConnect’s FieldDirect self-service call creation portal.

The Results

Within 9 months, the company’s Corporate Controller reported more than 25 hours per day in improved workforce efficiency.

“We have seen a great return on investment by saving time with crew leaders remotely logging labor for their whole team with one simple entry,” said the controller. “FieldConnect’s solutions have a feature which allows maintenance crew leaders to enter the same time for four techs on their team, which saves each crew leader an hour per night on the timesheet paperwork he used to do. With 25 crew leaders, that adds up to a lot of saved time and money over the course of the year. The employees love seeing their work order info in the field, and as an executive, I love saving major dollars on payroll per tech per week that was lost through paper-based timesheet inaccuracy.”

“We are now using FieldAccess to manage workflow in 35 states,” said the company’s CFO. ”We run a complex business with many electronic forms and FieldAccess handles it all. The bottom line is that this solution works.”

Tampa Bay Trane: How FieldConnect modernized their field service operations.

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 & firstyear 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 and details being missed, as well as manual data entry into the accounting & payroll system, and hours of copying & filing. Field techs were spending time on paperwork in the main office that could have been spent serving customers in the field. And due to the lengthy process of relaying paper work orders to the back office, the billing cycle (activity to invoice) was weeks long.

Management looked to replace paper with an electronic work order and time card solution but worried about technology adoption. For more than 30 years, Tampa Bay Trane had operated with paper-based processes. How would 90+ field technicians adopt and embrace new technology as part of their day-to-day work?

The Solution

Tampa Bay Trane management evaluated and selected FieldConnect’s Mobile Technician Software because of its direct integration with their existing Microsoft Dynamics SL accounting software, as well as its intuitive user interface.

“I found that members of FieldConnect’s implementation team are experts in change management,” says Service Sales & Operations Manager Tim Barnes. “They walked us through every stage of the rollout, from the kickoff call, through the multiple waves of technician adoption, until FieldAccess was being successfully used by every single member of our field force.”

The Results

The effects on Tampa Bay Trane’s business were substantial. Overall efficiency improved as activity-to-invoice time decreased and applied billing rates increased. The success of the FieldConnect integration even gave Tampa Bay Trane access to new business opportunities.

“I have technicians telling me they would never go back to paper,” says Barnes. “Having FieldAccess has empowered them to manage their own schedules and workloads.”

“I have technicians telling me they would never go back to paper. Having FieldConnect has empowered them to manage their own schedules and workloads.”

Tim Barnes

General Manager