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 Richards, Service Support Specialist at Maxson, who 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 Richards, “but the fact that we have set records for the last four consecutive months in amounts invoiced certainly says a lot.”