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How Fieldpoint Helped Change the Landscape of Field Service Management.

Posted by Fieldpoint Service Applications on Apr 21, 2017 3:08:34 PM

The FSM (Field Service Management) landscape is changing - business leaders are evaluating their organizational strengths and weaknesses and searching for new and cost-effective ways to boost efficiency, maximize productivity, realize their cash flow and reduce the margin of error. When we say end to end field service management what do we really mean?

Many companies have first generation systems in place that give you basic field service dispatch and scheduling with limited mobility. Others use extensions of their ERP systems for better optimization of their field service activities, while there are still enterprises that rely on manual processes and spreadsheets which means a lot of paper management. In relying on ad hoc methods and outdated systems, enterprises will face challenges in meeting their end to end management goals. Service management solutions stay in silos rather than being share across the enterprise through a fully integrated solution. Managing complex customer service contract requirements is a demanding task that is only made more complicated by manual processes.

A New Era in FSM – True End to End Management

At Fieldpoint when we say end to end management, we mean that our system has the capability to manage the entire FSM process, giving our customers the capability to automate their service management right from the time the service call is received to the time when the invoice is generated from your ERP system. It simplifies management of the complete Field Service lifecycle, including work orders, labor, parts, expenses, equipment, warranties and contracts. Its robust planning and scheduling capabilities provides the ability to adapt to changes through out the cycle.

Service Management

Once a service call comes in, it is entered into the system either manually or through support, and then scheduled by creating an appointment – the goal here is to get the right resource, with the right skill set to the right place with the required parts in the least amount of time. Dispatch optimization allows technicians to attend to more service calls minimizing travel times and increasing profitability.

Mobility

Fieldpoint’s solution is mobile and we have a native mobile app through which the technician can enter the service call information in real time. They can add any parts being used, associated costs, capture images associated with the call and close off the work order with a digital signature from the customer. All this information is immediately synced with the back end office. Increasingly, mobility is providing workforce optimization solutions and valuable tools to help them achieve their goals.

Integrations, Automated Cost Management and Invoicing

Now we have all the information to generate an invoice to the customer, and the system expedites invoicing and customer billing. There are out of the box integrations with Microsoft GP, NetSuite and Intacct as well as an open API so we can build integrations to other ERP and CRM systems. You can have a complete view into your financials and data recorded within the software is immediately available.

Actual labor, parts and service costs can be recorded instantly. The system can tell you if an asset is under warranty, or a service level agreement. You can see whether there are any pricing considerations, labour rates, contractual commitments and discounts that apply to the invoicing. This takes the burden off the technician.

Project Job Costing and Management

We can’t ignore organizations that sell, install complex projects as well as provide recurring professional services and repairs. Fieldpoint’s project management and job costing solution is perfect for these enterprises. Traditionally many enterprise solutions provide silo project and service modules that don’t speak to each other. Service teams that do break and fix work one day and project installations the next, need service software that can schedule, track inventory and invoice both operations at the same time.

How We Can Help Your Bottom Line   

  • Customer satisfaction and retention becomes a reality as there is real time information exchange between the back end and field.
  • With ERP integration and mobility, the technicians have a view into inventory and can access or order parts immediately, reducing the service time, number of call backs and save money on maintenance contracts.
  • Eliminates the risk of double data entry and paperwork, improving communications
  • Overheads are reduced, cash flow is increased by faster billing that can be generated in seconds
  • Flexible recurring and repair billing options that can be generated in real time and referenced to a contract
  • Consistent SLA performance will increase the chances of winning contract renewals. Scalability helps expand field service offerings into new regions and markets.

Topics: Field Service Management

The Importance of Being Integrated to Microsoft GP

Posted by Fieldpoint Service Applications on Apr 3, 2017 12:42:35 PM

Typically, enterprises need to integrate their service management system with software applications like sales (CRM), manufacturing (ERP) and financial accounting. These integrationsensure that enterprises are not working on several systems that do not integrate to each other, and that there is connectivity and seamless data flow between multiple systems.

With this level of integration, you can –

  • Reduce operational and administrative costs
  • Measure real time performance of your service delivery strategy
  • Boost enterprise profitability
  • Improve business processes

 

One of Fieldpoint’s out of the box integrations is with Microsoft GP (Great Plains), a global financial and business management application used by thousands of organizations world wide. Many Fieldpoint customers use Microsoft GP for their sales, inventory, invoicing, purchasing and financial accounting. The two applications are collaborated and enhance workforce productivity. You have complete visibility into GP from within the Fieldpoint application, and customer data, parts and employee stats are all in sync. You can track inventory for work orders and projects right from Fieldpoint, when a field technician closes a service call, they will record their labor and parts used, which will price these transactions. The invoice is prepared in Fieldpoint, and passed to GP where it is taxed, printed for distribution, and automatically updated in the customer’s accounts receivable balance. The service system thereby is used for quicker invoice generation, creates a single point of entry, and reduces workload in the finance department. With the mobile app, the field tech can do all this right from the customer site! If a field tech is onsite and they don’t have a part that they need for a job, they can check from Fieldpoint where the part is located, does it need to be ordered or can it be picked up? This improves break fix rates as well as saves the tech valuable time and money, and they close off the work order right in site as opposed to having to return to the office to sync their financials with the back office.

With the GP Integration

  • You can handle invoicing, tax calculations and price levels.
  • Parts planning to optimize stock levels, and reduce redundant inventory
  • Smart purchasing for parts replenishment and subcontractor requirements
  • Integrate your timesheets to payroll and integrate expense management to accounts payable

 

With the Fieldpoint integration, you have now reduced redundant admin activities, saved time, you can bill immediately and improve your cash flow! Fieldpoint’s service management product offering can be integrated, and has successfully been integrated with many different other enterprise software systems. Share data in real time, streamline your operations and serve your customers better.

Topics: Field Service Management

Key Objective for A Service Delivery Enterprise’s Success and Profitability

Posted by Fieldpoint Service Applications on Mar 27, 2017 11:45:48 AM

 

Management by objective works - if you know the objectives. Ninety percent of the time you don't. Peter Drucker

We live in a technology driven age where equipment downtime and failure no longer means losing just efficiency; you now lose money, time and most importantly client satisfaction and risk compromising retention. To deal with downtime, or rather prevent it there are certain capabilities that your service management system should have. The investment in the right service management system has become a vital part of business strategy to ensure and promote success.

BI Work Order Summary Dashboard.jpg

Fieldpoint’s Field Service Management System Can Help You Improve Your Bottom Line

Improve Your First-Time Fix Rate

Aberdeen research shows that 25% of service calls usually require at least one follow-up visit to correct a reported issue. This could be due to several reasons. The technician may not have the necessary skill set for the task at hand, they may not have estimated the correct time to allocate to the fix, or they may not have had access to any parts or materials needed for the fix. With the application that Fieldpoint offers, there is complete visibility into technician calendars, skill sets, parts and with the advanced analytics reports that you can run on past work orders, you can predict how long the fix can take. The dispatcher can access all this data before scheduling the work order, and the technician will be alerted immediately via their mobile device and can accept the service call. They can then estimate the time needed, use the routing tool to determine the shortest time to travel, and once at the site; they can track any parts that they may need again via the mobile app. This will increase chances of a first-time fix, reduce mean time to repair and you will be able to cater to more calls than you ever could before.

Augment New Revenue Streams with Profitable Contracts

With the intense manufacturer competition, sales margins are getting slimmer and slimmer. How do you optimize your profit margins on equipment? You must make your contracts profitable. Sounds easier than it is, you can sell an SLA, or PM contract at the time of sale, but you must make sure that you meet all the contract requirements so that you can regularly renew them. When you are managing thousands of line items on hundreds of contracts, you need to offer quality service so that you can renew for recurring revenue. Automation is critical here. With Fieldpoint you can automatically generate work orders on a specified customer recurring schedule, the system can create any custom schedule, assign specific skills, technicians, and subcontractors for each contract line. PM work orders have the complete list of parts, tasks, and labor service required for your techs to be successful. Your customers will be delighted with the quality of service, which means recurring service revenues and repeat business.

Predictive Maintenance – The Future of Field Service

What if you knew beforehand that a machine or asset are going to break down, before they do? What if the asset itself could tell you what kind of maintenance it needs, and what parts may need replacing? Seems far-fetched - not anymore! With the advent of IoT, equipment and assets in the field will have sensors to monitor anomalies, errors, and upkeep and will be connected to an IoT platform. We are witnessing a shift in the paradigm from reactive/preventative to a predictive maintenance business model. Traditionally equipment has been serviced at fixed intervals as we had no better information available to us. We are now working towards machines and devices can notifying us when they are operating outside of normal parameters or predict when failure is imminent, allowing us to provide service before equipment downtime occurs. Technicians only visit sites and inspect equipment when it is needed. This predictive maintenance model results in lower administrative and field resource cost improved equipment uptime and most importantly higher customer satisfaction. Now you can provide better levels of service at lower costs than your competitors.

 

Topics: Field Service Management

Profitable Contract Management with Fieldpoint

Posted by Fieldpoint Service Applications on Mar 20, 2017 10:28:58 AM

Enterprises that manage customer contracts and service agreements are experiencing revenue leakage, because they rely on paper management, spreadsheets, and stand-alone systems. Service Contracts are as important, if not more important, than the initial sale. Managing contracts, however, can be a clerical nightmare and, if not maintained properly, can result in lost revenue and poor customer service.

The service contract management capabilities of a service management application need to work in unison with asset tracking to provide service organizations with an all-in-one management suite for maximizing service revenues and improved customer service. You are looking at complete automation.

The entire contract lifecycle from the initial quoting/estimates to automated billing needs to be automated and managed. Once you have completed the sale, the next step is to establish ongoing revenue stream from customers. In many industries, your main revenue stream is coming from service contracts. This is because of the intense competition that influences pricing of the machinery, subsequently lowering the profit margins. This is why it is extremely important to keep a control of your service contracts and renewals to maintain and retain your customers.

Simple, enterprise wide coordination of warranty management, contract tracking, service delivery and billing – regardless of contract variations – speeds up billing cycles. Time, materials and expense attributes as well as exceptions provide complete and accurate customer billing. With the financial integration, not only is the billing accurate but also immediate with the click of a button. The benefits of implementing contract management software saves time and valuable resources.

The contract management software supports all field service categories including phone support, onsite services for equipment installations, break/fix, metered usage, and preventive maintenance and any need for repairs brought in house for service. Simple templates enable staff to create contracts with a few clicks. Quotations can be automatically turned into contracts when accepted. The benefits provided through the use of contract management software can be felt throughout an entire organization as it allows a much more streamlined and efficient process for all personnel involved.

Contract and warranty tracking provides the necessary visibility so everyone interacting with the customers knows the contract status, service level, coverage, and the difference between warranted and billable goods and services. This visibility is vital to keeping everyone on the same page with the same objectives in mind, and keeps the customers’ needs at the forefront. These robust capabilities support automatic and renegotiated contract renewals; tracks contract modifications and invoice histories; and easily interfaces with third party financial systems.

Topics: Field Service Management, Contract Management

The Internet of Things (IoT) and Field Service

Posted by Fieldpoint Service Applications on Feb 21, 2017 11:33:57 AM

 

The Internet of Things, or IoT, is changing the landscape of field service. IoT is a network of connected devices covering a huge spectrum of hardware, ranging from cars, refrigerators, and HVAC systems all the way down to pill bottles and speakers. By 2020, Gartner is predicting that there will be over 20 billion connected devices. Other estimates place this number as high as 50 billion. Not all of these devices have a field service component to them, but many do.

 

Internet of Things Units Installed Base by Category (Millions of Units)

Category

2014

2015

2016

2020

Consumer

2,277

3,023

4,024

13,509

Business: Cross-Industry

632

815

1,092

4,408

Business: Vertical-Specific

898

1,065

1,276

2,880

Grand Total

3,807

4,902

6,392

20,797

Source: Gartner (November 2015)

Devices are becoming smarter, and huge shifts in how we service these devices will occur. Currently, in the HVAC world, preventative inspections and maintenance occur at timed intervals. With IoT equipment, we can identify when equipment is operating outside of the desired parameters and request service. PM Inspections can occur based on actual hours of usage or wear within the equipment rather than at arbitrarily timed intervals that have no relation to actual usage. This move to predictive rather than preventative maintenance requires that software systems be capable of receiving notifications from these devices and processing them accordingly.

With IoT, when devices fail, they cInternet-of-Things Image.pngan send messages to the field service system, or technicians can connect to the device over the internet and see things like diagnostic reports, the details of the problem, error codes, and a list of failed parts. The alarm generated by the equipment can be subscribed to by the field service system, and it can generate a work order with all the information provided. By looking up all the registered devices, we can know the location, warranty or contract status, and service entitlement of that piece of equipment. This information can be seamlessly routed to the correct technician based on skills needed, location, etc. Technicians now show up to the site with all the information they need, along with any parts based on detailed diagnostic information rather than basic problem description provided by a customer.

Whatever industry you are in, it's evident that IoT is going to mean big changes for how your company performs field service, and these changes are coming fast.

 

 

Topics: Field Service Management, IoT

HVACR Service Software – your Success Lies with Fieldpoint

Posted by Fieldpoint Service Applications on Feb 14, 2017 8:10:51 AM

 

The Industry

The HVAC industry is an 88-billion-dollar industry with an annual growth of 4.9%. There are a few factors that influence the steady growth and expansion of the sector, like the advent and awareness of energy efficient systems and the rebound of activity in the construction market. Coupled with an increase in economic activity has caused an unprecedented corporate profit increase. I have to say that there are many software options out there to manage your HVAC business, but which solution is right for your business?

Your Business Requirements

Firstly, you need an application that can handle the workflow needs of HVAC technicians, but is that enough? The need of the day is to have a system in place that can dispatch, schedule, create appointments and be fully integrated with your ERP and CRM system. You should be able to track quotes, work orders, schedule & dispatch, parts inventory and invoices with one application. HVAC service mostly takes place in the field so your application of choice must be accessible on mobile devices and come with a mobile app.

Fieldpoint’s End to End Field Service Management and Job Costing Software

Fieldpoint is your go-to solution to automate your field service activities completely. Streamline operations and manage your HVAC business through one stand alone system that integrates to your existing ERP and CRM system. Right from when the salespeople convert their quotes and bids into jobs, your installation, service, finance and procurement department now all have visibility to the job information that they need. Initial invoices can be generated directly from the job and equipment can be ordered directly from the job and processed in your ERP systems.

Through Fieldpoint the dispatcher can generate schedules and routes based on availability from a resource planning tool. The dispatcher has a complete view of calendars, skill sets, certifications and locations of techs. The constant back and forth between the tech and dispatcher can be minimized and even eliminated.

Now that the job is scheduled and an appointment created for the tech, through their mobile app they can view customer account details, payment and service history. Technicians can create work invoices and automate customer payments upon completion of service while still on site. They can access customer data and work history, work with checklists, capture photos, and signatures right in the field.

This is more accurate than having to fill paper forms that then have to be submitted into a system back in the office. Your activities are now paperless, and you have expedited getting your invoices out the door. You have also reduced the number of hours and cost allocated to administration. With HVAC you are looking at a huge inventory of units, parts, tools, etc. Fieldpoint helps companies keep track of HVAC equipment details, such as make, model, serial number, warranty data, manufacturer and more. Inventory supply is maintained by tracking items that are used and stocking when levels are running low.

Business Process Integration

Fieldpoint’s integration to other systems is one of the biggest differentiators that we have in the HVAC software market. HVAC business owners who integrate their field service software with an accounting solution can save themselves from having to manually transfer invoice and billing data from one application to another. Similarly, integration with a CRM application can lead to more insights to help those sales teams sell and meet customer expectations.

Topics: Field Service Management, HVAC

Case Study: Aegis Chemical Solutions

Posted by Fieldpoint Service Applications on Jan 17, 2017 11:03:10 AM

 

aegis-case-study.pngAegis found themselves faced with an aging service management system. They needed to make a change and update their FSM (Field Service Management) Software to meet long-term operational and strategic goals of providing quality customer service, reducing costs and minimizing any time wasted. Aegis provide high-quality chemical treatment and technical services for oilfield applications. They generate thousands of recurring work orders every month, each on a specific customer delivery schedule. The system that Aegis was using before implementation was very complicated to configure and maintain, so it required highly skilled competency and training hence it was costly to make improvements. Work orders were generated automatically, but scheduling delivery dates and making changes to future deliveries was very time-consuming.

 

 Learn more about how Fieldpoint can help optimize your field service activities 

Topics: Field Service Management

How Fieldpoint is Helping Change the Landscape of Field Service Management.

Posted by Fieldpoint Service Applications on Jan 9, 2017 10:35:23 AM

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The FSM (Field Service Management) landscape is changing – business leaders are evaluating their organizational strengths and weaknesses while searching for new and cost-effective ways to boost efficiency, maximize productivity, realize their cash flow and reduce the margin of error. When we say end to end field service management what do we mean?

Many companies have first generation systems in place that give you basic field service dispatch and scheduling with limited mobility. Others use extensions of their ERP systems for better optimization of their field service activities, while there are still enterprises that rely on manual processes and spreadsheets which means a lot of paper management. In relying on ad hoc methods, silos of service information, and outdated systems, enterprises will face challenges in meeting their end to end management goals.

A New Era in FSM – True End to End Management

At Fieldpoint when we say end to end management, we mean that our system has the capability to manage the entire FSM process. You can incorporate your CRM or service quoting system into the work order process, and have complete visibility into the customer order i.e. price, cost. Once service levels, warranty, or contract conditions are confirmed you may need to order or ship parts. This has to be streamlined and costed accurately. The only way to do this is to integrate the process with your corporate inventory system. Fieldpoint also has a powerful tool to dispatch resources based on skills and availability directly from work orders to meet customer response levels while efficiently utilizing resources. Techs in the field would have a mobile app to collect call information. Once completed your dispatch desk should be updated immediately with real time information. Now your inventory usage is confirmed, labor time, and any expenses are ready to be billed. Once the invoice is created, financial systems are updated to drive cash flow, and service analysis is available for dashboard reporting. That’s deep real-time integration to the ERP and CRM systems, so sales, service, and finance are all seamlessly connected.

Service Management – Working in a multi-channel dispatch environment

End to End service management supports multiple channels to log new work orders. That’s why you need a workflow and escalation tool as part of your field service system so you can focus on each channel of communications and the system can consistently process it automatically. Once the work order is logged, the next goal here is to get the right resource, with the right skill set to the right place with the essential parts in the least amount of time. Dispatch optimization allows technicians to attend to more service calls minimizing travel times and increasing profitability.

Field Service Mobility – Keeping techs connected and engaged

Fieldpoint’s solution is mobile, and we have a native mobile app through which the technician can enter the service call information in real time. They can add any parts used, associated costs, capture images relevant to the call and close off the work order with a digital signature from the customer. All this information then syncs with the back office. Today mobility enhances workforce optimization solutions and valuable tools to help them achieve their goals.

Integrations, Automated Cost Management and Invoicing

Now we have all the information to generate an invoice to the customer, and the system expedites invoicing and customer billing. There are out of the box integrations with Microsoft Dynamics GP, NetSuite, and Intacct as well as an open API so we can build integrations to other ERP and CRM systems. You have a complete view into your financials and data recorded within the software is available immediately.
Actual labor, parts and service costs can be recorded instantly. The system can tell you if an asset is under warranty, or a service level agreement. You can see whether there are any pricing considerations, labor rates, contractual commitments and discounts that apply to the invoicing. This speeds up time to invoice which improves cash flow as well as allows your staff to focus exclusively on servicing the customer, eliminating the need for individuals to remember complicated rules or agreements and significantly reduces errors.

Project Job Costing and Management

We can’t ignore organizations that sell, install complex projects as well as provide recurring professional services and repairs. Fieldpoint’s project management and job costing solution is perfect for these enterprises. Traditionally many enterprise solutions provide silo project and service modules that don’t speak to each other. Service teams that do break and fix work one day and project installations the next need service software that can schedule from the same pool of resources, track inventory and invoice both operations at the same time.

How We Can Help Your Bottom Line

  • Customer satisfaction and retention become a reality as there is real-time information exchange between the back end and field.
  • With ERP integration and mobility, the technicians have a view into inventory and can access or order parts immediately, reducing the service time, the number of call-backs and save money on maintenance contracts.
  • The risk of double data entry is eliminated and the business can go paperless; this improves communications.
  • Overheads are reduced, cash flow is increased by faster billing that can be generated in seconds.
  • Flexible recurring and repair billing options that can be generated in real time and referenced to a contract.
  • Consistent SLA performance will increase the chances of winning contract renewals. Scalability helps expand field service offerings into new regions and markets.

 

 Schedule a Demo to Learn More

Topics: Field Service Management