Empowering Mobile Field Service Technicians

Empowering Mobile Field Service Technicians

Field service management in the early years was quite simple. When an asset or piece of equipment broke, the customer notified the service organisation. The field service team scheduled a field technician. The dispatched technician arrived within an agreed-upon service window, fixed the asset, and moved on to the next job. However, at this point, the asset had already failed, leading to an unproductive piece of equipment frustrated customers. 

Based on advice in Aberdeen’s Field Service report “Workforce Management Guide” (2013), leading field service companies today must identify ways to leverage the unique relationship between customers and technicians. Field service calls must add to the overall customer experience. The evolution of field service transforms the appointment from a wrench-turning event into an opportunity to build long-term trust and partnerships.

Australian companies are seeking to become specialists in their niche areas, operations and post-sale strategies to differentiate themselves in a highly competitive market. One of the most effective approaches to increasing revenue margins is by addressing customer satisfaction and retention.

Industry leading customer service requires substantial operational efficiencies, which can be achieved largely by systemisation and automation. Improving the efficiency of trip routes, shrinking the excess parts in van stock, and reducing paper are not innovative practices. In 2018, they are more-likely, industry standards. 

The Best-in-Class service companies are going further than ever before by investing in resources and systems that provide total transparency for customers.  By having more advanced insights into resource planning and requirements, companies are able to ensure they always have the right resource in the right place at the right time. This means having the:

Right technician

Right time

Right customer

Right part

Right solution

Correct information

Investing in digital tools to assist the business processes can increase revenue and customer satisfaction. Three technologies are essential to address this revolution: mobile devices, centralised cloud-based solutions and what is called “the internet of things”.

The new mobile workforce enabled by cloud technology.

Giving technicians access to real-time data while on the go is a must in the industry. But more important is the ability for a technician to take customer information and feedback in the field as well as information about jobs and equipment.  Having this cloud of live knowledge is vital for a customer-centric strategy and to predict future opportunities.

The five must-have tools that leading field service apps must provide to innovative service companies are:

  1. Service knowledge.
    Technicians with the right skills and information can solve problems. Service apps are helping leading companies give their technicians access to the data that will help them be more efficient whilst onsite and provide a better customer experience. These databases include maintenance schedules, past service history, work instruction changes, and new regulations and safety information. Access to this data can dramatically change how field a technician resolves issues.
  2. Resource visibility on-demand.
    Fixed assets and all the information recorded about them is not always easy to track. Innovative field service cloud solutions provide advanced assets management and resources allocation with real-time dashboards. GPS location and real-time van inventory are critical tools. This tech, boosted by mobile applications, ensures problems are fixed with a minimal amount of time and dollars spent.
  3. Schedule and routing the correct technician.
    A Best-in-Class maintenance management software, like NextService, helps businesses by implementing technologies that enable enhanced field service connectivity in real time. The technician’s Mobile devices become an extension of your core ERP System. The app gives instant access to job records, asset history, inventory availability and job checklists.
  4. Analytics to measure the workforce’s performance.
    Leading field service companies use vital analytical tools that monitor and measure performance across their organisation. Technicians with real-time personalised dashboards of performance can assess them more effectively manage their time, their jobs and their customer service. 
  5. Automated and collaborative workforce.
    ERP helps to automate and streamline workflows from job creation and allocation through to completion and billing. Mobile technology makes collaboration easier. A major differentiator in the service industry is having teams that are truly collaborative. By sharing tasks, work orders, history and reports, everyone can be on the same page. 

State of the art Computerised Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS)

Pioneering companies are also searching for CMMS Software that directly connects with their CMS. Platforms like NetSuite, the Oracle Field Service Cloud software, help to build a great customer experience. NetSuite is an ERP System that centralises the CMMS and the CMS in a single platform along with finances, accountability, sales, marketing and inventory.

A centralised software system has great advantages for customer service. Service modules allow clients to give feedback and schedule work orders. Field service ERPs automate the customers’ requests for information and allows them to access their accounts.

Download the NetSuite for Field Service Guide.

Get a complete guide of the must-have tool that is leading the systemisation of the field service. Get in the revolution of customer experience.

 

Having all the information in one single field service cloud facilitates automated scheduling based on attributes such as the technician’s relationship to the customers, location, route, and severity of the issue. Data shared amongst all systems can empower the field technician with sales tools. Field service operators can adjust or sell preventive maintenance plans, fix billing issues and build up customer relations if required.

State of the art mobile apps like NextService, built for NetSuite, allows online or offline information to be accessed and uploaded from any location. This cloud-based software provides statistics and customer data on any device and can be set up very quickly. 

The revolution of industry 4.0 is changing field service forecasting.

In the new era of preventive maintenance, machine-to-machine (M2M) tech is the gold. The internet of things allows ERPs to capture data from smart devices on location. This intelligence allows alerts of a future or current failure. These alerts trigger preventive assets maintenance visits and recommend resolution scenarios for technicians before getting on site.

Advanced connectors enable the real-time communication between the ERP system and the field machines. Field service companies that lead and control their networks search for systems that have these robust Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). NetSuite includes SuiteTalk, the most robust API web services integration powered by Oracle. This API makes it easy for developers to integrate NetSuite with a variety of applications and hardware including existing on-premise machinery.

A significant piece of differentiation in the tech toolkit for the mobile field service is enabling the communication between technicians and on-premise machinery. If configured correctly automation can be tailored to a degree in which field technicians would be calling customers to notify machine failures before they even notice it. State of the art maintenance software helps them collect and connect this data to their workflows.

Need a specialist’s free advice?

Feel free to call an expert in Field Service Enterprise Resource Planning Systems today. Find out how cloud-based technology can help you to build a great customer journey.

References

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HVAC Businesses are Ditching Paper and Going Digital 

HVAC Businesses are Ditching Paper and Going Digital 

It’s no secret that new technology in the HVAC industry is seeing more businesses make the move to a paperless workplace. Clean, green, efficient and cost-effective – what’s not to like? According to Clean Up Australia, we use more than 4.2 million tonnes of paper annually in this country, but this is starting to change. Once the backbone of businesses, we’re seeing more and more organisations ditching the paper in favour of digital solutions, and they’re reaping the cost benefits.

Aussies want to connect digitally

Paper-based transactions are a thing of the past. They’re unreliable, slow and inconvenient. Nowadays, people want quick, easy, seamless experiences from anywhere they like – computer, tablet or smartphone device. Satisfied customers equal repeat business and referrals.

Minimise competition 

55% of consumers say that they would choose businesses that offer cloud-based customer self-service tools over those who don’t. With this in mind, you could lose half of your customers purely for this reason.

Time = money

Think how much time is wasted printing, scanning and faxing documents – or when a document is lost, incomplete or not in good order. Going digital and embracing new technology in  means you’re freeing up yours and your team’s time to focus on the customer and business strategy.

Secure data 

It’s a common misconception that data isn’t secure if it’s stored digitally – however, storing confidential customer data in the cloud is actually much safer than using paper. This is because all data is stored in one central location and secured with the same level of encryption used by the banking industry – unlike on paper, which can be easily lost or destroyed. This is also a better option for disaster recovery, where you can store multiple digital copies of your data in different physical locations, so if a disaster strikes, your business applications and data are unaffected if they’re hosted in the cloud.

Why not find out for yourself?

If you’re interested in ditching the paper and going digital, but you’re not sure where to start, why not download our NetSuite for HVAC Product Guide?  

2018 HVAC Industry Trends

2018 HVAC Industry Trends

Integration, automation and smart technologies are all trends expected to shape the HVAC industry in 2018, and competition is increasing inline with the growth of residential and commercial construction across Australia. Successful companies in the industry are seizing these new opportunities and embracing technological change by using cloud-based HVAC business software that provides visibility of all stock and inventory, improved efficiencies and responsiveness, seamless scheduling of jobs in real-time, and optimum customer service.

Three Key Trends Impacting HVAC Industry in 2018

1. Integration

The Internet of Things (IoT) is enabling HVAC businesses to equip systems with Wi-Fi capabilities and built in apps. As data is now digitised, components within HVAC systems can communicate, which means scheduled maintenance and repairs are made easier for field service staff with access to multiple system parameters; temperature sensor readings, operation status, operation mode, EV (electronic expansion valve) position, compressor status, and more.

2. Automation

While automation within the HVAC industry isn’t necessarily a new focus, it’s set to become bigger than ever before in 2018. HVAC businesses taking full advantage of automation are achieving greater consistency and optimisation, and are spending less time running unnecessary maintenance or duplicating data. With the assistance of smart technologies and integrated systems, companies are seeking cost-effective, cloud-based HVAC business software to automate processes and reporting, and gain full visibility across the business in order to provide excellent customer service.

3. Smart Technologies

To meet high customer demand, the need for accuracy is more important than ever. Smart technologies mean that adjustments can be made remotely, saving long-term costs for businesses and ensuring business processes are as efficient as possible. An example of this can be seen in smart thermostats, where temperature can be controlled and adjusted remotely through wireless networks. This gives businesses the ability to monitor system performance and achieve higher energy savings.  

Free Tech Review

If you’re not sure that your business is ready for NetSuite, a free tech review could be just what you need. We’ll look at your existing infrastructure and provide you with a high-level report with the next steps to take.    

Trust | The Essence of a Successful Locksmith Business

Trust | The Essence of a Successful Locksmith Business

Locksmiths are freely granted access to our homes, properties, schools, shops and businesses. A good locksmith is professional, on time, well trained with the latest skills and technology. The locksmith you send to your customer is the face of your brand and the key to your business success

 
Is your service team able to effectively engage with your customers to build loyalty and repeat business?
 

 

 

Mismanaged Business Processes Impact Growth of Locksmith Businesses 

Mismanaged business processes impact the growth of Locksmith businesses. Old technology systems can result in out of stocks, inefficiencies, lack of visibility into key business metrics, inefficient job scheduling, and data duplication – ultimately leading to unhappy customers and lack of recurring business.

How can Security and Locksmith Businesses Manage Demand? 

Security and locksmith businesses need software that ensures they have the right person at the right time in the right place. Successful Locksmith companies are seizing new opportunities with a system that provides visibility of all stock and inventory across multiple sites and vehicles, improved efficiencies and responsiveness, seamless job scheduling in real-time, and optimum customer service. NextService is an easy-to-use, field service management system that sits within the NetSuite platform – and it was purpose-built for servicing and repairing equipment. This means that users receive all the benefits of NetSuite, while enabling Locksmith businesses to run their core business operations efficiently – with no need for labour intensive processes or data duplication. With a drag and drop schedule board, users allocate their workforce in real-time, and can view the location of all field service staff, view previous service history, and more, with NextService resource scheduling ensuring full response to support and service requests. For more information, download the Locksmith brochure below.

Medical is the #1 IoT Growth Sector – are you Ready?

Medical is the #1 IoT Growth Sector – are you Ready?

Digital disruption is seeing the use of apps in the medical industry rapidly increase. Healthcare is becoming more customer centric – and with medical device companies like Koch Disruptive Technologies entering the market, the gap between lower quality commodity service and true experts is becoming more evident than ever. 

Internet of Things (IoT) in the Medical World

Internet of Things (IoT) is taking over the medical world. According to the Medical Internet of Things and Big Data in Healthcare report, by 2020, 40% of IoT-related technology will be health-related, which is more than any other sector – making up a $117 billion market. This is set to transform the current healthcare industry as we know it today, curbing costs, reducing inefficiencies and saving lives. IoT in medical industry is seeing the use of apps and cloud technology rapidly increase.

Is Your Business Future Proof?

Customers are now ‘always on and always connected’ through their mobile devices and great customer experience is defined by access to digital and online information.   Excellent customer experience  drives customer satisfaction, brand loyalty and repeat business.   Paper trails, inconsistent processes, or incomplete information limit your ability to personalised your service offering and provide optimum customer service. Real-time data metrics integrating your entire business operations give you – and your technicians the information needed to make business decisions, respond to current demands – not historical data, and offer a more personalised service to customers. Have you thought about how your business will adapt to these industry changes, or innovate your products to compete? IoT is all around us and Aussie businesses need to embrace it, and quickly if you want to stay relevant. Find out how cloud technology is helping Gallay Medical and Scientific. 

Free Business Process Review

Our business process review provides your business with an overview of your IT systems, identifies any gaps, highlights any risks in your business, and explains how cloud technology is transforming traditional business systems. Furthermore, we deliver a high level report that outlines a clear IT plan for the future that leverages cloud technology.

  • 2 hour consultation – on premise or remotely.
  • Review existing IT systems, processes and documentation.
  • Identification of risks and opportunities.
  • Detailed report with recommendations and priorities to navigate cloud technology.

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The Future of HVAC is in the Cloud

The Future of HVAC is in the Cloud

Global brands like Haier are starting to make waves in the Australian HVAC market. Bigger companies entering the building services market will widen the gap between lower quality commodity service and true experts. The HVAC industry is a long-established industry. More agile, tech-savvy start-ups are challenging the traditional giants in this sector, but how are they staying ahead of the curve? Service-driven contractors, offering excellence in both technical and people skills will flourish.

Digital disruptions and Internet of Things (IoT)

Digital disruptors include; smart facades, solar cooling and greater use of evaporative cooling technologies. IoT-enabled HVAC usually takes the form of smart thermostats and sensors monitoring environmental changes and communicating back and forth with your HVAC equipment, dynamically adjusting temperature as needed. By opting for cloud-based architecture and infrastructure, businesses can scale and connect easily to other systems and devices. A flexible IoT platform accommodates change in a world of digital disruption.  Does your HVAC business have future-proof plans in place to embrace digital change?

Stand out and Command a Price Premium

Real-time data metrics integrating your entire business operations give you – and your technicians the information needed to make business decisions, respond to current demands – not historical data, and offer a more personalised service to customers. Redefine your operations and better compete in today’s digital world with a cloud-based business management platform. Today, NetSuite  is leading the way, providing a fully integrated solution, enabling complete transparency across customers, financials, engineers and technicians. Using a cloud platform allows businesses to cost effectively manage operations – including your field service technicians and engineers.

Why Choose NetSuite?

Specifically tailored to HVAC manufacturing and installation, NetSuite supports product development in the IoT space, and provides customer insights to better drive customer engagement, eliminate discrepancies, reduce costs and waste, and see end-to-end part and order management.

Empowered Field Services

Do you service the equipment you distribute? You’ll need NextService, an easy-to-use field service software system native to NetSuite. NextService field service software for HVAC saves businesses time, gain full customer transparency, order parts in the field, invoice customers on the job to avoid customer queries and payment delays, and equip your technicians with a system that enables them to provide optimum customer service. NextService manages all aspects of field service delivery management from job scheduling, customer information, inventory, service reviews, warranties and billing.

Free Business Process Review

Ask for a free business process review. We’ll investigate your existing infrastructure and provide a report outlining steps you can take to stand out in HVAC. Our technology review provides your business with an overview of your IT systems, identifies gaps and highlights risks in your business and illustrates how cloud technology can transform traditional business systems. At the conclusion, we deliver a high level report that outlines an IT plan for your future that leverages cloud technology. [activecampaign form=40]