HVAC companies face some unique challenges in field service.
HVAC service business is a demanding business requiring utmost attention and skills of technicians. Not only business is very competitive, the electricity companies are bundling services as part of their operations.
Hence, to be able to compete with large corporations, you need an efficient field service software like Field Force Tracker. The software enables HVAC companies to succeed and manage their operations more efficiently.
HVAC Service Operation Management
For many, some or all of their work can be emergency calls, which come in that day. These then need to be prioritized and worked into the day’s schedule as soon as possible, but this then means changes to the planned work and it is understandably difficult to make on the spot decisions about what should give.
Many HVAC companies we speak to are still relying on paper-based processes to some extent in managing their workflow. This brings additional difficulty to making changes to schedules and allocating work to technicians as those in the office may not be working with all the information they need.
HVAC companies often also cover a lot of different areas of work. These are highly complex and require the right skills, parts or tools for the individual tasks. Workflows may have a number of dependencies which need to be stuck to, to complete the job. Many companies cover everything from design to install, renovation and service work, meaning each day is different to the last.
The use of paper-based processes can mean that up to date information is not available until a few days after the work has been completed, so delays occur in checking stock, re-ordering parts and getting out invoices.
A further issue that HVAC companies face is how fast the industry is evolving. Equipment is becoming smarter with HVAC units becoming much more complex and more connected and intelligent buildings are growing in their popularity. Customer expectations increase alongside this technological evolution and service delivery must keep pace with these advancements.
Here we look at how some of our Field Force Tracker HVAC customers overcame the issues they faced in their evolving businesses and see the benefits and results they achieved.
Eliminating Paperwork for Field Service
One of our customers had a paper-based work order system they’d been using for decades that was inefficient and expensive. Technicians had to visit the office every day, so travel costs were high and technicians had less time for jobs. Processing the paperwork meant significant administrative overhead and time as it took 7-10 days to invoice customers from the job completion.
Field Force Tracker solved the paper problem. All work orders are now generated and submitted electronically. As a result, the company:
- Significantly reduced the number of office trips by technicians, cutting travel costs and increasing revenue-producing hours.
- Eliminated the need for administrative overhead dedicated invoicing.
- Decreased the time from service completion to invoice from days to minutes.
More Efficient Service Calls Management
Another HVAC company realized that cloud-based technology was the best way to make their business processes more efficient, and maximize profits. They have both residential and commercial customers, so wanted a solution that could handle both. Through using Field Force Tracker they now can connect with a specific technician or multiple technicians to assign jobs or alert them of a new/changed job, which they can see on the mobile app. The dispatch capabilities provide alerts, location tracking and GPS routing. It also works as a time sheet to ensure that work is being recorded. The price book in the app means that an estimate can be emailed, which the customer can sign off, saving time as well as keeping an accurate account of what has been done.
They estimate saving 40-60 hours a week. No time is wasted, the technicians get jobs faster, and we can track the job status so they can immediately go to the next job. Jobs are completed more quickly, so we can schedule more jobs per day with the saved time.
The highest praise comes for the accounting features. The easy sync with QuickBooks eliminates double entry of invoices in our accounting system and we can simply e-mail invoices to customers.
Improved Customer Service
One of our HVAC customer was looking for ways to reduce paperwork and increase the profitability of their business as well as deliver even better service to customers. Prior to Field Force Tracker the dispatcher would receive calls and dispatch jobs to the technicians through manual text messages. Technicians would write out paper estimates on site and then return completed work orders to the office at the end of day, causing extra drive time and lag time.
Now, the dispatcher can quickly review each technician’s status using the scheduler and assign new jobs to the next available technician. On site, technicians can collect more information with the mobile app. For instance, the tech can record the model and serial number of each piece of equipment. “With this type of information stored in the customer’s record, we can easily determine what parts are needed to complete the job.”
Efficient Inventory Management
They also use Field Force Tracker reports to predict customer needs. “If I see that 20 of our customers have the same furnace model, it makes sense to start carrying replacement parts for that model.” That means faster service since they no longer have to order parts through their distributor when the need arises. Instead, the trucks are fully-stocked with the proper parts.
Field Force Tracker leads the way in simplifying field service for HVAC companies. Our solutions let you automate your field work – from dispatching work to updating job info on site and instantly sending electronic invoices – all from our easy to use mobile app.
About Field Force Tracker
Field Force Tracker (http://www.fieldforcetracker.com) is a leading global provider of its award winning mobile workforce solutions for service-based businesses of all sizes delivered as software-as-a-service (SaaS). Our solutions enable businesses of all sizes (from 1 user to 10,000 users) to meet the challenges associated with managing and running complex service operations. It helps in improving the productivity of their mobile workforce.
With Field Force Tracker, customers can create service schedule and route quickly, dispatch sooner, collect correct information at once in the field and invoice faster. The field service software makes it easy for users to eliminate waste, get more done in less time and be more profitable.
Field Force Tracker is a wholly owned unit of Rapidsoft Systems Inc. (http://www.rapidsoftsystems.com). Rapidsoft Systems, Inc. has its main office in Princeton, NJ, USA, a US R&D Center in Mercerville NJ, and sales, support and development offices in Palo Alto, CA, USA, Singapore, Dubai (UAE), Bombay, and Noida (India).