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Monday, June 24, 2013

A Tale of Two Service Contractors


The Benefits of Mobility Solutions for Service Contractors


Fred, a service technician for Legacy Air, wakes up and heads into Starbucks to enjoy his morning coffee with his friend Joe, a service technician for Superior Air.  They both are great at what they do, and they often laugh as they compare notes and share war stories.  But Fred and Joe are going to have a very different day, because one company uses superior technology.

Fred heads into the office to get his stack of paper work orders that was assigned to him previously.  Joe opens his iPad and goes straight to his first work order.

After driving to his first appointment, Fred gets a head start of filling out the paperwork.  The customer shows him the faulty AC unit and it looks like it hasn’t been serviced for a while, so he makes a call to his office to find out.

By this time, Joe is already polishing up his first work order.  He checked for previous service on the unit, diagnosed the problem, checked off the to-do list, recorded the parts and labor, took before and after photos, completed the work order and had the customer sign off on the work…all on his iPad.

Legacy Air dispatch gives Fred the low down on the AC unit.  It seems airflow has been a consistent problem.  After examining the ductwork, Fred realizes that there is not enough return air and there are too many hard right angles impeding the airflow.  Fred decides to install round scoops in the ducts to at least partially solve the problem.  He does the work, airflow is better, the customer is thrilled, but now Joe spends the next 15 minutes finishing the paperwork and getting the customer’s signature.

Superior Joe is now on his third work order. Kelly, from dispatch saw the work order complete just after getting another call in the area.  Because there was time before his next work order, she assigned it to Joe.  Joe’s iPad received the work order within seconds and alerted him to the change in schedule.  Kelly watched Joe change direction on her iPad, which shows her the real time GPS location of all her techs, and updates her whenever they update their status, ask questions, or take photos.

When Joe arrives on site, he looks up the equipment to be serviced on his iPad, looks at the historical work orders, and pulls up the user manual that Kelly attached to the service location months ago.  He takes what he learns and applies it to the job at hand.  After finishing the work order, Joe collects payment on his iPad.

By the end of the day, Fred got three work orders done and Joe got five.  Fred’s work was all recorded on a stack of paper, which he’ll return to his office the following morning.  It could be days before they are properly keyed in and invoices are generated.

Joe and Kelly at Superior Air had better information and were able to use that information to be more efficient.  Joe’s work orders were all billed to the customer within seconds of the order being completed. 

The Morale of Our Story

Fred at Legacy Air is an excellent tech.  But when the information he needs is just out of reach, it limits his ability to be fast and efficient.  Because it takes so long to fill out, file, and key in paperwork, billing is a time-consuming task fraught with opportunities for error.  Plus there are other issues such as handwriting legibility, lost paperwork, and calculation errors that can cost Legacy air a lot of time and money.

Joe at Superior Air is also an excellent tech.  Because his iPad has custom software designed for his Service Management back office software, he has real time access to customer history, equipment history, equipment manuals, pricing, notes…etc.  Getting a solid mobility solution is helping Superior Air handle more business with less staff.  Techs can do more work orders in the day because they have all the information to understand the big picture and make the correct diagnosis the first time.  Since all the work order information is handled digitally, it is a lot easier to stay on top of things in the back office as well.  No more keying in paper written work orders.

If you are a service contractor, are you doing it the “Legacy” way, or the “Superior” way?  If you are doing it the “Legacy” way, then repeat after me… “I will stop the madness, and fundamentally improve the way my company does business.  I will be the catalyst for change and will accept the bonus my boss gives me for bettering the bottom line.  I will blow it on something nice, because I am worth it.”

hh2 Field Service is a mobile solution that keeps your data safe and accessible in the cloud.  We install a synchronization tool and you download the iPad apps.  We can have you set up in a few hours.  Best of all, we are the least expensive and the most elegant, truly usable solution on the market.  Visit us at www.hh2.com for more information.