Information required to effectively run a business must be accessible and shared by the entire organization. Keeping current customer’s happy and attracting new ones means both sticking to your strategy and on a day to day basis, maintaining the discipline of keeping your business management system up to date so the progress towards those goals can be measured.
The Elevator Contractor Business Challenge – Managing Mechanics, Tools, Trucks and Jobs
Imagine you are a mechanic for an elevator maintenance company based in a large metropolitan area. You have a van, tools and equipment, specialized parts needed for a wide variety of repair and maintenance jobs, and a work order list spread across many miles of the city. If you start out at a job on the far side of town and find you don’t have the correct equipment, parts or tools, you have to return to headquarters to get what you need.
This means you have probably left an irritated customer behind because you could not fix the problem on the spot, and you have an irritated supervisor because the company has wasted time which was planned for the next service call on that list.
Now every other job on the company schedule is also going to be impacted. The office staff will need to reschedule other jobs, and arrange for the tools, equipment and parts required. Clearly, properly planning all of these inter-related components of the day’s work load is critical.
Davies Elevator – Toronto Elevator Service Experts
Davies Elevator found itself in this frustrating and costly situation far too often because they operated with reliance on manual and Excel based systems. The day finally came where they were determined to do something about it. The company has been operating in downtown Toronto for over 17 years as a leader in the elevator service maintaining geared, gearless and hydraulic elevators. Their expertise includes major commercial and residential building modernization projects and they operated on a 24 hour, 7 day a week schedule.
The company was steadily growing but had no unified business management system. Most of the information needed to effectively run the company was kept in paper files, in individual manager’s email, and in the owner’s head. The time consuming effort of coordinating daily processes was not supporting the company’s goal to expand the business in size or geographic coverage. They needed to improve performance using accurate, timely information that was shared by everyone so they could effectively manage a larger group of mechanics, vehicles, parts and equipment. A solution needed to be found and implemented quickly.
Business Challenges a New System Must Overcome
The fragmented flow of sales, service contracts, work orders and modernization project information resulted from the lack of standard processes and reporting. This problem included tracking and accurately processing quotes through to customer invoices. Davies needed a way to track all customer information, contracts, service appointments, elevator types, and required parts and equipment.
It was also difficult to train new staff members with the manual and paper based systems. There was no formal process of scheduling or dispatching system for the technicians and trucks.
The management team wanted to spend its time managing sales, as well as staff and customer satisfaction improvements, but was mired in dealing with day to day operational issues. In addition, their sales team needed a forecasting system that could manage and track customer interactions a customer follow up program.
Searching for Service Management Software
David Hodgins was the new operations manager at Davies Elevator. He started researching online for various software system options in the service industry. Mr. Hodgins also attended industry trade shows looking for a technology solution that would be simple and quick to implement, but would also fit their budget. David talked to other companies with a similar service model to determine how they managed the business, and what systems solved their service management problem.
Management explored software solutions ranging from those created by very small program developers to much large established software companies. He even considered buying a custom developed solution. The operations manager contacted a software company he was familiar with from a previous job to see if they could recommend other options.
He arranged for a demonstration of the service management software add-on product to Microsoft Dynamics CRM called FIELDBOSS. The first demonstration went so well the Davies Elevator management team could immediately see how the software would solve their challenges out of the box with little customization. Because the system capabilities fit with Davies’ needs perfectly, they were able to stop their software selection search. The system cost and implementation time also fit within their budget.
The FIELDBOSS software solution met all of their primary selection criteria:
- Specific functionality supporting elevator service industry processes
- Functionality to accommodate regulatory requirements
- Supported by an established, service oriented and reliable company
- Within their budget for a hosted solution
- Quick to deploy
- Guaranteed user acceptance due to the familiar Microsoft interface
As described by David Hodgins, “Nothing else out there had the right combination of functionality, technology, user experience and quality of implementer”.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM and FIELDBOSS for Elevator Contractor Management
The Davies Elevator management team was very comfortable with the rapport created with the FIELDBOSS consulting team. They proceeded with purchasing and implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM and the FIELDBOSS elevator contractor management module.
The project startup involved reviewing the existing manual business processes and procedures. The next steps focused on improving workflow and data migration from the paper based and Excel systems. The project team was quickly able to point out multiple areas for business process improvement, which the company staff never thought about when buried in customer requests. The FieldBoss consultants were able to implement those new processes by configuring the software to support them.
They trained the Davies staff on how to use the elevator contractor management software functions including customer elevator location data, tracking contract renewal dates, and maintaining key project data for modernizations.
The entire implementation took only two months and was delivered on time and on budget, including the many new streamlined processes for the Davies Elevator staff. The overall project results made a big difference in the lives of Davies management!