Large HVAC service company empowers field technicians with a Vista-integrated, all-in-one field service mobile app
A nationwide construction company with an HVAC/mechanical engineering division recently sat down with MSI Data to discuss their experience streamlining their start-to-finish field service process, from scheduling to dispatch to field data collection. Thanks in part to the introduction of an all-in-one mobile app for field service management.
Here’s the story of their mobile field service transformation.
The company provides emergency repair and scheduled maintenance for their clients, who range from government entities to healthcare facilities. And like most HVAC businesses, the company struggled to scale manual, paper-dependent processes for their field services.
Lack of scheduling collaboration between dispatch and field resources
When the company’s dispatch team scheduled service, since they didn’t have a live view into the field, it was almost like they were scheduling blind. The dispatch team couldn’t see where the technician was and the technician couldn’t see the dispatch team’s updates.
Inefficient spare part runs
Labor and spare parts account for 70% of a businesses total service costs. The company found that their field technicians’ spare part runs weren’t as efficient as they could be. In some cases, technicians had to make multiple trips throughout the week to pick up parts. And by not having the parts needed before arriving on site, technicians weren’t able to complete the work as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Information trapped on paper forms
When technicians were in the field, they were equipped with a clipboard, a pen, and paper forms to fill out by hand. Even when techs filled out the forms perfectly, the information collected was still stuck on those carbon-copy paper forms.
Time-consuming, error-prone purchase order process by phone
When technicians needed to create a purchase order, they had to call the purchasing team to start the process. Then the technician would describe the part needed in very specific detail over the phone for the purchasing team to enter into the purchasing system. And if the technician or purchasing team member accidentally provided the wrong information, then even more time was needed to get the PO just right.
Because they had so much data in disconnected systems and paper forms, the company knew they needed a centralized location to collect, manage, and analyze information from their field technicians.
The solution needed to be integrated with their ERP, Vista by Viewpoint. And it had to be easy to use for their technicians, who already have a lot on their hands when on site with customers.
That’s why the company sought out MSI’s Service Pro for Vista, which connects technicians in the field with information from Vista. All from one easy-to-use field service management mobile app.
“Our technicians really loved switching to Service Pro for Vista because they always have 100% live visibility into what our dispatchers are scheduling.”
– Director of Operations, National HVAC Company
After implementing Service Pro for Vista, the company was able to get rid of paperwork and streamline their entire field service process, from scheduling to dispatch to purchase orders. And the results speak for themselves.
Live view of schedule on mobile enables technician ownership and dispatch collaboration
With Service Pro for Vista, the company was able to connect their dispatch team to the field and vice versa, allowing them to work together to determine better scheduling decisions.
“One of the things our technicians really loved about switching to Service Pro for Vista and the mobile experience is they always have 100% live visibility into what our dispatchers were scheduling,” the company’s operations director said.
“It also encouraged collaboration on scheduling, since the field resource and dispatch both had the same live view of what needed to be done at all times.”
More efficient spare parts process saves time and money
With a live view of their upcoming appointments on the Service Pro mobile app, technicians are able to collect all the spare parts needed for the week in one trip.
This saves time by limiting the number of trips to pick up parts and boosting first-time fix rates since the technician has all the parts and data needed to get the job done.
And this saves the company money, too, by saving costs on multiple part pickups, potential for return trip due to missing parts, and hoarding parts.
Centralized data enables field service analysis and process optimization
By switching to mobile and eliminating paperwork in the field, the company now benefits from one central location for all incoming data collected by their field technicians. And the easy-to-use mobile field forms builder proved to be essential.
As the company’s operations director said, “We have lots of information to collect in the field that was previously stuck on carbon-copy paper forms. So the flexible, no-code form builder was a key for us.”
Expedited purchase order process saves time and improves accuracy
“Through the purchase order module, we were able to integrate with our purchasing system,” the operations director said. “We significantly sped up the purchase order creation process, and were able to reduce burden on the purchasing team because we no longer were taking live calls.”
“Accuracy went up as well, since detailed purchasing information is easier to simply enter into the app as opposed to trying to get details correct over the phone.”