Saving $100,000 Per Year In Time and Efficiency Gains from Going Electronic for HVAC Field Service Management
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Tweet/Garot is a large mechanical contractor in Green Bay, WI that provides design/engineering, mechanical construction and building/energy services. The company serves several industries, including education, healthcare, manufacturing hospitality, and sports and recreation, where Lambeau Field, home to the Green Bay Packers, is a well-known customer.
Tweet/Garot has provided quality mechanical engineering solutions and customer service since 1924. Though already a highly successful company, their service techs struggled a lot with labor and time tracking using just paper. The payroll department also struggled to enter all these handwritten timesheets on time, which slowed down payment.
Company leadership soon considered using field service software and met with MSI Data to learn about Service Pro, our signature field service app. Our experts helped Tweet/Garot implement Service Pro for Viewpoint, which streamlines cash flow and payroll processes in field service.
Time tracking in field service is a common conflict when employees use paper timecards. On a typical day, field techs struggled to track their hours at each job and couldn’t submit their timesheets until Friday. The dispatcher had to work late each Friday to manually reconcile and enter work orders into a system. If he found that hours and labor didn’t match on a work order, then the field tech would wait even longer for a paycheck.
The office workers and service techs risked making data entry errors with papers and spreadsheets. “A tech may accidentally write something in the wrong column on their timesheet, and the person entering it may not know that it’s a mistake and enters it in the system how they see it. Payroll can’t catch those errors,” said Payroll Supervisor Paige Vandenack.
When service techs couldn’t properly track their hours, reconciling technician time for customer invoicing required unnecessary steps. Even worse, the company couldn’t send out customer invoices until after entering timesheets, which prolonged revenue collection.
The company sought a paper-free mobile solution for time tracking and invoicing. MSI recommended Service Pro and Vista by Viewpoint, which combines field service and financial reporting capabilities. The system is user-friendly for both desktop in the office and mobile device in the field. With just a Smartphone, a field tech can log work orders, inventory, and purchase orders anywhere with a signal. The dispatcher can approve timecards in the office, or anywhere else with a signal. Once a field tech finishes a job, Vista immediately e-mails customers their invoices. Customers can simply swipe their card and e-sign to pay for a service.
- Going paper-free saves time and money
Tweet’s employees find Service Pro to be more convenient and cost-effective to use than paper. Field techs don’t need paper to track hours, work orders, inventory or purchase orders. These forms simply attach to a work order. After time cards are submitted, the dispatcher simply clicks “Approve” in Service Pro to pay field techs, rather than manually entering the hours. Without all the previous data entry, employees have time for more important work like billing. Since Vista generates invoices, customers can pay electronically on the spot and the money goes right to the company.
“Before we went electronic, I measured how long technicians took to come to the office, do paperwork and arrive to job sites,” said Service Manager Sara Kaiser. “When we streamlined those processes and went electronic, we had about in $60-70,000 savings in one year.”
She also recalls that upgrading the standard electronic system to a fully mobilized solution saved even more money. “When we added MSI to the mix and put all of the apps together so they could just go in one location, that saved another $10-$20,000 a year. It’s probably $100,000 a year we were saving.”
- New system user-friendly for everyone
Tweet/Garot has both Millennials and older generation employees. Some worried that the older workers may struggle learning how to use SPV, but everyone could learn the new system in a reasonable time. One service technician named Justin said he only took a day. “Before, everything was on paper, but this is so easy that you can email invoices, send it through and get on with your day,” he said “After you try the app once or twice, you pretty much have it. I type faster than I write, which saves a lot of time.”
- Field techs no longer go back and forth to office
Service Pro stores customer addresses, contact info, work orders, and parts. HVAC techs no longer must visit the office to plan their routes. The system also stores previous customer history, so techs can suggest value-added services based on prior visits with customers. Service Pro is GPS enabled so office workers can see where each technician is at any time. As a result, dispatchers can easily schedule the right technician to the right assignment based on distance and availability.
“All info can be collected right away, typed into the app and sent out. So even if it’s stored and in the database, it stays there and it’s off [the tech’s] plate,” said dispatcher Brian Meyers.
Service Pro and Vista have shown Tweet/Garot the benefits of a fully mobilized field service solution. Office administration and service techs love how Service Pro and Vista sync so well to make field service time tracking easy. No longer do field techs carry purchase order books on every customer site. With Service Pro, every labor detail and minute of time is entered at the click of a button, and upon sync, customers can be immediately billed digitally from Vista. There is nothing like eliminating the mounds of paperwork field service operations generate, whether it’s timesheets, inspection forms, warranties, or invoices. But Service Pro and Viewpoint’s partnership helped Tweet/Garot come leaps and bounds in making those forms digital.