It’s time to make your service crew more effective. Technology is a powerful tool for helping your service segment become more efficient in the field and leverage some of the new tools on the market today.

David Stansell, president, Stansell Electric, www.stansellelectric.com, Nashville, Tenn., believes the tech-savvy nature of this group lends itself well to working with the latest and greatest in technology. This includes mobile connected devices and the latest software running on those devices.

Stansell calls the service group a fast growing area of his business, which provides electrical and related services. He says this segment continues to grow its processes, and move away from more manual procedures. This is the group that has readily embraced mobile connected devices, air cards, and other tools for the field.

As a result the company is looking to automate more of its systems in this area, and is in fact working with its technology provider Viewpoint Construction Software, www.viewpointcs.com, Portland, Ore., closely on such efforts.

“Service techs tend to be more tech savvy than average,” says Stansell. “They want more interaction with the system; want to be able create work orders and input data against it as opposed to just writing things down.”

It is a safe bet to say Stansell Electric is not alone in considering the service area to be among the fastest growing within its business. As a result, we are seeing technology providers focusing more intently on enhancing the set of technology tools for this segment.

Companies like WennSoft, www.wennsoft.com, New Berlin, Wis., for example, provide a strong set of solutions for this segment of the market. Its WennSoft Signature product set focuses on on optimizing the processes needed to be more effective in providing better service to customers, and providing the cross-business visibility needed to ensure compliance and maximize profit margins.

According to WennSoft, such a product set makes field staff more productive through the ability to extend functionality out into the field. In the case of WennSoft, it is the MobileTech module that allows field staff to be able to remotely update schedules and record expenses. The product allows field staff to capture multiple signatures, generate invoices, and accept payments while in the field. Such mobility can also be of great assistance in helping to bring payments into the organization at a faster rate.

Jonas Software, www.jonas-construction.com, Richmond Hill, Ont., considers service contractors to be among its sweet spots in the construction market. The company offers a full set of solutions, from backoffice to field systems, that help automate the critical business processes for such contractors.
Its Paperless Service Management Solution combines Jonas Dispatch, Jonas Mobile, and eService solutions under one package. According to the company, this provides one integrated package that helps automate the key capabilities needed in order to successfully operate a service function.

Its system, for example, can be used with a variety of different mobile devices in the field today. Using the system, work orders are sent automatically to a technician when assigned by the dispatcher. This includes such things as equipment lists, service history, and customer notes, among other relevant information.

The realtime workflow is key to Jonas’ system. As the status of the call changes the backoffice Jonas application is updated, which helps keep dispatchers and management up to date with what is happening in the field.

Upon completion of a call, information including service items worked on, time spent, parts used, and notes, are all automatically updated on the head office system.

Technology can better equip your field and service staff than ever before. There are a range of different tools available, ranging from those provided by larger enterprise systems to specialized providers. Perhaps it’s time to re-examine the way in which technology can help enhance one of the most critical parts of your business today.