West / Regional Reports

Contractor Turns to Wireless to Improve on Service

July 27, 2001
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EL CAJUN, CA — By turning to one of the largest and most experienced wireless and Internet-based field service automation providers, Countywide Mechanical Systems believes it is providing the customer care it was shooting for.

“The biggest challenge we face is always responding quickly and efficiently to a customer call,” explained Randy Signore, general manager of the El Cajun, CA-based contracting firm. “To do this, you need as much information as you can get about that customer’s account at your fingertips.

“However, when you receive more than 100 calls a week, it’s hard to remember what you did on a piece of equipment two hours ago, let alone two weeks or two years.” In Countywide’s case, it turned to FieldCentrix for help. The Irvine, CA-based company was called in to provide state-of-the-art technology, that Signore believes has helped the firm build a comprehensive customer database.

“Now when a call comes in, we can instantly look up the history and know what’s been done on the account,” explained Signore. “The technicians can also access this information from their handheld computers. This allows us to respond faster and more intelligently to customer calls, and offer more consistent, quality service.”



TO THE RESCUE

What Countywide opted to purchase was FieldCentrix Enterprise software, which uses wireless communications, handheld computers, workflow software, and the Internet, designed to automate the costly, manual processes associated with field service operations. These processes include:
  • Communication between the field technician and the office;
  • Receipt of work assignments;
  • Completion of work orders; and
  • Making information ready for invoice and payroll.
  • Countywide chose to use AT&T Wireless as its wireless data carrier and took advantage of FieldCentrix's FX Central™ wireless application service provider (ASP) program to purchase its FieldCentrix Enterprise solution.

    According to Signore, FX Central gives Countywide a secure application environment. The entire information technology infrastructure necessary to support the system was provided, so Countywide was up and running quickly — and at a software and hosting cost of approximately $195 a month, per technician. FX Central eliminated the need to find and recruit computer professionals, as well as the costs associated with maintaining an in-house system, said Signore. Delivered over the Internet, via wireless communications and a high-speed wide area network, FX Central employs sophisticated database and system management tools to constantly tune the system for peak performance. According to the company, it features 24-hour monitoring, firewalls, and the latest in security and backup. Routine maintenance and software and hardware upgrades are included in the monthly fee, said the company.



    WE LIKE IT, WE LIKE IT

    “FieldCentrix’s ASP offering is ideal for growing service companies like Countywide Mechanical because it allows them to quickly automate their business and gain the productivity benefits of the FieldCentrix Enterprise suite, without a large initial financial investment. It’s pay-as-you-use, just like the maintenance contracts that service companies sell,” said Judy Johnson, senior vice president of marketing for FieldCentrix. “With the FX Central model, they can continue to focus on their core business — servicing customers — instead of diverting their attention to technology upgrades, maintenance, and IT resources.” Signore could not agree more.

    “We’re a service company and it’s good service that is going to keep us afloat when the economy slows down,” he said. “FieldCentrix Enterprise is definitely an asset because the advanced technology it provides is improving the service I can give to my customers. And the extra hours a week my technicians get to spend in the field instead of doing paperwork in the office will improve our profitability and offset the system’s monthly costs.

    “It’s a winning situation for everyone.”

    For more information regarding Countywide Mechanical and its services, call 619-337-9200, or visit the company’s website,www.countywidems.com. For more information regarding FieldCentrix, call 1-888-552-0101, or visit the company’s website, www.fieldcentrix.com.

    Publication date: 07/30/2001

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