If the business innovations make life a little less complicated for the company’s field service technicians, why, so much the better.
The contractor’s latest innovation was the installation of new wireless mobile and dispatch software to automate its expanding field operations and eliminate paperwork in the field.
The step became necessary, the company said, because of its growth through the acquisition of other contractors — a familiar strategy in today’s contracting market.
“With recent acquisitions, we have more than doubled our customer base,” said Ray Falite, president of Falite Bros. “We were drowning in paperwork and needed a system that was quick to implement and easy to learn and use.”
Integration with existing data-processing systems, however, needs to be carefully considered ahead of time. The contractor discovered that the wireless mobile system from FieldCentrix (Irvine, CA) could be integrated with its existing Maxwell (Norristown, PA. “It emulated our exact processes electronically,” said Falite. “We were up and running within a few weeks and people were trained on the system within days.”
The contractor’s field technicians enter all workorder information into a handheld computer at a jobsite. When the technician is done, all time and material information is sent electronically to the office, where it is instantly accessible for processing by the billing module.
At the same time, the system logs technician workhours. An electronic time sheet is automatically transmitted to the office along with the completed workorder, and is available for processing by the payroll module.
In addition to other benefits, the technology helps Falite Bros. track job costs and inventory by flowing data directly from the technician in the field to the database and back office systems.
“I plan to continue to grow and take over more service accounts,” said Falite. “Our [data-processing] systems will play a key role in these plans. Not only will the solution help us grow by making us more efficient, it will allows us to support our growth.”
Falite said he envisions his company as a 100% paperless operation within the next five years.
For more than 20 years, the contractor has been providing hvac installation, service, and maintenance in the Greater Boston area. The contractor is an authorized dealer for Bryant, Trane, American Standard, and Carrier.
Maxwell Systems Inc. provides computer software for the construction and service management industries. Its subsidiary, The American Contractor, is based in Capitola, CA. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.maxwellsystems.com. FieldCentrix provides wireless, Internet-based field force automation software. The company’s software addresses the problems associated with the maintenance and repair processes for mobile technicians, service companies, and manufacturers. For more information, visit www.fieldcentrix.com.
Publication date: 07/16/2001