Software to make field tech's job easier?

March 22, 2000
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DALLAS, TX — Among the many new software packages on display at the Dallas AHR Expo was one that caught many attendees’ eyes. (OK, part of that could have been because visitors could rest their weary feet while watching a live demonstration of the software’s features.)

The new software is intended to make the field technician’s job easier and less time-consuming, according to senior vice president of marketing Judi Johnson. She also pointed out the many features of FieldCentrix Enterprise Version 2.4, including a section where technicians can add recommended or “additional” repairs, which could add hundreds of dollars of extra sales to a routine visit.

The software consists of four modules:

1. FX Mobile, which is designed for the field technician using handheld computers and wireless data communications that allow them to communicate in real time with the office, operations management, the sales team, and other technicians;

2. FX Service Center, which supports dispatchers and office personnel;

3. FX Interchange, which integrates FieldCentrix products with third-party back-office systems, including payroll, accounting, and dispatch systems; and

4. FX Foundation, which provides the underlying database, security, and wireless communications infrastructure.

“Version 2.4 represents another significant step in providing our customers with cutting-edge solutions to improve their business practices,” said David Key, president and ceo.

“We’ve added numerous features including enhanced invoice management tools, increased preventive maintenance and contract functionality, and expanded integration capabilities.”

The new version’s highlights include invoice management tools, where customers can electronically handle all of their pre-invoicing and contract billing activities; pre-invoice schedules can now be created for contracts so that billing is handled automatically.

At the same time, the system automatically applies the appropriate part markups and labor rates, if any, and allows the billing clerk to create, modify, and delete bill dates or invoice numbers. Advanced viewing options help manage the job of exporting information to the billing system.

Version 2.4 allows customers to associate costs and revenue with specific departments or branch offices, increasing their ability to understand which offices or departments are most and least profitable; according to the company, this knowledge lets customers recognize those doing well, and helps those that need to improve.

Tracking leftover parts is made easier, because they can automatically be associated with a truck. Time sheet features have been enhanced to allow technicians to record multiple cost codes per workorder to ensure that labor is allocated properly.

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