How Compressor Distributors are Profiting from Field Services

May 15, 2018 Jeff Rassie

Field service management for compressor dealers usually falls into one of two camps. A profit center, or a profit drain. And, sadly, most of the time it’s the latter. The reasons why vary from company to company, but the top three common challenges our clients ask us to fix are:

  • Lack of integration, visibility, and communication between systems (and people)
  • Lack of modern mobile capabilities to support field workers and customers
  • Inefficient, manual and paper-driven processes and workflows

There isn’t an ERP that will work for compressor distributors out-of-the-box so looking for a cloud-based ERP system with built-in dealer management functionality has probably left you more frustrated than you were before you started.

That’s how Lisa Lewis with Michigan Air Solutions felt too after a 12-month search for the perfect ERP solution. And then Quincy Compressor recommended Western Computer and the rest, as they say, is history. “We finally found the ERP solution that could provide everything we needed,” Lewis says. “Dynamics NAV also makes it possible to integrate mobile devices into our workflows, and by functioning in the cloud, it’s easily accessible from both of our locations and by technicians in the field.”

Read the full story of how we integrated Michigan Air’s sales, service management, inventory, and finance into one ERP platform

 

Is there really ERP software for compressor dealers?

Yes! The good news there IS an integrated ERP system for compressor distributors and it’s called 365Service, delivered by Western Computer. It’s powered by Microsoft Dynamics and already optimized for the way you need to run your business, especially field services.

365Service is an excellent ERP choice for compressor dealers for many reasons, but today we are focusing on how it transforms your field service management from profit drain to profit center. Here are a few of the most powerful field service management enhancements you’ll love.

 

A DEDICATED FIELD SERVICE MOBILE APP

Instead of having your field reps logging into a clunky ERP web client through a browser (or worse doing all their work on paper), 365Service includes an optimized mobile app that’s easy to use, streamlined just for field services and is directly linked to your ERP for instant data transfer. They can take care of business from any tablet or smartphone without trying to navigate through the clutter they don’t need or calling the office every 10 minutes. Everything is at their fingertips.

A sampling of what you can do straight from the mobile app:

  • Access inventory in real time
  • Order and drop ship parts on the fly
  • Capture a customer signature on a completed work order
  • Record parts used, time spent and any notes or faults on the service order
  • Schedule or re-schedule appointments with the customer
  • View tasks, notes, warranty and history of customer, equipment, and service

This is just a quick overview of some extremely valuable built-in features with the 365Service mobile app. Western Computer can add a wide range of additional capabilities such as processing payments from the field.

Sample tablet dashboard:

 

Sample smartphone dashboard:

 

QUICK AND EASY FIELD SERVICE DISPATCH

365Service makes it easier than ever to get the right field service resources to the right customer at the right time. No more risking disappointed customers when service techs show up without the knowledge or parts needed to finish the job. From your dispatch dashboard, staff can:

  • Create “resource cards” for your field staff including contact information, service zones, special skills or certifications, and more
  • Quickly schedule and modify service appointments
  • View all resources, allocated time and time available by date, location, etc.
  • Filter resources by multiple criteria such as skill or location to find the perfect fit

 

AUTOMATIC SERVICE ORDER INVOICING

As noted above, the field service mobile app enables field reps to capture the customer’s signature on the completed work order on the spot. The signed work order is instantly e-mailed to the client. 

 

NO MORE MANUAL PAPER TRAILS

Historically, without an integrated ERP and mobile solution, compressor dealers rely on old-school paper methods for field services. The office staff creates the work order, prints it out and/or emails the traveler/work order to the field rep who then has to manually hand write products used, and would show that to the client who would sign off on the paperwork order. When the service ticket was complete, somebody also has to manually record products being used, time for field techs, order parts—the list goes on and on. 

At the end of the day, that’s a lot of double data entry and a whole lot of paper printed, filed and stored (and hopefully not lost which is another story). Our mobile app is linked in real-time to 365Service so not only are you saving time on all the above, everything is securely and electronically stored and readily available in a click or two.  

Another major issue with manual paper-based field service is when it takes a couple of days (or longer) to get the service order and paperwork back to the office for entry, repair parts are already consumed, causing further delays for the customer. The 365Service mobile app eliminates this problem with real-time inventory availability so field reps can see what’s available and order parts right then.

 

Ready to take field services from painful to profitable?

As you can see, compressor dealers DO have an exciting option for integrated ERP designed for your industry. Just give us a call or send us a message and we’ll schedule a personal demonstration of 365Service for your team so you can see it in action and explore the functionality you’ve been waiting for!

About the Author

Jeff Rassie

Jeff Rassie’s career in the business software industry spans 30 years with achievements within several industries including service management, distribution, and manufacturing. His experience ranges from working with companies that are part of an international corporate organization to privately-owned family-run businesses. The approach he takes to assisting companies involves a deep understanding of the client’s on-going business operations and long-term strategic initiatives so as to formulate effective solutions to support each company’s goals. Working in conjunction with a company’s management team Jeff has been able to assist many companies in providing software applications that leverage tools to assist companies to reach their potential.

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