Managing Elevator Contractor Operations
submitted by FIELDBOSS
Business-management software for mobile devices helps keep elevator operations on track.
As technology perpetually progresses, elevator contractors understand they can no longer rely on manual methods or a variety of disconnected software solutions to support their business operations. There is too much paperwork and too many little things to keep track of, and mistakes get expensive when things start falling through the cracks. It is also strategic to have electronic access to historical records in case of a tax audit or litigation.
Using manual methods or outdated software also means that technicians have limited or no access to information when they are in the office. This is a time-consuming and risky way to work. Elevator service companies need to be connected in the field, which means technicians must have access to information they need at all times. Accessing equipment location, parking, access codes, specification documents and service activity history from a mobile device is completely possible and expected by top-performing staff in this day and age.
The FIELDBOSS product is an end-to-end business-management software built for elevator contractors within the Microsoft Dynamics platform. Building on top of this platform offers business workers the Microsoft Office interface and full integration with Microsoft Outlook. The FIELDBOSS business is a gold-certified Microsoft partner with its headquarters in Toronto and a U.S. location in Manhattan, New York.
NYC Elevator Inspections, Violation Tracking in 2015
This year, the New York City (NYC) Department of Buildings (DOB) will offer a new online inspection scheduling service through the NYC development hub. This new portal will standardize elevator inspections in NYC, enable timely online results and reduce labor costs. The current process can take 10 or more days to produce inspection results after an inspector visit. With the new scheduling service, an email with the final inspection results will be sent within 24 hours. The system can also be logged into for results viewing on demand. Elevator violations come with major fines if they are not corrected in a timely fashion, and the DOB keeps an updated list of the top elevator offenders on its website.
With the NYC DOB’s new “Inspection Ready” online service, there are no phone calls and no more waiting in lengthy lines. The 10 or so steps that had been required are now streamlined, and everything is completed electronically online. Additionally, the DOB Elevator Unit now accepts requests for category-1 lookup sheets and copies of PVT violations via email. This means that department customer-service windows no longer accept these requests and will direct constituents to email such inquiries. Building owners must have a basic test and inspection conducted on their devices annually, though these annual tests are not required to include load testing. Category-1 tests must be performed by an approved elevator-inspection agency and witnessed by an approved elevator agency not affiliated with the agency performing inspection. This requires strong coordination between agencies to both perform and approve inspections.
The FIELDBOSS Elevator Contractor Management solution can automate these repetitive business processes and track violation documents and repairs in one place. Duplicate data entry can be eliminated, and document turnaround can be sped up with Excel integration and Word templates. The software allows users to track inspection results by email. Each email can be automatically linked to a case, elevator or account in the program. Users can track, report and set alerts for violation activities by elevator in accordance with jurisdictional requirements.
Service Activity Scheduling, Routing and Dispatching
Along with tracking violations, we have noticed that integrated service activity scheduling, routing and dispatching are the functions most desired by elevator service companies. Being able to efficiently schedule, route and dispatch technicians through dedicated field-service software can help companies avoid customer-service pitfalls.
FIELDBOSS has sophisticated case management, integrated dispatch capabilities and escalation rules to ensure on-demand service and fix requests do not fall through the cracks. It also makes sure the service requests are tracked and billed every time. Planned and actual time can be tracked against contracts or standard billable rate tables. Service follow-up can be automatically generated to ensure quality and customer satisfaction. Route optimization (using Google or Bing maps) for technicians is built in.