16 Mar A Fresh Approach with SAWIN Mobile for Sonny
In March of 2006, Sonny Roncancio, owner Fresh Air, Inc. in Houston, Texas decided that “enough was enough” and started the implementation of a mobile solution for his service contracting business. Although Sonny had already streamlined his organization with the implementation of SAWIN Pro, an integrated software solution, he felt it was time to eliminate paperwork by outfitting his technicians with the SAWIN Mobile solution.
Sonny said that the Service Automation software has delivered him from his humble beginnings to the success he enjoys today. However, the shortcomings of a paper-based system were affecting his bottom line before moving to SAWIN Mobile. “It’s exciting for me because I wanted to get rid of all this *%&”#$ (paper invoices) on my desk! Our old process required the office staff to physically handle the hand-written paper invoices a minimum of 3 times to make sure that the pricing is correct and then key the information into the system. With the SAWIN Mobile System the invoices are already completed in the system (by the techs) and only need to be verified onscreen for billing or archive purposes.”
Sonny purchased five laptop computers one for each of his service technicians and the SAWIN Mobile software, which is directly integrated into his existing office solution, SAWIN Professional. Sonny chose laptops over the smaller, handheld devices because he wanted his technicians to have the ability to make sales presentations in addition to completing the calls in the field. “Laptops will be much better for service techs, especially when it comes to making a sales presentation. They will be able to show the customer a picture of the potential unit for installation without carrying literature in their trucks.” He added, “The technicians will also have access to the internet so that they can check parts availability from vendors as many of them have made that information available online.”
With SAWIN Mobile System the dispatcher at Fresh Air can assign the incoming service call to a technician using the SAWIN Pro service/dispatch module and now the call immediately appears on the call list in the Technicians’ laptop. The downloaded call includes all the pertinent information about the call, such as promise time, tasks to be completed, parts needed, equipment on-site, service history, contact info, etc. so the technician has everything he needs to complete the call efficiently. The instant transfer of data is done using the wireless technology which eliminates the need for voice communications between the office and the field.
Once the technician receives the call (or calls) he can put himself on duty, dispatch, and arrive himself on the call, and finally complete the call by pointing and clicking the options on the SAWIN Mobile program. Fresh Air typically uses flat rate solution codes for pricing and the technician will choose the appropriate flat-rate code for the job. The technician also
has the option to choose from a standard work description or create a unique work description or a combination of both. If any additional parts are needed they can be added to the invoice easily either as inventory or non-inventory items and priced accordingly. Once the pricing is calculated and the invoice is created by the system, the technician can accept payment and then print the invoice for the customer using a portable printer in the truck. Fresh Air actually prints two invoices in the field, one for the customer and one for the office with their signature.
Sonny said that the traditional ratio for office people to service techs is 1 to 3 respectively and his goal with the mobile application is to increase that ratio to 1to 5. “I believe that a system like this can pay for itself in 3-4 months. My goal is to increase my sales volume without having to increase my office staff. Everyone benefits from that including customers, technicians, office staff, and of course the owner with higher profits.” He also said, “I won’t have to hire new people and the others that are currently on staff can do more productive tasks like answer phones, order materials for upcoming jobs, and focus on customer satisfaction through surveys. By diversifying my existing staff I can train them to do more important things than just processing paperwork. Eventually I am planning to get rid of all my filing cabinets!”
“Fresh Air has now been using mobile laptops in the field for a little over a year and it has been the best thing we could have done for both the techs in the field and the office personnel. The service techs are able to see the last three service calls and know what the other techs recommended in the past without having to call the office. The work load in the office has been decreased in both the handling and verification of the invoices. Now within seconds the sales and office staff can see what repairs and or recommendations were done and respond quickly to the needs of the customer.”
He also went on to say, “Techs now have e-mail and can be sent service bulletins to keep them up to date and they also have access to suppliers for wiring diagrams when on job site. We look forward to the continuing software upgrades and enhancements that SAWIN has coming in the future, and how Fresh Air can apply them in our day-to-day operation.” It seems that Sonny has taken his organization to the next level and is experiencing the benefits with his “Fresh” approach.