John Betlem Heating & Cooling, Inc. has taken their field service operations to an entirely new level. For over 70 years, they have provided many of the residents of Rochester, New York (3rd largest city in the state), with safe, efficient, and affordable comfort. They do so by employing the best (technicians), training them and providing both field and office staff with the best tools and equipment available. To that end, during the winter of 2012, John Betlem Heating & Cooling decided to test out and subsequently deploy the SAWIN Mobile Web solution with their residential service technicians. Kathy Betlem, Vice President and Jim Lytle, Service Business Manager are both quite certain their minimal investment has had a maximum return on investment.
John Betlem Heating & Cooling was formed in 1941 and the legacy of “quality service at a fair price” has been passed down through the generations. They are 95% residential and focus on the demand service, planned maintenance, add-on, and replacement market. The John Betlem Company currently has 12 technicians using SAWIN Mobile Web in the field and Jim said, “It’s working very well, quite frankly”. Kathy noted, “It’s nice that after hours and on weekends the tech can log in and book their own calls. We no longer have to enter them in on Monday and play catch up”.
In April of 2012 Jeff Wellett and his mother Marion brought Alert A/C. In June of 2012, based on the recommendation of Kit, Alert upgraded their legacy version of SAS to SAWIN. Luckily, they were up and running in one week because their old SAS system completely crashed a few weeks later.
Dan Moffatt is a senior service technician at John Betlem and a technology enthusiast. I asked Dan, from a field technician’s viewpoint what the benefits and challenges were to Mobile Web. “Having techs able to see their entire day and make adjustments to what they need or how they manage their time is incredibly helpful. With technicians managing their own paperwork processing and inventory, they have become masters of their own universe. No need to wait for busy dispatchers to clear calls for them, no need to rely on non-tech savvy individuals to try to communicate seasoned technicians thoughts. They can put into the official record whatever they think is relevant to the call for future dealings.”
He continued, “A passion of mine is the creation and development of someone called “The Modern Technician.” This person not only has the skills needed to repair any piece of equipment put in their way, and can interact with customers with poise, but is also comfortable adapting to current and new technology. Providing folks in the field with the best possible information, helps ensure the best possible customer experience. This product is great because it gives the technician the ability to have all the history, equipment information, phone numbers, (etc.). Planning and preparation are a huge part of professionalism. Anything that helps us prepare makes us more professional. This product, in the right person’s hands provides all the necessary information when they need it. And best of all, it’s maintained by the very people who use it daily.”
Regarding the ease of use of SAWIN Mobile Web he said, “Once you start to understand the general layout, utilizing the software is fairly simple.” When I asked him if the solution had improved since implementation he responded, “For the most part, this program has evolved from a slow crawl to full fledged run. It had some quirks in the beginning, but I’m glad to say most, if not all, have been worked out.”
I asked Kathy Betlem why other companies should consider SAWIN Mobile Web. Her response was, “Ultimately it is easy to use, if you’re already using SAWIN as your main office software, then it’s a no brainer as far as transitioning goes. Through mobile dispatching, we’ve been able to gain minutes throughout each day, helping techs pickup an extra call or two, and those extra calls pay for the software ten times over.
Our office staff is now able to focus better on collecting and entering call data. Processing 60-70 calls a day, which was once the responsibility of one or two people is now divided among our 12 technicians. Guys just do their own work and continue on through the day. Less waste, more money. I like SAWIN and I’m excited for the future of this program.”
For more information on John Betlem & Sons go to: www.johnbetlem.com