Kevin Fowle of WinServ and Marc Benson of SIA
A company in Baltimore recently contracted with WinServ Software to improve their service calls. The WinServ software platform, built and supported by WinServ Software, automates field service maintenance scheduling and tracking, optimizing operations. The following is a summary of a conversation with Kevin Fowle of WinServ and Marc Benson of SIA.
“When a company goes out for installation or recurring maintenance trips, we help them organize and make them more efficient,” explained Kevin Fowle, WinServ Software account manager, in a recent visit to the offices of the Security Industry Association (SIA).
The Baltimore client was originally relying on a paper system to track orders and technicians, but their operations have become much more efficient using WinServ, Fowle said. The company deploys subcontractors as they would technicians, and they can see at a glance which jobs are in progress and which are complete.
Fowle is one of only a few U.S. employees of Stockholm-based WinServ Software. He is working to expand its name recognition in the United States, where the company is making inroads into the security industry, as well as document management and elevator service. (Other services relying on WinServ to schedule installation and maintenance appointments include lawn care and HVAC companies.)
Technicians in the field access WinServ from smart devices like a phone or an iPod. When techs are in the field, they can look at their service orders for the day right from their mobile device, Fowle said.
In a central office, a company can set up and configure WinServ to meet its needs. A central office manager administers the jobs, but they can assign permissions to a team leader in the field to assign jobs to technicians if preferred.
When a new client orders WinServ, the company imports the customer data for that client as well as material, products, and other relevant info. Once a company starts to use WinServ, they find it fully configured and ready to roll with all their customer and product info input into the software.
In the security field, small- and medium-sized dealers and installers often find WinServ to be an attractive option for tracking service orders. WinServ Software has clients that service both residential and commercial enterprises.
“We are really focused on recurring maintenance,” Fowle said. Techs can track problems quickly and easily as each order can contain supporting documentation and blueprints. They can consult blueprints in the field to quickly locate and service a faulty sensor, for example. In the field, techs can take pictures on the job and add them to the service order through WinServ. Techs can “check-in” and “check out” of a job on WinServ, informing others as to when a mission has begun and when it is complete.
In the office, managers can track inventory using WinServ, and order more sensors or other parts as numbers run low. WinServ also handily tracks the status of field vehicles, alerting users as to when a vehicle may require service.
Clients can submit development requests, which WinServ Software is happy to consider and implement on a case-by-case basis. An update to the platform will introduce a lot more functions later this year, Fowle revealed.
Currently, many WinServ clients in the United States are small- to mid-sized businesses that likely wouldn’t benefit from a large, expensive enterprise system like SAP. WinServ is often a more affordable alternative to those large customer relationship management systems due to its user-based pricing. WinServ also deftly fulfills many of the same functions as those systems. Although it doesn’t manage finances, it does integrate with accounting software like Quickbooks to track invoices.
As a new SIA Member, Fowle attended ISC East last year, and he plans to meet other security professionals at the next free SIAThere! happy hour on Feb. 16 at Nostos Restaurant, Vienna, Virginia. (WinServ Software’s U.S. offices are in nearby Arlington.) Register for SIAThere to meet Kevin and other security professionals online at www.securityindustry.org/siathere.