Benchmark Air Conditioning
Benchmark is a family-owned business, providing air conditioning service throughout the Bakersfield, Calif. area. Located in a desert climate, their services are generally in demand year-round. But the weather does cool down in the winter, and business tends to tail off. As might be expected, that can have a negative impact on the bottom line.
According to general manager, Brent Palmer, Benchmark wanted to improve cash flow and update their technology. “When I came aboard, I realized quickly that we needed more than just computers. As a completely paper-based office, it was tough to keep track of files. Things would pile up or get lost. Occasionally customers were not getting billed on time, or at all.”
First, Palmer transitioned the office from paper to computers. “Then I began looking for a field service automation system,” he says.
Benefits Only FieldAware Can Deliver
After researching 20 different solutions, Palmer found FieldAware, the field service management solution available anytime, anywhere via smartphones and the Internet. While he was impressed with the capabilities of the system, it was their approach that stood out to Palmer. “It was immediately obvious that FieldAware cared about their customers and made a personal connection with them.”
That attitude was important in his decision. “Most software companies make you do it their way,” he says. “We needed a company that was more flexible and would listen to our needs.”
The cornerstone of Benchmark’s integration with FieldAware is the Scheduler. This dashboard provides real-time visibility into the user’s business, with instant access to job status, customer information, clear location information, asset information and notifications all in one place.
The company’s dispatcher also uses the Scheduler, easily entering work orders on a touchscreen. “He wasn’t a computer-savvy guy, so it’s very easy for him to navigate the Scheduler this way,” Palmer explains. “It’s improved our scheduling and dispatching because there’s no more paperwork to worry about.”
Benchmark has enjoyed “greatly improved efficiency” since implementing FieldAware. “We can see a job as it’s being done and bill the customer as soon as it’s completed,” he says. “Before we had to wait for the paperwork to bill. With FieldAware, there are no papers needed. I immediately export to QuickBooks and bill customers. And with no billing issues, we don’t have any customer complaints or negative feedback.”
Improved billing has had a ripple effect throughout the company. Not only do the employees appreciate the system — “The techs really get into the application,” Palmer says — but thanks to FieldAware, they have been able to maintain solid cash flow, even during the slow winter period.
Ultimately, it’s the relationship with FieldAware that has helped make the difference for Benchmark. “They won’t tell us that we don’t know what we are talking about,” says Palmer. “They make us feel comfortable and make changes when needed. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. Every time you talk, each side is going to learn something, and you grow together.”
Brent Palmer, General Manager