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Solar Businesses: Improve Productivity with Digital Transformation

Solar Businesses: Improve Productivity with Digital Transformation

Why aren’t solar energy businesses as productive in the field as they could be? Issues come in many forms, but they all have the same origin: lack of information.

When techs venture into the field, they need the complete job requirements, the correct parts and tools, and information about the client and job site.

Likewise, the office needs real-time access to information about the progress of their work for both administrative and compliance purposes. In practice, renewable energy field service involves a constellation of fast-moving information – and if it slows down or breaks down at any point, productivity does too. 

Before, communication, coordination, and compliance problems felt like inevitable features of field service. Especially since solar energy companies often rely on third-party service providers who operate outside their own sphere of operations.

Not any longer. Digital transformation empowers a solar energy business to use information to its advantage so that the situation in the field, in the office, and at every point in between is clear to all and as productive as possible. 

The What and Why of Digital Transformation

NextService - scheduling tasks

Scheduling tasks with NextService

Digital transformation is an emerging approach to running a business (solar or otherwise) that advocates for digitising and integrating core aspects of operations. Rather than utilising a series of discreet tech tools, organisations that undergo digital transformation have a seamless collection of digital tools and data that starts at the centre and extends outwards in 360 degrees.

ERP serves as the centre. It collects data from all sources and stakeholders in one place and surrounds it with tools for analysing and organising that information. Often called a “single source of truth,” ERP makes accessible as much data as possible so that every question has an efficient answer.

Starting digital transformation means putting an industry-leading ERP like NetSuite in place. Completing it involves supplementing the native capabilities of ERP with solar software specialised for field service.

NextService offers those capabilities within the NetSuite platform – no integration required. NextService comprehensively addresses the requirements of renewable energy field service: scheduling, inventory controls, compliance reporting, budgeting etc. As a total solution, NetSuite and NextService transform field service into a digital asset driven by real-time data, efficiency and insight rather than a manual process running on paperwork.

Productivity improves, but so does utilisation, customer engagement, administrative efficiency, inventory visibility, and billing/EOM processes. The term transformation describes it quite well.

The Future of Field Service

Digital transformation creates a bi-directional information pipeline that travels between any technician anywhere in the field and the home office to eliminate information deficits at both ends.

Techs can turn their smartphone into a powerful tool for planning and performing field service. Mobile devices link them into the ERP and the field service software so that time, distance, and location don’t inhibit their access to information. Techs can use the data and tools at their disposal to precisely prepare for a job and efficiently carry out the work after arriving on site.

They can also draw on those resources, through their phones, to resolve confusion or friction that arises at any point during field service – leading to better job performance and higher satisfaction among customers and techs alike.

work order management - field service

Back in the office, solar management software gives administrators real-time visibility into jobs in progress so they can provide guidance/support as necessary. They can also automatically capture metrics about job performance – utilisation, profitability, material wastage, customer satisfaction – to start deploying resources more effectively.

Along with metrics, administrators can request pictures of important milestones being reached so they can see work being done and evaluate technicians (especially third parties) based on something besides numbers.

Real-time insight into each job also makes it easier to determine when contractors may need to be utilised and when resources need to be redirected to jobs that require urgent atttention.

Compliance also improves since data from every job flows directly from the field onto a centralised platform where the relevant details get automatically extracted.

The future of field service isn’t just more productive; it’s also more efficient, cost-effective, scalable, and flexible. That all leads to greater profitability in a competitive industry, especially for the solar energy businesses that prioritise digital transformation early, complete the process sooner, and establish themselves as elite service providers.

Ultimate NetSuite Buyers Guide

Find in this guide all the modules and technologies integrated into NetSuite, the cloud-based ERP that can support your business adaptability strategies.

Take a Leap Towards Digital Transformation

Klugo makes digital transformation accessible for a solar energy business by offering the key components: ERP and solar project management software along with an experienced team to help users implement and optimise those tools.

We offer a number of resources to help companies navigate this process. Explore the value of ERP with this ROI calculator, and consider Oracle financing options. Learn more about the technical requirements of ERP with this planner. Finally, consider what Klugo can do for solar energy businesses ready to reach the next level.

Free ROI Calculator

Need a specialist’s free advice?

Feel free to call an expert in Field Service Enterprise Resource Planning Systems today. Find out how cloud-based technology can support and quickly adapt to your strategies in field service.

How Cloud Technology Supports a Decentralised Workforce and Increases Operational Efficiency.

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Technological Innovations in the HVAC Industry

Technological Innovations in the HVAC Industry

Like everything else, the HVAC industry has become more tech-driven in the 21st century. That applies to the way heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems function, as well as how businesses that install and service that equipment run their operations. Few aspects of HVAC haven’t been transformed by technology…for the better.

Businesses that embrace and incorporate these technologies sooner put themselves at a distinct competitive advantage. They look more compelling to customers seeking the best in HVAC; they increase revenues and profit margins by selling more advanced equipment and the service that goes with it; they cut costs by fine-tuning how they utilise resources like inventory and field techs. Today’s innovations promise to push every important metric in the HVAC industry in a positive direction. 

Which innovations in particular? These technologies are having a broad, deep, and lasting impact on the industry right now: 

Software-Enabled HVAC

Software that collects and analyses data on HVAC systems provides techs with valuable insights into usage patterns, performance trends, and system status.

These insights help tech optimise performance and streamline maintenance and repairs because they have visibility into the HVAC system as a whole, as well as the constituent parts. The most advanced systems utilise automation to achieve the highest levels of efficiency and performance.

Environmentally-Friendly HVAC

Demand for “green” solutions has led some HVAC businesses to begin installing solar panels and wind turbines. Many others are updating older equipment with energy-efficient alternatives that heat and cool in the same way but with a much smaller carbon footprint.

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The market for energy efficient HVAC is projected to grow 11% annually

Technology is also making geothermal viable on a much larger scale. The market for energy-efficient HVAC is projected to grow 11% annually between 2018 and 2022. Companies set up to install and service these tech-driven HVAC systems will stand out in the market.

Predictive Maintenance

Instead of performing proactive maintenance on schedule and reactive repairs as needed, technology enables predictive maintenance: when HVAC techs respond to an issue before it causes problems. Sensors embedded in HVAC systems can provide this advanced warning, along with a diagnosis of the issue.

Performing predictive maintenance reduces the long-term cost of HVAC for users and increases the value of businesses equipped to provide this service.

Ultimate NetSuite Buyers Guide

Find in this guide all the modules and technologies integrated into NetSuite, the cloud-based ERP that can support your business adaptability strategies.

Enterprise Resource Planning

 

Running an HVAC business through an enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform like Netsuite gives it a centralised portal for all the data it has and every workflow it performs across departments: sales, customer service, technical support, invoicing, routing, and many more. One thing missing from Netsuite and other ERP options is robust HVAC field service software – an important tool for any businesses in this industry. NextService fills that gap.

Next Service - scheduling tasks

Our HVAC management software integrates seamlessly with Netsuite and addresses the most challenging aspects of making field service work for all involved. It handles scheduling, dispatching, planning in the field, inventory management, and more, all through a purpose-built tool that links into the ERP.

All of the technologies on this list deserve a deeper dive because they will come to define what HVAC looks like in coming years. But the final entry merits extra consideration. ERP systems supplemented with HVAC service and dispatch software provide the infrastructure necessary to make new products and advanced service offerings work from a business perspective.

With new technology comes new complexity and new expectations. HVAC companies will need to operate at a higher standard than anyone did in the past and fire on all cylinders. ERP that handles everything, including field service management, makes that possible by providing 360-degree visibility, top-down controls, and data-driven insights into every decision that matters.

What do those tools look like in the hands of the user? How could they improve your own efforts around field service, growth, and adaptation? Get clear answers from a team that understands the HVAC industry, past and future. Contact Klugo for a consultation or demo.

Free ROI Calculator

Need a specialist’s free advice?

Feel free to call an expert in Field Service Enterprise Resource Planning Systems today. Find out how cloud-based technology can support and quickly adapt to your strategies in field service.

How Cloud Technology Supports a Decentralised Workforce and Increases Operational Efficiency.

Technology decentralising the workforce has been gaining momentum in the past decade, and even more so recently, efficiently enabling remote workers.

Business Norms vs Business Necessity. The Four Key “Why’s” Industries Are Now Revisiting.

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Are Toxic KPIs Damaging Your Team’s Performance?

Are Toxic KPIs Damaging Your Team’s Performance?

Implementing effective key performance indicators is important to any business that focuses on achieving goals. Using KPIs the wrong way can become toxic and may poison a team’s performance. 

KPIs are at the top of my list when running a business, because they allow me to assess performance and determine focus. Well-designed KPIs allow us to recognise excellence, celebrate sucess and build a winning culture. This improves morale and team engagement.

Customers notice happy engaged employees. Engaged teams react faster to customer needs, provide a pleasant experience and, most importantly, happy employees create happy customers.

Good KPIs are dynamic and change over time in reaction to changing conditions. Too many KPIs dilute focus, while not enough leaves blind spots. To make KPIs meaningful, we also need goals.

KPIs are Lagging Measures, Not Target Thresholds

Unfortunately, many field service organisations fail to understand that a KPI is a lagging measure. A KPI lets us investigate the past. We establish thresholds on KPIs to narrow our focus, or to see if an initiative is impacting our measures.  

Setting the threshold as a target, as many field service organisations do, can be dangerous for team moral and customer service.  

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First time-fix rates exceed 90%

For example, we expected our first time-fix rates to be greater than 90%, but we consistently measured them to be 80%. After investigation, we found that one of our suppliers regularly sent the wrong parts or shipped late to site. We had two choices, change supplier or reduce the threshold to 80% and accept this as the normalised practice. 

Guess what we did? Suffice it to say our first timefix rates now exceed 90%, and we have a new supplier. 

It is valid to say that 90% was our target for first timefixed ratesThis allowed us to determine if there were issues worth investigating. The question becomes, what happens to the team if the target is set to 100% for each individual technician and a bonus incentive is offered?  Would this have changed the team’s behaviour in negative way? Would the service team start avoiding jobs or start gaming the type of jobs they are booked on? Would they try to hide reasons for re-visits or record false reasons? To illustrate the point, lets focus on utilisation a common KPI used in service businesses. Implementing this KPI did not go so well. 

Keep Focus on the Customer

Customer Hand Shake

We began by modelling how the utilisation would be calculated, based on the usual arguments about billable versus non-billable travel time, full day jobs versus multiple jobs per day, repair versus maintenance, you get the idea. On refection, the whole conversation was internal, about us, about how the calculation can be gamed. We did not focus on the customer at all.

And that’s when the arguments started. Ok, arguments are too harsh a word, it was more like continuous ongoing disputes within the team. Claims of why the target could not be achieved, questions about why some technicians kept getting the full day jobs, accusations of job padding and overcharging customers to buffer individual results.

The whole focus of the team became time. Service managers started booking appointments back-to-back, with little down time. Technicians slowed down their onsite visits rather than finishing early. Over-booked technicians rushed the work and paid no attention to customer service. Everybody became over worked and stressed, and our customers noticed.

We had one customer comment on how our technicians didn’t even have the courtesy to say goodbye, they just rushed out the door.

We poisoned (or incorrectly incentivised) a team that previously valued customer service by providing bonus incentives to achieve a utilisation target. We didn’t understand the impact this decision would have on the team and on customer service.

By focusing on utilisation as a target measure at the individual level, we decreased productivity, negatively impacted customers, and reduced customer engagement.

Incorrectly using a lag measure as a target can poison team performance, which impacts customer happiness.

Ultimate NetSuite Buyers Guide

Find in this guide all the modules and technologies integrated into NetSuite, the cloud-based ERP that can support your business adaptability strategies.

The Right KPIs Guide Continuous Improvement

Fortunately, we caught this quickly and reverted to customer engagement metrics. We now reward individuals who receive positive customer feedback. We still report team utilisation in the management meetings, as it provides a useful insight into overall team effectiveness. If its below expectations, we focus on what improvements can be implemented, or accept it as transitory if it is the result of external factors.

Using KPIs as lag measures rather than target thresholds guides continuous improvement. It shows us where we can improve, or if there has been an unexpected change in business conditions.

Receiving this information real time from the field allows us to react faster to customer needs and enables the field service teams to be more responsive and effective.

KPIs are powerful tools if they are used as indicators to measure progress towards a goal. However, if the KPIs become the goal then they can turn into toxic measures that will inhibit team performance and employee engagement.

Getting your KPI reporting right leads to highly engaged teams who are motivated, provide positive customer experiences, care about customers and outcomes, care about your company, have high rates of retention, create repeat business, enable upsells and achieve high levels of utilisation because they know it’s important to the team’s success, the company’s success, the customer’s success, and their own individual success.

Field Service management solution NextService + NetSuite allow users to define and create dashboards with KPIs that are real-time from the field. Understanding what a KPI tells you about your business is critical to being a customer-focused responsive organisation.

Realtime insights from the field provided by NextService + NetSuite allow Field Service Management and Providers (FSM/FSP) to accurately manage scheduling, inventory, and resources levels, while exceeding customer service level expectations.

Next Service - scheduling tasks

Improve decision making by utilising the business intelligence features of the world’s leading cloud ERP business platform, Oracle NetSuite combined with NextService for FSM / FSP organisations.

Another Smart Business Decision – Calculating How Much Your Field Services Business Can Save in 2021

Our customers have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in time and resources after implementing NetSuite + NextService.

  • Checkpoint Systems saved $200,000 per year in fixed overheads and reduced paper usage by 100%
  • SprintQuip saved 30 minutes per day for each of their 70 technicians
  • HeadLand Machinery reduced lost stock and tools by 98%

Use our free ROI calculator to find out how much your business can save.

Free ROI Calculator

Annaliese Kloe

Klugo Group Founder, Director

Next Technik Founder, CEO

Headland Machinery, Chair

 

Annaliese Kloe has 16 years of experience leading Headland Machinery. Headland provides machinery, technology, automation and advisory services for Australian manufacturers. As Australia’s leading machine technology advisor, Headland Machinery sells, services, and provides parts for a range of leading international manufacturing equipment brands.

In 2011, Annaliese championed the NetSuite ERP project at Headland Machinery with goals to improve customer engagement, reporting, business insights and decision making. While the project was successful, the lack of a field service solution limited operations in scheduling, work order management, parts ordering, dispatch, checklists, sign on glass, service history, asset management, third-party billing and real-time service team status and location.

This lack of capability motivated Annalise to found Klugo as a NetSuite Solution Provider. As Klugo’s CEO, she led development of the NextService field services management software, a built-for-NetSuite native app that helps field service teams improve customer engagement though field mobility. In 2017, a third company, Next Technik, was formed to support the rapid growth of NextService internationally.

Today, NextService + NetSuite is the leading field service solution for NetSuite customers.

Need a specialist’s free advice?

Feel free to call an expert in Field Service Enterprise Resource Planning Systems today. Find out how cloud-based technology can support and quickly adapt to your strategies in field service.

How Cloud Technology Supports a Decentralised Workforce and Increases Operational Efficiency.

Technology decentralising the workforce has been gaining momentum in the past decade, and even more so recently, efficiently enabling remote workers.

Business Norms vs Business Necessity. The Four Key “Why’s” Industries Are Now Revisiting.

Our customers tell us how they have been leveraging the power of NetSuite to pivot quickly and get back to business. Read their stories.

Benefits of ERP: When is the right time to move to Cloud ERP?

Choosing which software systems your company should invest in can be challenging. For many businesses knowing when to move to an ERP system can mean the difference between growing their businesses or getting throttled by software that no longer supports your team and...

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5 Keys to Face Disruption in Maintenance for Construction Industry

5 Keys to Face Disruption in Maintenance for Construction Industry

Construction in Australia as in other parts of the world is considered an essential business. In 2019, over 1.15 million people were employed in construction, that is 9.2% of all jobs in Australia. The construction industry contributes to 9% of the total GDP of the country, and it will be key to the recovery of the national economy.

The introduction of heavy machinery like cranes, excavators and bulldozers transformed the industry, but automation has yet to play a more important role in the industry. Construction is one of the three industries (together with agriculture and transport) that are slow to embrace digital technologies and innovations; as a result, there is a number of opportunities emerging for businesses providing services to the construction industry. In a highly digital age, almost every aspect of the industry can be supported by innovative new technologies.

Drones and robots are being utilised to automate aspects of the maintenance process itself directly, and advanced sensors combined with the application of machine learning algorithms are enabling highly accurate predictive servicing. In a recent example of this, Data61 have utilised machine learning to create a model that can identify water mains at risk of potential failure. This model will allow Sydney Water to be proactive about their maintenance requirements and has the potential to save them $700 million in reactive repairs and maintenance.

In a 2019 study, McKinsey Australia identified the Construction industry as one of the nine sectors most exposed to automation opportunity and estimates that 25 per cent of work activities will be automated by 2030. This automation will be achieved through the application of new technologies, which in many cases will lead to new servicing and maintenance requirements. The lack of technology in construction maintenance presents an excellent opportunity to generate business in an industry that will remain one of the strong pillars of Australia. Automation has the potential to add $2.2 trillion to the Australian economy over the next 15 years.

Across the globe, we’re seeing technology being successfully implemented to improve the safety and efficiency of maintenance procedures. In 2018, Enes Karaaslanat led a study at the University of Central Florida that focused on developing a human-centred tool to offer improvements to infrastructure inspection and maintenance practices. They created an augmented reality (AR) framework that is intended to be integrated into a wearable headset, allowing an inspector to automatically analyse components they observe in real-time, and obtain information about any defects present. This technology greatly empowers maintenance inspectors and increases their ability to accurately identify potential threats in infrastructure.

Here in Australia, the Centre for Autonomous Systems (CAS) at the University of Technology Sydney worked in partnership with the NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) to create a robot that is intended to inspect hazardous or inaccessible regions of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The robust device is capable of navigating complex terrain that is usually difficult or dangerous for humans to access and collects valuable information about the condition of a structure. Through this automation, the RMS has greatly increased the efficiency of their maintenance process, while also removing the associated occupational health and safety risks that come with human workers surveying these areas.

With the Construction industry in Australia projected to be a crucial factor on the recovery of our economy, and with high-tech equipment and automation at the core of this growth, it appears that there will be an increasing demand for machinery maintenance services in the coming years. In order to cater to this demand, and capitalise on emerging opportunities, it is essential for companies providing automation in the Maintenance for the Construction industry to implement new technologies to improve their own productivity. With this in mind, let’s explore the 5 keys to performance for companies in the Maintenance for the Construction industry, and examine how they can be implemented using the powerful combination of Netsuite + NextService.

Machinery-For-Construction-Maintenance-Header-01

1. A Focus on Customer Service

Fulfilling customer expectations is vital for building long term relationships in any industry. In the Maintenance for the Construction industry, this means ensuring that timely preventative maintenance (PM) is provided in order to limit the chance of problems arising. NextService automates the PM process by tracking equipment service history and allowing managers to allocate the required maintenance tasks to different teams within their company.

Machinery-For-Construction-Maintenance-Header-02
Machinery-For-Construction-Maintenance-Blurb-Scheduling-v2

2. Effective Scheduling to Improve the First Time Fix Rate

To ensure maintenance to machinery and sensor is performed efficiently, it is important that the technicians handling the task have the appropriate skills and equipment. The more often a company can get the job right the first time, the happier their customers will be with their service. The NextService Scheduler allows managers to view customer and job information alongside information about their technicians’ skills and equipment, making it easy for them to assign the right staff to the right project. The Scheduler even features an integrated map, allowing managers to view all their field staff geographically and optimise their task scheduling based on this information.

Machinery-For-Construction-Maintenance-Header-03

3. Investment in Inventory Prediction Technology

For companies in the Maintenance for the Construction industry, managing inventory effectively is a vital key to success. Without utilising technology in this area, human error can easily lead to costly mismatches in inventory levels and job requirements and greatly impact your overall productivity. The NextService mobile app allows for complete inventory management utilising a built-in barcode scanner. This makes it simple for companies to manage their supply and demand by viewing the analytics in real-time.

NetSuite for Construction Providers

Download our NetSuite for Field Service Guide and learn everything there is to know about the modules and technologies integrated into NetSuite, the cloud-based ERP, that can support your strategies on the bak-office and the field.

Machinery-For-Construction-Maintenance-Header-04

4. A Focus on Accounting and Asset Management

Servicing machinery involves a lot of equipment, and as a result maintenance companies are required to manage the finances on a large number of assets. This can be extremely difficult and often results in confusion around the value of these assets after depreciation, and when to retire them.

NetSuite supports companies to understand their asset lifecycle, by tracking relevant information and calculating depreciation schedules. This allows companies to greatly improve their management of assets through real-time accounting.

Machinery-For-Construction-Maintenance-Header-05

5. Consolidation of all Platforms to a Single Tool

The Maintenance for the Construction industry is driven by data, and with so much relevant information to consider, it makes sense for maintenance companies to aim to store all this data in one place. Using multiple platforms with siloed information makes it difficult to get the complete picture, and increases the time spent by staff accessing and utilising information. NetSuite is an all-in-one business management tool, combining all the capability of CRM and sales tools with powerful accounting, inventory and project management automation. The platform integrates seamlessly with NextService providing companies with comprehensive control over both their admin and field operations.

 

It is clear that the coming years will present a lot of challenges to those in the Maintenance for the Construction industry, but opportunities arise as automation continues to drive increases to the efficiency of both the construction and maintenance processes. If you are a maintenance company looking to support your automation business within the industry, the combined NetSuite + NextService platform can assist you to improve your productivity by providing complete control over all your operations.

Utilising a single platform solution greatly simplifies your IT environment, empowering your team to work more effectively and giving you a real-time snapshot of your business.

Need a specialist’s free advice?

Feel free to call an expert in Enterprise Resource Planning Systems for Construction Providers today. Find out how cloud-based technology can support your subcontractor business and your addaptability strategies.

Technological Innovations in the HVAC Industry

Like everything else, the HVAC industry has become more tech-driven in the 21st century. That applies to the way heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems function, as well as how businesses that install and service that equipment run their operations

Are Toxic KPIs Damaging Your Team’s Performance?

Implementing effective key performance indicators is important to any business that focuses on achieving goals. Using KPIs the wrong way can become toxic and may poison a team’s performance.

5 Keys to Face Disruption in Maintenance for Construction Industry

New challenges and opportunities arise for companies providing Maintenance for Construction, technology can help them improve their own productivity.

Maximising Safety and Minimising Contact. How FSM Software Is Empowering Field Based Service Businesses?

Field Service Business by nature are high-contact. ERP has helped them to eliminate paperwork, leverage video calls and implement safety check-lists.

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Every day more Australian farmers adopt the idea of using technology to combat their problems, lower costs and improve efficiency.

Maximising Safety and Minimising Contact. How FSM Software Is Empowering Field Based Service Businesses?

Maximising Safety and Minimising Contact. How FSM Software Is Empowering Field Based Service Businesses?

Field Service Business by nature are high contact. Whether providing break-fix repairs to customers equipment or managing installation and commissioning of new manufacturing machinery, being a field service technician means being onsite.

Field Service businesses, which traditionally have been paper-based are now looking at ways to:

  1. Streamline the scheduling and dispatch of their technicians.
  2. Digitise both the delivery of job, customer and asset details to their mobile devices.
  3. Enforce strict safety checklists and OHS processes.
  4. Streamline job data capture, progress updates, customer sign off and billing.

Traditionally, a Field Technician’s typical day involved a very high level of contact with various members of your front office, back office and warehouse teams, as well as the team members of your customers. However, by simply going digital, NetSuite and NextService customers have been able to eliminate the need for morning and afternoon paperwork pick up and drop off, as well as communicate with customers through video calls, rather than face to face.

They have also been able to rapidly adopt new safety policies and procures by implementing custom forms and checklists on the NextService mobile app to maximise compliance. 

Four Key Benefits of NetSuite and NextService

1. Eliminating Complexity in Scheduling

NextService has a NetSuite Native on-platform schedule board that allows your scheduling teams to quickly create jobs, review team members availability, proximity and skills and assign the case to the right technician.

Schedules can be edited on the fly, with notifications being sent automatically to field service technicians as and when things change.

2. Modern Mobility

The NextService mobile app, which works on any smart device becomes the key workspace for field-based staff. They are able to receive details of new jobs, asset and customer details and history, access a full case history of the customer and asset, and capture key information on their mobile device. From van-stock consumption through to time, expenses machine readings and more, NextService can be configured to suit the often highly variable requirements of different job types.

3. Empowering People to Follow Process

NextService as a Native extension of the NetSuite Platform can be configured quickly to capture any custom information you may require. This means that a rapidly changing world can be met with agility and adaptability ensuring that you are able to minimise any newly identified risks for your team and your customers by implementing adaptable checklists and procedures.

Want to know more about ERP for Field Service?

Download our NetSuite Guide for Field Service, find all the modules and technologies integrated into NetSuite, the cloud-based ERP that can support your adaptability strategies.

4. Streamlining the Flow of Data

As a built for NetSuite Native solution, any information that is captured in the NextService Mobile App is synchronised to your NetSuite ERP system in real-time. Front and back-office staff will have live information about field technician locations, job progress and be able to build-up to the minute field service management dashboards that empower quick and accurate decision making. Similarly, technicians are automatically alerted to any new job information or changes, which minimises the need for inefficient phone and email communications.

In Summary

At Klugo, we are passionate about helping Australian businesses adapt to change, and simplify their software ecosystem by investing in a modern, single platform of technology such as NetSuite and NextService. If you think we might be able to help you, then feel to reach out to speak to one of our Field Service ERP experts.

Need a specialist’s free advice?

Feel free to call an expert in Field Service Enterprise Resource Planning Systems today. Find out how cloud-based technology can support and quickly adapt to your strategies in field service.

How Cloud Technology Supports a Decentralised Workforce and Increases Operational Efficiency.

Technology decentralising the workforce has been gaining momentum in the past decade, and even more so recently, efficiently enabling remote workers.

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How are Australian Service Companies Thriving Overseas?

How are Australian Service Companies Thriving Overseas?

The Australian economy is largely made up of businesses that provide either services or goods and services. Service businesses employ four out of five Australians and represent over 70 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the country. Despite operational challenges of scaling a service business globally, a number of Aussie Service companies are not just thriving domestically, they are hammering the competition on the international stage.

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Service and service with goods made 40% of exports in 2016

There is a world of potential customers searching for excellent quality services across a wide range of industries. For Australia, the services sector accounts for most of the trading that occurs with other countries. Services made up 21.6% of total exports in 2016, and when goods are considered, they account for 40% of export earnings. The value of the services trade rose by 9.4 per cent in 2018 totalling $190.6 billion, and the share was below average that year at 22.4 per cent.

According to the WTO time-series database, US and China are Australia’s major trade partners for imports. The US accounts for 10.0 per cent of the world’s imports, which is up 4.0 per cent each year since 2013. China comes in second with 7.7 per cent increases each year.

Despite challenges, globalisation offers Australian businesses a prime opportunity to discover potential customers. With the yearly increases in service imports, Australian companies find significant growth opportunities whilst offering their services overseas. However, to truly transform local services into worldwide success, one crucial element is needed: the right technology backbone to support a multi-location business.

Made in Australia for the world.

Many lessons can be learned from local success stories. Poolwerx is one example of a company that is finding success in foreign markets. Having a Cloud ERP system that is global-ready was one of the many key factors that enabled their international expansion.

Poolwerx was founded in 1992, and it revolutionised the pool service industry with its network of pool and spa maintenance technicians. They started a franchise model that utilises the latest pool maintenance technology in Australia. This model facilitated Poolwerx expansion, they have now 160 retail stores and over 575 vans servicing in Australia, New Zealand and America.

Poolwerx success story was featured in the Keynote of NetSuite SuiteConnect in Sydney in February 2020 for its use of NetSuite + NextService. John O’Brien, Founder and CEO of Poolwerx, credited the platform: “With NetSuite, we have better visibility and control. We’re able to have a single source of truth that monitors and reports all franchisee performance, affording us the opportunity to operate as a small team, despite being globally dispersed.”

Poolwerx plans to expand across the US southern tier, the Sun Belt, with a five-year business development strategy targeting verticals in the commercial sector, schools, hotels and fitness centres. NetSuite and NextService will provide technological support for their innovation and international growth.

SprintQuip is another company that achieved success with the help of NetSuite. NextService, a customised field service platform built-in NetSuite was the backbone of the company’s global expansion.

SprintQuip offers cash machine products, including ticket counters, weighers and scales, deposit machines, money safes, sorters, along with service support. Stephen Basford, the General Manager of Systems and Compliance, says the company’s success is due to the efficiencies NextService created in the field and the back-office administration. This has improved customer response times and simplified scheduling and billing systems.

The company now sells and services Cash Machines in Singapore and the UK. Whilst the Head-Office is in Australia, SprintQuip was able to expand into Singapore supported by NetSuite OneWorld technology. The company then entered into the UK by acquiring a local company and quickly onboarding them to the platform. Basford says that NetSuite with NextService was crucial for the business to expand its operations overseas.

The Benefits of OneWorld Technology

Technological advances that were inconceivable even a few decades ago allow us today to connect easier than ever, erasing borders, homogenising cultures and globalising business. But that does not change the fact that companies must be adapted to perform on a local level. NetSuite OneWorld supports global and country-specific requirements addressing the complex multinational and multi-company needs of global organisations.

Businesses exporting their services overseas to access a broader customer-base realise that data transparency becomes a priority when sharing critical information with trading partners and consumers. NetSuite OneWorld benefits businesses by offering real-time visibility into business performance through financial and operational dashboards and reports. These global business insights enable them to build trust and achieve better visibility to all parts of their businesses to drive improvements and react faster and more effectively when problems occur.

Building an international team these days can be easily achieved through partnerships, alliances, and direct hiring, thus having technology that supports global workforce management is essential for companies planning to trade overseas. NetSuite OneWorld is web-based, allowing employees, board members and associates to access the platform from anywhere in the world in their language. It also supports popular mobile devices for data and functionality on-the-go. User permissions management in the business workflow is available within the platform.

Expanding to offshore markets comes with a whole new set of operational challenges in global accountancy, rules, taxation and regulations vary significantly for each country. OneWorld makes NetSuite the leading ERP for global SMEs with its best-in-class currency manager, which includes 190+ currency and exchange rates allowing users to do business across the globe from day one and accepting many forms of payment. Other functionalities include currency conversion and financial consolidation across business units and a comprehensive range of international tax structures. You can adjust for currency, taxation and legal compliance differences at the local level, with regional and global business consolidation and roll-up.

NetSuite Guide for Field Service Companies

Do you own a service company and you’re searching to export your services? Download this guide with all the modules and technologies integrated into NetSuite, the cloud-based ERP that can support your international expansion.

Opportunities to establish a service business abroad

Don’t underestimate the international demand for your services, globalised consumers are increasingly willing to experiment with services that bring something new to the table. Several Australian service companies with innovative technology are growing overseas as a result of a flattening global economy and the possibility to focus on vertical rather than geographic markets.

The service industry will see substantial growth, the Australian Performance of Services Index (Australian PSI®) is expected to be 46.80 points by the end of this quarter and to continue to grow to 53.00 points by 2021. Australia, Singapore and Sweden have been named as the most prepared countries for technological changes, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). They have also been called the most attractive places for investing in tech companies from 2018 to 2022.

Starting a business nowadays is a simple and straightforward process in virtually every country, and a number of governments actively encourage foreign investors to set up shop, through taxation perks and benefits. With the right technological support and strategy, businesses can start trading overseas in less than a month, and it doesn’t cost thousands of dollars. Technological advances in the past decade like NetSuite OneWorld are taking Australian brands globally more quickly and efficiently than ever offering organisations a way to handle multinational and multi-company needs.

NetSuite not only enables international expansion with OneWorld, it is one of the leading accounting/ERP platforms in the world that also offers Customer Relationship Management, eCommerce, Warehouse Management, Field Service automation and Professional Services Automation solutions. Such a comprehensive platform helps multinational businesses align their complete operations. NetSuite’s Centralised BMP nature gives real-time visibility for businesses, ensuring consistent compliance management and alleviating the need for several disparate software. All areas of the company can be run by a single cloud software anywhere in the world.

Need a specialist’s free advice?

Feel free to call an expert in NetSuite OneWorld and NextService for Field Service Businesses today. Find out how cloud-based technology can help your service business become an international beast.

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