Paramount Assets, a real estate management company that owns more than 5 million square feet of commercial and retail space in New Jersey, has used software to automate fundamental pieces of its operation for many years.
But that efficiency didn't extend to its team of about a dozen service technicians until more recently, when the company adopted a suite of cloud-hosted applications from ServiceMax. Since that time, Paramount has shortened the amount of time it takes to assign and reconcile repair visits, while eliminating the need to employ a full-time service coordinator, said Richard Dunn, vice president of operations at Paramount. He figures the cost of Paramount's deployment was covered within the first nine months of using the service, if you consider that the salary for this position would run about $40,000 annually in his region.
"The investment was neglible, as far as we were concerned," Dunn said.
ServiceMax doesn't publish its pricing, but companies can expect to pay an average of $100 to $130 per user per month, depending on the features selected, said Stacey Epstein, vice president of marketing for ServiceMax.
The application includes modules for work order management, scheduling, inventory and parts tracking, and analytics that help keep track of how long repairs or visits take. It can be deployed on notebook computers or on Apple iPad tablets, which is what Paramount has done. Dunn also uses the service to file and manage all documentation related to service visits, to satisify potential auditing requirements or in case it is needed for litigation or contracts. "Its my file cabinet as well," he sadi.
The video below is a demonstration of ServiceMax running on an Apple iPad tablet:
For larger companies, ServiceMax can be integrated with enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications from the likes of Oracle and SAP (through integration technology developed by JitterBit), Epstein said. For smaller companies, the software can be integrated with QuickBooks, to help with invoicing and customer relationship management (CRM) processes. The application probably isn't appropriate for companies with fewer than 10 people on their field services team, she said.
To deploy ServiceMax, Paramount had to completely rethink its field service assignment and job processes, which mean its deployment took longer to roll out than simply flipping a switch on a cloud service. "As we work with the software, we are finding different avenues to expand our services," Dunn said.