Contributed by Ric Hattabaugh, VP Sales at FieldConnect

When designing a mobile field service solution, the developers quickly reach a crossroads. Do I build a “Web App” or a “Native App”? There are strengths and weakness of both. Which is right for you?

What’s the difference?

A Web App works using a web browser such as Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, etc. A Native App, on the other hand, is a dedicated piece of software residing on a mobile phone or tablet.

Which is better?

A Web App may be better in a mobile workforce environment if:

  • You have a variety of mobile devices in the field: Samsung, Apple, Windows, etc.
  • You don’t want to be stuck with one or two possible hardware choices.
  • You want field workers to be able to switch to a different device and pick up where they left off on the previous device.
  • You don’t want to deal with App updates and keeping current on each field device.

A Native App may be better if:

  • Your workers spend a lot of time not connected to the Internet and periodic synchronization is OK.
  • You want the mobile device to ONLY be used for your work.

Until recently, the only way to give data access to your field workers when not connected was to use a Native App. That changed when FieldConnect introduced Offline Mode on its Web App-based systems. Offline Mode works by downloading data in the browser cache so a field employee gets the same data whether or not there is an internet connection.

Obviously, FieldConnect is partial to our architectural decision – and it’s worked amazingly well for thousands of users in the USA and Canada.


Integrated vs BOB

While stand-alone solutions can offer compelling functionality, they also carry increased complexity and cost due to one overriding architectural paradigm – they are designed to work on a stand-alone basis without the ability to easily share resources with financial/job cost systems.

Stand-alone architecture leads to 4 key areas of differentiation with integrated financial/PM solutions:

1. Single Database vs. Multi-database Architecture
Keeping two sets of master records up to date dramatically increases complexity and cost. This issue can be compounded further when you add estimating/bidding systems into the mix, which could result in a 3rd set of master records to be maintained.

2. Integration – Built-in vs. Bolted On
Stand-alone PM solutions rely on 3rd party middleware in order to “glue” the 2 solutions together. When you add the necessary middleware into the mix, you’ve now gone from a 1 vendor to a 3 vendor solution. This middleware increases cost, complexity and the potential for finger pointing between 3 vendors when the integration breaks.

3. Reporting – Which Solution Owns the Data – Financial or PM?
Delivering timely, accurate reporting to all stakeholders (executives, PMs, field, etc.) is critical to delivering successful projects. Consider what will give you the full picture and ensure that data is accurate and up to date.

4. IT Security & Administration – Know the Full Picture
Whichever option you choose, your IT group, or a 3rd party will have to ensure that your software products meet acceptable standards for security, release management and support.

Want to know more? Get the full story here Integrated Vs. Standalone e Book



Construction is a big market – 13% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) as depicted in recent studies. The potential of this market has caught the attention of literally dozens of software firms that are racing to provide a wide range of construction solutions including project management systems to address specific business issues.

If your company is like many others, you may be considering new technology for your project management and/or operations teams. Proceed with caution. There can often be overlap with your current financial/job cost systems. It’s important that you understand the dilemma you may face with the overlap.

Many Project Management solutions address most if not all functional requirements desired by an operations team. Functions such as PM Document Control (i.e. submittal control, RFIs, meeting minutes) have limited overlap with your project financial systems. However, most other functions (budgets, contracts, change orders and forecasting) have significant overlap with financial systems where these functions are being tracked from an accounting perspective.

Overlap of PM and Financials

If mission critical data exists in two separate systems, what software package serves as the system of record – and for which data sets? It’s a question that you should carefully consider and think long and hard about. Learn more in our Integrated Vs. Standalone e Book


This year’s theme for the 2016 CFMA National Conference was Building It Forward and marked Viewpoint’s fifth year of attending the CFMA Conference as a Principle Partner. This year’s conference featured 3 general sessions, 8-mini conferences, 48 breakout sessions, 6 dawn peer groups, and record breaking number of more than 925 attendees.

The Viewpoint Team

A common theme for many contractors in attendance was how to attract younger generations to the industry in light of the current shortage of skilled workers. New and exciting technologies to attract the younger workforce, along with programs to educate students around skilled trades and drone utilization, were topics addressed during Monday’s roundtable sessions.

Viewpoint's Matt Harris introducing keynote speaker, Steve Gilliland.

Viewpoint hosted a technology forum on Sunday where Viewpoint’s CEO, Manolis Kotzabasakis, along with Senior VP of Product, Matt Harris, shared Viewpoint’s vision for continued commitment to product quality and development, discussed the vision for our product futures and examined technology trends in the industry. Viewpoint was honored to have more than 90 of our customers, partners and friends for lunch at the forum.

Viewpoint also had the opportunity to sponsor several of the networking events including the exhibitor reception on Sunday, first time attendee mixer, attendee tote bags, and we gave away 2- Fitbit Blaze smart watches.

On Tuesday evening we kicked back with our fellow Viewpoint team members, friends and customers at Knibbe Ranch. It was a boot strapping great time. We made friends with the longhorns and saw a live rodeo! The JW Marriott is San Antonio did not disappoint and we can’t wait to see the fun in store for CFMA 2017 in Arizona!

About CFMA’s Principle Partnership Program (PPP):
rodeoThe principle partnership was developed in an effort to establish a long-term relationship. Funds via the program assists CFMA with creating valuable member programs without the need to increase non-dues revenue for CFMA and develops stronger relationships with each CFMA chapter. In the area of chapter relations, the funds collected from the PPP have allowed CFMA to create the support, training, and resources (STAR) program that grants chapters up to $3,000 for chapter focused programs. The STAR program is a direct result of the PPP. Viewpoint was the first to enter into the PPP with CFMA, which was initiated in 2012. CFMA currently has two principle partners, Viewpoint and BKD.


When it comes to setting and measuring KPIs, service managers experience better results when they’re focused on the process of delivering service, rather than the results. For example, rather than measuring profitability or number of service calls per day, start by analyzing the success of the processes involved in delivering service.

The list below highlights some of the most important KPIs service contractors are measuring today. While each indicator on the list can be important for various reasons, start with only four or five that will be most useful for your business instead of trying to implement all of them at once. Determine which are most important to your organization by evaluating problem areas, and then, only after reaching your original goals, add to the list.

11 Service Process KPIs Every Subcontractor Should Know

1. Average travel metrics
– Average travel time: Track the average time to get from site to site.
– Average travel distance: Track average miles techs spend driving.
– Average travel costs: Track fuel costs, wear and tear on vehicles, and overall cost of getting from place to place.

By reducing the amount of travel and identifying where routing can be more efficient, service teams are able to spend more time on billable tasks and tackle more work orders, not to mention the customer satisfaction that comes from getting to a jobsite and resolving an issue faster.

2. Response time
The quicker techs respond to problems, the more work they’ll be able to do in a day, and the quicker the customer’s problem is resolved the happier the customer will be.

3. Average repair times
Average repair time is a potential indicator of training needs; for example, if one tech is taking much more time to repair the same type of equipment as his peers, then that tech might need additional training. Or it could highlight product serviceability difficulties, which manufacturing might be able to correct with an engineering change order.

4. Average SLA compliance rate
Measuring service level agreement compliance is nothing new, but it’s still very important. If you’re missing the SLAs, that has implications for customer satisfaction and downstream revenue.

5. Technician utilization
To track technician utilization and productivity, divide the amount of time the tech is working on things that are part of the job description vs time filling out time sheets, attending meetings, other activities unrelated to productive work.

6. Measure technician billable time
After you’ve figured out technician productive time, service managers can determine what percentage of that was billable. This KPI is important because if organizations have a high ratio of billable to productive time that is a potential indication that not enough equipment is covered by a maintenance contract.

7. Percentage of expiring warranties that are converted to maintenance contracts.
Ideally, as a service organization, you’ll prove your value during the warranty period, so customers will be eager to purchase a maintenance contract through you.

8. Percentage of maintenance contracts that are expiring that have been renewed
If you have a sales person in charge of selling service contracts, make sure they’re also renewing expiring ones. Set up alerts so there’s never any ambiguity as to whose contracts are expiring when.

9. Percentage of ordered parts that are returned unused
If technicians are consistently ordering the wrong parts for their jobs, that has a direct impact on productivity and customer satisfaction.

10. Emergency parts order costs
Track how often techs are rushing out to the store to purchase last minute parts, or how frequently parts must be flown in from another location on an emergency basis. These costs add up and also cut into worker productivity.

11. Ratio of preventive maintenance work to reactive work
The higher the PM work, the lower the reactive work will be. Companies that are aggressive about the number of PM programs in place generaly reduce the amount of emergency fix calls they get.

Conclusion – New Technologies Make it Easier to Track and Measure Smart Service KPIs
New technologies and service apps have made it easier to identify what to measure and to retrieve accurate information quickly. So while the KPIs themselves have remained relatively stable over the last decade, contractors’ ability to set smart goals, track performance, and make informed changes has made it more important than ever to perform well and exceed customer expectations.

7 Best Practices for Choosing a New Field Service Software Solution
Looking for ways to exceed KPIs in your service and repair business? Eliminate paper and streamline the service process with field service management software integrated with Viewpoint. Learn best practices for choosing the right solution in this free guide.