Delivering new software to market in an ever-changing and agile world is a dynamic and often multi-year effort. That’s why it’s important to take the long view.

At Viewpoint we believe there are three important components necessary in creating a software product of value: a clear vision, a focused execution plan, and the commitment of resources and support (buy-in) from the all stakeholders.

In 2011, Viewpoint announced plans to deliver a new suite of Service Management products in direct response to feedback from customers. A shift had occurred in the construction sector and many contractors were looking to extend and expand their lines of business in the face of a lagging economy. To many, the prospect of creating or growing service departments seemed like a wise and viable choice for increasing revenue. As these plans rolled out, Viewpoint repeatedly heard from customers that they wanted an easy, intuitive way to handle the small job work orders associated with a service business.

Standing by our commitment to listen to and deliver on what our customers and the market are requesting, we’ve worked diligently over the past several years to provide a suite of products for managing service work. We have staged our development to ensure we are delivering the appropriate features and functionality of the products to the right audience in a timely and logical manner.

Phase 1 – Small Electrical Contractors

We began our Service Management development plan with Work Order Management. WOM handles core work order processing from cradle to grave. We were able to truly focus on the integration capabilities of WOM because we limited the scope to T&M service work orders only – providing our team the bandwidth to really dial in the integration piece. This strategy allowed us to have a first phase product that would appeal to electrical contractors, who primarily concentrate on spot fix and repair. Our initial release of WOM shipped at year-end 2011 with light reporting for profitability. We quickly saw some early adoption and received feedback which helped drive the prioritization of future work.

Phase 2 – Mechanical and Roofing Contractors

In 2012, we added Service Agreements, designed for the management of ongoing preventative maintenance work, facilitation of periodic billing and automation of the renewal process. We also added our new work order quote for proposing small job work orders common to this segment – allowing for both T&M and/or flat pricing. Our goal was to begin addressing the needs of mechanical and roofing contractors because their performance routine focused on maintenance work and small jobs is a major part of their service divisions. During this time, we also shifted our efforts to deliver increasingly robust performance and profitability reporting.

Phase 3 Target – Larger Contractors

Our next area of focus was streamlining the dispatching and mobile field service workflow in order to appeal to our larger customers that require tools for managing a higher volume of work orders and a larger number of technicians in the field. We released our first dispatch board in 2013 with Phase 2 shipping in late September 2014. In early 2013, we partnered with established mobile service providers to offer our customers two options for a fully integrated mobile field work order system. Today, our customers can dispatch work orders from our dispatch board and electronically notify the technicians in the field. Technicians can receive, accept and complete the work orders on their mobile device which will automatically update the dispatch board. Work orders can then move straight to review and billing.

On the Horizon

As we work to round out this product offering, we continue to engage with our customers, listen and prioritize their requirements. Some of the features and functionality on the horizon include:

• Advanced Reporting
• Customer Service Web Portal
• Integration with CRM
• Dash-Boarding and Analytics
• Resource Management – Capacity planning, Advanced Scheduling, Utilization
Learn More at the ENR 600 Webinar

To learn more about the specialty and subcontracting market, plan to join this informative webinar sponsored by Viewpoint, in which Gary Tulacz, ENR Magazine’s Senior Editor and manager of the ENR Top Lists for the past 20+ years, will moderate a panel of executives from the largest specialty contracting firms where they’ll discuss the results of the 2014 Top 600 survey, and talk to the issues and trends that effect how these contractors do business. Register today!

Posted by Scott Hegrenes