As Nwestco grew its operation as a design, permit, construction, and maintenance company, adding branches in six different states, it quickly outgrew its software setup to help bring those construction projects to completion.
Nwestco offers turnkey project construction of petroleum equipment and has done so for over 25 years. They also build car washes, automotive lifts, and fueling systems for regional airports and have used a mixture of three different software solutions to complete those projects.
Dave Vanderploeg, Director of IT and Operations with Nwestco, said they used QuickBooks, a product for inventory management, and a file maker program they designed to run their service operations. However, as the company grew, it needed a more extensive system to handle its accounting and purchasing and a comprehensive solution for its project management and service delivery that Nwestco didn’t internally host but rather a cloud-based solution.
“We outgrew QuickBooks because of the size of our company, and that’s when we looked at NetSuite,” said Vanderploeg. “And as we were in the discovery process, NetSuite found Fieldpoint for us.”
Fieldpoint would be selected over two other solutions as the cloud-based solution Nwestco needed. The internal programs Vanderploeg was managing posed a challenge for him to maintain as he is a one-person IT team. So moving to a cloud-based solution hosted by Fieldpoint removed the maintenance of those old systems and the security of the new systems from his job role.
Fieldpoint and NetSuite Integration
With Fieldpoint now handling all of Nwestco’s field service needs and NetSuite’s ERP and accounting system providing the invoicing, billing, and customer information, one of the earliest positives was the reduced hours producing invoices.
Vanderploeg said that with their old systems and QuickBooks, which didn’t integrate, they needed to manually input all the invoice information into the accounting system to produce invoices. Now information inputted on the Fieldpoint system is transferred through the integration to NetSuite, where the accounting team can quickly turn it into an invoice.
“One of the weak points was that all invoices had to be entered manually into QuickBooks,” said Vanderploeg. “They had to go in and hit each part number and quantity. So all of that is eliminated. From a perspective of ease of use and from mistakes, I can tell you that it’s a huge win for us. We’re doing great with it.”
One central area of improvement for Nwestco has been their technicians’ efficiency. All technicians now use the Fieldpoint MobilePro field service application, which allows Nwestco to track their billable hours to see exactly how much time they can and can’t bill.
Work orders are sent directly to the technicians using the mobile app, and all technicians gather signatures to sign off on work orders before leaving the service call. In addition, the mobile application has made it easier for technicians to see what work orders are coming up, the priority and if any service appointments near them need to be completed.
“We’ve built in technician efficiency,” said Vanderploeg. “We can take a look at our technicians and see how much time they’re spending working billable hours and how much time we can’t bill for them. Most importantly, though, they just get their list of work orders that are assigned to them. They can take a look, see what they’re near, see what’s the priority, tackle that, and then move on to the next thing, all while they’re recording time for payroll.”
As they complete work orders and insert time on the mobile app, that time is automatically added to their payroll timesheets. This is another area that has eliminated the need for double entry of information, as technicians don’t have to input their time once they are completed their work orders. As a result, payroll doesn’t need to insert that time into the accounting and ERP system to pay the technician.
“They’re not double entering anything,” said Vanderploeg. “They’re entering what they did on-site, and that’s building their timesheet. Their timesheet then goes over to payroll. They are also recording inventory, so the time they record goes over and builds their pay.”
Working with Fieldpoint
Nwestco has seen great early results from implementing Fieldpoint, and Vanderploeg said he owes that success to Fieldpoint and its consulting team. The development of the relationship he has built with Nwestco’s consultant has helped them automate their business and add efficiencies, as the consultant learned their business and found solutions for them, rather than trying to fit everything into a pre-packaged solution.
Fieldpoint’s customizable field service software enables businesses to alter workflows that work for their business specifically. Fieldpoint spends time learning the business first to better understand the needs of the customer they are working with, so they can come up with unique solutions that would work for the field service business.
Working with Fieldpoint’s consultants, Vanderploeg has found customizations in the Fieldpoint software that have helped him optimize business processes, such as customized reports, which Fieldpoint helped Nwestco build so that they could easily access those reports from their dashboard.
“Our consultant knows a lot about our business now. He’s taking the time to understand it, so much so, he could step in and do a lot of our job because he’s worked through it,” said Vanderploeg. “He makes sure he understands the process and what we’re asking for. That’s the success story and why we’re happy with Fieldpoint.”