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Whitepaper: Fire and Life Safety and Security Industry

Whitepaper: Fire and Life Safety and Security Industry

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The Fire and Life Safety and Security Systems industries are constantly changing with new regulations, compliance orders and advances in technology. The industry, which was worth an estimated $27.04 billion in 2016, is experiencing a compound annual growth rate of 8.5% heading towards 2022. New government regulations and the need to update outdated or non-compliant technology is requiring building owners and facilities managers to think about upgrading their fire alarm, security and fire suppression systems with the latest technology available.
Considering the nature of fire and life safety and security systems, which are designed to save lives, damage to property and theft, a well-maintained system is vital. According to National Fire Protection Association, $2 billion of property annually is lost due to fire. For field service organizations in those industries, regular maintenance is necessary to ensure those systems are operating at peak efficiency and that they remain compliant with government regulations. And when an upgrade is needed or a new building requires a fully installed fire and life safety and security system, the field service organizations needs the tools to handle the installation of new systems, the continuous maintenance of those systems, and the upgrades to outdated systems.
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Where Does Field Service Management Software Come in?

In an industry that must have equipment and safety systems running at peak efficiency all the time, providing excellent service to these buildings and systems is a must. Fire and life systems must comply with government codes and security systems should be operational to avoid any harm during an emergency, theft or vandalism.

Service cannot be missed, which is why many in the fire and life safety industry are turning towards a field service management software solution to automate operations of their service delivery. It allows field service organization to manage their work orders, contracts and installation projects, quote for additional service, track the lifecycle of these important systems, and identify problems in the service delivery through analytical reporting tools. With a field service software, you can manage these activities on one platform and in real time. From quoting and scheduling technicians to billing your customers, it’s all on one platform.

Reliability of Systems

The past decade has seen a leap in technology advancement not only on the equipment side but also on the business side. Various software platforms now allow enterprises to monitor fleet management, field service management, inventory, invoices, payroll, customer service, and improve sales and customer experiences digitally as opposed to previous manual and paper management. With all these solutions in the market now, we can safely say that service management software is the top choice. Service management software allows enterprises to manage and oversee service delivery to its customers, including work order management, scheduling, dispatch, diagnostics, maintenance activities, contract management, quoting for additional business and more. You can also track KPI’s and performance with advanced business intelligence capabilities, run reports, identify problem areas and overall, improve the business performance and establish whether business goals are being met or not. The main advantage of investing in a service management software is that you can manage all your HVACR operations on one platform and in real time. From scheduling the right technician to quoting additional work to billing your customer, it’s all under one umbrella.

How Does Fieldpoint Help – Preventative Maintenance and Mobility

For a field service organization in the fire and life safety industry, maintaining such an important system, ensuring it works at peak efficiency, and that it complies with government regulations can be challenging. Compliance checklists need to be completed on scheduled visits, tests of equipment need to be performed and repairs must be completed quickly so the system works in the event of an emergency. A routine schedule for service is required, and field service organizations are turning to field service software to help maintain these important systems.

Routine inspections and preventative maintenance plans are built into the Fieldpoint field service software to ensure compliance reports are completed on time and never missed. When these maintenance schedules are built into Fieldpoint’s contract module, work orders for the inspections are automatically generated and are ready to be scheduled and dispatched. This automation can be customized to any maintenance schedule to ensure the fire and life system remains at peak efficiency levels.

Depending on the type inspection, checklists can be prebuilt using Fieldpoint checklist designer, with each compliance report required.Those checklists are then attached to the work order so technicians and subcontractors can access the checklist on a mobile device through the mobile field service app. This makes for easy filing of compliance reports, which can be sent to the customer quickly after the service call is completed. It also keeps electronic file of the completed reports, which helps build a silo of information on specific systems and the history of their lifecycle.

With compliance reports, steps and procedures can’t be missed, so part of the checklists design capabilities includes adding required answers, which won’t allow technicians to move forward in their work order until the answer the question. Smart answers also initiate different replies. If a technician is prompted to enter the number of fire extinguishers in an office and they answer five, the checklist will generate five sets of questions, one for each extinguisher, to ensure each one is looked at.

Replace or Upgrade System

Innovative technology for fire and security systems are designed every year, including systems with Internet connectivity and emergency announcement capabilities. Advances in fire detection systems have replaced simple warning alarms with the ability to track the fire’s development so notifications can be sent to fire departments and building managers faster. Smoke management systems help reroute smoke and gases, which makes it easier to get people out of a building, plus save the property from smoke damage. With these advances in technology, the NFPA creates new standards, which requires buildings to replace outdated systems, or purchase additional equipment so that the existing system complies with codes.

That leaves building managers in the position to decide if they should replace their entire system with a brand new one, or to purchase additional equipment and upgrade their system, leaving older parts of the system still intact. It comes down to what is more cost effective for a building manager. Is it more affordable to buy a brand-new fire suppression and warning system, or continue maintenance and repairs on aging systems? This phased modernization approach of adding upgrades to extend the lifecycle of the current system is often selected, due to the cost of overhauling an entire system.

 

How Does Fieldpoint Help – Projects, Quoting

When your customers are looking to innovate their fire and life safety and security systems with updated technology, Fieldpoint’s project module has the capabilities to handle the complex nature of the installation, whether it’s a full install or phased approach. To figure out the option best suited for building managers, Fieldpoint’s job costing and quoting tools will help give an accurate detailed quote for either option. Job costing will also allow for estimates on work time per task, profit margins for the project, and help determine the allocation of resources and manpower to complete the job.

Once a new fire system is approved, the project can be schedule out into smaller tasks, with inventory, equipment and personnel assigned to each task. Milestone billing ensure the project’s cash flow remains solid through the life of the project. With a full system replacement, there are plenty of moving parts that need to be tasked for. A project coordinator in a field service software will keep the installation on time and on budget, while also maintaining compliance code standards.

Lifecycle Tracking

Each part of security or fire system has a lifecycle of its own. With new equipment being added to replace faulty or outdated ones, knowing exactly where each piece of equipment is in their lifecycle can save money on replace costs. But tracking the lifecycle is a challenge, as with fire compliance, every part of the system has its own code compliance to meet. Repairs happen to parts of the system, not the entire system, so being able to track repairs on individual pieces can drastically reduce replacement costs, speed up service, and offer insight for technicians into what is faulty.

What is Fieldpoint?

Fieldpoint is designed for HVACR service contracting firms seeking to track and improve performance, reliability, and scalability. Its features include service dispatch, mobile solutions, project job costing, business intelligence, subcontractor management integrations to multiple systems, KPI reporting, contract management and more.

As an all-in-one field service solution, Fieldpoint can manage every aspect of your service delivery, empowering your technicians with mobile app capabilities with advanced checklisting, giving your dispatchers scheduling and dispatching tools, and offering managers powerful analytical tools that allow them to make real-time business decisions with accurate information, straight from the field.

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