Our Most Successful Summer Ever – HVAC Providers Use FSM Software to Capitalize on Seasonal Demand and Adapt for the Green Future

Ellis Air Man and Woman in Hard Hats for Rooftop Installation

It’s summer right now in North America, and temperatures will soon be heating up in parts of Europe and Australia, so HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) providers can expect to hear from plenty of people wanting to repair or replace their air conditioning units. This can be a busy and lucrative period for residential service providers. Additionally, with construction projects in full swing, there are ample opportunities for commercial service providers too. 

But strong demand can be a double-edged sword. When the number of service calls surges, it can leave a provider without the necessary techs, trucks, or parts, forcing them to turn business away. Being stretched thin may also compromise the quality of services, resulting in long appointment times, subpar work, and disorganized operations. 

That is a problem. When it is hot and people want AC, they expect a lot from their HVAC provider, and falling short in any way can feel like an inexcusable offense. And in a highly-competitive industry like HVAC where most people have multiple providers to choose from, small frustrations can drive customers – even loyal ones – to the competition. Demand may be high in the summer, but so is the pressure to get things right. 

There’s also the pressure to do things differently. The emergence of “green” HVAC technologies come with huge opportunities to install and service things like energy-efficient AC units. But as they increasingly become the norm, providers will have to adapt their service offerings to survive, which means making fundamental changes to the business while still delivering daily services. Demand spikes in the summer (and winter) only make it harder to plan for the long-term and adapt before it is too late.

How do HVAC providers meet sky-high expectations, capitalize on the hot weather, and adapt for the green future all at the same time? It takes a lot of things, all working in sync at consistent levels of excellence. For that reason, it takes one thing above all: field service management (FSM) software.

Why FSM Software Matters for HVAC

Without strong software in place, service delivery runs on some combination of clipboards, spreadsheets, and point software solutions. It may work. But when service calls increase with the temperature, any process that is paper-based, data-entry driven, or spread across multiple systems will struggle to speed or scale upwards. The inevitable result, as mentioned above, is lost business and angry customers. 

FSM software, on the other hand, lets HVAC providers adapt in stride. When demand increases and the emphasis shifts from heating to cooling, FSM software keeps every aspect of field service working as one. It integrates things like scheduling, work order management, field mobility, inventory and return management, and performance reporting onto a single platform with shared data and connected users. Data moves seamlessly, often automatically, to the people that need it so that information deficits and delays are never an issue. Instead, schedulers, techs, and managers remain perfectly aligned with each other so that every truck roll meets the highest standards set by the company and, more importantly, the customer. 

FSM software is an asset to HVAC providers year round. In addition to handling their day-to-day operations, it helps to define and refine their long-term strategy. But it really matters during the summer when staying busy is a foregone conclusion but staying profitable (or even solvent) is up in the air. With FSM software, the summer season can get as busy as possible without it becoming a problem. 

How NextService Helps HVAC Providers Dramatically Improve Efficiencies

The NextService FSM software does a lot of things different from other options on the market. For one, it runs on-platform with NetSuite so that field service management and business management overlap with one another. Where NextService really distinguishes itself, however, is where it really matters: in the results. 

Take Ellis Air Systems for example. After 30+ years of success, the HVAC company realized it needed comprehensive FSM software to replace the hodgepodge of systems they had in place. They wanted to upgrade both their field service software and their accounting software at the same time. That made NextService and NetSuite a natural choice. Once in place, Ellis Air Systems underwent an exciting transformation. Having a powerful scheduling tool led to an 85% improvement in dispatch efficiency, and back office efficiency improved by 65% thanks to interconnected tools. Using a mobile app to capture job notes also helped the company bill for $30,000 in work that would have been unreported before. Time and cost savings combined with improvement to billing and collections helped NextService quickly recoup its cost (more on that in our series on ROI). More importantly, it helped Ellis Air Systems update itself for 30 more years of success. 

Now consider Thermflo, which installs thermal, electrical, and generator systems for hospitals, data centers, and other commercial clients. The company prides itself on exceptional service, but their existing field service processes eventually became a liability. Thermflo replaced their outdated technology with NextService in order to integrate and streamline every part of service delivery – and optimize the customer experience in the process. Mission accomplished. In the first year alone, the company completed 18,000 tasks. Getting everyone to the right place at the right time was more reliable since dispatching efficiency improved by 50%. Likewise, the company started billing for the correct amounts since data entry mistakes dropped by 99% after digitizing and automating data collection. Every person and every process at Thermflo became more productive thanks to NextService. 

What is important to emphasize is that FSM software like NextService is not about doing things technologically – it is about doing things better. Powerful individual features work in concert so that HVAC providers can do more than they could before. The companies highlighted above saw their implementation of NextService turn into major improvement and expansions of their service offerings – which translated into impressive, and ongoing growth of their bottom line. 

Preparing for the Green Future of HVAC

An environmental revolution is underway, and HVAC providers play an important role. In coming years, there will be a massive push to replace old, inefficient systems with upgrades that use less energy and produce fewer emissions. Likewise, there is an explosion of interest in new technologies like solar panels and internet-connected climate systems. As the world strives to meet (increasingly mandatory) targets for greenhouse gas reductions, improvements to HVAC systems will be both essential and extremely in demand. That bodes well for the providers equipped to make those improvements – and those with FSM software are much better-equipped than others. 

Capitalizing on green HVAC systems will take more than just hiring or retraining techs to work on new kinds of equipment. It will also mean adopting new business models such as subscription maintenance services to keep equipment running at high-efficiency. Elevating service levels will be another component since smart systems often require round-the-clock monitoring or on-demand service. The green future drastically changes expectations. Providers that adapt early give themselves an advantage. Those that wait fall farther behind the pack. 

FSM software, especially one with the expansive capabilities of NextService, helps any HVAC provider position themselves for future success and pivot with purpose. Change is never easy, of course. But with a single source for all field service data and tools that keep the home office and job site closely connected, the evolution from past to future does not have to be painful. On the contrary, the smart, simple, streamlined capabilities of NextService make people excited to change and eager to improve their game. Not only can an HVAC provider make ambitious plans to serve the green economy, they can feel confident those plans will work out as intended.

Tomorrow’s HVAC is digitally driven, so it only stands to reason that tomorrow’s HVAC providers are too. Therefore, the important question is not whether to implement FSM software (yes), or when (soon), but which solution to pick. 

NextService – The Easy Choice for HVAC

This summer, and every summer afterward, NextService gives HVAC providers everything they need to thrive – including many things not available from other FSM solutions:

  • Running NextService on-platform with NetSuite links service delivery and business operations like never before. It is the fastest, easiest, and surest way to undergo digital transformation. 
  • The powerful and comprehensive features in NextService were created by a team of actual field service providers, then continually improved and extended based on user feedback. This is a tool by and for people with real experience in the field.  
  • Each customer works with a customer success representative to tailor NextService in ways that deliver the best solutions first and create ever-greater value over time. Their mission is to help users see the fastest, largest, and longest ROI from the software – and they are extremely committed.

Interested in taking your HVAC business to the next level? Schedule a consultation or demo at your convenience by contacting us.