In the third installment in a series of interviews about shop-management software in the rental industry, RER interviews Jack Shea, CEO, Solutions by Computer, Springfield, Mass.
RER: How does your software facilitate shop management?
Shea: Enfinity software allows the shop manager to plan technicians’ work assignments, keep track of unassigned time, and charge actual labor hours to each work order. When a new work order is opened, the system automatically presents the work order to the manager so that it can be assigned and scheduled into the workflow. There are additional features built into the software to boost productivity. For example, the system reports on work that was not completed on time, so that the manager can take corrective measures.
How does Enfinity facilitate the scheduling of maintenance according to manufacturer-recommended intervals? Can the software notify the rental company in some way when a machine is due for maintenance?
With Enfinity, each type of equipment can be scheduled for maintenance based on one or more of these criteria: elapsed time, number of rentals, number of rental hours, and metered usage. For example, if an item needs maintenance after each rental, an unassigned work order is automatically created by the system each time that item comes off rent. Or, if the meter reading is the trigger, the system automatically creates an unassigned work order when the meter exceeds the next maintenance point. Unassigned work orders automatically appear on the manager’s screen for assignment to a technician according to the skill level needed to do the job. If a technician Level II is the logical choice, the manager can look at that technician’s available time slots on the screen and schedule the work. Once assigned, the work order records the costs of labor, parts and any outsourced work, and determines whether the work was completed within the anticipated timeframe.
Does your software play a role in training of service technicians?
Yes, our software links to manufacturers’ maintenance manuals via the Internet, where instructions, specifications and schematics are readily available. These links often contain additional information of interest to service technicians — for example, the availability of e-training programs from manufacturers.
What role does Enfinity play in the organization of warranty information – keeping track of warranties and tracking warranty claims?
Enfinity stores warranty expiration dates for the various components of an equipment unit. When work is performed under warranty, the work order can be coded to indicate that the cost should be charged to the manufacturer.
How does Enfinity software facilitate keeping track of service history on an individual machine?
Each work order is kept 'on file' in the system, available for on-line review and reprinting if required. Enfinity also creates a summary showing the main work performed on a given unit, with the date and cost of each shop session. This information is extremely useful when making a hold-or-sell decision on a particular unit, or when evaluating whether it makes sense to invest in more units.
Does your software facilitate parts organization? What about the buying or selling of parts online?
The system keeps track of parts by several simultaneous methods including manufacturer reference number, purchase history and usage.
How does Enfinity facilitate the organization of the shop in regard to prioritizing jobs or separating rental fleet repair from the repair of customer-owned equipment?
Enfinity provides the shop manager with several tools for prioritizing work. A work order can be coded for minor work or for major work, at the discretion of the manager. For example, major work may require a certain skill set, or it may indicate that repairs must be completed before a machine can be rented again. Outside work, meaning repairs or preventive maintenance on customer-owned equipment, are coded with the name of the customer involved.
How does your software facilitate cost management and cost analysis, the management of cost and income in the shop itself? Can it help the user keep track of the profitability of a particular piece of equipment by helping shop managers analyze maintenance and service costs?
All work orders are kept on file and can be analyzed according to type of work done and discrete cost elements such as labor, parts and outsourced costs. Managers and technicians can reference prior work orders as needed. For example, if a machine requires non-routine maintenance, it is easy to see whether that job was previously performed.
Does your software help the field service technician? Can he access information using a wireless device, laptop or other means?
All information in the Enfinity system can be accessed using a wireless or cell-based laptop.
Does your software provide the technician with a checklist of items to be performed at various intervals or items to check before a returned piece of equipment can go to the “ready” line?
An unassigned work order created when an item comes off rent can contain the instructions to the technician as to how to perform the inspection or maintenance required.
Does your software in some way track hours of a machine that’s in the field and therefore aid in scheduling in-field maintenance?
Enfinity can import meter readings provided by GPS monitoring devices and will automatically produce an unassigned work order if enough PM hours have elapsed since the last maintenance session.
Do you find that your rental company customers are increasingly interested in using software to help organize their shop and service capability?
Do you partner with telematics providers for diagnostics of equipment, tracking of physical location of equipment or other services?
The system is capable of integrating with these types of services.
Does your system automatically update inventory availability after shop uses system to report on completion of service tasks?
While a work order is active, the system shows that the equipment is 'In Maintenance'. When the work order is completed, the status automatically changes to 'Available' unless there are other open work orders on the unit. RER