How data-driven insights increased visibility and reduced processing times by 10x for SK Heating and Cooling
When things heat up, it pays to keep your cool, as leading HVAC and refrigeration operator SK Heating and Cooling know too well.
From its headquarters in Gloucester, the company serves clients throughout the Midlands, South East and South West with a comprehensive range of services for all types of commercial and industrial refrigeration, air conditioning, heating and plumbing.
The company employs a team of 17 field engineers. Working remotely and around the clock, they strive to keep their customers’ equipment and businesses in action.
When equipment breaks down, SK Cooling and Heating’s engineers respond quickly. They recognize that a breakdown on any type of equipment, whether it’s a large industrial refrigeration unit or a retail freezer, can bring their customers’ productivity to a standstill.
SK Heating and Cooling managing director Simon Kershaw founded the company in 1997.
“Starting as a one man band, I think everything was written on the back of a diary,” he recalls.
Over time, the company’s paper-based administration systems – and the resources needed to support them – grew significantly. It was a time-consuming process for engineers and administrative staff alike, as Director Lisa Kershaw explains.
“Our engineers would take paper to site. Complete the job sheet on paper. The paperwork would then be processed manually which would take time. We would then have to post out the resulting invoices – taking more time.”
Recognising the need for digital transformation, SK Heating and Cooling opted for a mobile application add-on from their existing office CRM/job management system.
Looking for a partner to support its implementation and refinement, a colleague recommended contacting John Fisher at Westway IT…and a partnership was born.
Working in close partnership with Simon, Lisa and the team at SK Heating and Cooling, Westway IT customised workflows within the app solution. As well as eliminating physical documentation, refinement would prevent delays with administrative and financial processes.
Technology like this means that when an engineer arrives at a job, everything can be recorded via a smart phone, For example, once work is completed, the customer simply signs off on it electronically.
Engineers can record a wide range of valuable data in this way, as managing director Simon explains: “This smart phone technology has everything we need. It has tick lists. We can capture data, take photographs and even record model serial numbers.”
Westway IT developed easy-to-understand real-time dashboards to provide management with the information they need to excel, as its MD John Fisher explains.
“We developed the dashboards around the needs of specific user groups, ensuring that – whatever your role in oversight – you have 24/7 access to the insights you need into current operations.”
This real-time updating of systems has enhanced customer care. There’s no longer a delay for customers waiting for reports as creation takes just seconds now through this smart solution.
Recognising a need for greater communication among its remote team, Westway IT deployed two projects utilising the Microsoft 365 suite.
SK Heating and Cooling has improved group communications beyond email through its chat and video conference capabilities.
Alongside this, staff working in the field now benefit from immediate access to vital information. Westway IT created SharePoint document libraries containing electronic health and safety and engineer-knowledge resources.
Today, the company “relies intrinsically” on these systems to communicate with its 35 staff.
“This has saved a lot of time due to processing paperwork and waiting for the engineers to deliver it back to our office,” says Managing Director Simon of their new digital processes.
“We’ve reduced the timeframe by about tenfold which increases our service levels and speed of response.”
Pausing a moment, he adds: “Without IT now we probably wouldn’t operate. It’s as simple as that.”
To discover how John and the team at Westway IT can help you and your field-based team to achieve the best performance, contact us today.