Q&A with Chiller Systems Service

Apr 15, 2016

Before transitioning to Jonas Construction Software, Chiller Systems Service was using Maxwell as their construction software system. With Maxwell primarily an accounting first software, Chiller found themselves spending a lot of time trying to perform simple and time-consuming tasks, and were unable to generate useful reports in an efficient manner. There were also integration issues between Maxwell and their third-party field service software, which disrupted and limited their overall HVAC service capabilities. With these difficulties mounting, Chiller realized that Maxwell was no longer able to meet their construction software needs and determined it was time to make a change.

Since implementing Jonas Construction Software, Chiller has been able to reduce their billing cycle down from 3 weeks to just 1 week, representing a 200% reduction in their billing cycle time. With Jonas eMobile, Chiller has reduced their IT expenses by 50%, effectively eliminating laptops with more cost effective tablets in the field. Technicians now have the benefit of real-time data, and are better equipped to deliver quality customer service. Since partnering with Jonas Construction Software, Chiller is now running a more automated, integrated and paperless service operation.

We recently spoke to Scott Tracy, owner at Chiller Systems Service, to discuss their success since implementing Jonas Construction Software.

Can you give us a brief background on what Chiller does, and what software you were using before Implementing Jonas Construction Software?

Scott: Chiller is a commercial and industrial HVC contractor. We do service, repair, maintenance, and retrofitting. We had Maxwell for a long time, and although functionally it worked, its service capabilities weren’t growing with us. Secondarily, it was an accounting-first program, so you had to jump through all of the accounting hoops before you could bill something. This wasn’t a good fit for the service industry because we had to be able to bill fast. So one of our goals, and one of the reasons we changed, is that we wanted a system that allowed us bill as fast as possible.

How has Jonas helped you achieve your business goals?

Scott: With Jonas, we’re down to a week on billing, and we can potentially improve upon that. Also with Jonas, we are able to bill work faster and can take advantage of eMobile as well. Jonas eMobile allows us to enter all of the data in the field and have our work orders closed quickly. We are able to get the reports that we need and want, and all of the information is there. I was able to get data out of Maxwell, but you had to interpret it all. You couldn’t put it into a report format, and Jonas has given us that ability.

Can you talk a little bit about the transition from Maxwell to Jonas?

Scott: Sure. One of the biggest things that I liked about Jonas was having the test company. We did a lot of stuff with the test company before we went live, and we were able to vet out a lot of the issues beforehand. That feature is a pretty powerful integration tool, which I felt was such an advantage for us. The test company was a significant item that allowed us to really understand things and train everyone in advance. From a financial standpoint we had a really seamless migration. We really set aside time and got our entire team together, and we met twice a week before the integration, and really just took the time to go through all the steps, and made sure we didn’t rush into it. But I really can’t think of a single issue that happened in that changeover and integration, with Jonas. When we changed over at the end of October, and I would say by the end of November, we were cruising well, it was great.

Since converting from Maxwell to Jonas, what specific improvements have you seen?

Scott: Compared to our service billing in Maxwell, we have reduced our billing cycle from three weeks on average, to now one week. All of the work completed in one week can now be billed the following week. Switching to Jonas has been a significant win for us from a cash flow standpoint and has increased our ability to meet customers’ needs in terms of an improved billing cycle overall.

By using Jonas eMobile, have you noticed any improvements from your field technicians?

Scott: Our old field service integration with Maxwell was difficult to use, and it was difficult to get data to sync. With Jonas, we now have hours and work orders reported daily. We are able to see work order hours and payroll on a daily basis, which puts us as close to real-time as we’ve ever been. And certainly from managing workflow, service managers are in a much better place to understand what’s done, and what needs to be done next. The ability to have work order status is a pretty significant advantage. Also, our IT expense have dropped by about 50% with Jonas and having tablets instead of laptops in the field. It’s a huge advantage not having your guys bring paperwork in. There’s lots of cost savings there.

How do the technicians feel after implementing a new system where they no longer have to return to the office to log work hours?

Scott: The technicians sometimes complain about these devices when they don’t work. But at the end of the day, I remind them of where we would be – using pen and paper – if we weren’t using this, and it usually ends that conversation pretty quickly, because they wouldn’t trade it for anything.

In what ways has Chiller benefited from Jonas’ Document Management module, Digio?

Scott: I love Digio because it gives me a choice of either navigating through the Jonas system to find something or, if I know what I’m looking for, simply look for it in Digio. I always go to Digio, especially for work orders.  If a customer calls about a work order, it’s much faster to go find it in there, and pull it up. Digio is a really useful tool that I use every day. For me to look at a work order, I can click the history button and see all documents quickly and easily. I can see if payroll has been posted for the week, and see where we’re at in real-time. It is extremely easy to find data in there. With our old system, we did not have these abilities and you had to literally write down numbers and go to another module, and cut and paste the numbers in there. You’d almost rather not go look for something.

Is there anything else you’d like to mention that Jonas has enabled you to do?

Scott: From a financial perspective, one of my favorite pieces within Jonas is the executive dashboard and the quick financial look-up page that’s already built in. I use that daily. It’s got just enough information in there: The KPI’s and the highlights that I want to see, and I can catch errors if something doesn’t look right with the ability to fix it on the spot. That’s another feature that I use all the time.