EnSight+ making waves in fleet and field service management
Our interview with EnSight+ CEO Lee Schwartz.
EnSight+ is a customizable fleet and field service management system designed to optimize vehicles, personnel and work orders through dynamic data integration. The software can be used in the office, on the road and in the field to keep technicians working safely and efficiently.
Here, CEO Lee Schwartz shares how the company takes a crowdshare approach to perfecting its fleet and field management software.
What separates EnSight+ from other field management services?
We believe we’re the most customizable product in the market, and we’re fanatical about support. If our clients are not successful, we’re not successful. Because we’re a client-focused business, our development backlog comes directly from client requests. If we don’t have a certain product or feature, give us a heads up and we’ll either add it ASAP (if it’s an easy addition) or add to our roadmap so our software continues to grow with our clients.
Additionally, there are never any fees for these enhancements. If one client needs a feature, you can feel pretty good that it is something other clients could benefit from ... so why would we charge you to improve our product? Most other field service software don’t have this same approach.
Is EnSight+ geared toward HVACR companies with technicians? Manufacturers? Or all of the above?
Absolutely. Ensight+ is being used by HVACR companies with technicians as well as manufacturers. We have a large client that performs home warranty services on the East Coast. They use our software to open up service calls and dispatch them to both internal and external technicians (subcontractors). Ensight+ is also being used by manufacturers to perform installations as well as assessments and warranty services.
Our dispatching and routing algorithms were designed for the HVACR use case in particular. This is a complicated problem to solve in that HVAC companies typically have internal and external staff (i.e. W2 employees as well as 1099 contractors who perform work for multiple companies on a freelance basis). We needed to design a solution that was able to locate, in real-time, the closest technician to a particular work order who also had available bandwidth to take on this service call. The concept of appointment windows and estimated time frames to complete each type of service call needed to be contemplated. In the end, our system was designed to locate and programmatically dispatch work orders to the closest technician with the earliest availability and notify them via an in-app message.
In terms of tracking your staffs adherence to operating procedures, what measures are in place to make sure this happens?
Ensight+ learned lessons early on that enabled us to structure our development to handle the ever-changing needs of our clients. The feedback we received early on was primarily focused on workflows. Where one client wanted to see a safety message first, another client wanted to show directions to the technicians next appointment first. We knew we needed a dynamic solution that allowed our clients to set up workflows on their own. Empowering them to design their own solution has resulted in significantly higher customer satisfaction as well as reducing any potential wait time in solving our client's needs. Ensight+ will always recommend its clients follow best practices and has built thousands of workflows for our clients. By using prebuilt templates or simply creating a workflow on their own, our clients can guarantee adherence to their operating procedures.
Imagine you want every technician to read a safety message and take a photo of themselves showing they are in company uniform. You can make these steps the first steps in their day. Step 1: open app, log in and boom. A safety message appears and prompts them to take a photo of themselves in uniform. They will not be allowed to continue until that step is done. By simply lining up steps in our mobile workflows, you ensure your technicians are following step by step procedures when completing a work order. Some clients have even gone so far as to create a troubleshooting workflow (i.e. check freon levels, check filters, check temperature coming out vents, etc.). All of these are editable in a WYSIWYG editor on our web portal.
How does the software work to isolate safety issues?
Great question! Ensight+ has a client that uses our software perfectly to isolate safety issues. This client installs electric meters throughout North America. There are certain use cases where an electric meter exchange is extremely dangerous to perform by a meter installation contractor. A great example of this is a broken meter socket. Installation technicians are trained to look for these types of issues and are required to skip this replacement because it requires a licensed electrician to do the job. Best practices here are to document the findings via photos in our mobile application and disposition the work order as completed, but with a safety option selected. We recommend clients use sub-dispositions for these cases, so the work order could be dispositioned as "Completed - Safety Issue" or "Completed - Broken Socket".
Then, a daily report is automated to the team responsible for the safety-related items. Again, all of this is dynamically set up by us or our clients during implementation. Clients can add new dispositions at any time so they can further define or create subsets of issues on their own.
How do the subcontracting services work with the software?
We treat subcontractors the same way we treat employees in our software. At the end of the day, they are both assets who can perform a task or solve a problem. They both access the software and their work orders the same way (via our mobile application). They can view their work for the day, complete service calls, send them to their coworkers, or even deny a job if they are tied up.
On the dispatching side, a dispatcher will be able to ascertain which available technician is an employee and which is a subcontractor so they can appropriately fill up their staff before outsourcing. On the subcontracting side, all we require is that they register for a free account so they can be dispatched jobs by the companies they work for. Subcontractors and employees can only see the work they have been dispatched so there's never a concern about either group seeing things they are not specifically assigned.
A portion of this article originally appeared in the April 2019 issue of SNIPS Magazine.