PraxedoOur blog How installing field service management software will open (automatic) doors and gates
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How installing field service management software will open (automatic) doors and gates

Lauriane Potin
January 25, 2022
8 min. read

The popularity of automatic doors and gates is climbing, driven by technology advances and issues that automated access helps to solve. Whether they are installed for security, hygiene or accessibility reasons, automatic doors help building owners comply with regulations and meet user needs.

As someone who installs and maintains automatic doors and gates, you need to have powerful digital tools that address the challenges you face in your industry. These solutions will support your field technicians and improve productivity and service quality. 

Implementing field service management software has many advantages. 

Covid-19 crisis accelerates expansion in the automatic door installation and maintenance market

Covid-19, hygiene and automation

The Covid-19 crisis highlights how buildings can also increase the risk of infection: door handles and switches have now been identified as vectors of virus transmission. This is why technical solutions that reduce surface contact are gaining steam as people consider comprehensive sanitary measures.

Frédéric Catherine (Dormakaba France technical director) says “Hygienic access solutions will become a requirement very soon for users,” something that should continue once the health crisis has eased. He continues, “Of course, Covid isn’t the only risk.”

For comparison, while Germany and France lead Europe in terms of automated building access, the Japanese market is six times larger. There is considerable room for improvement. For example, restaurant and toilet doors are opened many times during a day, yet most still are not equipped with no-touch access.

There are many different solutions which means that all existing doors can be automated and equipped with “voluntary” or “involuntary” technologies. So, whether the chosen technology is a radar system or controlled access with a badge or smartphone, automatic door and gate installers are seeing the market open wide. 

In this context, organisational considerations for work order planning and tracking become highly relevant whether the goal is to optimise technician routes or improve service call quality.

Our customers say it best: For Portes E-Services, Praxedo is essential for growing their business

David Martin, founder and CEO of Portes E-Services says using Praxedo’s field service management software enabled him to sustain his company’s rapid growth as he expanded from three to 16 technicians in just a few years. Going digital was the solution to manage the increase in service calls between his offices, and to save time during scheduling and when writing reports. 

“Praxedo is an essential tool, even for small businesses like mine. […] There’s no need to wonder. It’s effective as soon as you have two or three field technicians. Praxedo helps you grow by making your business scalable. It’s an excellent lever for growth.”

Security is a significant challenge for automatic door and gate installation technicians

However, automation undoubtedly leads to the risk of malfunctions that could potentially be dangerous for the user. This means security is an important consideration.

Support your technicians during their installation and maintenance work orders

Using field service management software helps you deliver high quality in all your services. 

Let’s take the example of service call report completeness: on a paper form, it is easy for a field technician to forget to check one or more boxes. Then there are lost documents or handwriting that is difficult to read.

In digital format, these reports can easily be configured. This allows you to make certain fields mandatory so you can access the rest of the documents via restricted fields. Use this, for example, to comply with security regulations, as well as many other possible use cases.

You can customise your forms for each type of work order to make administrative tasks easier for your technician in the field. 

In addition, digital field service management solutions make it possible to write more precise reports in order to reduce disputes and protect your company if necessary. For example, you can make time, date and location-stamped photos in the field mandatory to provide proof that jobs meet quality standards. If a second service call is needed, you can also annotate photos so it is easier for the technician to diagnose the issue on-site.

Moreover, field service management software also benefits the team in charge of scheduling work orders and completing administrative follow-up.

Our customers say it best: For Iconix, configuring forms helps avoid errors

Iconix opened in 1990 and now has 18 technicians equipped with Praxedo’s field service management solution. Their CEO Christophe Biagioli explains how he made work order management more reliable.

“With the mobile app, the technician has all the information needed and a form pre-configured based on the type of service the customer has requested. […] In addition, the form guides him through what he needs to do using a system of steps that have to be completed before starting on the next phase of the call, boxes to be checked, etc. 

This mandatory form system is really practical for technicians, especially those who are young and inexperienced because they are guided through safely completing the tasks. And for us, it’s also very practical for the administrative processing afterwards because we know nothing is missing.”

Automatically schedule service calls included in maintenance contracts

Many of the service calls handled by electric door and gate installers are part of maintenance contracts. These installations require high levels of maintenance through contracts that typically include several visits annually and precise tracking of maintenance history. 

This leads to a large number of service calls that must be scheduled and the logistics can quickly become quite a puzzle. Field service management software enables you to automatically schedule maintenance work orders based on established contracts. 

You can also automatically send emails or SMS to your customers to remind them about the date and time of the planned service call. Plus, digitising the maintenance log allows you to closely monitor progress practically in real time from the office and send it to the customer quickly. 

Optimise scheduling for technician service calls

Many companies struggle to optimise schedules. Customer expectations keep increasing, which is reflected in contracts where maximum response times are outlined for troubleshooting breakdowns. How can you be sure that the technicians needed will be available to address these maintenance requirements as well as emergency service calls?

With field service management software, you can optimise your technicians’ routes based on trip time, planned visit length or specific technical skills. 

It is also easier to create troubleshooting appointments since you can track your technicians’ work in real time. You will be able to tell each customer when the requested service call can take place. Your field technician is directly notified about the breakdown which improves productivity in the field and allows you to respond to customers in a professional manner.

Our customers say it best: For Axe, field service management software improves administrative efficiency

According to Charles Radisson, Axe CEO, the number one benefit of using Praxedo is administrative efficiency. He explains that using this field service management solution brought the following benefits: 

  • No more paper copies of work orders (1000 documents per month)
  • Clearer and more complete service call reports
  • Real-time field information capture
  • Better traceability of each customer’s service call history
  • Service call management greatly simplified at Axe

As for invoicing, implementing Praxedo immediately reduced the cost of issuing invoices by 50%.

Most importantly, Mr Radisson highlighted the fact that Axe now invoices 10 days sooner. With 300 invoices a month, he sees this as a huge gain for small businesses like his.

The future of automatic doors: combining health and security

The sector can be proud of offering innovative systems that address health and security issues. Smart sensors are getting new technology enabling integration into automatic opening systems so access points only open based on certain criteria. Imagine potential uses like verifying that a person’s temperature is not too high, that they are wearing a mask, that they used hand sanitiser, etc. There are many opportunities to link the need for security with health requirements. 

Other uses should be considered for managing building entrances and exits. For example, an access door could be automatically deactivated when the number of people inside reaches a maximum level. 

It looks like the future is bright for automatic doors and gates since they provide solutions adapted to everyday user needs. As someone who installs and services these systems, you must comply with existing standards. Therefore, it is important that you have proof of service call traceability and quality. Customer demands are increasing, so you need to provide quality service along with impeccable customer service, especially when it comes to response times when there is a breakdown.

Clearly, field service management software is a useful tool that will help you tackle new challenges. By supporting your team in the office and your technicians in the field, you can provide impeccable service throughout the entire process, whether for scheduled contractual maintenance calls or emergency troubleshooting.