“The WennSoft solution has helped us do a better job in tracking and converting our new construction customers to become service maintenance customers.”
— Dick Hoffman, President, Atomatic
By moving from an outdated accounting system to WennSoft Signature® and Microsoft® Dynamics® GP, Chicago-based HVAC firm Atomatic Mechanical Services dramatically streamlined its accounting processes, improved its service management capabilities, enhanced its customer service, and boosted employee productivity.
“Our first requirement was that the solution needed to handle the basics, such as core accounting, which Microsoft Dynamics GP does very well,” recalled Dick Hoffman, president of Atomatic. “Ultimately, it was the service management functionality of WennSoft that drove our decision. As a mechanical services company, our needs around managing service contracts and dispatching are unique and rigorous. WennSoft offers an extremely strong package in that regard and does a tremendous job of listening to users in our industry and responding to needs.”
Time for a Change
Since the early 1990s, Atomatic had relied on a Concord job-costing system and FACS service management system to support operations. Lack of integration between these systems meant that once each week, employees in the accounting department had to manually re-enter data from the service management system into the job-costing system, which the company also used exclusively for payroll, accounting, and reporting. This time-consuming process resulted in an average billing cycle of three to four weeks and a lack of real-time insight into the business.
“Our job-costing system was based on UNIX® and grew increasingly cumbersome to use and manage,” said Steven Wiet, CFO of Atomatic. “The process for looking up and retrieving data was not user-friendly, and it was always difficult to find IT people who could help us support the system.” The legacy system also lacked some basic features that the company needed to manage business proactively. “We didn’t have the ability to see purchase orders or committed costs before the invoice came in,” explained Wiet.
“The moment we went live on the [WennSoft] solution, our billing cycle reduced from over three weeks to less than two weeks, without us having to change our processes.”
— Steven Wiet, CFO, Atomatic
Improved Service and Better Insight
The service management capabilities of Signature helped Atomatic improve in several areas. Now, when on a service call, Atomatic service team members can capture cost and history not only by customer but also by each piece of equipment, enabling them to track service history and promptly answer customer inquiries. Atomatic representatives can also provide customers with insight, such as when the cost of maintenance fees outweighs a new purchase.
“With the WennSoft solution, we can offer our customers details about their equipment and service agreements that save them money, such as benchmarking and other metrics,” said Wiet. “Our customers might otherwise keep track of this information on their own or they might not. But we’re winning accounts because we can offer this level of service.”
In addition, “the WennSoft solution has helped us do a better job in tracking and converting our new construction customers to become service maintenance customers,” Hoffman said.
Reporting is also much more powerful. “Our ability to analyze profitability and optimally manage our operations has gone up considerably with the new solution,” said Wiet. “Microsoft Dynamics GP, because it is based on Microsoft SQL Server®, makes it easier to access data and report on data. When I investigate something, it takes me half the time that it used to.”
Billing Cycle Reduced, Cost Tracking Enhanced
After implementing the new solution, Atomatic dramatically improved several accounting processes. “The moment we went live on the solution, our billing cycle reduced from over three weeks to less than two weeks, without us having to change our processes,” said Wiet. “And as we continue to improve our processes in the future, the billing cycle will only get shorter.” Weekly payroll processing once took more than an hour, but now Atomatic can complete the task in less than five minutes.
Because of the system’s flexibility, Atomatic can track costs by customer, equipment, technician, sales category, or other criteria. The company uses the pricing matrix to adjust categories, see labor rates and parts involved, and examine pricing on subcontractors. “We can set a fixed margin or tweak it to apply to the situation. In today’s economy, it’s especially helpful to have a tool like this that lets us easily analyze costs and see how those costs impact our profits,” Hoffman said.
“The greatest benefit we’ve received from our new system is integrating our job costing and service management,” said Hoffman. “Our dispatch and billing are much improved, and we have information about equipment, contracts, and quotes in a single place and available to more people.”
Hoffman is confident about his company’s future with Signature. “That this solution is based on technology from Microsoft is reassuring,” he said. “And, we are confident that WennSoft will continue to refine it to meet the needs of mechanical services firms.”
For more information, visit www.wennsoft.com. You are invited to attend the MCAA 2014 technology session Demystifying Mobile Technologies, where Jim Wenninger of WennSoft will be a panelist.