In 2014, the Vaughan, Ont., offices of Ambient Mechanical Ltd. were so full of paperwork, the workplace looked like an accounting firm, rather than a custom HVAC service company in Toronto.
"Then we started to use heavy-duty rolling racks for our files," recalls David Ferracuti, vice-president of sales. "That's when we knew we had to find a new way."
Ambient Mechanical has provided custom HVAC services for office towers, condos, commercial properties, hotels and hospitals across Southern Ontario since 1982. The firm currently employs 60 staff members, who manage a growing list of 3,500 clients, many of whom hire Ambient to manage multiple properties.
The company's HVAC technicians need access to building histories on any job or repair order, so off-site storage of customer records was never viable. Plus, office practice mandates keep records for at least seven years, making the office into a makeshift paper mill.
To meet the demand of HVAC services in the GTA, Ambient implemented a digital customer relations management (CRM) system to better manage clients. The new system was integrated in 2015, which "was a pivotal moment in bringing all the facets of the company into the digital era," said Tony Mammoliti, vice-president of operations.
With the old system, Ambient HVAC techs on a job would need to phone into the office for prerequisite information on the client, the property, or a specific piece of equipment. So, someone in-house would need to submerge themselves in the sea of paperwork to find the correct information.
Today's new CRM allows Ambient's techs to access service history directly on their smartphones.
"It cuts down on the back-and- forth time, but it also improves the technician's understanding of what was going on that they were not a part of," explains Mr. Mammoliti.
"They're able to see previous service calls. Who's been there? When? What's been done? They can see what's been recommended [but not implemented], and be able to say, 'It's time to replace that unit we talked about six months ago.'
"Just today, a client called up and said, 'I could have sworn you did that same repair back in January.' I was able to go online to find that building's history, while I had the customer on the phone, and then explain that those repairs had been done at one of their seven other locations.
"Before, I would have had to pull twenty files from a filing cabinet and then answer the question two weeks later."
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