Adopting Shepherd for your CMMS will allow you to maximize a number of key areas of your field service, maintenance management and rental operations as well as automating required health and safety documentation into your departments’ operations. In other words, you’re gaining efficiency in your operations and performing more of them for the same time or effort.

However, those changes don’t come by themselves. All that becomes available are the tools and information needed to show where improvements are required. It is a management decision that makes the shift from poor processes to good ones, wasteful activities to efficient ones.

The question, then, is “how to access the information needed for these management decisions?

Knowledge is power

The primary means is the Shepherd BI tool. In simplest terms, it is a financial reporting tool looking at financial postings: time entries and materials usage being prime examples for field service.

Those postings are the source data for NetSuite running a balance sheet report or income statement. This means that using the same data as NetSuite ensures Shepherd comes to the same conclusions; reliable information being the bedrock of decision-making with confidence.

Systems that are not native to NetSuite could well be relying on approximations. No great surprise that this is less desirable. External systems fare as poorly with different data entry points and opportunities to edit can see one data set overwritten weeks later and with no one to realize the mistake until further down the line when suddenly it becomes evident: typically, in the worst possible circumstances such as an audit.

Great choices, greater protection

One reason why companies tolerated these risks in the past was simply no native solutions existed yet. Another reason the problem persists even today is simply human nature: our resistance to change and our attachment to the familiar, despite the hassle that might come with it. But at least now there is a native alternative in Shepherd, when companies decide they need to change how they work

The BI tool is particularly useful for a service, rental or asset manager: it groups and aggregates its data at levels most relevant to them. Those levels sit with the machine, the technician, the profitability of a contract, instead of a view from higher up like the fiscal year a CFO would like to learn about.

In fact, such reporting would be a tough and costly programming exercise if set up with Netsuite alone without Shepherd pulling the weight. It is even open to debate if running a profit and loss analysis on a single piece of equipment is possible without the functionality offered by a CMMS like Shepherd’s. The information gathered can also help determine if a piece of machinery needs repair, replacement or can continue untouched: its service life, in other words.

Real-world examples

Beyond the run-of-the-mill operations of a plant, or site, such data reporting can be used for one-off analyses a company needs to carry out before making decisions: decisions that can have a real impact on the people working there. One company was able to develop a fair and measurable bonus scheme to reward technicians based on profitability. That individual profitability could only be effectively and impartially measured with the BI tool.

In another case, a client was able to measure rental profitability as a function of revenue over current asset value for individual rental machines. It may seem straightforward at first glance, but digging a bit deeper shows the multitude of influences and factors you’d need to take into account to do it manually.

Shepherd can allow users to monitor for late or missed services on machines down to the individual asset. Any company that has a threshold percentage of equipment needed to meet demand will want to know if the number of machines operational and serviced is close to dropping below that threshold as it will put their ability to satisfy the needs of their clients at risk.

Opportunities to be exploited

There is what companies do with Shepherd and then there is what companies can do with Shepherd: a testimony to the power of the Shepherd solution is that most companies rarely utilize it to its fullest potential. One functionality Shepherd itself would see used to a greater extent is reporting on service contract profitability by geography. With this a company could very quickly understand the effectiveness of the team managing that geographic area, be it selling correctly or whether the service team is dispatching correctly.

More importantly, it allows Shepherd users to inform their clients of, not only, their own costs for that client, but what the client would have spent if the service contract didn’t even exist. This information allows that client to see exactly what they are saving in using the services of the Shepherd user. The Shepherd solution not only allows its users to save money but allows that same user to strengthen their position with its own customers.

If this range of information and flexibility of reporting is something you would like for your company, contact Shepherd for a demo today.

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