One of Shepherd’s goals is for each customer to have an interface that feels virtually bespoke, despite starting as the standard Shepherd CMMS. That means many adaptations and some of those turn out to be changes most customers, if not all would benefit from. If such changes need to be distributed, as with routine refinements, customers receive an update. Few will say that updates and improvements are a bad thing, but they can be difficult to keep on top of.
This was something that started to become evident with some users: updates sent with too great a frequency could be difficult to manage. As with any customer request, this too was tackled to find a suitable solution.
Helping firms manage updates
The resulting Shepherd web application represents a significant new development. In particular, smaller companies who had not implemented mobile device management software across their organization found it difficult, as outlined above, to keep their staff from updating themselves without an instruction from management.
This, of course, meant that there were often several technicians using versions of the mobile application that were incompatible with the implementation. The culprit was those often convenient reminders from Apple and from Android to update your app that the technician was supposed to have disabled. The web app eliminated this problem.
Because Shepherd now allows version control of all connected web app clients without MDM (Mobile Device Management), system administrators may update all web apps on any device from the Shepherd control panel in NetSuite. Circumventing the App and the Play Store has made administration of the Shepherd App rather easy. The net outcome is less IT administration is needed.
New user roles available
The web also introduces the concepts of a service manager role. The Service Manager role includes all functionality that the technicians now enjoy plus these:
- Open the web as any technician to assist in report completion.
- Enter time for all managed technicians from one screen.
With each future release Shepherd will add additional Service Manager specific functionality. Shepherd is also working on a third role for the web app: Parts Manager.
Unlike the service order pipeline, the web app has built-in background request processing meaning that the user need not wait while the server processes an action before taking the next one. Background request processing makes for a faster, more responsive experience than the service order pipeline did.
The user interface that you now get is more user-friendly, saves you time and is more responsive.
No longer limited to management functions
One need not be a Service Manager to use the web app. It also loads in a Technician role on phones, tablets, and in the browser. Many technicians find it more convenient to use laptops as they already use laptops in service delivery, for example, running diagnostic software, PLC connections, etc. Bench technicians are also more likely to use a laptop and now they may run Shepherd in the browser just as they previously had done on their phones and tablets.
Indeed, now anyone whose primary interface tool is a laptop will not need to hamper themselves with an additional device to run the Shepherd mobile app too.
The web app certainly feels like a case of this cloud having a healthy silver lining.
Get in touch with us if you want to learn more about onboarding the Shepherd web application into your operations.