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"Sage provides business software, services and support to small and medium sized businesses. Whilst our heritage
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How to Choose a Service and Maintenance Application
Service and Maintenance Application is also known as:
Application Maintenance Services,
Choosing Service Maintenance application,
Services Application Maintenance Services,
Application Maintenance Services practice,
Application Management Services,
Enterprise Application Development Services ,
Application Support & Maintenance Services,
If you're not already using a service and maintenance application, you may be
at a critical juncture in your business, when your manual system will no longer
support the pace of business. Or you may already have some software support,
but you're finding that it no longer fits the size, quantity, or complexity of
your current activities. In either case, it's time to find a new service and
maintenance application, one that suits your needs for today and will
continue to support you through significant future growth.
the selection process, it's important to understand your needs and the
benefits of having a good system. That's why we've created this guide" to
provide you with the essential information you need to make the best decision
possible. In the following pages, we'll walk you through the steps of getting
started, choosing the right system, and implementing your system.
Sage Software look forward to helping you succeed in choosing the best
solution for your organization.
Understanding Service and Maintenance Applications
If your company services or maintains equipment"either as a manufacturer
or as a reseller"then your day-to-day activities probably include the
- Providing product support, service, and maintenance to your
- Logging, managing, and tracking service jobs
- Scheduling jobs
and tracking work in progress
- Maintaining inventory of parts, spares, and
- Managing staff and contract labor
- Processing warranty claims and
returns authorizations (RAs)
- Monitoring job budgets and profitability
- Accounting and financial reporting
A service and maintenance application is
software that helps you do all of the above. A good service and maintenance
application saves you time and money by eliminating the need for many of your
manual processes. A top-tier application will also empower you to increase
your earnings opportunities by providing you with more targeted information,
more strategic insight, and more sophistication.
Build the case for a new system
Before you can research products and
choose a solution, you'll need to take an important, but sometimes overlooked,
step. You'll need to build a business case for your new investment. Although
a quick "gut check" may tell you that you're making the right move, it may
not be so obvious to other decision makers in your organization. Start by
measuring your current productivity levels and the cost of not making any
change at all. It's always helpful to have a benchmark, especially when you
start to think about budgets and ROI. Gather metrics such as predictive error
rate, man hours spent on redundant processes, the cost of stocking unused
spare parts, and the cost of losing a percentage of your customer base due to
poor customer service. Define your goals and objectives and gather some
ballpark numbers so that you can communicate to your organization's decision
makers the cost, benefits, and potential ROI of your proposal. More than just
a formality, the process of building your case will help you define where
the problems and opportunities are so that you can be sure that your solution
will really address them.
Form a project team
Assemble the team of people
who will decide what your company needs from the new system and what
functions it must include. Depending on the size of your company, team
members may include system users that are on the front line, system managers
that oversee staff and reports, system integrators for technical
consideration, and those responsible for sign-off. Define each person's role
and their level of involvement and decision-making during this process.
Clearly define each team member's responsibilities so they know up front
how much time and effort will be required of them. You may need to
restructure work priorities during the selection and implementation phases
to make sure your project team has the resources to get the job done.
Evaluate your current system
To get the most out of your new service and
maintenance application, you need to do more than simply add technology to
your current processes. The more you know about the problems you expect
the new system to solve, the more successful your final choice will be.
Discuss what modifications need to be made to current system procedures.
What works? What doesn't? Consider not only how technology can automate
current processes, but also examine other ways they can be improved.
Encourage your team members to be candid about what they find frustrating,
redundant, or ineffective. Examine how your organization interacts with
customers, suppliers, and your organization's departments; look for
weaknesses and ways to improve these communications.
Once you've agreed on the process and the timeline, have your
team members share their expectations for the new system. Conduct a
session to brainstorm ways the existing system can be improved, including new
functions and processes that aren't currently in place.
Agree on your
Have team members create a list of key functions they feel the
system needs to provide for the company. Then have them prioritize these
items as Essential, Greatly Desired, or Would Be Nice. Encourage team
members to differentiate between functions they want and functions they
definitely need. Achieve a general consensus within the team defining the
rank of each function and then combine those items into a prioritized list.
Create your list of required functions
Once you have consensus, refine your
mandatory requirements into a formal Required Functions List. Your Required
Functions List should be a short, one- to two-page prioritized list that
includes all your must-have functions. This list will help you quickly
eliminate systems that don't meet your needs. For help compiling your list,
see our questionnaire on pages 9-11.
Consider the benefits of back-office
Selecting a service and maintenance application that
integrates with your accounting system ensures complete control and flow
of information between your back office and the service department. An
integrated application can automatically transfer data from your service
department to your accounting database, eliminating manual intervention and
transcription errors while providing up-to-date job profit and inventory
information. Look for a smooth-running service and maintenance application
that can easily and reliably interface with your financial data and supply
in-depth information across your company.
Don't forget about hard-to-quantify
The right service and maintenance application maximizes the
productivity of your staff. It frees them from tedious, time-consuming
tasks and allows them to focus energy on providing customer service. With
greater, more immediate access to tools and information, your teams can
add more value to their customer service"giving your organization the edge
on the competition.
When Is the Right Time to Move to a New System?
Don't wait until your
service operations are no longer competitive to evaluate whether you need a
new system. Ask yourself the following questions to determine when it's time
to step up your system capabilities.
Is the quality of your customer service
When your organization gets busier, you have more customers that
need your attention, and possibly more services that you're offering. If, as
a consequence of the increased activities, orders are getting lost, jobs are
going out late, agreements are mishandled, or you're understaffed, then you
may need increased automation to help smooth out processes and get on the
ball with your customers.
Are you having trouble accessing the information
you need to make mission-critical decisions?
Old information tells you
what happened yesterday. Unfortunately, by the time you get yesterday's news,
it's too late to do anything about it. Incomplete, irrelevant, or error-prone
information is worse, and could actually cause serious trouble if you act on
it. If you feel that you could be more strategic, more profitable, and more
competitive if you only had real-time, accurate information, then it's
definitely time to look at finding a better software solution for your
Are you concerned that you're losing money on jobs
because of efficiency problems?
If you are busier than ever but finding
that your profit margins are going down, then you may have efficiency
problems. Under-utilized or double-booked staff, overstocking, delayed
response times, or contract errors are just some of the problems you may be
experiencing. If so, a robust, automated system can provide new, more
sophisticated tools to help your staff be more productive and feel more
Are you keeping pace with current industry trends?
availability of new technologies and increased market demands are driving
rapid change in many industries. Watch for trends such as rising customer
expectations, increased competitive pressure, or dropping profit margins.
Introducing new or improved automation technology to your service department
can be a powerful tool for increasing competitiveness in a challenging market.
Are you looking for opportunities to outflank the competition?
If you use
service management as a competitive differentiator"or if you want to" then
you need to make sure you're working with tools that are as good, or better
than, your rivals'. The leaders in your industry don't skimp when it comes to
their service and maintenance applications. A good service and maintenance
application can be used competitively to:
- Empower, and therefore retain,
higher-quality staff than your competitors.
- Improve your reputation with
faster customer service.
- Leverage the most up-to-date mobile and wireless
technology for higher-quality customer interactions.
- Be perceived as an
- Cut costs with greater overall efficiency and turn profits
into greater market share.
Five Important Questions to Ask Before Implementing a New System
When you're in the process of working with your team to assess what is and
isn't working with your current system, it's important to ask good,
insightful questions. The following five questions will give you a good start.
- Do we dispatch the right technician for each job with the correct tools
- Do we have a process in place to increase first time
- Are we maintaining inventory effectively?
- How well
are we assessing technician performance?
- Is our invoicing thorough and
Choosing the Right System
In order to narrow the field of software contenders, you'll need to begin
examining companies more closely to see how well they meet your needs.
Consider the following factors to weed out vendors that won't fit with
your long-term strategy.
Interview resellers before the demo
yourself with the various service and maintenance solutions available on the
market so you can be confident about your top picks when you shortlist the
best options for your company. By interviewing as many software resellers
as possible in advance, you can avoid wasting time viewing lengthy,
Get to know the software manufacturer
you familiar with the company that makes the software? Are they a respected
name in the software industry? How long have they been in the business? What
is their vision for the future"for their products and for the company?
These are just some of the questions about the manufacturer you want to
address when evaluating service and maintenance solutions. Clearly, you
don't want to work with a "here today, gone tomorrow" organization.
on a user-friendly system
Even with all the functions your service and
maintenance system promises to deliver, if it isn't user-friendly, your staff
won't be able to maximize the full benefits. Make sure you select a
solution that's logical and easy to use. Ask these questions during the
- Does the system enable users to easily sort and
view information, allowing them to know exactly which activities need to be
done at all times?
- Does the software use the familiar navigational model
of a standard Web browser?
- Is the system accessible over the Web?
- Can the software provide a real-time window into your service operations and
access critical data with only a few clicks?
Look for a solution that
integrates with your accounting database
Make sure the service and
maintenance application you are considering has solid integration with
your accounting database so that multiple departments can effectively
track jobs at all phases. Instead of manually inputting information to your
accounting system, find a service and maintenance application that can
automatically update your accounting system with information regarding
job completion status, parts inventory, claims in process, and more. By
doing so, you'll reduce transcription errors, lower the staffing requirements
for data entry, and improve access to up-to-the-minute information
throughout your organization.
Ask about the latest technology
In order to
stay competitive and efficient, you'll need a system that works with the
latest technologies. Ask yourself which technologies are important to your
organization. For example, if you use bar code scanners to support your
infrastructure, make sure your service and maintenance applications can
work with and leverage that technology. If your workflow relies on devices
like PDAs or cell phones, make sure your new system can talk to that
technology. A good system will not only integrate with today's technology,
but will also be flexible enough to adapt to future technological advances.
Find out costs for extra users and modules
In addition to maintenance,
upgrade, and support costs, it is important to consider how much you'll
have to pay for additional users. Solutions that include all the modules
generally cost less than those that don't, but will often charge a higher
cost per number of users. You may also encounter vendors who are
relatively inexpensive when it comes to adding seats, but charge
significantly more for additional modules. Be sure to ask the reseller
what the cost structures are for adding users and modules.
Before you make a purchase, find out if your software vendor
has a maintenance program in place that gives you access to frequent
updates. A good vendor invests heavily in engineering and develops new
product features and enhancements regularly. They stay abreast of new
technologies and make sure their customers do, too"particularly those
customers with fast-growing businesses. The opportunity to move to a
similar, but more powerful, solution provides you greater flexibility as your
company grows. Often, software upgrades cost far less than the retail
price of the full program. Some vendors even provide upgrades within their
support programs. Imagine purchasing a new car a year ago, and then seeing
this year's model and wanting some of the new features. You can't have
those new features unless you purchase the new model! In contrast, a good
software manufacturer will provide product upgrades at reasonable prices
or as part of a yearly service agreement.
Inquire about system capacity
What is the maximum number of users allowed to work with a particular
application at a given time? What happens if your business needs to add
another location and configure multiple work zones in your existing
location? It's important to consider what your organization will need in the
future to avoid having to purchase another new system in a short period of
time. When selecting a new system, ensure the software has the capacity to
grow with you.
Ask about system architecture
Evaluating the architecture
of a service and maintenance solution is one step that you can't afford to
skip. If you choose a system with weak architecture, you may end up not
being able to easily or safely integrate it with your accounting system,
modify it to your needs, or take advantage of future technologies. Make
sure your system has a stable, strong architecture, and can easily
interface with the latest technologies such as Web, text chat, e-mail, fax,
phone, PDA, and branch accounting. Also, take the time to find a service
and maintenance system that is either written into your financial core
modules or has a direct long-standing relationship with your financial
Get powerful reporting
Look for a system with the ability to
extract relevant information easily. A good system can provide virtually
unlimited reporting capabilities. Ask for samples of reports when
evaluating different systems.
Evaluate system security
The degree to which
sensitive functions and reports can be protected will affect how the
system rates in security. Ideally, you should be able to specify which
operations certain users can perform at specific times. A good system can
be set up so your staff members only see information relevant to their job
Conduct product demonstrations
Before each product demonstration,
have your team meet to discuss the perceived strengths and weaknesses of
each software solution and areas they think require particular attention.
Inform resellers ahead of time the order in which you want the functions
demonstrated. It will make the demonstrations easier to assess if they are
all presented in the same order. Keep the demonstration focused on the
functions your company needs and not on the ones that look impressive on
screen. Have your team fill out comment sheets during the interview for use
during the final decision process.
Ask questions during the demo
someone on the team has a question, make sure they ask during the
demonstration. It will be easier to get a clear answer if you ask
questions when they occur to you, and while the functionality in question is
on the screen.
Understand the difference between standard functions and
Some software vendors provide basic functions but then make you
purchase "extras" that come standard in competing solutions. Confirm which
functions are included in the core pricing and which must be purchased
Ask about technical support
Your reseller will be a good
resource regarding technical questions or other issues that arise. However,
you may still need to rely on the software vendor's technical support team as
well. Find out the cost for technical support as well as the policies for
maintenance, upgrades, and support. Ask your reseller what you can expect
in response times to support questions and if there are support packages
available for purchase.
Consider implementation time
Look for a complete
solution that can be up and running smoothly and rapidly. The less upfront
customization your system requires, the more quickly the implementation
process can be completed. Ask your reseller how long the implementation
will take and what factors may increase or decrease the amount of time
Implementing Your System
You're almost there. You've done your homework, selected a reseller, and
chosen a solution. Now it's time to put your system in place. To ensure a
smooth and successful implementation, consider the following guidelines.
Start with a plan
Begin the implementation process by laying out the goals
of the project. This helps keep every team member focused. An installation
for an off-the-shelf package requiring minimal customization usually takes
between one to three months. If you have numerous goals to achieve, plan
on a longer implementation with more consulting resources.
Make sure your implementation timeline is realistic. Your
reseller will propose a timeline with deadlines they feel confident they can
either meet or beat. Find out what you need to do and which individuals need
to be available to help with the process.
Remember: time is money
reseller will probably give you a range of hours each task will take. The
general rule is: the more resources you allocate for implementation, the
less it will cost you in time and money. The reverse is also true. If you
aren't able to give your reseller the time and resources requested, the
process is going to take longer and cost more.
Provide ongoing training
If you want your service operations to reach their full potential, maintain
constant vigilance over your system. Ideally, the training on your system
should never end. Promotions, new hires, and the start of every quarter
introduce new opportunities for training. Develop a training agenda
focused on continuous learning, along with supporting materials, such as
written tests and training guides.
These tools will enable you to reinforce existing methods and procedures,
teach new hires, and ensure that you're optimizing the efficiency of the
people in your organization.
Integrate the back office
Direct your efforts
toward integrating your new service and maintenance application with your
back-office accounting data. Most companies want the ability to push
transaction data from the service department to their accounting database
and vice versa. You will need to have this essential piece completed and
tested before launching the service and maintenance system.
Decide when to
make system modifications.
It's usually best to fine-tune your solution
with system modifications before you start training your staff. However,
if there's resistance to the new software, beware of trying to smooth the
transition by modifying the software to work the "old way." Instead, wait
until you and your staff are familiar with the new system before reverting
to old usage patterns. Also, know that a good system should be easy to
customize at all times, so that as your business grows or processes change,
your service and maintenance application can evolve along with it.
Schedule a good rollout time
Find an appropriate time to roll out your new
system. It's difficult to schedule a perfect time to do this, but at the very
least plan to install the system during your organization's slowest time
of year, to minimize business interruptions.
Measure against the old
The success of your service and maintenance system in part depends
on the goals you have established for your operation. Once your system is
up and running, be sure to benchmark it carefully and compare the results
to your pre-system benchmarks. You'll collect vital information to help
calculate your return on investment. The benchmark also sets a standard
for your team to beat. With ongoing benchmarks, you can put measurable
employee incentives in place, compare your results to industry averages, and
set targets for coming years.
Ten Essential Features to Look for in a Service and Maintenance
- Complete back-office integration with General Ledger,
Accounts Receivable, Order Entry, Inventory Control, and Purchase Order
- Scalability to accommodate future growth
- Sophisticated job
management tools, including the ability to estimate jobs and compare
estimates to actuals
- Integration with Internet and mobile technologies
such as e-mail, text chat, PDAs, and cell phones
- Real-time updates to
and from the back-office accounting system"as opposed to periodic batch
- Browser-based, graphic interface that's easy to learn and use
- E-commerce capability
- Advanced reporting capability
- Support for
global business, including accommodation for multiple currencies
- Minimum implementation time
Seven Questions to Ask Resellers about
a New System
Pick the best three systems and ask each reseller to provide
the following information
- Estimated license cost
- Estimated build-out
costs to adapt the system to your requirements
- Estimated costs for
radio communications and bar coding equipment and their maintenance
- Timeframe and cost for implementation
- Annual support and maintenance
- Training methodology and training costs
- A plan for
integrating your back-office systems
How to Prepare for Product
The software demonstration is an excellent time for your
team to understand the features and capabilities of a particular solution.
Take full advantage of this opportunity by following these guidelines.
Inform software resellers about your specific needs in advance. A software
demo is a reseller's opportunity to profile their products and services.
By informing them ahead of time about your specific needs, you direct the
demonstrator's attention to your interests, not theirs.
Make sure your
core team is able to attend the demos. Make it a priority to keep your
core team up to date about their appointments. Since each team member has a
different area of expertise, it's important for everyone on the team to be
at the demonstration in order to get the most out of each demo. Encourage
team members to remain in the room through the entire demo; shared
concerns can be flagged more effectively if everyone is present to hear
questions raised by others on the team.
Plan your questions. Have the core
team come up with questions for each product demonstrator. You may also
want to plan the sequence in which the questions are asked, to ensure that
everyone stays on topic during each demonstration.
Establish a system for
scoring each issue addressed by the demonstrator. Keeping tally for
individual issues makes the entire scoring process efficient. It prevents
situations in which someone from your team forgets how a particular
demonstrator addressed an issue. The scores will also come in handy when it's
time to decide which of the short-listed solutions is best suited for your
Ask the reseller to follow up on any issues not addressed.
The reseller may need to consult with colleagues or the software manufacturer
before providing answers to more in-depth questions. Be sure someone on your
team follows up on any unanswered questions after the demo
Suggested Planning Process
The following is a simple five-step process
to successfully analyzing, selecting, implementing, and using a new
service and maintenance application.
- Step 1: Pre-planning
a review of your current system's capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses, as
well as the initial list of what you want to do with your new system but
are unable to do with your current system.
- Step 2: Intelligence gathering
Information is critical to sound decision-making. The more you can obtain
good information now about the various systems being considered, the more
it will help you in the long run.
- Step 3: Analysis
Careful review of the
information gathered is necessary to make sound decisions. Please note
that this step may include actual system demonstrations, visiting
organizations with the service and maintenance application already
installed, and perhaps even a visit to the vendor's headquarters.
- Step 4:
Once a service and maintenance application has been chosen,
implementation should begin. This may last weeks or months, and can include
data conversion, user training, and other elements.
- Step 5:
This step includes the ongoing monitoring and
review of the system. Is it performing as expected? What elements need to be
modified, changed, or customized? What optional elements can be added to
further enhance system performance?
Service and Maintenance Application Requirements Checklist
If you provide services on equipment, or sell equipment with
service contracts or site agreements, then you need a system to organize your
day-to-day service operations, keep track of accounting, and maintain
records. The questions below will help you create an inventory of all the
activities you do that could potentially be automated and made easier with the
right service and maintenance application. When you've finished answering
these questions, you'll have a detailed inventory of which kinds of processes
are most relevant to your organization. You'll then be able to assess which
service and maintenance applications might fit the bill.
- Do you
- If so, do you create a job from a template or do you create
it from scratch?
- Do you perform recurring jobs?
- Do you generate quotes?
- Do you sell goods?
- Do you link jobs to projects?
- Do you track phases in
- Do you use subcontractors?
- Do you track serial numbers for items
- Do you track serial numbers for parts used?
- Do you allocate labor to
- Do you allocate employees to jobs and track their performance?
you allocate spares to jobs?
- Do you allocate miscellaneous charges to
- Do you issue spares or parts to jobs?
- Do you have multiple price
- Do you do standard jobs that can be based on templates?
purchase orders or requisitions raised
against specific jobs?
- Do you track
items outstanding on purchase orders per job?
- Do you return equipment to
inventory from jobs?
- Do you transfer equipment between jobs?
- Do you
require a return authorization process for warranty equipment to be
collected from customers and returned to manufacturers?
- Do you track your
shipments for return authorizations?
- Do you provide loan equipment?
you record fault codes and descriptions on the job?
- Do you want access to
the fault knowledge base from the job?
- Do you prioritize your jobs?
you allocate a job status to each job?
- Do you need to be able to create jobs
from previous jobs, quotes, or templates?
- Do you notify your employee by
e-mail about outstanding jobs?
- Do you want to graphically view job and
employee schedules together with resource loading information?
- Do you
track estimated against actuals for quantities, costs, and revenue?
forms do you need to print, i.e., invoice, credit note, picking slip, job
card, confirmations, quotes, etc.?
Five Common Mistakes People Make
When Choosing a Service and Maintenance Application
- Mistake #1: Not
doing enough homework
Analyzing and then selecting a service and
maintenance application takes time and effort. Information is critical to
selecting the most appropriate system for your organization. By reading
this booklet, you're already a step ahead of most people.
- Mistake #2:
Misunderstanding the benefits of automation
Automating service operations
and related functions can save your organization considerable time and
money. However, if you don't also improve your current core processes,
automating your system won't deliver the full return on investment you
- Mistake #3: Ignoring hard-to-quantify benefits
It is difficult
to calculate possible future gains such as increased productivity, better
efficiency, improved customer service, and other hard-to quantify benefits
after a new system has been successfully implemented. Remember, these kinds
of benefits can dramatically improve your bottom line and should not be
- Mistake #4: Passing the buck
Top management and other key
personnel within the organization must be involved in the selection and
the implementation process. For the project to be a success, management needs
to stay involved.
- Mistake #5: Underestimating the ramp-up and debug phase
of a project
Many companies assume a well-designed system will operate at
peak levels shortly after they make the purchase. The best system will not
perform as expected until properly trained personnel have developed
complete competency with the system. Allow users to gain confidence through a
gradual process of operational ramp-up, including incremental training and
system usage. Wait to introduce users to new and more complex system
functions until they have mastered the basics.
- Do you have standard equipment models?
- Do you need to easily
see the link among pieces of equipment, their respective models, and the
- Does each model have a warranty period?
each model need a different response time?
- Do you track planned
- Do you use meters?
- Do you create meter agreements"that is,
contracts based on meter readings?
- Do any of your equipment models have
multiple meters applied to them?
- Do you use meter readings for maintenance
- Do you use meter readings for billing purposes?
- Do you track
- Do you use master and component relationships?
- Do you
track serial numbers for your equipment?
- Do you need to track all the
information related to the useful life of the equipment you service,
including costs, revenue, repair history, meter readings, customer notes, and
- Do you track information such as in-service date, current status,
and "on agreement"?
- On meters, how often do you take readings?
- Do you
create schedules for planned maintenance?
- Do you have multiple planned
maintenance tasks in a single schedule"for instance, one set of tasks for
a 5,000-mile service and another set for a 10,000-mile service?
- Are your
service intervals based on meter readings or other measurements, such as
"time since last service"?
- Do you set response times on equipment to be
- Do you create miscellaneous equipment when serial numbers are
- Do you link employees to work groups?
- Do you track
cost and billing rates?
- Do you track employee skills?
- Do you pay
commissions to employees?
- Do you use different billings rates for different
equipment, customers, or types of work done? For example, you may base your
rates on employee, model, or customer, or another factor.
- Do you track actual time against estimated time
- Do you track response times?
- Do you
track both billable and non-billable time?
- Do you track employee performance?
- Do you process employee timesheets?
- Do you require a
knowledge base for faults, symptoms, and solutions?
- Do you track Standard
Industry Codes (SIC)
- Do you track skill levels required to repair a fault?
- Do you use a template for repetitive repairs?
- Do you have multiple solutions
for a single fault?
- Do you attach documents, drawings, or URLs to
- Do you set response times for specific symptoms
- Do you have multiple agreements per customer?
- Do you have
multiple sites per agreement?
- What types of items do you cover in the
agreements, i.e., labor, spares, subcontractors, and miscellaneous?
- Do you
track an agreement status?
- Do you define the period of cover?
- Do you
define the percentage covered for these items?
- Do you track the review
- Do you want to be warned when the costs near the revenue earned for
the sale of the agreement?
- Do you track and provide usage on agreements,
i.e., hours of labor, number of incidents, etc.?
- Do you want access to
revenue and cost information as well as detailed transactions for the life
of the agreement?
- Do you set response times against your agreement types?
- Do you schedule your agreement billing
- Do you provide
site equipment /maintenance agreements?
- Do you bill for these on a
recurring basis, i.e., monthly, quarterly, or annually?
- Do you need the
invoices automatically generated according to the billing frequency?
you need to track which equipment is included in the agreement?
- Do you
need to allow for situations where equipment may span across multiple sites?
- Do you amortize the revenue over the period of the agreement?
- Are you a service agent for any equipment?
- Do you track
third-party or in-house warranty agreements?
- Do you provide warranty
repair services on equipment?
- Do you have a warranty agreement with the
- Do you provide the services on any product from the
supplier or only on certain models?
- Does the agreement cover labor, spares,
subcontractors, and miscellaneous items?
- Do you require your claims to be
automated by the system?
- Do you base your claims on the cost of the
service, or on another user-defined value?
- Do you
have agreements for meter-based equipment?
- Do you invoice based on these
- Does the agreement cover labor, spares, subcontractors,
and miscellaneous items?
- Do you have multi-level billing structures? For
example, you may have different prices for different volume tiers: one price
for meter readings up to 5,000 and another price for meter readings from
- Do you need to be able to define the formulas for these
- Do you have more than one billing formula per agreement? For
example, you may have one formula that charges by the copy and another formula
that adds on a monthly service fee
- Do you require a meter reading
notification function that ensures that all meter readings are concluded
- Do you need to manage return
- Do you use RAs for both customers and suppliers?
- Do you need to track loan equipment?
- Do various stages in the RA process need
to be tracked, such as "expected," "received," and "returned"?
- Do you
return multiple items per RA?
- Do you return items of inventory?
- Do you
track accessories that are returned?
- Do you use multiple shipments?
- Do you
use multiple shipping methods?
- Do you provide equipment rotation and
- Do you service equipment you have not sold and need a way to
quickly add this equipment to your system
you require any specific reports?
- Do you need to analyze information?
you keep extended history?
- Do you have any specific reporting tools in use?
- What management information do you require daily, weekly, monthly, and
- Do you have a head office with networked
- Do you need branches to see their jobs only?
- Would you like to
have the head office see all sites?
- Do you need to be able to assign
technicians to any branch?
|PDA/Cell Phone Technology
- Do you
currently use mobile technology?
- Do you require field engineers with mobile
offline and online connection?
- Is PDA/cell phone technology something you
could use in the future?
- Do you send technicians to remote sites?
|Accounting and General Ledger Integration
- Do you need your service and
maintenance solution to integrate with your GL, AR, PO, IC, OE, and SN
- Do you want to track costs, revenue, and profits on jobs and
- How many levels do you use in your account structure?
- At what
level/s in a job do you need to override an account segment?
- Do you track
work in progress?
- Do you track billings and revenue separately?
- When or
how do you recognize revenue and costs?
- Do you calculate burden and
- Do you need any
specific information tracked in the system using custom fields?
- Do you
need to keep notes and stamp them with the time they were written?
- Do you
require a function that triggers you to follow up with a customer or job?
- Do your customers have multiple sites?
- Do you need your software to track
documents, drawings, URLs, manuals, or e-mails?
- Do you require
user-defined numbering of documents, contracts, projects, and jobs?
- Do you
want to keep history and statistics for extended periods?
Sage Software supports the needs, challenges, and dreams of more
than 2.6 million small and midsized business customers in North America through
easy-to-use, scalable, and customizable software and services. Our products
support accounting, operations, customer relationship management, human
resources, time tracking, merchant services, and the specialized needs of
accounting practices, and the construction, distribution, healthcare,
manufacturing, nonprofit, and real estate industries. Sage Software is a
subsidiary of The Sage Group plc, a leading international supplier of accounting
and business management software solutions and related products and services
for small to midsized businesses. Formed in 1981, Sage Software was floated on
the London Stock Exchange in 1989 and the Group now has 5.0 million customers
and employs more than 10,500 people worldwide. For more information, please
visit the Web site at www.sagesoftware.com/moreinfo or call (866) 308-2378
Sage Accpac International, Inc.
6700 Koll Center Parkway Third Floor
Pleasanton, CA 94566