Warmer Energy’s growth supported by AccuServ
Warmer Energy is one of the North West’s leading providers of heating and renewable technology installations, with clients including utility companies, Local Authorities, Registered Social Landlords, and thousands of private homeowners. Founded in 1994, the company has grown to employ over 200 operations staff and engineers across the North West. They offer a diverse range of products including service and maintenance contracts for social housing partners and private customers. Warmer Energy’s IT team needed a dependable, flexible and customisable software platform that meets their diverse operational requirements as well as being able to scale to support future business growth.
The Business Challenge
When AccuServ was first approached by Warmer Energy (then Warmer Heating) the customer was experiencing a number of issues with a legacy IT platform which ran separate database for installations and service & maintenance. Not only did this hamper the business from extracting complete, reliable business information, it also crashed frequently – putting the IT team and engineers in the field under unnecessary pressure and leading to poor customer experience. Compounding these issues, the incumbent system was actively restricting company growth as a number of tenders were lost due to perceived IT weaknesses.
Warmer Energy needed a solution which gave their staff, customers and clients confidence. It needed to lighten the administrative load which had been placed on the company’s staff, enable field workers to do their jobs more efficiently and it needed to provide management and clients with clear insight over the costs related to any given job.
From our initial engagement in 2010, AccuServ were able to demonstrate to Warmer Energy that there was a solution to the company’s problems. After a demonstration of the AccuServ solution in operation at another client, Warmer Energy were convinced they’d found the partner they needed to make a positive step-change in the delivery and monitoring of all their installation and maintenance jobs.
AccuServ’s end-to-end repair management system enabled Warmer Heating to gain a complete view across all of its operations in one database. That meant that every job and its related costs, whether it related to heating installations & maintenance, solar panel installation or gas safety compliance, was fully traceable for the first time. For a company with over 64,000 jobs raised in 2015 alone, this has dramatically streamlined day-to-day operations and reporting.
Full integration with other systems
One of the most immediate improvements delivered by AccuServ was the integration with existing third party systems. Previously, Warmer Energy had relied on staff manually rekeying all job requests at the start of each day. This meant unnecessary pressure being placed on admin staff as they rushed to get jobs out to engineers each morning and inevitably led to data entry errors, missing information and delays that could have knock-on effects for the rest of the day.
AccuServ’s ability to integrate with the client’s platform - in this case Orchard – enabled jobs to be uploaded directly into the system via SFTP, eliminating errors and dramatically reducing the strain on office-based staff. Not only did this mean that field workers received their jobs more accurately and more quickly, it also enabled key safety information – such as identification of “Do Not Visit Alone” properties, or those where asbestos might be present - to be relayed, ensuring the right precautions were taken, and improving likelihood of first time fixes.
Warmer Energy relies on its good relationships and good communications with the company’s 200-strong fleet of contracted builders, electricians and service engineers. Ensuring that information could be readily exchanged with teams out in the field was therefore a high priority. AccuServ’s mobile connectivity enables essential job information to be delivered direct to field operatives, and allows them to submit electronic job sheets, CP12’s, signatures, photographs that enable accurate tracking of job progress and costs and, if necessary, schedule follow-up appointments quickly and efficiently.
Greater cost control
With greater communication comes greater accuracy of information and AccuServ’s complete reporting functionality enables easy review of job costs and progress, as well as van stock control, time spent in transit and much more, enabling the client to identify and fix areas of inefficiency.
Where jobs require additional costs – for example where a Social housing tenant has caused deliberately caused damage – Accuserv enables on-the-job cost adjustment and approvals, resulting in quicker resolution and less delays for following jobs.
Valued customer support
Throughout the 5-year period we have worked together, AccuServ has become more than a simple supplier to Warmer Energy. Our team has developed close relations with WE’s IT team to support the delivery of jobs in that time. Critically, we have supported the business as it has developed its service offering into private residential and commercial sectors, as well as insulation and extending its core managed housing business to over 30,000 properties.
Gary Riley, IT Manager at Warmer Energy said of the company’s relationship with AccuServ: “Where AccuServ have continually impressed us is in their customer support: As an IT manager I’m under pressure to ensure all our systems support the business as efficiently as possible. I’m often on the phone to AccuServ and they can’t do enough to help – they’re almost an extension of our in-house IT team.”