In years gone by, people filled large rooms at almost every business, as workers were required to do all the paperwork. The more people you had, the more success you could generate and the more jobs you could do. But, as the internet came about, that network started taking over job after job within the office and moved it to the people who really were doing the work in the field. The alarm industry is no exception to the many industries that have had to rethink and reshape their staff. Some still purchase software to automate their home office, while others, who tend to be more successful, realize there is no home office to automate. The automation really needs to be placed in the hands of the people doing the actual work. In the case of the alarm industry, and especially field service personnel, there is no job that requires automation more than their sector.
Consider the following scenario: We used to have technicians in the field use paper to do their work. Before they got that paper, we had the staff build the paper, schedule the paper and then push the paper. Then when the paper came back to the office, we had entire groups of people finish the paperwork, bill the paperwork, then mail the bill, only to get a paper check, in which more people were needed to process that paper into greenbacks and then had to run the paper to the bank and stand in line to wait for another piece of paper called a deposit slip. But today, the client requests service on the internet through a web portal, picks the schedule for when they wish to have service, then the request is sent directly to the field personnel who will be doing the work. The service technician can finish the job and bill the client and collect payment on the spot. The technician does all this work on a paperless tablet like an Apple iPad or a smart phone. Why in the world would we need any buildings with people to do anything? All we need is the technician and the right tools. Companies of the future will not be viewed successful by how big their buildings are, but more on how automated their few people are.
The technician’s job functions are changing dramatically as well. Currently, a technician receives a service ticket, which gives access to the accounting data and all the central station data that is required for the job, such as: zones, contracts, schedules and notes. It also includes images, blueprints and other diagrams, plus the entire data imaging system for the client receiving service. The technician also has access to the contracts if the company allows it and can see inventory on-site or in the vehicle. The best part is that a contract or amendment to the job can be created on the fly and the client’s signature can be obtained on the spot. The transaction can be billed to a credit card or a bill can be created and emailed to the client. This technician has replaced a room full of accounting people and has replaced the room full of service coordinators in the same way. Talk about killing two birds with one stone — that stone is the cloud-hosted service tool set created by DICE Corporation called Matrix.
In order to keep up with the ever-changing demands and needs in the industry, DICE Corporation created a service application for field service personnel called the Matrix Service System. Matrix is a cloud-hosted system that runs in a browser; therefore it is able to run on any device, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. The product starts with grids, which are simply spreadsheets in a browser. These grids can be changed, renamed, sorted and filtered as well. The point is to have a grid of data that is special and meaningful to the technician or user. The grids are also special as they can inject a spreadsheet instantly such as Microsoft Excel or create a PDF report of the grid. The user is in charge of how it looks and what data is in the grid.
Think of it this way, people and users have always wanted to have access to data when they wanted it – and fast. This Matrix product allows anyone, even the non-computer literate person, to be able to sort, filter and pop the data right into a spreadsheet without knowing anything about fields, relationships, et cetera. The technician also has access to maps, alarm information, inventory data, and others, and this data can create contracts and forms, which can collect signatures as well. All of this gets imaged in the Matrix service system. From a billing standpoint, the forms can be a bill that gets emailed and paid via many sources such as credit cards, ACH, or just simply paid later by the client via Pay Pal or other means.
As you can see, the Matrix Service Management system by DICE is a new cloud-based system that doesn’t rely on home office personnel or staff. Our solution is empowering the new generation of alarm companies whose goal it is to have effective tools to enable their staff to service a larger number of clients. This equates to less cost and more profit, as well as providing greater customer service by giving the clients control of their system and its support through direct contact with your workforce.