Managed Services for Contractors
The electrical contractor service industry has changed over the last 20 years as companies diversify and add to their list of competencies to stay competitive. Organizations that used to specialize only in electrical, plumbing or HVAC have found it necessary to expand their core competencies that overlap into other trades. Electricians are expanding into heating and air conditioning and, plumbers are expanding into solar solutions and vice versa.
The expansion of their marketable services has required leading firms to become more sophisticated in their use of Information Technology to distinguish themselves from their competition. The cost of such technology which can include customer relationship (CRM) software, financial management and mobile messaging systems can be expensive. The cost not only includes the products, but the technical expertise to implement and maintain them.
RR Electric Heating and Air Conditioning is one of Southern California’s most successful service providers in their industry.Founded by Richard Rogero in the 1990’s it quickly grew and was soon servicing over 1000 accounts per month.Such demand requires a way to quickly respond to customer calls, dispatch technicians with skills matched to various jobs, then accurately invoice and collect from the customers. At the office, the staff needs an effective messaging system to communicate with co-workers, vendors and customers, maintain their financial systems as well as keep an adequately stocked warehouse and service vehicles.
A computer consultant hired to implement an office network with file security, remote access, print services and email was unprepared technically for the task. The home-built server and computers were not under warranty and crashed regularly. The promised messaging system was never delivered and viruses plagued the network in a way that crippled their operation on a daily basis. The infrastructure would never be able to support such a growth oriented company.
RR Electric managed along but still needed an IT support provider that they could trust to stabilize their network and unravel the mess left behind by someone else. They required a provider with a demonstrated body of work, reliable references and extensive resources to implement effective measures to bring about the reliability and security they needed. Such a company would also have to be available to provider ongoing support as well as help them make strategic technology purchase decision.
With a reference from their long-trusted accountant, RR Electric interviewed and hired Plexus IT who already had customers in their immediate area. A Plexus representative was able to meet with the owners to get an understanding of their needs. Although the budget did not allow for an immediate overhaul of their systems, Plexus was able to quickly bring about some much needed tangible results by stabilizing their computer network and maximizing what they already owned.
Over time, new workstations were added for office staff and laptops for field technicians. Soon after that, the put-together server was replaced with a new Dell PowerEdge server running Microsoft Small Business Server 2008 with the Exchange messaging system, file security, and secure remote access with VPN, reliable print services and more. Their financial software, QuickBooks closely integrates with their dispatching software and the two run seamlessly thanks to the expertise of Plexus technicians. Additionally, all of their data is encrypted and backed up over the Internet on a daily basis. If a single file or database is ever lost, it can be recovered quickly with the click of a mouse.
To keep it all running smoothly, RR Electric took advantage of a Plexus Managed Services plan to ensure all computers receive monthly health checks and software updates, plus their server is monitored closely. If a problem pops up, Plexus will work to have it fixed without letting it become a business interruption.
Whether adjusting the scale of their network or implementing new technology, Plexus has been RR Electric’s IT support provider of choice to ensure their systems run reliably while controlling costs.