Air Compression Equipment Rental & Service Company Cuts Down Data Entry Duplication & Saves Time with Top Equipment Maintenance Software

Central Air Equipment’s patchwork of disconnected data is now organized and easily accessible with ODT Service for Business Central.

Product ODT Service

Company Central Air Equipment Ltd.

Name Fred Crabb

Job Title General Manager

Industry Central air & air compression equipment sales & rentals

equipment maintenance software

"The new solution has enabled a 30% reduction in administrative activities in the office. The structure and backbone of the new ODT Service software provided everything needed for what we were looking to improve upon. Our staff have seen a new strength and ability to serve our clients more quickly and effectively."

- Fred Crabb, General Manager, Central Air Equipment Ltd.

Problem/Challenge

Service Department Slowed Down by Disconnected & Duplicated Data

With locations in both Calgary and Red Deer, Alberta, Central Air Equipment Ltd. (CAE) is an air compressor equipment sales, rentals, and service company serving Western Canada since 1995. The team of about 50 highly trained personnel offer product advice, parts sourcing, design consulting, service support, and hands-on technical assistance. They specialize in stationary electric, mobile diesel, custom-built drills, feed air compressors, booster compressors, nitrogen generation packages, and full-service in-house rebuilds for reciprocating compressors, pumps, and rotary screw air ends.

CAE had been operating on Dynamics 365 Business Central since January 2019 (from a previous software partner) but were facing some considerable challenges getting organized in their Service Department. They were recording data in an Excel database that was not directly linked to their ERP system, as well as using paper service reports. This meant the team was slowed down by a lot of data entry duplication and they struggled with their ability to draw down customer assets onto service tickets.

“There was a lot of disconnection in our information because we didn’t have everything in the same place. It was a patchwork of various spreadsheets, hardcopy reports, and files,” explains Fred Crabb, General Manager at CAE. “This led to a lot of frustrating situations where dots were not connected, and we missed some things because we were not organized enough.”

The team wanted to cut down on duplicating activities and improve the speed and efficiency of processing customer requests. If they could achieve this, it would enable the company to help customers faster, handle more requests in a day, and get more jobs quoted and booked quickly, which would ultimately lead to increased revenue. They also struggled to offer all the manufacturer recommended services to clients in a consistent way.

“There was a lack of data availability at our fingertips and technicians had to generate historical information from scratch each time, which really slowed us down,” says Fred. “We also had a lot of very manual processes in generating our analytics. In this century, having our staff put hours of time every single day into repetitive data entry didn’t feel like something our people should be doing, where half their job was working at something a good system could do for you.”

The team knew they needed new equipment maintenance software that offered automatic processes and could handle a more integrated equipment database.

 

“In this century, having our staff put hours of time every single day into repetitive data entry didn’t feel like something our people should be doing, where half their job was working at something a good system could do for you.”

– Fred Crabb, General Manager, Central Air Equipment Ltd.

 

Solution(s)

A New, Intuitive Service System that Speeds Up Processing Customer Requests

The Central Air Equipment team investigated various solutions, including ERPs from Sage and NetSuite, to help them organize data in their Service Department, but ultimately chose a top equipment maintenance software, ODT Service for rental equipment from Open Door Technology (ODT) to complement their existing Business Central ERP system.

“We felt ODT Service would give us increased functionality and it was more intuitive than the others,” recalls Fred. “We also really like Microsoft products so it was important for us to get something from a good Microsoft partner we could invest in.”

Fred shared that right from the get-go during the initial Discovery Sessions, the ability of the Open Door staff to determine and explore CAE’s needs at an in-depth level was excellent. “ODT was very adaptable in understanding the unique aspects of our business and the different ways we’re trying to serve our clients,” he explains. “I believe Open Door was quite focused on improvement and ensuring we would see a strong return on our investment.”

It took a little over six months to implement the new software which went live in February 2021. Fred feels the implementation process was as efficient as it could be given the amount of data they had to transfer, number of customers they had, the many different equipment brands they work on, and the variety of eclectic scenarios the Service Department runs into. The CAE team also received helpful user training during the process.

“Implementation was bound to be a bit of a process, but the Open Door team was very good at helping us eat the elephant one bite at a time, breaking everything down into manageable pieces,” adds Fred. “During the implementation process itself, we noticed Open Door’s high level of engagement and support, expertise, consistent availability, and adaptability to our changing needs as we went through it – we thought the ODT team was really excellent with that.”

 

“Implementation was bound to be a bit of a process, but the Open Door team was very good at helping us eat the elephant one bite at a time, breaking everything down into manageable pieces.”

– Fred Crabb, General Manager, Central Air Equipment Ltd.

 

Results

CAE Team Enjoys a 30% Reduction in Administrative Activities

Since integrating ODT Service into their system, the CAE team have enjoyed increased efficiencies with reduced data duplication, easier access to equipment and customer information, and a new ability to quickly provide quotes to customers.

“The new solution has enabled a 30% reduction in administrative activities in the office,” says Fred. “The structure and backbone of the new ODT Service software provided everything needed for what we were looking to improve upon. Our staff at the direct user level have seen a new strength and ability to serve our clients more quickly and effectively.”

Fred and his colleagues feel they learned a lot from this experience and would recommend Open Door to other companies looking to make a technology change, whether for equipment maintenance software or a full ERP.

“I’d encourage you to use ODT right from the get-go of the entire implementation process, if possible, because that ensures everyone involved is well aligned for a smooth implementation,” he advises. “Take your time discovering what your company’s unique needs are, gather the background on everything you’re working with, identify what the hot buttons are, and the comfort range and aptitudes of those who will be using the new software. Trust the Open Door Technology team to be there with you along the way. It’s a long game and even if there are rough spots after implementation, they will be there to help you move past those quickly.”

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