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HVAC maintenance checklists

I'd be interested to know how other HVAC companies handle maintenance checklists with ESC.

We have a PDF form the tech completes. Then a screenshot of it is attached to the documents with the dispatch number as the name.

Maybe you have an app that's easier to use vs filling out a PDF every time? Online form and you paste the URL in the dispatch notes? Some of my other ideas on how it could be done. Looking forward to the community thoughts.

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  • I think we're a bit more archaic than you are. Currently, our technicians fill out a 2 part carbon-less paper form for each system, one copy goes to the customer, the other returns to the office. A staff member scans the form and attaches it to the customer. I then double check this to ensure our internal agreements list is updated, and the associated equipment/agreement in ESC is updated.

    I have been looking into dynoforms.com or an internally developed web app (with offline capabilities) to handle this in the future.

    My goal is to have something at least partially integrated with ESC to be able to pull the customer and equipment information from our ESC database. Then all the technician would complete would be the checklist of items and adding notes. Once the checklist is complete, it would generate a pdf with all the information on our current layout to be sent to the customer for their records, and update our internal information accordingly. The information would be stored in a table(s) within the database (instead of as a pdf) to keep the storage space needed to a minimum.

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  • We share the same goal. Really hoping ESC can add this feature. With ESC being a Windows Access Database, I'm sure an in-house app could be developed.

    Not sure if your in the Google ecosystem, but we've been using Google Forms to replace paper forms employees fill out on a regular basis. Appsheet.com creates a mobile app from a Google Form that's installed on their device. The submitted data is stored in a Google Sheet. It's great for things like logging commissions, tool lending, and PTO requests.

    I could use Google Forms for the checklist but there's no way to pull info from ESC. However, simply entering the dispatch number in the form would make it easy to search for a particular completed checklist if needed.

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  • We actually use Google Docs here in house - it's immensely helpful. And we've heard of a few customers have success with Google Docs as a good solution at the moment for Customized Forms. We know Custom Forms is a huge opportunity and dESCO users really need this functionality. I can tell you, it's happening. While we don't have an ETA at this time on the idea of Custom Forms, you can look forward to it in a future update to the software. Super excited about that!

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  • Thank you for passing that on Scott. It's great to hear Custom Forms is in the pipeline!

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  • Hey everyone, a little late to the show here but I had a thought on all of this.  I am not sure how much this would help, but with the custom forms, you would need another app to fill in the data, but what if after the data is entered, have a screenshot taken.  When that is done and saved, it could then be attached to the mobile dispatch.  I know it isn't a perfect answer by any means, but could maybe make life a little easier?

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  • Great to hear that this is in the works! Thanks for the suggestion for using Google Forms, Marlin. While I'm somewhat familiar with the google suite of apps, from what I've seen just tinkering around, natively Google forms does not support some items we would require on our forms, though granted, there may be some add-ons that add the functionality were looking for. Some items we would value: the ability to add pictures to a report, capturing signatures, offline functionality, provide a pdf copy to customers, among others. We want to minimize or eliminate any human transposition of data to remove the chance for errors due to typo's, etc, and be able to analyze that data within the scope of ESC and our associated customer data.

    Vishal, while that may work to reference individual completed forms, what we are looking for is usable data for analysis, and unfortunately we would be unable to generate reports based off of screen shots. While that may not work for us, I'm sure others will find it useful!

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  • Good to hear this is in the works.  As an aside, I hope that these forms will be able to either attach to the invoice or be able to be emailed directly to the customer.  Keep up the good work!

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  • We currently have a document in the google drive and then they use adobe fill and sign to fill it out and then take a screen shot and save it in the dispatch.  Would be great if when you book certain service calls that certain documents would auto populate (ie: tuneup checklists)

     

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  • I created a billing code (AC check) as no charge with each inspection point listed. That way the service tech can go to each individual line and insert there readings and as they complete the task they mark it completed. It goes to history and is attached to a dispatch. 

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  • Happy to hear I'm not the only one needing this feature. If it's helpful to anyone else, here is the checklist our techs fill out. Like I mentioned above, they attach a screenshot of it to the customer documents with the dispatch number as the name. Simple form fields built into ESC to input these items would be amazing Scott! :)

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4S1d2pcgzyjTEwtdnozUmdOQW8/view?usp=sharing 

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  • We used to use two part forms.  What a pain.  We currently use a PDF form that the Tech fills out on an iPad and emails it to the customer and office.  Unfortunately it does not link to the ESC database.

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  • Can I add a suggestion Scott? We do allot of commercial properties with multiple units that we services. Having these lists associated to the equipment would be a great addition. Having the documentation associate to a particular piece of equipment is what we are trying to accomplish

     

    Brian

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  • Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on this, Brian!

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  • Scott,

    I think having this feature in ESC would be an excellent add-on.    For the past 6 months, I have been researching and developing maintenance checklist using different software programs and apps.    We tried our best to find a free or low cost option (google doc, smartsheet, etc), but unfortunately the free apps/software did not give us everything we need and the final copy of these web forms did not appear professional.    We finally found an app that we are happy with and is giving us a professional finished product to present to the customer; however it is another monthly cost.   Sadly, we are having to copy and paste every piece of equipment from our ESC database.  If this was housed in ESC, the number of steps would drastically decrease.  In a busy industry, using our time efficiently is the key to success and profit. 

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  • Scott, Is there an update on the custom form enhancement ETA?

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  • HI MARLIN,

     

    WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO SHARE AN EDITABLE VERSION OF YOUR CHECKLIST?

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  • Dena, the PDF I linked to is fillable. Any PDF viewer should be able to type into the spaces and check the boxes. We use Pdf Expert for the iPad ($9.99) but there are free apps that do the same. PDF Viewer is one.

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  • I highly recommend PDF Expert.  We use a good bit of JavaScript in our form.  It works better than Acrobat Reader.  I also found that if you download PDF Expert with the same Apple login you only have to pay once (unless they caught that loophole).

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  • Lorena... what app did you end up using for your forms?

     

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  • Hello Julie,

    We are currently using an app called FastField Forms.   Here is the link to their site so that you can check it out.  Still not the best, but better than some of the other options.

     http://www.fastfieldforms.com/index.html?utm_device=c&utm_matchtype=e&utm_term=fastfield%20forms&utm_content=163411186708&utm_campaign=FastField&gclid=CLmVjfr2ttYCFZZWDQodIfYG1g

     

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  • Scott, just checking........it'd been 16 months. Any update on ETA of customized forms?

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  • Currently customized forms are present in our FieldEdge product, not ESC. There is, unfortunately, not an ETA on an option for Customized Forms in ESC. We will be sure to notify our base as soon as we have more information on that request.

    Thanks for checking in Derren! 

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