Field service to finance video

Video: From Field Service to Finance – How a Single Source of Truth Benefits Your Company

One of the main loss factors and profit guzzlers in field service is inefficient parts management and accessibility. If not handled correctly, it has ramifications across many business areas.

Engineers need access to the right parts, fast.

IT systems need to provide solutions for accessing and procuring parts from suppliers.

The last thing a Financial Director wants to see is a huge deficit due
to inefficient sourcing and management of parts.

This video summarises how PartsArena helps your entire business operate more efficiently – not just the service engineers.

You can also download our Field Service to Finance document to learn more and read how some of our customers have realised the wider benefits of relying on the only trusted source of heating industry data in the UK.

The difference 79p a day makes to your business

When I was a kid, 79p used to be a lot of money. My weekly sweet shop budget was around 10p and my pocket money was £1 a month. Do you remember those sweets that cost half a penny each?

Fast forward *ahem* many years, and 79p doesn’t get you quite so much.

We had a brainstorm around the office, thinking about what we typically spend 79p on without much thought. Here’s the list:

  • A chocolate bar (Mars Bar, Kit Kat, Snickers)
  • A can of Coca Cola
  • Third of a Big Mac!
  • The dregs of a pint of beer
  • About four bananas
  • A first-class stamp (with 9p to spare)
  • A tin of baked beans

You get the idea.

Simple pleasures bought with change in your pocket.

Why am I harping on about 79p?

Good question!

Because that’s the most it would cost a day to have all the heating appliance information you could ever need (known as PartsArena Pro), in one place on your mobile device.

Just 79p a day.

We’d not looked at it like this before. And I suspect you haven’t either. It’s more usual to look at the overall cost of something and see it as a, well, COST. But break it down and that’s what you get to: 79p a day (including VAT!)

So, if you buy a can of Coca Cola every day, you could be spending the same amount as an annual subscription to PartsArena Pro. If your weakness is a daily take-out coffee, chances are you could enjoy two, even three annual licences for that spend (I spent £3.75 on a Cappuccino at lunchtime!)

The message is clear: PartsArena Pro costs just a pile of loose change every day, and you can even pay monthly.

Learn what PartsArena Pro can do

What can that 79p give you?

Chuck the cash into a savings account and you’ll be lucky to earn over 1%.

Stocks and shares? Maybe 4% and a whole lot of risk.

Property? You’d need a lot more than 79p to get started.

Horses? Odds are, you’ll lose it!

If you’re a heating engineer, or you’re running a heating company, spending 79p a day on PartsArena Pro will return far more than the best possible investment you can think of.

Far more.

PartsArena Pro is proven to reduce the time you spend on site. You identify the parts you need much faster. You also eliminate errors which means no additional site visits to fit the right part.

PartsArena Pro is proven to reduce your costs. With no incorrect parts to return, you reduce the cost of admin time to do this.

And finally, PartsArena Pro is proven to improve your customer satisfaction. You get their boiler fixed faster, which means less time without a warm building and hot water. Also, happy customers talk. They’re more likely to recommend you to new customers.

Spending 79p a day on PartsArena Pro could quite literally result in many thousands of pounds of savings to your business. This isn’t a “finger in the air” prediction; 50,000 heating engineers are already cashing in on our boiler parts identification app. They’re reporting 15% less time on site, 10% overall saving on service costs and a 19% improvement of first-time fix.

Best of all, you can now pay monthly, with no contract

Cash flow is always important. We get it. That’s why you can now pay for PartsArena Pro on a monthly basis. And if you want to stop subscribing, just stop. There’s no contract to tie you in.

So, why not try PartsArena Pro for a few weeks? The risk is the cost of a few tins of beans. The benefits though, are off the scale.

Most heating engineers wish they’d known about PartsArena Pro sooner. You’ve got no excuse now; it’s all down to 79p a day.

Want a free trial for two weeks?

Or sign up for a licence today (monthly subscription available):

Homeserve case study

How PartsArena helps HomeServe put customer care first

“If we’re quicker on a job, it’s better for the Customer and cheaper for us. Our engineer is available for his next job. That’s a massive timesaving and therefore, we’re more profitable.”

That’s the view of Gavin Young, Service Delivery Manager at HomeServe.

We caught up with Gavin to understand how PartsArena was making a difference to HomeServe’s gas servicing and boiler repair operations. We wanted to learn how, and why, such a huge household name had utilised our software, with customer care at the fore.

Support for millions

Operating nationally, HomeServe has over a million customers. Not just for gas boiler servicing either. The UK home assistance provider helps with plumbing, drainage and electrical problems too.

HomeServe is a big field service player that employs many thousands of people.

With a team of 300 gas engineers, each with a PartsArena Pro licence, work is scheduled and managed using field service software on their tablets. PartsArena Pro is vitally important to this job management process.

“When a part is required – identified by a boiler service or fault diagnosis – that’s when PartsArena Pro really comes into play,” said Gavin.

Single source of parts information

“The part number is the start of the process. Without it, things would get very fraught. Different suppliers can reference parts in different ways. But the part number, that’s industry standard. Everyone knows what the part is the world over.

So, unless the engineer is carrying the part in his van, he’ll be straight on to PartsArena Pro to identify it. Our main supplier is Wolseley, but there are times when we order from other businesses. A less common part, for example.

PartsArena Pro saves us a huge amount of time and effort in identifying the right part. It’s our central, single source of parts information. We don’t have to keep speaking to suppliers, we just use PartsArena. And that’s what our 300 gas engineers are doing daily,” he said.

When HomeServe started using PartsArena Pro, mobile signal was not always reliable. Even today, there are geographic areas where this is the case. Given that PartsArena works offline, Gavin acknowledged this distinct advantage for their engineers.

“It’s one of the reasons we run PartsArena Pro locally on every engineer’s tablet. There could be times when you’re in the middle of Dartmoor. So, installing it locally means it’s always available,” explained Gavin.

Ease of use

HomeServe’s engineers include newly recruited apprentices and seasoned veterans that have worked elsewhere. Many already know what they’re doing. And that makes the introduction to PartsArena Pro straight forward.

“Engineers that have worked elsewhere see the benefit straight away. They can directly compare their past experience of not having PartsArena Pro to hand.

They don’t need to spend much time working out how to use the program either. It’s covered in half an hour as part of their induction. Integral to their tablet, it’s not difficult to use. And whilst some engineers are more digitally native than others, we have no issues getting everyone on-board. They’re a mobile digital workforce these days,” said Gavin.

Why customer care comes first

As a service provider, the customer remains at the core of HomeServe. The objective is always to deliver a fix as quickly as possible. With good business reasons too.

“Everything that benefits the Customer is good for us. It means we’re more efficient. And if we’re more efficient, we’re better off in terms of cost. The two go hand in hand; they always should. If we’re giving a better Customer experience, we’ll be delivering efficiencies for the business too. We’re making more money.

Everybody should work this way. Better Customer service means better Customer retention. It all feeds into the bottom line eventually. Being Customer focused is a more profitable route to take,” said Gavin.

PartsArena Pro helps to deliver the speed of fix that HomeServe strives to maintain. Gavin was quite clear that the tool is there to identify the right part more quickly, reducing time wasted on-site.

Adding PartsArena Office to the mix

You’d be forgiven for thinking that PartsArena is always a tool for your mobile device. That’s certainly the job of the Pro version.

But HomeServe demonstrates how another format, PartsArena Office, powers its parts team and other support areas of the business.

“Our tablet app automatically feeds orders into the parts team, here at HomeServe. They’re picking up the details and can check for accuracy using PartsArena Office on the PC. Sometimes, an engineer forgets to give a part number, or perhaps the boiler number. This is when our parts team can smooth the process.

We have an ordering team using PartsArena Office too. They might be replenishing van stock to our internal model or ordering parts that are out of stock at Wolsley. Essentially, they’re charged with getting the right parts at the right price in the right time.” Gavin explained.

HomeServe also has gas safety officers using PartsArena Office on their laptops. Their role is to check the work for legal compliance, ensuring the correct parts have been installed. Additionally, team leaders will have access to PartsArena Office, giving them parts knowledge to supplement their technical expertise.

The future looks integrated

Not surprisingly, HomeServe wants to raise its game further with more integration and faster service. Gavin told us they’re working towards full automation. Parts orders would ultimately be created by engineers and directly processed by Wolseley for swift delivery.

“It’s very much a case of putting the power in the engineers’ hands. They should be able to identify the right part quickly, order it in minutes and know exactly when it’ll be available. It’s all about resolving the Customer’s problem quickly.

I think there is potential for us to reduce the visit time further. For example, if the part is available and close enough, the engineer might be able to pick it up and return to the customer immediately, achieving a fix. This removes the need to re-allocate additional time for the job and undertake a further visit.

Even if this ideal world isn’t possible soon, we aim to be in a position where we can communicate much more clearly and immediately with the Customer. If the engineer can see the planning and scheduling, he should be able to explain when he’ll return with the replacement part and complete the job.

And that is what the Customer wants, which is why it’s our focus.”

Why value is more important than price

“PartsArena is too expensive”

In my six years with Infomill (creators of PartsArena), I’ve heard this said by heating engineers quite a bit. It’s a fair comment. I, for one, can look at the cost of something and make a snap decision based on it.

One such example is Sky TV. I was paying a monthly fee and couldn’t see the point. For a quarter of the cost I could get Netflix. So, I cancelled Sky and subscribed to Netflix. Nothing wrong with that, Netflix is great!


Now I can’t pause ‘live’ TV or watch the Sky channels I was enjoying (Sky Atlantic‘s Fortitude, True Detective, Westworld anyone?). I can’t record, rewind or fast forward through ads either (I hate ads).

Even though Netflix provides adequate entertainment, I do feel a bit deprived. I can afford the £20 Sky monthly subscription, it’s just my brain says, ‘don’t pay it, stick with the cheaper option’. I suppose I’m a bit tight-fisted.

Have you guessed where this is going?

I’m loosely making a comparison to this type of mindset around PartsArena Pro, the downloadable app that gives engineers offline access to all the boilers, parts lists, diagrams and technical manuals on their mobile device. All data is supplied and updated regularly too, direct from the manufacturers.

I get it, I do. Really! It’s human nature.

But after six years selling and managing PartsArena Pro, I’ve lived and breathed the good, and not so good about software, the heating industry, engineers, etc. And I am still 100% committed to our product. Let me explain why.

Back to my Sky vs Netflix analogy. Undoubtedly, there are cheaper or free alternatives to PartsArena: Google, free apps, stockist websites, calling your office for part information, and dare I say it, good old paper manuals (if your customers still keep them beside the boiler). Each has its merits (little to no cost being the biggest). But there are many limitations.

Google/search engine

Online only, it can take several searches with ambiguous results. Plus, the information may not be up to date.

Free apps

These online tools are limited in relevant content (no parts) and might not be up to date. The original data source is not confirmed, either.

Stockist websites

PartsArena is available for account holders and logged in users only – if you can get online where you’re working.

Call the office

This just passes the problem to someone else. And you’re then reliant on them passing the correct information on.

Paper manuals

Often not available, they’re not up to date and don’t contain parts information.  Is your van big enough for thousands of them?


All of this is your ‘Netflix’ of parts information. It’s great, but not the full Monty.

Do you have Sky TV and Netflix? How would you feel if Sky was taken away from you? No more Sky Sports!  No more Sky Atlantic!  No more ‘live’ pause!  Heaven forbid, you’d have to endure the DFS adverts (no fast forward)!

Subscribers rarely give up their PartsArena licence. Most keep renewing it for years. In fact, if their subscription expires due to an oversight, we receive an email or phone call in minutes, asking how it can be reinstated immediately. They feel lost without it.

Regular users of the PartsArena Pro app tell us it’s reliable, fast, and accurate. Plus, it returns a fantastic return on investment in no time at all.

Can you see how the value of PartsArena is much greater than the price?

That’s just 79p a day, in case you don’t know.

If you’re still stuck in the ‘PartsArena is too expensive’ mindset, we’re currently offering new subscribers a complimentary PartsArena Office account worth £310+VAT. Two licences for the price of one! Few offers are so financially generous.

As for Sky TV, are you wondering if I’m reinstating it? I’m certainly wondering whether to. But Netflix is staying too. You see, I’m partway through The Crown and losing that is too hard to bear!