Flawed test data sharing results in delays, lost results
Poor test data sharing processes are resulting in lost test results, delayed job completions and cash flow problems, says IDEAL Networks in a new White Paper exploring issues within the data cable installation and testing industry.
“Over the past 18 months we’ve conducted detailed interviews with cable installers to identify the common frustrations and challenges they are facing and have compiled our findings into a White Paper,” explains Tim Widdershoven, Global Marketing Manager from IDEAL Networks. “We’ve uncovered that many businesses are lacking efficient processes when it comes to reporting on certification jobs, and this is costing them time and money.”
According to the White Paper, in many cases, installers at the job site conduct the necessary tests for certification, but then must send the certifier unit back to the office for the data to be transferred. Sometimes this is because an installer does not have access to an internet connection or PC on site, but can also be because a small number of certifiers are shared between several installers and must always be returned to a central office location after use.
Regardless, the customer can only be given a warranty once the certifier has been received, the data has been transferred and the required reporting completed.
Data cable installers going from job to job on the road pose similar issues. Sometimes an installer will have to wait for days before they reach a hotel where the internet connection is sufficient for uploading the test data they have collected with the certifier.
Again, it is only after this data has been received at the office that the necessary reporting can be done and the job completed and billed.
“Worryingly, the time to complete this process - from testing with a certifier to invoicing the customer - can be up to two weeks,” says Tim. “These difficulties and delays transferring test data to the office postpone project completion and, in turn payment. This invariably hurts cash flow.”
In addition, both data sharing scenarios risk the loss of test data. If test data is lost the site will need to be visited again for re-testing. This reduces margins for the job and delays invoicing. Likewise, neither process enables Technical Managers to check the job has been done correctly until after the technician has left the site, which may mean an installer must revisit the site. These sorts of call backs are seldom paid and therefore impact the profitability of an operation.
To help eliminate the issue of delayed and lost test results, the free IDEAL AnyWARE mobile app allows users to transfer test data from the job site to the office in real time. Data from tests conducted on IDEAL Networks’ SignalTEK CT or SignalTEK NT transmission testers, or with the LanTEK III cable certifier, can be easily transferred to a user’s mobile device, then shared with offsite colleagues straight away.
This improves collaboration and troubleshooting, while enabling faster customer sign-off for improved cash flow. It also ensures that test results are not lost so no time or money is wasted on re-testing completed jobs.
“Data cable installation businesses are evolving,” explains Tim. “As mobile data sharing becomes a must-have to ensure productive and profitable operations, the IDEAL AnyWARE app will help installers avoid data sharing disasters in future.”