Over 30 years ago, Fire & Safety Commodities was founded upon the idea that kitchen fire suppression systems could be designed, installed, maintained and serviced BETTER! That vision remains the driving force behind our success. These days, however, we are working diligently to build better systems across the board and behind the scenes. Things like field invoicing, electronic inspection reports, technician routing and account management are some examples of systems that we have improved to provide customers with better service and safer work environments.
Moving forward, we are going to start highlighting the evolution of the systems we use here at Fire & Safety Commodities. We’d like you to understand how our management team and staff are working together, and getting better, by improving the systems we use in our jobs everyday.
So, let’s start with what I consider our first great system upgrade . . . . Customer Folders!
Circa 1980 — It all started with the manila folder, and then 2, and 3, and then hundreds of manila folders. They all looked the same, with the exception of the account name on the tab. At that time, it was a small team of technicians that included myself, my brother, Sage, and our current Quality Control Manager, Tim Roussel. After a few years, we had accounts from Gulf Port, MS to Lake Charles, LA and all points in between. We had.churches in Baton Rouge due March and car dealerships in Covington due in May. Two of our biggest responsibilities as your fire service company is to perform your inspections in a timely manner and to help keep the cost of our services to a minimum. In the beginning, we would pull folders everyday to make our route, but it would take hours to determine which businesses were due for services and how to route those customers efficiently to help reduce fuel cost and wasted windshield time. There had to be a better system for managing these vital parts of our business. Remember, in those days there were no smart phones, tablets consisted of several 100 sheets of paper bound together and navigation was done by Rand-McNally at the closest gas station.
Wallah! Colored Folders! We simply began using colored folders to identify each of the territories (i.e. Red = Baton Rouge) and then grouped the colors by the month in which the next inspection was due. It’s not rocket science, I get it, but it was effective and scalable. Simply put, we had built a better system. The colored folder system was used up until just about 2 years ago when the PC and Smartphone technologies took over and now we only use the folders when we need to review the history of an account.
Until next time, we will continue Building Better Systems and providing you with the best service and support in the fire safety industry.