Lost data leads to payment delays for installers


Wednesday, 11 October, 2017

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Poor test data sharing processes are resulting in lost test results, delayed job completions and cash flow problems, according to manufacturer of portable network and cable certification and testing equipment IDEAL Networks.

The company conducted detailed interviews with cable installers over the past 18 months to identify common frustrations and challenges and uncovered that many businesses are lacking efficient processes when it comes to reporting on certification jobs, and this is costing them time and money, IDEAL Networks Global Marketing Manager Tim Widdershoven said.

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, according to IDEAL Networks.

Sometimes this is because an installer does not have access to an internet connection or personal computer on-site, but it 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,” said Widdershoven.

“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 retesting. 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, IDEAL Networks’ free mobile app IDEAL AnyWARE 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 transferred to a user’s mobile device then shared with off-site 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.

Image credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Photoslash

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