Mar 12, 2020

Streamline Operations From Field to Office | National Hose Testing

The Scenario

National Hose Testing Specialties (NHTS) is a fire equipment testing service that sends crews to firehouses to test ladders and fire hoses for quality and safety. Checking quality and safety compliance requires filling out forms and inputting data, but NHTS was still having field reps use paper forms. These forms had to be returned to an office assistant at the main office, which meant field reps had to make extra trips to turn in all their documents. It took about two weeks before test results were entered into the company database and checked for accuracy, invoiced, and processed.

Invoices couldn’t be processed until all tests were recorded in the central database, which delayed payment for jobs by at least 1-2 weeks. If tests were incomplete or inaccurate, reps would have to make another trip to the firehouse to retest and re-certify the hoses and ladders in question. If a firehouse was audited for test results, NHTS had to manually pull test results for each hose and ladder tested and send them by mail to the firehouse.

All of these manual processes were taking too long, especially with safety on the line. NHTS knew they needed a more efficient solution, which is why they partnered with AltSource, a custom software development company in Portland.

Addressing NHTS' immediate needs, AltSource built a native Android app that streamlined the testing process, synced test results in real-time, and leveraged a custom web app to generate reports for customers immediately - increasing profit margins and reducing time to invoice by weeks.

Bob Evans
Owner and Founder, National Hose Testing Specialties, Inc.

“The software is flexible and allows real-time syncing and switching between modules. Now our crews can test multiple departments at the same location on the same day. I anticipate this paying for itself in a very short amount of time.”

Custom software
Product strategy

Features & Benefits

Equipment Testing Mobile App:

Native app allows crews to perform equipment tests in remote environments, even offline or outside of data service ranges.

Test Validation:

Software removes math and guesswork to ensure equipment passes or fails based on preset criteria.

Real-Time Data:

Test results sync back to the office instantly, eliminating the two week wait time for crews to submit reports upon return.

Automated Reports:

Customer facing reports for test results are generated automatically in seconds.

Simplified Scheduling:

Previous inventory is used to provide accurate cost and time estimates to customers.

Time Tracking:

Accurate employee time tracking simplifies payroll and job costing estimates vs. actuals.

Business Impact

  • Reduced time-to-invoice from 3 weeks to 48 hours.
  • Eliminated risky mistakes by preventing bad data entry at the source.
  • Increased accuracy of hose inventory estimates year over year.
  • Automated identification of test failures to highlight the removal of problem equipment from service.
  • Increased speed of testing, directly contributing to an increase in profit margin.
  • Produced an ongoing cost savings by automating the creation of test result reports and invoices.