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XOi Director of Enterprise Customer Success, Kiri Leibold, discusses effective training techniques on trainingindustry.com

One of the most dependable strategies for quickly building and maintaining a skilled team is the implementation of a reliable training program. Effective training has many positive outcomes, from increased efficiency, accuracy and productivity to improved team morale and employee retention and enhanced customer service. When these outcomes are combined, they can add up to opportunity.

Extreme demand for workers across in the skilled trades industry has helped reverse traditional roles in job interviews. Applicants typically have far more leverage than employers in skilled trades, driving a radical change in strategies for attracting and retaining team members.

Many employee benefits that were once considered perks are now common. Today, young workers expect their employers to share their values and to demonstrate that they care about their career success and goals.

Job candidates want to be confident that the new position will give them the opportunity to develop skills to help advance their careers — even if that means at a different company. Employers who can provide continuous learning opportunities with a successful in-house training program can establish a meaningful advantage in hiring. In fact, training is a critical tool for companies that wish to stand out in their market.

Training To Thrive

The ongoing shortage of skilled workers is one of the most urgent issues employers are facing today. A range of factors contribute to this critical labor crisis, including an aging workforce and fewer young Americans entering careers in skilled trades. To ensure long-term success, employers must equip their teams with the skills and tools necessary to drive productivity and growth.

A reliable internal training program can be a powerful tool for developing talent quickly. With an effective training program, business owners and managers can identify and recruit capable people outside of conventional channels and provide focused, flexible learning that can prepare their learners for the job.

The ongoing shortage of skilled workers is one of the most urgent issues employers are facing today.

Read the full article on TrainingIndustry.com.

The leading provider of smart technology for field service technicians introduces game-changing data-powered platform that drives efficiency and revenue

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Jan. 26, 2023 — XOi, the leading provider of technician-first smart technology for commercial and residential field service companies, announces the launch of a new updated website to introduce its exclusive suite of digital tech-enablement tools designed to transform field service businesses. 

XOi equips the current and next generation of field service professionals with smart diagnostics, high-powered data analytics, and live on-the-job virtual support and training to deliver meaningful actionable insights that drive operational efficiency and help contractors identify untapped revenue opportunities. 

The updated xoi.io offers a streamlined view of the XOi Platform and its advantages for business owners in HVAC, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, construction, restaurant equipment, and other field service industries. 

“The XOi platform gives our team vital tools for managing and leveraging data from current jobs as well as historical projects, giving us critical, actionable insights with unsurpassed clarity and accuracy,” said Mike Harrell, vice president of facility services for Lee Company, one of XOi’s initial partners. “Collaborating with XOi is an engaging process. On both the technology and content creation side, they’re a great partner to us, and we’re so excited to have Lee Company featured prominently on this new website.”

XOi provides contractors and their teams with unprecedented tech-first solutions including: 

Powerful data collection: No matter the skill level of the technician on site, XOi’s OCR technology leverages simple dataplate photos to produce contextual data such as equipment history, organizational knowledge, and OEM information to deliver instant, relevant, and trusted insights and resource recommendations.

Real, actionable insights: With intuitive visualizations derived from current and historical equipment, job and technician information, company leaders can identify revenue- and efficiency-driving trends to make intelligent and informed real-time business decisions.

XOi mentors: Designed to help address the pressure of the ongoing skilled trades labor shortage, XOi mentors help contractors and field service teams enhance customer experience and protect revenue by avoiding second truck rolls or incomplete service. As an in-house provider of live virtual support and training calls, XOi helps technicians by offering efficient and repeatable processes that build skills and expertise, rather than simply fixing the problem at hand.

“With a number of technology solutions making claims to provide AI-solutions designed specifically for technicians, XOi is truly the only digital tool your techs will need on a jobsite,” said Aaron Salow, founder and CEO of XOi. “This is the future of field service technology. Our platform connects people and equipment across the field service ecosystem so you can transform your business from the ground up. XOi’s streamlined workflows, instant access to essential job knowledge, and game-changing transparency work together seamlessly to spark an entire system of business intelligence.”

XOi users report, on average: 

-A 20% reduction in the amount of time it takes to complete tasks. 

-An additional $1.4 million in new replacement and preventive maintenance contract revenue. 

-A 40% reduction in second truck rolls. 

The updated xoi.io site was created by FortyAU, an agile Nashville-based team of developers passionate about delivering quality software beyond expectations. 

“Through close collaboration and partnership, we have created one of the slickest websites in the industry,” said Mark Freeman, engineering lead at FortyAU. “XOi’s team is super-passionate and driven, and the results show it.”

For more information about XOi, visit https://xoi.io.  

About XOi

XOi, the leading provider of technician-first smart technology for commercial and residential field service companies, is powering a world in which people and equipment are connected, decisions are transparent, and quality outcomes are predictable. Developed to meet the unique challenges of an industry traditionally underserved by technology, XOi equips field service professionals with groundbreaking technician-enablement tools, including remote support, visual documentation, immediate on-the-job insights and training resources, asset and team management functions, a comprehensive knowledge base, and operational insight dashboards leveraging data from current and historical projects. With a demonstrated commitment to the hard-working men and women in the field service industries, XOi delivers innovative artificial intelligence-based solutions that empower field service teams to drive productivity, elevate customer experience and help close the skilled labor gap.

In a new article from IronPros, author Charles Rathmann discusses how Cool enterprise 2.0, AI and OCR tech from XOi extends field service management software to create value where it matters most.

Slick and efficient tools for mechanical contractors and others servicing and maintaining assets in the field combined with an aggressive channel sales approach give Nashville, Tenn.-based XOI Technologies a solid tactical position to add new customers intent on increasing efficiency in the field giving technicians advanced tools that automate tasks, improve outcomes and create new revenue opportunities.

XOI is not competing directly with field service management software vendors that offer transactional systems to construction and the trades. Rather, they are partnering with companies like ServiceTitanFieldConnectOperixJonas Construction SoftwareKey2ACTPenta Technologies and Microsoft Dynamics.

This means XOI’s tool set can be broadly adopted, their main competition being the mobile interface of whatever software they are partnering with. Standalone applications may also duplicate some of what XOi can deliver, including the Blitzz video inspection and support application. Field service management software products like Sage Field OperationsWorkwave and ServiceTitan that handle the business transaction side of service can give way at the point of service to XOI’s product set.

Aaron Salow is passionate about addressing the shortage of skilled workers in the field service industry. Blue collar work marked his entire personal and professional life, instilling in him the importance of hard-working people in our everyday lives.

Listen in and learn about:

Learn more about the Beyond the Tools podcast.

In the latest episode of the Authentically Successful Podcast, host Carol Schultz has a conversation with XOi CEO and Founder Aaron Salow, discussing discuss whether people have a price when it comes to accepting a new position, or if the company culture is always the most important factor.

Visit the Authentically Successful website: verticalelevation.com/podcast/

Making the Most of Shoulder Season

We’re calling it: Shoulder Season is here, people. How can you make the most of it? In our new vlog series, we’ll give you the rundown on some technology-based tips to get everyone in your organization, from the tech to the back office, working during the slow season.


Technical Expertise

Back Office & Ownership

As an uncertain economic future looms, families and businesses alike are starting to “tighten the spending belt” and re-examine the traditional relationships they have with service providers. Major expenses spent on fixes, replacements, PM contracts, and maintenance may be put on hold if deemed unnecessary by the customer. While some field service business owners might view this rocky economic climate as a potential negative to their business, we see this as an opportunity for first class service providers to take on a new role in their customer’s minds: the advisor role.

In most service businesses the interaction with a customer is transactional. The customer needs service, contacts a provider, and payment is exchanged … simple enough for most cases. Most customers do not see the need to have a deeper relationship with their provider, even if said provider has the means and desire to invest in every customer. However, during an economic downturn, spending gets put under the microscope. If your business has the ability to provide sophisticated, data-backed, money-saving advice, you’ll have the opportunity to fundamentally change how your customers perceive you.

Creating a more transparent customer experience through photo, video and other statistical data points will shift the balance of trust greatly in your favor as a service provider. By providing reliability and predictability, you’ll earn the role of advisor— protecting your business and charting an unprecedented path to future growth.

Arm Yourself With Data

The next (obvious) question — “How do I advise my customers in a different way? I’ve been trying to get them to listen to me for years!” While we don’t doubt your expertise and excellent advice, it’s the inherent mystery of field service that makes people suspicious. There is a way to overcome suspicion, and it’s a relatively simple answer—data. In general, customers are put at ease when shown the data behind the advice you are giving. If you pair your recommendation with visual data like photos, videos, and statistical analysis, your customers begin to understand the sophisticated issues they’re facing and the motivations for the recommendations you make.

Telling a customer that they need to replace a $25,000 rooftop unit is vastly different than showing them a video of the old unit clunking along, rusted and shaking. If you’re armed with technology that can provide a statistical analysis of the life expectancy of that unit, the “mystery” of this jo is unveiled. Transparency— allowing your customers to “peek behind the data curtain”—breeds confidence and trust in your expertise. You’ll no longer face the traditional stigma of a “customer vs. vendor” environment typically endured by most service providers. Customers can now view you as a trusted advisor because you are able to provide proof of your expertise.

Meaningful customer relationships are at the core of any successful business. As an advisor, you will be in the best possible position to help your customers succeed and make the right decisions on where and when to spend their hard earned money.

Welcome to The Final Mile – XOi’s series about the trades, technology, and how we can help your field service business deliver the “final mile” of service.

In our inaugural episode, XOi’s Senior Engineer JP Cahalan has a candid conversation with Rob Winstel, the VP of Operations at the Perfection Group of Cincinnati, OH. For 75 years, Perfection Group has provided award-winning, energy-efficient building life cycle solutions that maximize technical and financial efficiency for industrial, commercial and institutional customers.

Listen as JP and Rob discuss how collecting data can optimize a Facility Services, Construction, HVAC, and/or Electrical company’s capital planning efforts and innovate the level of service you provide for your customers.

Encouraging a “Learn By Doing” Approach in Field Service

Join us on a brief nostalgia trip. Back in the day, the majority of green techs in field service were given the opportunity to shadow as an apprentice for the first 5+ years of their careers. Snap back to the present day, and the nature of the industry has changed. Economic factors like the skilled trades gap and the labor shortage have made it extremely difficult for companies to offer a robust apprenticeship program. It’s unfortunate, and we’re finding that knowledge is being lost due to poor documentation. The knowledge of older generations of techs is kept “between the ears” and greener techs can certainly find themselves at a disadvantage. This causes a cyclical effect—if your technician lacks the knowledge they need to complete jobs effectively, you’re losing customers, revenue, and eventually, those techs may be out of a job.

Thankfully, technology helps to break this cycle. In this modern age of field service, if you’re able to train on the job by introducing automatic, consistent workflows, training resources and knowledge bases, the training process is sped up exponentially, and techs are seamlessly able to access the answers they need. According to research from the Harvard Business review, an approach known as, “‘learning in the flow of work’” can help ensure that learners retain and apply new skills and concepts in their day-to-day.”

Let’s talk about 3 ways you can build consistency, resources, and workflows to help technicians receive continuous on the job training.

Microlearning in Day-To-Day Workflows

Through the use of technician-focused technology, every job a technician tackles is broken up into step-by-step workflows. Not only does this create consistency on every job, it allows a technician to learn each step-by-step process of the work in real time. By following simple, repeatable steps, a technician receives an experience that’s not unlike a traditional training session. Workflows follow two research-backed principles for smart teaching: breaking up the content into smaller chunks, while contextualizing within a job. Both have been proven to greatly improve retention.

With the aid of technician-focused technology, an experienced tech can break free from reliance on tribal knowledge, and easily document their work by taking a video of their process and directly tagging it to a specific workflow. Anyone within that technician’s organization can access that video for training purposes on the job.

Technology also helps to document and centralize all workflow job history, giving everyone in the organization, most notably greenhorns, the ability to see all services performed on a particular unit. This feature serves as a reference for quickly replicating the fix, and/or getting to the root of the issue.

Build a Knowledge Base

Techs, especially green techs, can be hesitant to ask for help. They’d rather spend hours combing through dense paper manuals or searching Google for the answers. The result of that hesitancy? More often than not, it’s wasted time and a poorly executed fix.

The ability to build a technology-backed knowledge base gives a technician resources at their fingertips, saving countless hours that would be otherwise wasted scrolling for answers to their field service questions, or spent in an all-day training trying to essentially memorize a manual.

A digitized knowledge base provides thousands of hours of documentation and manuals on specific units. When a company invests in technology that utilizes AI and machine learning, the search for answers is performed automatically—all a tech needs to do is take a photo of a unit’s data plate. Through the aid of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, that data plate photo is automatically indexed to pull up all job activity and service history for the unit—complete with photos, videos, notes, and even recorded support calls from previous technicians.

A knowledge base centralizes an organization’s completed job information so techs can easily search and reference completed work for in-the-moment answers in the field.

Rely on Virtual Mentors

We know what you’re thinking — “you really expect my technicians to sit on hold for hours waiting for a virtual service tech?” No, we don’t. The modern solution to a virtual service center is a virtual mentor center (VMC). The VMC is an in-house agency made up of experienced technicians with 20+ years on the job. Trusted virtual mentors will give technicians the answers they need in a pinch, but they are trained to walk a technician through the problem—troubleshoot, teach repeatable processes, and provide on the job training in the moment.

XOi Can Help …

Nothing will ever truly replace the value of face-to-face training. But, in this modern era, technology replicates the standout tactics of personalized learning. Younger generations of field technicians are greatly benefiting from technology-fueled contextualized microlearning that gives them instant access to workflows, resources, and mentors in the field. Learn more about XOi’s Journeyman Solution by filling out the form below.