A simple way to give better hardware support? Do more online.

Firewize provides maintenance for fire protection systems and equipment, such as fire detectors, automatic sprinklers, portable fire extinguishers, hydrants, and emergency lights for building owners across Victoria. From installation and testing, to training and inspections, their team has been giving comprehensive fire protection for 15 years.

We spoke with Firewize CEO and cofounder Russ Porteous to learn how his team manages support requests for their fire protection hardware — and how Front helps them solve more issues online, without sending employees into the field.

What were your team’s biggest challenges before using Front?

P: Before Front, we had a number of email aliases, such as support@, accounts@, and sales@. The problem with that was our support team would just forward an email to another teammate if they didn’t have the answer to it. Then it felt like the task was completed, and they didn’t need to worry about it anymore. There was no accountability for messages, and things would fall through the cracks.

We average 7,500 onsite support requests and 330,000 maintenance requests a year. Sending someone out in the field costs us a lot more than answering a support request online. Since we didn’t have a centralized, well-documented way of triaging those requests, we didn’t have the context we needed to resolve issues via email.

Tell us how you work together with Front.

P: Front helps us solve problems better and faster, and it’s cheaper for us. The team is more accountable, and we work together to resolve problems. Just the other day, I saw a lot of messages piling up while a teammate was out. I jumped right in and started replying or assigning messages to the right people. It’s so easy to make sure everything gets done.

"Front helps us solve problems better and faster, and it’s cheaper for us." – Russ Porteous, CEO, Firewize

We can access all the conversations we’ve had with a customer in one place, so we can see their history and troubleshoot problems better. We’re also able to track the frequency of a specific problem with a piece of equipment. If we see an issue more than once, we can easily locate a solution, and develop a process for fixing it.

We pride ourselves on being able to resolve problems without sending someone there in person. We now fix 23 percent of our support requests without having to go on-site. That’s huge for us, and even better for our customers.

"We now fix 23 percent of our support requests without having to go on-site. That’s huge for us, and even better for our customers." – Russ Porteous, CEO, Firewize

What will you accomplish together next?

P: Being competent, reliable, and innovative are our primary objectives at Firewize. We’re always moving forward and adopting the best methods for addressing our customers’ fire protection needs. Front’s allowed our team the efficiency we need for explosive growth, so we’re excited to experience that in 2018.