Windward Insider Blog

Ways POS Can Help Streamline Hearth, Patio & BBQ Service Operations

streamline-services-at-your-hearth-bbq-patio-store copy

Your service department is not a cost of doing business. It should be a major profit center for your Hearth, Patio & BBQ Shop.

Consumers today have to balance preventative maintenance vs the frequency of repairs vs replacement.  Your brick-and-mortar store may not be seeing the traffic that it used to, so your Services Category has to be the breadwinner.  The sweet thing about selling fireplaces to homeowners is that someone needs to install them and service those chimneys.

All of which are in your wheelhouse.

Let's talk about how to convert your time into billable hours.

How do you do that? 

First off, someone has to pay.  Whether that be your customer, a warranty provider, or the manufacturer... someone has to pay you for the work you are doing.  The old adage "time is money" sure hasn't lost its meaning.

You'll need to make sure your workflows are structured for every call and avoid doing money-losing activities.

point of sale system like Windward System Five on Cloud handles service orders with ease by tracking their status and removing guesswork.


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It also gives management the ability to gain feedback on labor efficiencies, so they can compare estimated service times with actual service times. For more in-depth analysis, a particular service item can include:
  • Name of the technician working on it
  • Number of hours performed and charged
  • Additional comments specific to the repair or maintenance
  • Subcategories detailing the nature of repair work (install, repair, sweep, etc.)
  • Service status (urgent, waiting for parts, completed, etc.)

Balancing your Service Team's schedule is the key.

60% technician utilization is the goal and 70% utilization is the dream here.

But how do you calculate utilization?

The Technician Tracking feature in Windward System Five is a good start.  Once you have enough data, you'll be able to tell without a doubt who the best technician to send is under certain situations, and who may need a little re-training.

How can you keep a steady amount of clients coming back for services?

One of the best ways is to train them to come to you for service at the time of the initial sale. Preventative maintenance packages are a popular way to do this.  And don't forget to send them a service reminder ahead of time to optimize your schedule.


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Finally, A Note on Warranty Work

There are many pros and cons you need to consider before deciding just how much (if any) warranty service you are willing to perform for manufacturers.

The Pros:

  • A steady stream of service work
  • Fills gaps in your schedule during slow periods
  • Access to manufacturer training classes
  • Manufacturer-provided technical support

The Cons:

  • Low pay compared to C.O.D. work
  • No pay if the call isn’t processed correctly
  • No profit on installed parts
  • Requires multiple trips to complete the repair
You'll need to have a system in place to properly manage the RMA's and warranty work... This is where Windward System Five comes in.


  • Train customers to come back for services
  • Establish a manageable income cycle that you can manage using service reminders
  • Get Windward Software to help you along the way
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If you are not yet a Windward client, one of our Business Developers would be happy to talk to you about your current business challenges and see how Windward System Five can help.

Please reach out at +1 (800) 633-5750


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