Get FIRE > Implementing FIRE

January 12, 2021

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FIRE - How to Implement

   How you implement software is just as important as the software itself.

Any implementation has to be well organized, thorough, and yet performed quickly - before everyone loses patience. This is why the FIRE team takes the implementation step very seriously. And the more you know about it, the better it can be achieved. In that vein, listed below are some of the things you can expect from an implementation.

First up, probably the single most important thing you can do to ensure a successful implementation is to assign your own project manager to the FIRE implementation, to work in tandem with the FIRE project manager.

The best person for this job is typically somebody with a strong operational background, (i.e., day to day operations, price list knowledge, asset management, safety) but also capable of ensuring the needs of the accounting and management teams are exceeded. This person also needs to be able to dedicate a substantial amount of time over a two to four month period to the implementation. This person will not only play a pivotal role in ensuring that FIRE suits your company's needs, but also help guarantee that training is in place to keep the system running smoothly after the initial implementation.

As a general rule you can expect that our Pricing Model includes all of the software, time and consulting needed to get your FIRE system up and running. There are items that fall outside of this pricing, such as non-"Standard" custom reports, most custom operational forms or checklists that you may want integrated into FIRE, or additional project management, training or consulting on our part. However our overriding goal is to get you up and running without any surprise invoices or charges.


As a general rule expect a four month timeframe for implementation in your first Division / Business Sector.

Although it is possible to implement FIRE much faster, it is far better to set the expectation of four months and finish early, than to invoke the frustration of all involved by being late. Four months is also a reasonable timeframe to accomplish the main components of the implementation, including:

  1. System Configuration

    - set up server, company logo(s), and general structure for system
  2. Master Data

    - enter price list, customers, people, assets, etc.
  3. "Standard" Customizations

    - understand Compensation (field bonus) report rules, accounting integration rules, and build the appropriate reports / data files
  4. System Roll-out

    - purchase / configure laptops & other hardware & equip field crews
  5. Training

    - training on creating tickets, approving, invoicing, running reports, etc.
  6. Validation

    - ensure users are entering data appropriately & reports running correctly

If you have multiple Divisions / Business Sectors, it is strongly recommended to complete the implementation of one first. Then, only after the first one has been fully validated, move on to the others. The subsequent Divisions will be able to implement much faster, and your total time to completion will very likely be faster than if you tried to implement them all at once.

The three tasks that typically dominate a FIRE implementation

Price List Entry

The Price List is the heart of the FIRE system. It defines what you charge your customers, how your invoices look, how you report on revenue, what ends up in your accounting/ERP system, how your quotes are built, and often even how you pay your employees and manage your assets. So if there is one place to dedicate time, this is it.

Unfortunately the Price List is also the place where a lot of time must be spent cleaning. Many companies theoretically operating with one price book actually have hybrids of their Price List per district and sometimes even per manager or salesperson. So typically a lot of time must be spent discovering what exists, and either distilling it into a single workable book, or enabling it to work with the many variants that are needed.

Once this has been worked out, the actual entry of the Price List into FIRE often takes as little as a single day.

So if you can get a handle and consensus on your Price List quickly, you will often significantly shorten your implementation time.

Compensation Report

Every company has their own way of paying bonuses to their field personnel.

The job of the FIRE staff is to learn from you how you do it, including all the strange cases and exceptions, and build a report which will allow you to view what each of your field employees is paid with the click of a button. Also typically included is an export to a PDF file with a page per person, and an Excel export ability.

The rules for compensation are often complex, country / state / province dependant, and need a good deal of time to test and validate. Also, this report must be absolutely perfect since it will help pay your employees.

Therefore this report stands out as one that takes a good share of the time to define, then create, test, fix, and finally publish.

Typically taking about four full days to program, the major time drain for this report is, like the price list, often related to find out how it should work, and completing testing of all various scenarios.

Accounting/ERP System Integration

Integration to the accounting system is most often accomplished via FIRE creating a file that conforms to a well defined set of rules, which can be imported directly into the Accounting/ERP system.

Although the total time for the FIRE staff to create this report often fits within two days, the task of figuring out all the rules of how to format the file is usually the challenging part.

The file format definition normally has to be performed either by your staff, or your Accounting system provider. If the definition of this file can be completed quickly, then this integration task can actually be achieved very quickly, however more often the definition of this file is used as a good time to review what kind of reporting is needed out of the Accounting/ERP system in general, and thus can grow into a time consuming project.

As you can see, the three tasks that typically take the most time during a FIRE implementation are actually items over which you and your staff have the most control. Therefore although the FIRE staff does have a good deal of work to complete for an implementation, the resources and attention you allocate to the implementation will probably have the greatest effect on how fast it is ultimately completed.

A detailed list of tasks involved in a FIRE implementation

Although not exhaustive, the below list outlines the vast majority of items to be addressed. It also indicates how important it is to have both FIRE and your staff working in concert to collect, manipulate and integrate data into the FIRE system.

All of the below work is typically included in standard FIRE pricing, depending upon complexity of work. An example of where standard pricing would not cover the work would be if integration to the accounting/ERP system required bi-directional communication, and rules are needed to govern when data is taken from or inserted into the FIRE database.



FIRE staff completes work, but you can update after completed

  1. Compensation Report

    - create custom report including all rules to pay field bonus
  2. Accounting System Export

    - create custom data files for export to accounting/ERP system
  3. System Configuration

    - server setup, company logo(s), general configurations
  4. Ticket/Invoice Approval Process

    - workflow for ticket routing and approval
  5. Standard data

    - setup list of countries, provinces, districts, divisions, etc.
  6. Tax Rules

    - initial setup of taxes
  7. Chart of Accounts

    - upload COA list from export of accounting/ERP system
  8. Training - Help Desk

    - training of first level support staff (for field and user support)
  9. Training - Admin Staff

    - Training of administration staff for maintenance of Price book, Companies, People, Accounting system integration, Compensation reporting

FIRE staff helps with initial data load, but your staff completes the work

  1. Price List

    - entry of a single Price List upon which quotes and tickets will be created. Includes mapping to Chart of Accounts codes, discount and editing conditions, applicability for compensation and taxes, reporting categorization, etc.
  2. Company List

    - typically exported from Accounting system and imported into FIRE
  3. Personnel List

    - typically exported from Payroll system and imported into FIRE
  4. Asset List

    - typically gathered from existing systems or audits and imported into FIRE
  5. Incident Categorization and Notification Rules

    - setup for incidents / safety reports, and who will get notifications

Your staff are responsible for entry after training by FIRE staff

  1. Customer Contacts

    - people associated to your customers
  2. Salespeople

    - association of internal salespeople to customer contacts & commission
  3. Quotes / Bids

    - customer and/or project specific pricing conditions
  4. Asset Maintenance Schedules

    - work orders and associated maintenance schedules for assets
  5. Incident Categorization and Notification Rules

    - setup for incidents / safety reports, and who will get notifications