Cross Country Home Services Teams Up With SmartThings to Offer Unique Home Automation and Services Solution

At Cross Country Home Services, we’ve solved our customers home service needs by connecting them with top service providers for more than 30 years. Now, we’re looking into the future to connect directly with our customers’ homes.

As recently mentioned in in Forbes and TIME, CCHS is entering the “smart-home” space through its strategic relationship with mobile app and platform provider SmartThings. As the second-largest home warranty provider in the U.S., we are able to connect SmartThings customers with our network of expert contractors for the installation of SmartThings systems, in addition to home maintenance and repair of common home items like appliances, heating and cooling systems or water heaters.

Customers will be able to access CCHS’ full range of services via the SmartThings mobile and app experiences.  Plus, if SmartThings sensors or systems alert a homeowner to a broken system or appliance, our pre-screened technicians can be automatically dispatched to resolve the issue.

Savvy homeowners want to be protected against the unexpected, and to be able to act quickly when problems arise. An automated, app-monitored home — backed by a vast service network — can help them detect problems early, regulate energy use and save money.

Let us know in the comments: Are you looking to make your home “smarter” with technology?

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Cross Country Home Services CEO Named an EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™

EY Winners
CCHS CEO Joe Incandela (front row, center) with fellow Florida honorees.

Cross Country Home Services Chief Executive Officer Joseph J. Incandela was named 2014 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year in Florida, Services category.  EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014 Florida finalists were honored and the award recipients announced at a black-tie awards gala on June 12, 2014, at the Hilton Orlando.  The leading entrepreneurs were selected by an independent judging panel made up of previous award recipients, leading CEOs and other regional business leaders.

As CEO of Cross Country Home Services, Incandela oversees the company’s growth strategies and leads its expansion into new markets and new product offerings.

“These entrepreneurs truly demonstrate the passion, dedication and vision it takes to achieve remarkable success,” said Greg Rosica, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Florida program partner.  “They are accomplished business leaders who have contributed a tremendous amount to the community.”

The next step in the awards process is the national competition, which will take place in the late summer and early fall, with both national finalists and award recipients announced at the EY Strategic Growth Forum in Palm Springs.

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs.  The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement.  As the first and only truly global award of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses.

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Operation Appliance Aid Featured on Forbes.com

In an article on corporate in-kind donations, Forbes Magazine featured Cross Country Home Services’ very own Operation Appliance Aid as a unique example of corporate philanthropy that encourages businesses to become more deeply engaged in the causes at stake. Through Operation Appliance Aid, we provide military service families and veterans in need with new appliances and home systems. Committed to providing peace of mind to all of our customers, Operation Appliance Aid is a way for us to extend our mission to the military veterans and service families who so selflessly serve our country. Check out CCHS in the Forbes article, The Power of Giving In-Kind here: http://onforb.es/OxKJVJ

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Cross Country Home Services CIO Named a Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leader

CCHS' Chief Information Officer Joel Steigelfest and Computerworld's Executive Editor Julia King at the Premier 100 IT Leadership Conference

Cross Country Home Services Chief Information Officer Joel Steigelfest has been named to IDG’s Computerworld‘s list of 2014 Premier 100 IT Leaders. The list spotlights 100 leaders from both the technology and business sides of companies for their exceptional leadership and innovative approaches to business challenges.

“This is a well-deserved recognition for Joel who is instrumental in helping us leverage technology to bring a seamless experience to our customers along every touch point,” said Sandra Finn, president of Cross County Home Services, a leader in cost-effective home solutions, including warranty products and maintenance plans.

Technology plays a major role in the growth and success of Cross Country Home Services, along with continued commitment to providing unmatched customer service. Steigelfest was able to balance the demands of supporting key operational business initiatives while spearheading the company’s enterprise technology platform transformation, coined “Atrium.”  The new platform will provide an improved contact and claims processing system, streamline existing processes, place focus on the end-user experience and ensure engaging user interfaces and features.  In conjunction with this initiative, Cross Country Home Services fundamentally reexamined its business processes from the ground up to create new business models and opportunities.

“The Premier 100 awards program, now in its 15th year, shines a well-deserved spotlight on a group of talented, creative and hard-working men and women who are driving technology innovation in business, education and government across the country and around the world,” said Scot Finnie, editor-in-chief of Computerworld. “Technology advances quickly, and these leaders excel at keeping pace with the changing needs of customers and employees, and making fast technology decisions that map to their organizations’ top priorities. They have developed a deep bench of talented IT staffers at their organizations and managed to keep their own skills fresh by constantly mastering new technologies and processes. We are privileged to recognize the leadership and achievements of the 2014 Premier 100 honorees.”

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How Much Could Maintaining Home Appliances and Systems Cost in 2014?

If a major home appliance or system unexpectedly breaks in 2014, do most homeowners know how much it would cost to repair or replace, and do they have the funds set aside?  According to experts at TotalProtect, a home warranty company that aims to make home ownership easier, the answer is a resounding no and it could spell trouble for many in the coming year.

“Our research shows more than 60 percent of homeowners feel that an expense of more than $2,000 would be devastating to their household finances, yet the annual cost of repairs is often much more,” said Steve Burnett, general manager and senior vice president of TotalProtect. “In addition to the financials, there is a great deal of stress that comes with finding the right service provider and trusting them to perform the job effectively and honestly.”

According to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and a Bloomberg report, the average age of consumer durable goods is the highest since 1962. This means homeowners are keeping their appliances longer than ever before – an average of 5.3 years – increasing the chance they could break from routine wear and tear.

Will These Costs Break Your Bank?

“The best way to ensure financial stability is proper planning, said Emilio Escandon, CPA, principal-in-charge of the Northeast Region Tax Practice of national accounting firm MBAF. “Setting aside a designated amount each month so you are covered in the event of a major crisis is preferable as opposed to hoping for the best and then having to incur an unplanned expense. It’s a healthy budgeting habit and provides peace of mind simultaneously.”

“A home warranty is a great option for those who want to budget throughout the year and avoid a large, unplanned expense,” added Burnett. “The truth is, things break. Homeowners should ask themselves, ‘can I withstand these costs?’ If the answer is no, now’s the time to put a new plan in place.”

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