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Contractormag 2584 Cloud

Software solutions for service scheduling and overall business management

Sept. 3, 2015
FreshLime is a cloud-based business and marketing app.  Explorer Eclipse is a browser-based integrated job cost, accounting, equipment control, and project management solution designed for users at multiple locations that can run many aspects of a construction company.
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FreshLime is a cloud-based business and marketing app designed to help small and medium sized service-based businesses that serve residential customers and operate via scheduled appointments acquire new leads, convert them to customers, engage with them on an ongoing basis, and turn them into long term loyal customers. 

The company's business automation platform integrates one-time service appointment scheduling, reminders for scheduling of annual service of HVAC components, and payment tracking in a single mobile interface that can be accessed 24/7 from any computing device. 

Designed to handle an unlimited number of contacts, FreshLime can also send alerts to customers that service providers will be in the area, with the aim that the service personnel can cluster appointments together and minimize drive time.

FreshLime keeps records of maintenance performed and each billing/payment transaction, creating a historical log accessible by both the service provider and the homeowner. Service personnel in the field can accept payment, accept a signature and email a receipt. Customers can track recent maintenance and view the records of how the home was maintained by its previous occupants.

The software, which carries a one-time start-up fee and a sliding scale monthly subscription, offers customers a way to rate their HVAC professional positively from within the app and incentivizes that by making the posts available on the customer’s social media network including open platforms, such as Facebook and Yahoo, and on the service provider’s review page.

FreshLime’s team also customizes text, email and seasonal marketing campaigns for service professionals who don’t have time or inclination to create them internally. According to the developer, response rates have averaged triple what HVAC professionals have experienced on their own.

FreshLime's mobile app connects customers and service professionals with specific geographic alerts, and customers can communicate directly with their trusted service providers straight from the app. The customers are also able to “favorite” a list of service providers and, when necessary, search for providers who are trusted in their area. The ratings on these professionals across other social/reviewing platforms will be aggregated to allow customers to see everything at a glance when making a choice.

Explorer Eclipse is a browser-based integrated job cost, accounting, equipment control, and project management solution designed for users at multiple locations that can run many aspects of a construction company. The construction management solution can be implemented as a self-hosted server model or hosted in the cloud.

Core modules include accounts payable, accounts receivable, general ledger, job costing, payroll (including options for hourly and salaried personnel), cash management and equipment control/fixed assets. The solution also includes a business analytics module that presents visual indicators in a variety of graphical display formats.

The dashboard and all inquiries are fully customizable and support drag and drop menu items and the use of custom graphics to track information.

Add-on functionality includes modules for estimating, equipment work orders, inventory management, materials handling, and purchase orders. DocPro is a document management system for filing documents, photos, and revisions, and finding them through searchable text, with access to full revision history. Photos can automatically attach to the job using GPS coordinates.

The remote time entry module Project+, which runs on a tablet or browser, is useful for collecting time, equipment, and production data from the jobsite and sending it for approval or archiving. The entry screen can feature user-defined fields.  Signature capture on screen allows sign-off on a tablet.

A Service Manager module tracks equipment repair history and scheduling of preventative maintenance of a fleet, enabling complete analysis of equipment maintenance records.

A daily job log module, running on a foreman’s laptop in the field, will capture, materials, photos, and notes throughout the day or at the end of the day, for accurate recordkeeping without reliance on scraps of paper or memory at the end of the week.

The Mobile forms module, compatible with iOS, Android and Windows Mobile, eliminates the need for crew to drop off paperwork at the office. It facilitates building professional custom forms and reports that can be sent electronically to remote users. Forms can be filled out with or without network connectivity from the jobsite.    

A Business Alerts module for management can automatically generate an email when critical changes occur, send notification to designed recipients if a job goes over budget, or create an alert if a customer invoice is overdue.      

The Automated Invoice Routing Feature allows personnel in the office and in the field to identify, distribute, route and approve accounts payable invoices. Users can set up multiple approvers and dollar limits and can approve remotely simply by replying to an email when out of the office.  

The Time and Billing module handles fixed price or cost plus charge-out rates and includes the ability to record revenue directly to jobs. The software extracts details from Job Costing, prices them, and marks them as billed. Users can select items to invoice and then manually edit if required before the final bill is issued. The software can accommodate flexible fixed price or cost-plus pricing models globally or at a customer or job level and can automatically print invoices and update all applicable modules.

Bill and Patti Feldman write articles and web content for trade magazines and manufacturers of building products. They can be reached at [email protected]

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