Here are details on two software options for contractors active in field service to put into play, the first for small-to-medium size contractors, the second for single-location, multi-location, and franchised service-based companies. Running on PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, both feature capabilities for scheduling service calls and techs to perform them, estimating and invoicing in the field and sync to QuickBooks Desktop and/or QuickBooks Online, eliminating the need for double entry.
Kickserv business field service software, www.kickserv.com, (monthly or annual fee based on two, five, 10 or 20 users) features an atypical looking, but functional dashboard with four sub-divided categories. Each category shows the number of items under each sub-division and the status, with totaled dollar amounts of 1.) jobs scheduled today, in the next seven days, the next 30 days; 2.) opportunities with the dollar amount of new, estimate scheduled, estimate sent, estimate viewed; 3.) jobs broken down into unscheduled, scheduled, in progress and on hold; and 4.) invoices with a breakdown into unset, sent, viewed and partial payment.
The contact record for each customer offers an at-a-glance summary of locations, opportunities, jobs, invoices, payments, notes and whatever custom field the contractor inputs.
Job management features include a dynamic color coded calendar with drag and drop capabilities, customer tracking and GPS check-ins by techs.
Techs in the field can capture signatures on a mobile computing device or management can send the invoice by email and get acknowledgment when the customer has viewed it. All signature data is stored on the estimate or invoice page for historical use. The software also has capability to accept credit card payment online from a mobile device.
Job management features include a dynamic color coded calendar with drag and drop capabilities, customer tracking and GPS check-ins by techs that allow management to see their position on a map when they start a job. Customers have access to the Customer Account Center for viewing and approving of estimates, ability to review past jobs and ability to pay invoices.
A marketing add-on facilitates setting up a public site on which a contractor can accept booking requests from existing and potential customers, with the ability to conduct two-way communication. Contractors can extend their reach by enabling the booking widget on its Yelp profile page.
The software comes with preformatted reports and supports custom estimate, invoice and work order templates.
Kickserv’s iOS and Android mobile app (downloadable from the App Store and Google Play) lets crews in the field see their appointments, get directions and view maps, attach notes, documents, and images to a job and generate invoices. The app also utilizes GPS check-ins so management can see assigned techs on the map.
Vonigo Professional, www.vonigo.com, (pricing is per user, per month, with upgrade to Premium edition anytime) is a cloud based and mobile suite of business applications for single-office, multi-office and franchised service-based companies. The program, which includes capabilities that could be useful to a contractor’s sales team, is designed to actively manage every step of service delivery.
The software, which has multi-office functionality and can be accessed on desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone, can be branded with a company logo, theme, and custom URL, and configured to accommodate each contractor’s specific business needs.
The solution integrates with GPS for managing vehicle location, onsite crews and dispatch in real time and can be used to geographically segment business unit regions to clearly defined sales territories for each office or franchise.
The program takes note of all interactions with clients from first contact through to scheduling, work orders, invoicing, payment and follow-up. Clients can institute online booking for estimates or service calls via an online booking engine that integrates with the company’s website and jobs schedules. Contractors can add Google Analytics and pay-per-click conversion tracking to Vonigo’s online booking engine.
Dispatch capabilities include automated route sheets and work order details that can be provided to each team in the field. Techs can view appointments in Google Maps along with driving directions and client details. A mobile quotation module facilitates up-to-the-minute pricing and inventory in the field and in the office. The software supports client signature capture, in the field, on quotes, work orders, contracts, and invoices. Management can define discrete tax rules for each service and product in a given location, relieving techs of that responsibility.
Vonigo Premium includes the ability to accept online payments, which would go directly into the company’s bank account and as an option Vonigo offers preferred credit card processing rates.
A variety of pre-built sales and operations reports are available and users can also custom configure their own reports.
A variety of pre-built sales and operations reports are available and users can also custom configure their own reports. In Vonigo Premium, associated documents, images and videos can be stored in a library available to any member of the team, with management setting user permissions.
The inventory module enables management in the office and service personnel in their vans to keep track of real-time inventory as items are added to work orders and invoices and also supports creating POs for approval and re-ordering.
The Premium version also includes a Call Center with a dashboard that supports job and estimate booking, over-the-phone quoting, call-back, history, routing, and reporting.
Bill and Patti Feldman write articles and web content for trade magazines and manufacturers of building products. They can be reached at [email protected].