Software for home, the field and the back office

Sept. 11, 2017
It is already furnace tune-up season, perhaps an opportunity to recommend an upgrade.

It is already furnace tune-up season, perhaps an opportunity to recommend an upgrade. The Heating Efficiency Calculator app for smartphones and tablets (Bacharach, is designed to help contractors show a customer how a furnace tune-up can save money. The app is generic and can be used with any combustion analyzer. The contractor enters the combustion readings from the analyzer and the app shows the annual savings that could be realized with a furnace tune-up. The app could also be used to calculate overall cost savings if the existing furnace were replaced with a newer, more efficient model.

Bacharach also offers the Bacharach Reporting App for smartphones and tablets, designed for use specifically with a Bacharach Insight Plus analyzer. The contractor can customize a detailed report on the efficiency of the customer’s furnace based on either a live reading or a reading saved in the memory of the analyzer, save it as a PDF, and email to the customer. Up to 100 records can be stored in a mobile device.

Pruvan (, 512-544-9511), for small- and medium-sized service companies, is designed both to help office personal manage projects with real-time information from the field and to provide proof of performance via third party certified photos, videos, and mobile forms.

The app, which also integrates invoicing and electronic payment, has four main components: Pruvan Mobile, Pruvan Online, Pruvan Client Portal, and Pruvan Downloader, a desktop application for desktop syncing of incoming data (sortable on a computer or cloud platform by date, project, address, or other criterium). The solution can be used as a back-end system and/or the mobile app can also be integrated into your existing software as a mobile solution for your business.

The Mobile HVAC app comes pre-loaded with two HVAC checklists, including ANSI/ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 180-2012. Contractors can also work with Pruvan to have custom forms built and loaded in. The mobile app is used to transfer photos, videos, forms, orders and other data in real time from mobile devices in the field to Pruvan Online over a wireless network or Wi-Fi connection. Orders assigned online are reviewable in Pruvan Mobile.

Photos and forms completed on Pruvan Mobile for each project are automatically downloaded and can be shared with clients through the interactive Client Portal, which also supports a real-time viewing window of work being performed. Anyone with access to the portal can add comments, which are ID’ed and time-stamped.

Every time a project is published in Pruvan, the results are submitted to the client and a Pruvan Certified Service Record (CSR) is generated. The CSR is a PDF document that, containing all the photos, form data, and a Google map of the location of the job, provides an overview of the project. The CSR provides a serial number for every photo and form taken with Pruvan, which certifies the data as authentic.

Pruvan integrates with the FreshBooks cloud accounting platform for time tracking and expense and receipt tracking and supports one-click payment for services rendered. Users can also import and export data from and to Excel using the software, which includes unlimited free cloud storage of certified photos, videos and mobile forms: $20 per device or $1 per project.

SkyBoss cloud-based back office service software for HVAC and plumbing contractors (, 888-773-3010) handles dispatching and scheduling, work orders, paperless invoicing including generating of a P.O. in the field, acceptance of payment from the field, payroll and accounting, and reporting. A searchable database of client information shows contact information, upcoming appointments, and recent payments.

The solution features a drag and drop calendar for scheduling one-time and recurring jobs, with the dispatch board showing jobs denoted by color in their time slots. A technician tracking feature includes a visual scheduler that integrates with GPS software, enabling scheduling of techs based on proximity to the work.

The dispatcher can pull up the schedules for each tech on call and see who is available in each time slot on any day, assign any tech (or the one who previously serviced the customer) and send him or her a notifying text. Upon completion of the job, the technician can print out a paper invoice or put in a request for paper billing from the office.

Payroll and accounting capabilities include accounts receivables, accounts payable, and review of any technician for any pay period, including for jobs split among multiple workers. Administrators can also issue checks and print them out from within the software.

SkyBoss can generate several types of reports, including lead source to see which campaigns are profitable and which are not; employee report, to see which technicians are profitable and which are not; daily huddle report that compares the day’s business against the most recent week and month; revenue report for any given date range by cash, credit card or outstanding billing; and key word report, to see how customers find your company online. The solution carries a monthly fee of $49 per tech.

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

About the Author

William and Patti Feldman

Bill and Patti Feldman write articles and web content for trade magazines and manufacturers of building products.

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