Synchroteam (www.synchroteam.com 855/809-6200) is cloud based field service management software, designed to help manage a mobile work force, with capabilities that can expedite and streamline dispatch, scheduling, and reporting.
The interactive daily schedule features drag, drop and resize to facilitate making changes and scheduling new jobs. A Schedule Assistance wizard analyzes the existing schedule and suggests the best time slot for a new job, taking various factors such as skill required and travel distance into account. Schedulers can also filter technicians entirely by skill.
The schedule can be seen onscreen in a daily, weekly or monthly view and field personnel can opt to subscribe to live calendar feeds reflecting schedule updates in real time.
Integration of mapping and GPS data enables tracking job locations and the duration of each technician’s visit at each site throughout the day. Map view overlays display the location of scheduled jobs and all jobs not yet scheduled. A traffic overlay shows estimated travel times adjusted to current travel conditions.
CRM capabilities include a searchable customer database that holds information on the jobsites and serviceable equipment. The software can import the contractor’s existing customer database and geocode customer addresses. A single-screen overview shows details of each job – status, site, equipment, job type, technician, quotes, and invoices.
To assist with job management, the software separates all jobs into “buckets” that correspond to their current statuses – i.e. today, late, upcoming, recurring, and still to be scheduled, with a job counter enumerating each type as well as how many jobs have issues or conflicts. A Projects mode allows scheduling of jobs in desired sequence.
Job reports are customizable – the report engine allows users to set field types, define private fields, and specify conditions and the addition of photos and signatures in the field. Reports designed in the office are 100% mobile compatible, with controls put into place enforced (for example, a job cannot be completed unless all mandatory information has been collected).
Inventory management capabilities include tracking the movement of serialized and unserialized parts between a depot/warehouse and vehicle fleets. The parts list can price per unit, tax, quantity, and minimum quantity.
The invoicing engine can be used to create quotes on the fly or from job duration and parts usage in the field. Invoices are exportable in /csv and Sage formats and the software offers free connectors to share them with Quickbooks Online, Zero, and Sage.
The solution also includes a customer portal showing what has been done and what is scheduled and, optionally, can allow customers to request a job directly from it.
Synchroteam includes a mobile app for iOS or Android devices that gives users the ability to create, suspend or decline a job in the field, obtain job descriptions, review work order information before starting a job, obtain instant driving directions, and utilize one-touch contact calling. Job updates are provided in real time and displayed in order: today, upcoming, late, completed. Users can capture signatures, photos, barcodes, and parts/service usage. Management can set levels of access for field personnel.
The solution also includes a customer portal showing what has been done and what is scheduled and, optionally, can allow customers to request a job directly from it. The portal can be restricted to a single job or site or give access to all work related to that customer.
The cost for Synchroteam is per user/per month. A 14-day free trial is available.
Coolfront Agreements (www.coolfrontagreements.com, 888/229-4100) is a cloud-based scheduling and reminder system for HVAC contractors to help them manage their maintenance agreement program. The system automatically creates and tentatively schedules maintenance visits (tune-ups) based on an algorithm that utilizes contractor preferences. It then sends out automated email or phone reminders to the homeowner to schedule the tune-up. Contractors can add a personal greeting to emails and phone messages.
Reminders get sent repeatedly until the homeowner calls to confirm and a reminder about the scheduled appointment goes out the day before. The software also offers the contractor the option to renew agreements with a single click.
Coolfront Agreements includes a Marketing Bundle with over two dozen customizable pdf templates, such as technician sell sheets, brochures, and mailers, which can be used to assist in establishing or renewing maintenance agreements for HVAC systems.
The app also offers a visual dashboard of the tune-up workload by week and includes a sales chart to see who has sold an agreement that week. There are also over a dozen Excel reports available. The solution carries a monthly flat fee plus a fee/per month for each agreement.
Fluix Enterprise(https://fluix.io, 650/433-9008) is a cloud-based solution for collaborative document management that, depending upon the level of access permission, enables personnel in the field to receive, read, fill out, annotate, and create forms and share them with both users of the platform and external email recipients. Users can define fillable fields, including date and text fields, dropdown lists, and checkboxes. The software also can support collecting legally binding electronic (finger, stylus, or keyboard) signatures from a jobsite or sales visit. Fluix administrators in your company can control whether documents are editable or read-only. The software has built-in cloud storage (5 – 10 GB) or you can use your own. Pricing is per user/per month. A 14-day free trial is available.
Bill and Patti Feldman write articles and web content for trade magazines and manufacturers of building products. They can be reached at [email protected].