A Mixed Bag of Software Solutions

Sept. 13, 2018
Solutions profiled include a flat rate price book for residential contractors, estimating for commercial HVAC contractors, field service management for home services contractors, and an in-home sales presentation app.

Profit Rhino (, 855/710-2055) is a cloud-based digital platform for plumbing, HVAC and electrical trades that allows contractors active in residential service to access and customize a flat rate price book with content (tasks, times, parts), upgrades, and cross-sells. The software includes pricing by industry experts for most common repairs. (Industry research experts for parts and national averages for times.)

How it works: The visual price book comes with 1,600 industry-specific images and diagrams and the user can customize, edit and build a book with his or her own options.  Technicians in the field can use the book to present up to six options to homeowners. The software also offers invoicing and integrated acceptance of payments in the field (through PaySimple, a payment acceptance platform that processes payments through a secure payment gateway, with pricing dependent upon processing volumes).  Profit Rhino can track performance of each technician, from quote to invoicing, as well as the offering of options.

SimpleHVAC (, 877/343-4822) is estimating software for commercial HVAC contractors. The software utilizes four main screens on which you input, review, and adjust data: a visual duct take-off screen with rectangular and round ducts and fittings; the options and pricing screen; the bid sheet; and a template for a professional looking quote.  

How it works: The software, which can handle an unlimited number of projects, comes with a pre-loaded materials data base. The first step in using the software is to adjust the labor rates and the material pricing to match your local costs.

For each project, the contractor can set up default options such as insulation type, joint length, hanger spacing, and tax rate. The contractor inputs all the ductwork, fittings, and other materials such as air distribution devices, fans, fire dampers, access doors, and equipment.

After everything is inputted, the bid sheet comes into play, with material and labor costs organized into a one-sheet view, giving the estimator a bird’s-eye view of the entire project.  The estimator can then make any manual adjustments needed based on his or her experience. Everything on the bid sheet is adjustable.

Dispatchers can see each tech’s status in real -time and can also make assignments to jobs based on equipment age, with the goal of maximizing replacement opportunities.

Once all adjustments are made on the bid sheet, the contractor can print the quote, which is customizable with the company logo and any specific comments for the project.

Pricing: one-time cost, available as a download.  

FieldEdge (, 800/226-7529) is cloud-based field service management software geared toward helping home services contractors with scheduling and dispatching, quotes and invoicing, managing service agreements and work order history, and customer management. The software also has native ioS and Android mobile apps and real-time integration with QuickBooks.

Scheduling and dispatch is based on each technician’s skill set and job location. Dispatchers can see each tech’s status in real -time and can also make assignments to jobs based on equipment age, with the goal of maximizing replacement opportunities. The dispatcher can group multiple technicians to create a crew for a single work order and is able to make changes on the fly when a job runs long. The software can give customers notification updates via text, call, or email when the technician is on the way.

Customer service management capabilities include verification that customers are up to date on payment before scheduling another job. Contractors can attach photos to estimates and work orders to give a detailed understanding of the equipment, maintenance, and installation issues.

Inventory tracking of equipment from warehouse to work order also includes the ability for techs to view digital copies of equipment history on their mobile device, while being able to identify customers with equipment that may need replacement soon.

FieldEdge assists with managing service agreements and provides the office with information when agreements are due for renewal, billing and scheduling. The software supports set up of automatically scheduled service reminders via phone, text, or email and can offer customers the option for automatic renewal of a service agreement with recurring payments.

Customers are easily identified when they call into the office so that dispatchers can prioritize them over unknown calls. Unique phone numbers can also be used to track the lead source of each incoming call so that you can actively report ROI on your marketing efforts.

FieldEdge integrates with several third-party solutions ranging from payment processing (FieldEdge Payments is the integrated payment processor), accounting, marketing automation, pricebooks, and reputation management. These optional add-ons to the software can be found in the FieldEdge Marketplace (https://marketplace.fieldedge).

Sales Builder Pro, (Intelligent Mobile Support,, downloadable on the App Store and Google Play) is an iPad and Android tablet app that can help HVAC, plumbing and electrical home service contractors engage customers with customized in-home sales presentations utilizing a variety of promotional materials including videos and sales brochures. Users can, on the spot, put together signature-ready proposals configured with equipment price, and estimated monthly finance payments. Customers can choose from good, better, best options and contractors can present a choice of monthly payment plans to enable the customer to find a financing package that works for his or her budget. The app carries a one-time set-up cost and monthly set-up fees based the number of users.

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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