SamPro Enterprise for HVAC (Data-Basics, Inc. www.databasics.com, 800/837-7574) is an accounting based enterprise-level service and construction management solution for “larger” HVAC, plumbing, mechanical and other specialty service contractors with, suggests the developer, a minimum of 20-25 employees at time of implementation. The software, which is configurable and infinitely scalable, features an integrated suite of applications that handle scheduling and dispatch, quotes, work order management, workflow integration and automation, PM controls, accounts payable, billing, purchasing, and payroll. It also includes web portals for technicians in the field, customer self-service, CRM, and business analytics.
Data created in various components of the software integrate into the job costing module, with capabilities that include multi-level work breakdown structures, WIP (work in progress) processing, change orders, committed costs, flexible billing terms, OSIP/OCIP (insurance program) discount support, and profit forecasting.
The purchase order module supports automated procurement of materials, with automatic inventory update, instant vendor part cross-referencing, and, in conjunction with the inventory management component, proactive reordering based on historical parameters.
The Project Manager Workbench component facilitates tracking costs and billing for complex or lengthy jobs, with support for an unlimited number of jobs per project. Jobs can be saved as a template for new jobs. An inventory management component addresses purchasing, requisitioning, warehouse distribution, equipment rentals and shop floor control.
Web portals extend functionality to the field. The TechAnywhere® Service Technician portal enables field personnel to capture equipment, labor, material and work performed, fill out job tickets, generate quotes and purchase orders, send and receive work order updates, take advantage of barcode reading, and capture photos and electronic signatures. It integrates Google navigation and has “store and forward” synchronization that preserves data when the user is out of network range.
The TimeAnywhere® remote time entry portal allows timesheet entry of labor and expenses from anywhere. Techs and managers can log into it from any internet connection and all entries are immediately stored to the home office database. Supervisors can set options to oversee employee time entries and log time for them under different labor categories and pay rates. Used in conjunction with ReportAnywhere, which can generate customized detailed reports in a variety of formats, it can also provide managers with up-to-date daily reports on the hours that are applied to their jobs.
The SubAnywhere web portal allows for real-time communication with subs while the FMAnywhere self-service portal empowers customers to review their service requests and invoices, enter a new service request, and accept a quote (and is customizable per client).
The CRMAnywhere portal for field service sales force gives access to customer interactions and transactions, service history, sales forecasting, quoting capabilities, and report creation for marketing campaigns. The DBAnalytics portal offers real time access to business analysis reports.
SamPro Enterprise also can integrate with Service Channel, Facility management Software, and with the Corrigo facility management platform, offering API integration with both.
Pricing is based on the modules purchased and required seat licenses.
Taking advantage of social media to help build your business presence and reputation online is an increasingly common technique(see November 2019 column for one contender). Here is another entrant in that category of reputation management solutions designed to maximize positive interactions with and feedback from customers utilizing social media.
Broadly (Broadly, www.broadly.com, 800/727-0445) is a mobile-first communications platform for small and often local businesses. Featuring a mobile app usable on iPhone or Android devices, the solution enables a company’s users to maintain a contact list, collect feedback from customers, and request, collect, and respond to reviews directly from within the app.
How it works: The platform offers a one-click online review option that asks customers about their experience with your company via a branded email or text. Management can respond to the feedback directly and provide the customer with an automated response that asks such questions as Would you recommend our services to another, may we follow up to discuss…, and can I send future offers or reminders.
For each platform, management can track and read the reviews, along with the average ratings. A multi-location dashboard can track progress by location over time. Through a team scorecard, the software will also track customer interactions by team member.
Other services include Web Chat, which gives customers a way to communicate with your company in real time directly from your website and which can continue through the app by email or text, or by phone.
The app also empowers customers to share their feedback privately. If the feedback is negative, the software offers an internal path to address it, enabling business owners to engage with customers offline, before it becomes a larger issue online.
The software solution also automates SEO. Once Broadly’s code is integrated into your website, your best reviews from Facebook and Google are published automatically as original content, providing a SEO boost.
Plans are priced per month, based on contract length (monthly, semi-annually, or annually). For additional fees, Broadly also offers assistance with website development and logo design and custom email campaigns.
Patti Feldman writes articles and web content for trade magazines and manufacturers of building products. She can be reached at [email protected].