Dispatchers in the office can access daily, weekly, and monthly calendar views of jobs and technicians. The software’s Smart Dispatch Board highlights each technician’s skill set and availability and gives a live view of every technician’s status and real-time location. Office staff can assign a single tech or group multiple techs into teams and move them from one job to another with a single click.
A workforce capacity planning feature enables users to quickly identify when a job is behind schedule and drag-and-drop dispatch the technician best equipped to get it back on track. Any change in assignment is updated immediately on the technician’s device. Office staff and service managers can see the actual hours put into the job versus what was scheduled by drilling down into job details (done by office staff or service manager). Dispatchers can also point-and-click to extend or shorten duration or reschedule the job.
Other capabilities include: real-time reporting on jobs completed, revenue per job, technician performance, CSR performance, and a customer portal that allows the commercial contractor’s customers to log in to schedule service, review past work orders, and see reporting specific to their account (i.e. total cost of ownership analysis on the asset/equipment level).
Technicians, via a click or tap on their mobile device’s screen, gain access to customer history, including completed jobs and work orders, equipment, contacts, and maintenance schedules. The software also alerts the team when critical tasks, such as servicing or replacing equipment, need to be performed. This is dependent upon how life of equipment was inputted—the piece of equipment is highlighted when service or replacement is due.
Through the mobile app, employees in the field can log parts and materials used, automatically track time by activity (i.e. working, traveling), and capture before and after pictures of work performed. Customers can approve work with a click or a tap. Field personnel can collect customer signatures directly (with finger directly on phone or tablet) or have off-site managers sign instantly through the software’s email integration (useful if the employee on site does not have the authorization to sign off on the work).
Technicians can take advantage of OCR capture of equipment already onsite or being installed, eliminating manual input of numbers into the customer record.
Payroll and invoices can move directly from the field to the office and into any of several popular accounting packages, including QuickBooks, Vista, and Sage.
The software carries a monthly subscription fee, per technician and per office staff.
SumoQuote (www.sumoquote.com) offers a quick way for a service contractor to build custom quotes and send them to customers. The software enables users to create and store templates and details that can be used in subsequent quotes. For each quote, you can incorporate only the pages you need for that customer and can edit content.
Page options include title, executive summary of the project or work, inspection, quote details, authorization, and terms and conditions, warranty, as well as custom created pages. Users can also add custom marketing pages directly into quotes for a single presentation. The user can export a finished quote as a PDF for emailing or printing or send it directly from within SumoQuote for e-signature approval by the customer.
SumoQuote includes seamless integration with CompanyCam version 7.4 (www.companycam.com), a construction industry photo app for iOS and Android that stores pictures taken by workers at a jobsite on any mobile device as smart photos for both documentation and communication with crew and customers. The photos can be grouped into individual projects, tagged by date and location and timestamped along with the name of the user who took them. Users of CompanyCam have the ability to draw on the photos and add captions, shapes, stickers, and tags, to highlight areas needing attention or annotation. They can also input voice notes that can be associated with a photo. Contractors can also create a composite before/after photo, utilizing any of several preformatted layouts, and overlay a logo onto it.
Pricing for SumoQuote: monthly subscription based on number of users and additional features that may include e-signing, a sales dashboard, call reminders, and invoicing (a free 14-day trial is available). CompanyCam is integrated at no extra cost, though users must be paid subscribers of both services to connect them.
Ashrae Duct Fitting Database universal app version 4.0 (available via iTunes), based on the ASHRAE Duct Finning Database desktop application, is a universal app for iPhone and iPad that adjusts the screen accordingly for both devices. The app allows users to perform pressure loss calculations for all 240+ ASHRAE round, rectangular, and flat oval duct fittings in both I-P and SI units. Inputs are adjustable by touch. Each fitting has its own custom set of input parameters and results. The app, which features dynamic illustrations of each design, incorporates all the updates for the desktop version over the past eight years, plus updated fitting calculations and reports and the ability to share reports and spreadsheets through email. Users can easily change minimum and maximum allowable values for all input parameters.
Patti Feldman writes articles and web content for trade magazines and manufacturers of building products. She can be reached at [email protected].