Here are four software solutions that help enhance efficiency, productivity, and/or accountability of field service-based business operations in the office and in the field.
ServiceSight (suitable for small businesses) and ServiceSight Pro (www.proteansoftware.com are cloud-based field service software management solutions that offer a range of capabilities to run a service-based company. These include a customer database; estimating and quoting; scheduling and dispatch, reporting dashboard; drag-and-drop scheduling using Google Maps and GPS navigation to locate customers and technicians; and invoicing. The Pro Edition introduces Inventory, Ordering, Contracts, Asset Registers, and other capabilities. Both solutions include mobile apps for use by technicians in the field.
Users can prioritize jobs and dispatch them in a map view, with customer history sent to technicians’ mobile devices. All editions support scheduling of multiple technicians to the same job.
Quotes can be emailed to customers or viewed and accepted by them via the web portal. Upon acceptance, a quote can be turned into a job ready for scheduling. A company can choose from over thirty built-in charts including technician productivity, first-time fix rates, response times, and job profitability. Plus, a company can create its own checklists and inspections.
A customer portal available in ServiceSight Pro allows customers to access information on quotes, work orders, service history, and inspections and certificates, as well as view and pay invoices, request call backs, and ask for quotes for new work.
Field personnel can invoice directly from a mobile device on the spot in partnership with Square or via an invoice emailed to the customer, with sales tax automatically calculated at the point of invoicing. Users can select the level of detail for each job or type of job.
ServiceSight Pro includes the option to add modules that address lead and data tracking, equipment inventory tracking, and automatic follow-up of quotes, and gives the ability to automatically create recurring jobs, set task and deadline reminders, and create and view a variety of charts and reports on business intelligence.
Both versions integrate with QuickBooks, Sage and Xero accounting systems.
Pricing: ServiceSight free for up to 5 users forever, with a fee per month for each additional user; ServiceSight Pro: fee per user per month.
TeamWherx (www.actsoft.com, 888/732-6638) is cloud-based software for managing field- based and office-based employees. Designed for field service businesses of any size, the TeamWherx™ app helps companies manage their workforce with one solution by automating manual processes, digitizing workflows, and optimizing communications.
The solution is customizable to match a company’s needs and easily scales as a company grows. It includes job dispatching (scheduled and on the fly); mobile time keeping; digital forms; GPS tracking and geo-fencing of clocked-in team members, vehicles, and assets; and the ability to accept customer payment on a smartphone or table using mobile payments via Stripe.
Employees can complete documents from their mobile devices and attach photos, signatures, and other details regarding the job status and completed projects. Employees can also scan bar codes or QR codes using their mobile device cameras to aid in inventory management and protect a company’s investment in valuable equipment.
The analytics dashboard shows real-time and ad-hoc reporting on completed work orders, time spent on jobsites, and other defined parameters.
Pricing: based per licensed user. TeamWherx is also offering a free 14-day trial.
SP-Connect (SP-HVAC.com, 571/585-0004) is a cloud-based industry-specific sales and operation platform for commercial HVAC service contractors. It integrates sales and pricing tools, operations/dispatch, customer and equipment management, a document generator featuring 25+ editable templates addressing business needs, a mobile field tool, and an interactive client portal.
New users can migrate all existing customers and equipment and the solution integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks desktop and online and, if needed, with other accounting systems.
SP-Connect provides a calculator for inputting costs of projects (line by line, if necessary) and applying appropriate mark-ups based on cost category. The generated proposal will include ROI calculations. Service agreement pricing is driven by equipment type, size, and age, based on SPConnect-hosted industry-driven data tables providing labor and material estimates for every type of equipment, including repair estimates on full-service agreements.
Asset management includes manufacturer details and an automatically assigned expected useful life for equipment lifecycle planning.
The software provides five levels of service agreements, with pricing configurable to your business needs.
Smart dispatching features a dispatch board enabling organizing technicians by skill sets, division, and geography. Operations capabilities include equipment management, contract management, tracking of technician productivity.
A Quick Quote module, usable in the office or in the field, enables building of an on-the-spot quotes for repairs while a sales module tracks every sales opportunity by stage of the sales cycle
Business intelligence reporting monitors KPIs, technician production and labor utilization, financial metrics, and other insights.
Pricing: one-time configuration fee, estimated based on the needs of the customer (this varies) plus a license-per-user monthly fee which scales based on the number of users.
Patti Feldman writes articles and web content for trade magazines and manufacturers of building products. She can be reached at [email protected].