Is your work holding you back from life’s most important milestones? Are you locked down to a desk with your current work order management software? So many companies today have cut the proverbial cord and have gone wireless and mobile. Work is possible from anywhere with mobile and cloud based options offered today.
Schedule appointments and stay in touch with technicians beach side or while enjoying the view of the Appalachians. Catch a week night baseball game while billing customers from the stands.
Today’s business landscape offers so many more solutions to link your home service business with real life and in real time.
Take a quick look at the most recent mobility video from Service Proz and see what the flexibility of mobile business apps can offer your HVAC, electrician, plumbing or home cleaning business.
The best tablet for your business will feature durability, an easy to use operating system and speed; the Apple iPad has been on top of the market with the best features since its inception—but the Android operating system is making a statement today with great tablets, too, like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and the Google Nexus 10, according to CNet.com.
CNet adds that the “open-source nature of Google’s Android OS makes it inviting for many hardware manufacturers to try their hand at making an Android-based device.”
1. Google Nexus 7
2. Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700
3. Google Nexus 10
4. Asus Transformer Pad TF300
5. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
(CNet.com, pictured: Google Nexus 10)
More and more businesses are using tablets every day for new and innovative uses in the office and out in the field. From the landscaping company or HVAC professional that uses a tablet for work order management, scheduling and billing—tablets are changing the way business is being done.
Let us know which tablet is your favorite and why.
Choosing a workforce management system (WFM) for your home cleaning, HVAC, electrical, plumbing or landscape company isn’t the easiest task but can be if your company looks for a provider that offers a few important key features of WFM software.
Most WFM software is cloud-base today because of the benefits that small l businesses receive when moving to the cloud, and reports are showing that for small business heading to the cloud is imperative.
A recent report from InfoWorld explained that small companies today, honestly just can’t afford the traditional IT—so heading to the cloud is most cost effective.
If you think about employing a company that handles your IT business or paid IT on staff, your company has to be ready to make a commitment for thousands of dollars being paid out of the budget–which for many small businesses is impossible.
But with a cloud-based WFM product, a monthly or annual fee, along with possible maintenance along the way and a little education for you and your employee’s,
is really all that is required.
So, the investment isn’t nearly so steep with WFM software—and many products also will easily integrate with QuickBooks to keep all of your important data streamlined, stored in the cloud and able to be accessed from anywhere!
What features to look for in WFM software:
- Customer Management: make sure the software can create service orders that includes the customer’s exact requests, history and the ability to communicate exact instructions to technicians
- Billing: accurate invoice billing for exact services, make sure you will never miss a billing cycle with good software and the ability to create invoices while still at the job
- Technician Management: efficient WFM software will have a technician management feature that will create time sheets, note availability, create driving routes for efficient use of time and energy
- Scheduling: is one of the most important WFM features, you should be able to create schedules using interactive techniques, only schedule technicians who meet job requirements and provide the customer with reliable appointment times and copies of work order.
- Mobility: Most important is the mobility feature that cloud-base systems provide. Communication is key because everything will be in real time including new jobs, updated jobs or cancelled jobs. This feature will remove wasteful and inefficient paperwork by communicating directly from the office to the field.
Just a few years ago we were all just discovering the benefits of mobile applications in our personal life and now mobile applications for smartphones and tablets are common, and needed, in day to day business operations.
CIO Insight, the voice of the CIO community that provides analysis for the IT industry, reports that mobile management today is a way to keep your business on the go and in constant operation; which increases speed and customer satisfaction, among other benefits.
Now, factor in cloud computing technology that gives your company access to the most important business files anywhere in the world.
CIO Insight even goes so far to say that “the logical solution is to hire a mobile operations manager for your company to oversee the increasing mobile business.”
If your company isn’t large enough for a mobile operations manager to monitor your mobile applications and employees; the first step would be sourcing a trusted and reliable workforce management system.
A modern workforce management system is essential in today’s business world and new systems are cloud-based; ensuring that all of your important information can be accessed from anywhere.
Once you choose a workforce management system that is tailored to your industry, the next step is to transition all of your business information to the system. A good workforce management provider will be with you step by step as your company transitions to the new system.
It’s important to create a transition plan so all employees are aware and kept up to date with changes in operations. Once all important business data is stored in the cloud, your workforce can be in constant contact for any business and customer needs. Every part of your business will run smoother and faster.
Accenture, a global management consulting and technology company, says that workforce management systems offer higher performance levels, increased time for business analysis and a reduction of overall labor costs—which in return provides better service at lower costs.
Other workforce management benefits include:
- Customer Management: create service orders (jobs); know the customer’s exact requirements, read their history, communicate accurate information.
- Billing: invoice accurately for the exact services required, create recurring invoices to never miss the next billing cycle, create invoices while still on the job expediting when the customer pays you.
- Technician Management: manage technicians’ skills, inventory, and availability; create timesheets based on their known assignments, route them efficiently; and provide them with the latest mobile devices to receive job information and history automatically.
- Scheduling and Dispatch: create the schedule using interactive techniques, only schedule technicians who meet the requirements of the job, provide customers with reliable appointments; commit to a service that you can deliver.
- Mobility: communicate in real time from tablets, PCs, laptops and smartphones.
Just like most Americans, you are probably on the go constantly! Running to the office, meetings, the grocery store, meeting friends, going to the gym and the list goes on and on.
Do you feel like you need three or four extra hours in the day to get everything done? You are not alone!
According to a blog from Microsoft, it’s not necessarily that you don’t have enough time; it’s how you are managing your hectic days that make the most impact.
The post from Microsoft says that the best way to begin managing your time more efficiently is to create a detailed to-do list and keep your email under control.
- Make sure you have folders set for any email from bills, to work emails or even your children’s school.
- Also, unsubscribe from emails that you aren’t interested in or don’t provide you any interesting content. For example, if you don’t shop at a certain store anymore, unsubscribe from their daily sale email.
- Also, don’t be an email hoarder! Get rid of what you don’t need and file the rest away.
In today’s 24/7 working world there also are other ways to trim time with the all-important smartphone to make more time for what you WANT to do.
Using a smartphone in business today, whether you are a sales professional or operate a home cleaning business, is essential for time management. You may think that you don’t want to rely so much on a smartphone but there are amazing applications that can save so much time.
This year Turbo Tax is flaunting a new service where you can take a photo of your W-2 and file your taxes from your smartphone! Many tax preparations are more involved but for thousands of people, this is a HUGE time saver.
Expensify is an app that tracks your business expenses and mileage while traveling for business. You can take photos of receipts and even send to your employer, or have your employees send to you!
Dragon Dictation is a speech-to-text app that is a timesaver for anyone that sends texts! Just speak your text and it appears on your phone, the app claims to be 5 times faster than typing!
Here’s one more that we find amazing; Fast Customer. The app actually will maneuver through any automated phone system, waiting until it is connected to a real person. Beyond the time saving aspect, this app will help keep your blood pressure under control!
And doesn’t everything from your smartphone, iPod, iPad, tablets, etc. need to be synced together for optimal use? There are cords and programs that, at times, can seem overwhelming that all of these technologies link together BUT once they are linked your productivity skyrockets!
This also is true when you harness the power of your existing QuickBooks application and sync it with Service Proz–uniquely designed by professionals for the home service industry.
With just a few clicks your customer’s and your business’s important information and data, including things like billing and invoicing, are synced for the unmatched productivity provided by Service Proz workforce management solution.
Once Service Proz and QuickBooks are synced the possibilities of organizing your company’s important data is endless! You will have more time to focus on your business and your customers. Service Proz works seamlessly for you because Service Proz is tailored and targeted to the home service industry for your convenience and your company’s success.
Once the QuickBooks application is open on your computer, it literally takes just a few clicks to upload and sync data with the two applications. All the information you need for your company will then be right at your fingertips.
Now, from just one application, once Service Proz and QuickBooks are synced, you can manage customers, employees, billing and invoicing from just one place. That means either from the office, on the road or on a vacation! And all the information is stored securely and safely in the cloud for mobile access from just about anywhere giving you more time to do just about anything!
Please contact Service Proz today for more information or a free demo to begin your journey to increased efficiency for your company!
Sometimes our plans for our business or projects take an unexpected turn when a customer has a special request. This is something that we like to take in stride at Service Proz and we see how we can accommodate our customers and potential leads.
Recently, we added a specific service to our application but a new customer didn’t need that service. Well, we went on a mission to make sure our services fit his company’s needs–and we did! We didn’t have to think long about adjusting our service for his company because if our customers believe in Service Proz and our applications, then we have the obligation to return that support!
Are you sure you are pleasing your customers with the highest level of customer service? Here are a few ideas to keep in mind and keep your customers happy!
- Do you continually re-evaluate each customer’s needs and how to make their experience top notch? Would you tweak your service to meet your customer’s needs?
- Do you know your customer’s company and the services they offer? Do you make small talk about their industry and engage in conversation about what is important to them?
- Are you making sure you provide your service at the highest level, everyday? Are your employees a fabulous representation of your company?
Today’s world is so caught up with technology that the important of customer service can get lost in the shuffle, but keep it a top priority in your business!
Happy New Year! The new year brings a world of possibilities but after the hustle and bustle of the holidays, unfortunately, it’s time to get back to work!
Are you sitting in your office wondering how you are going to prepare your company’s taxes this year? Always a daunting task even if you are fortunate enough to have an accountant! There are still records to pull, invoices, receipts and all other sorts of paperwork to prepare.
In 2013, why not make it a point to be more organized and take control of your company’s information and documents with a workforce management system along with QuickBooks?
The new year offers a starting point to create organization within your company which will give you more time to talk to customers, or even find new ones! When you integrate a workforce management system with QuickBooks the dividends are immeasurable, here are some of the benefits:
- Gain control over your service technicians
- Increase customer satisfaction by communicating directly
- Give you service technicians increased visibility of their workload and expectations
- Reduce billing times by invoicing instantaneously
Next week, Service Proz, will release an informative video on how your workforce management system integrates your customers and scheduling easily with QuickBooks. With your company’s scheduling and customer information 100% mobile and all stored in the cloud, the possibilities for your home service company are endless!
The end of the year is filled with exciting holiday festivities but it’s also a busy time for your business as you begin preparing for the tax season, compiling reports and tracking expenses, etc.
This can be a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be, there are many software applications out there that can organize your small business’s critical information but we at Service Proz believe that QuickBooks is the only way to go. If you aren’t using QuickBooks—an essential application for small business to stay organized—you should be!
QuickBooks is a way to store vital information that is easily accessible, like customer information, inventory, expense reports and critical billing information. Other features that come in handy include the ability to create invoices and logos—a must for any small business. You also can create a detailed calendar that tracks all appointments and other important information.
Luckily, if you haven’t bought QuickBooks for your business yet, there are new editions each year along with new features. The 2012 version has an option to track customer leads and a document management system—along with the ability to bill more than one customer at a time.
If you are struggling to manage all of your documents, billing and invoicing, QuickBooks would be a wonderful Christmas gift to yourself and your small business this year!