Making the right choice when buying Service Dispatch Software

Where do you begin, when buying service software for your plumbing business? First, do your homework. What are your company’s specific needs. They are probably different from the requirements of other companies in your industry. The biggest mistake you can make is to buy a product that doesn’t meet those needs, even if it has all the bells and whistles.
Here are three areas to review:
1. The interface with your accounting.
2. Service and Dispatch.
3. The Mobile Solution
1. The Interface with your accounting:
The product needs to seamlessly integrate with your accounting software rather than import or sync data. If you are using the desktop version of QuickBooks, Pro, Premier or Enterprise, you need to pick a Mechanical service software that interfaces with these desktop products.
The billing process needs to flow seamlessly from the initial call, to the final invoice in QuickBooks. Would you rather create your customer invoices in QuickBooks or be forced to import or sync invoices which are created in a 3rd party service software program? Fireline allows you to create your customer invoices in QuickBooks. Everything ties directly to your QuickBooks information, including taxes, items, and customer pricing. This makes the integration simple and seamless with QuickBooks. No need to manage two separate billing programs.
One of the good things about QuickBooks, is that it can tailored to your needs. Because it can be set-up and used in so many ways, many service software products cannot interface with QuickBooks the way you are using it. Jobs are a good example. They can be setup as service locations, projects, or a mixture of both. Fireline Software lets you work with all these methods without changing the way you have been using QuickBooks.

2. Scheduling and Dispatch:
During the busy season, calls need to be handled quickly and efficiently. The office will need an electronic calendar to record all calls. This will eliminate the old paper and double/ triple entry. Many companies are hand writing the call and re-entering it into a Google calendar, the adding the equipment and the latest history for this job site. Then the technician goes to the site and writes the same information on a service ticket. Finally, that ticket comes back, and the person who does the invoicing types the same information into QuickBooks. No wonder things back up in the busy season.
Duplicate entry is a major problem in some organizations. This can really slow down the service and dispatch process. With the Fireline Software your customer information is entered only one time and it flows through the entire process saving time and money, eliminate duplication and errors. If you take a call for an existing customer, all you need to enter is the problem and the schedule date. Address information, equipment, and history are sent to the technician’s mobile device automatically.
The service manager and the techs need to have customer information at their fingertips. It is important to track the history at the site where the work was done. You need to know the service history and warranty status of the equipment at the site, not the billing location. Sometimes we need to bill another customer, like a contractor, or a property manager. Fireline Software keeps a complete history of the work that was done at the service location, as well as the billing account. We also keep an history of the work-orders, and the equipment that was worked on, model, serial number, installation and warranty information, along with custom user-defined information.

3. Mobile:
Mobile technology is the final piece of the puzzle. When done right it will improve cash flow, eliminate duplicate entry, and provide a paperless environment. Using the Fireline Mobile software your technician enters the work performed and any recommendations along with notes. He gets a customer signature and sends the work order back to the office with a click of a button. After being reviewed in the office your billing person sends the information to QuickBooks to create the invoice or sales receipts in the case of COD. The customer can also receive an emailed copy of the invoice through QuickBooks.
This is the ultimate paperless system. The entire process has been completed, without printing a single piece of paper. All duplication has been eliminated. Billings and cash flow is much faster.
There are a few things to consider when you pick out a mobile solution:
Are you concerned about keeping your customer list and financial data secure on your computer? With all of the internet and computer hacking most business owners are moving away from cloud-based software. You can do a better job protecting your own computer in your office without sending your valuable business data to a big corporate cloud-based computer.
Many service businesses are started by technicians who decide to just “take” a list of their company’s customers. It probably took you years to develop your customer base. Beware of software that puts all your information out there on the cloud for anyone to see.
What about mobile connectivity? Do your technicians always have cell coverage or is it spotty coverage. You need to be sure that the mobile software you are considering can work without live cell coverage. If your technician is trying to run a job on his mobile device and is constantly dropping the cell signal you have a big problem. With Fireline Mobile software your technician can work the entire job including capturing the customers signature without cell coverage.
If you are considering new HVAC or Plumbing Service Software, please give us a call at 800 890-8614 to review your specific software needs and schedule a personal software demonstration.

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