Intac International Wintac all-in-one software for service contractors contains programs for scheduling, dispatching and work order management. It provides daily, weekly, and monthly dispatch
SAWIN Mobile solutions can be deployed on Tablet PC’s, laptops, PDA’s, iPads, Iphones, Androids, BlackBerrys, or other “smart phone” devices, to meet the specific needs of each contracting firm. SAWIN Mobile solutions are affordable and easy to use, and they feature and use the latest software technology.
Team Management Systems
Team Management Systems’ Mobile Work Order not only looks like a standard paper work order, but also works like one, says President Nathan Tuttle.
“The technician simply enters dispatch times, material used, equipment serviced, and what was done to resolve the problem on one easy to navigate screen,” Tuttle explains, “and the sell prices are automatically calculated based on the customer’s billing rates and a professional looking invoice is generated for the customer to sign right on the screen.“
By using Mobile Work Order, a copy of the signed invoice can be printed for the customer, and all of the information, including a copy of the signed document, is automatically uploaded back to the office, eliminating the need for manual entry or filing a
copy of the document.
Know Your Needs and Compare Before Making a Software Purchase
Wayne Newitts, director of marketing for Dexter + Chaney, Seattle, WA, says enormous technological change is influencing the world of information management, making software choices confusing and challenging for HVACR contractors. “The cloud” has become a new delivery platform for applications and data, and information and applications are becoming like utilities because of the cloud’s capabiliities.
“There are huge efficiencies to be had there, and huge advantages for immediate access to data and applications, wherever you are,” Newitts says.
Another change Newitts sees, are the vast numbers of mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, that contain more computing power than computers had 10 years ago. The cloud provides the “horsepower.”
“You don’t need a terabyte hard drive or a 3-gig processor,” he says. “Work can be done centrally, in the cloud, with the device acting as the interface mechanism.”
These developments, Newitts says, have amplified the need for software that’s specifically designed to take advantage of the cloud and new mobile devices. That’s where differentiation among providers comes in, he says.
“A lot of companies would like to say they take advantage of those two things, but they don’t want to invest in a redesign of their products. So they take existing, old Windows-based software, host it on some remote location, and say ‘we’re in the cloud.’ No, you’re not,” he contests, “because you’ve got to design your software so that it can truly take advantage of ‘anytime, anywhere’ access from any device that can connect. That requires a new user interface, more simplified flow of information, and more intuitive systems.
Newitts says Dexter + Chaney’s approach is to provide more up-front education on the types of technologies HVACR contractors need to think about before they make a software purchase. It’s not something you want to do often, he says, so it must be done right the first time. Dexter + Chaney’s educational campaign has included articles and webinars on the cloud and mobile devices, how they’re coming together, and what that means for work flow, information flow, and even cash flow.
But aren’t most HVACR contractors up-to-speed on business management software? No; there remain large pockets of active HVACR contractors in need of new ideas and better management systems, says Kara Crider, director of marketing for dESCO, Fort Myers, FL.
“It could be they don’t have current software of any kind, or aren’t happy with their current software provider. It may be that the product they have is not specific to the HVACR industry, and they’re looking for a more robust system,” she says.
Crider finds HVACR contractors are very often in need of help with managing service agreements: keeping them organized, automating service scheduling, and invoicing. In fact, she says accurate invoicing in general can fall through the cracks.
Another key contractor management need Crider points to, is a need for overall improved field productivity.
“Many of our competitors and dESCO have come up with a mobile solution for field technicians which basically eliminates back-and-forth phone calls to the office for appointments, driving directions, or the location of next call,” she says.
“They need to see service history, types of equipment at the site, or add equipment to the record. These updates help them be prepared, and help to reduce errors, improve productivity in the field, and add to the bottom line.” — Terry McIver