When Calgary business owner Judith Virag merged her cleaning service operation with Toth Corp, a residential and commercial painting company, she hoped to expand her company’s reach.
She soon surpassed that modest goal and found it necessary to adjust accordingly.
“I started to get a lot more business,” Virag says. “The business was growing and I needed a tool that would help me with that. I was doing my scheduling in an Excel spreadsheet, and I basically outgrew that."
A New Tool
Virag explains that she needed a reliable tool to set up reoccurring jobs as much of her company's work includes weekly, bi-weekly and monthly cleanings.
"I needed something that was more reliable where I’d know that I wouldn’t miss showing up at the client’s house,” she says.
A little research into automated scheduling programs led Virag to a cloud-based field service management solution.
Among the features, the system provide real-time status of current and pending jobs, ensuring that everyone in an organization is on the same page.
The graphical user interface minimizes the amount of time it takes to capture a service request and makes scheduling easier.
Virag says her staff embraced the system.
“Our employees know exactly where to be, what to do, how much time they have," she says. "They also have our customer contact list at their fingertips."
"They really value getting to know their schedule seven days in advance," she continues. "It is more organized for them, because they know at the beginning of the week what is going to happen.”
While Virag chose the field service solution for the scheduling feature, she was able to find other ways to make the system work for her company.
Virag gives quotes daily, and the quotes in the system can be converted into a customer job.
With a customer database and management of quotes and invoices, everything is centrally located and accessible from anywhere, online.
The invoicing process is also quicker.
"Before, I had my invoices in Microsoft Word format. I’d have to calculate everything by hand, since the formulas were not in there, and then I had to make a PDF to send to the customer in an email," Virag recalls.
Now the process can be completed from a computer, and invoices can be sent from Virag's iPhone.
Finally, Virag notes the reporting feature.
In a monthly presentation for the other managers, Virag can say, ‘In January we had X jobs and it translated into this much money.’
Revenue can be compared month by month, and it can be handy to see how the company is improving dollar and work-wise.
Candice Byers is a marketing coordinator at FieldAware. Candice regularly publishes articles on industry news topics and field service management. Connect with Candice on Google+ at +Candice Byers.