Over the past 30+ years I’ve had the opportunity to help hundreds of service contractors to review and select new service software for their companies. In this brief article I want to share some of the main problems that door dealers try to resolve when they are looking for new door service scheduling software to work with QuickBooks.
The Top 7 Problems include: Streamlining the entire job workflow with a single entry … starting with scheduling …..eliminating all the duplication in different software programs … with a seamless workflow to the mobile field techs…including equipment and customer history ….flowing back to the office for review ..then creating the customer invoices/ receipts inside QuickBooks to satisfy the bookkeeper and accountant. It all sounds very basic.Every company wants these typical features because it saves time, eliminates duplication, lost work orders, transposition errors and ends up inside your QuickBooks. Even your bookkeeper and accountant would be happy if the software provided these features.
Unfortunately a very high percentage of service companies end up selecting the wrong service software programs which do not fix these problems. How does that happen? How can you avoid making the same mistake when you’re selecting new service software?
The answer is fairly simple: you need to be prepared to ask the software vendors the right questions before you begin scheduling software demonstrations and picking the wrong software based on whistles and bells.
If you’re currently in the process of reviewing new software for your company, take some time with the owner(s) and key office staff to prepare a list of questions and answers. Once everyone agrees on which basic software features are needed you can contact and qualify each of the software vendors before scheduling the software demonstration. This will narrow down your list to those software vendors who can deliver on your needs.
Here is a starter list of important questions for the owner(s) and key staff members in your company. Add your own questions/ answers to this list.
- Do we want to depend on the internet working or not working every day to have fast access to our scheduling, customer history and other service software needs?
- Would we rather have our QuickBooks and service software installed on our own computer(s) in our office rather than rent software over the internet?
- How many people in the office and in the field will need to use the service software?
- Do we want to rent the software with an ongoing monthly fee over the next 5-10 years or just purchase the software as an investment?
- What is our ballpark 5 and 10 year cost budget for service software?
- Would we rather protect our company and financial data on our own computers or trust our data to be protected on a corporate computer on the internet?
- Are we looking for software designed only for our specific service industry or are we willing to settle for a generic service program?
- Would our bookkeeper and accountant rather have the customer invoices and sales receipts created inside our own QuickBooks or created and imported from another invoicing program?
- If we decide to go mobile paperless, do we want the field technician’s work orders to flow back into the office for the bookkeeper to review, correct and/or price, prior to creating the customer invoice or sales receipt in QuickBooks?
What office service software features are needed to run an efficient operation in your company? Quoting, Sales Tracking, Scheduling, Customer and Equipment History, Service Agreements and PM Reminders, etc.
What mobile features do you need? Quoting, Customer and Equipment History, Time Tracking, Pictures, Voice to Text, Flat Rate, Selecting QuickBooks Items – Parts and Labor, Customer Authorization, 24 Hour Service, etc.
Taking your time to prepare the answers to these questions will help you to avoid selecting the wrong service software program for your company. It will also help you to address the Top 7 Problems that most service companies want to resolve by selecting new service software.
Paul Jacques is the CEO of Partners Group Ent. Inc. He has helped over 1200 contractors to select and implement software in their offices since 1984. Paul can be reached for questions at (661) 254-8511