Sep 30 2010
Some businesses are entirely based on onsite service. People don’t bring the locked door to the locksmith. And they (thankfully) don’t bring the stopped up toilet to the plumber either. No, they have the locksmith, plumber, contractor, or whatever specialist necessary, come to them.
As a result these businesses outfit trucks and vans to make them small replicas of the shops they hail from. Inside these mobile units are all the tools needed to do the job. They also often bring the paperwork needed to ensure payment and establish other contract information. Back at the home base is usually a somewhat frantic and hassled office manager who is in charge of keeping track of all the jobs, all the customers, and all the vehicles. It’s a complex puzzle and takes a special kind of person to handle it. Much time is spent trying to keep track of the frenzy of customers, paperwork, and staff.
For businesses, all time spent is profit lost. Thus, anything they can save time and effort on leads to increased profit. Now there exists a method to save time, effort, and energy for onsite service companies- ServiceM8. ServiceM8 provide an online service delivery software that will handle everything needed to maintain a remote staff and ever changing customer locations.
The concept behind ServiceM8 is simple enough. Businesses can book, schedule, and manage remote jobs online. And how do the mobile units know what jobs to go to, when, and where? The answer comes in a form that’s becoming increasingly familiar to web applications. They use an iPhone app.
The extent of ServiceM8’s product can be described as fully functional, well thought out, and built by those with intimate knowledge of the industry. Replacing piles of customer’s names and contact info is an online contact form. In lieu of printing out maps to destinations, or using Garmin, directions are accessible online. The schedule is no longer on the whiteboard, it’s online.
The Dispatch Board is the heart of ServiceM8. This is where you book, schedule and manage jobs and staff from a single screen. It includes a Map with jobs clearly marked, Tasks which can be assigned to contractors, and Scheduling which gives you a layout of where the staff is spending their time. From these locations jobs can be quoted, scheduled, assigned, and monitored through to completion. Since all jobs are scheduled from the Map it makes it easy to take into account travel time. On top of that, emails or text messages can be sent directly from the system to keep everybody updated on the latest status.
ServiceM8 provides many views into the business. It has the ability to search through the job history and is sortable by date, job status, category, or client name. Then there’s the client list which keeps track of all clients and their basic contact information. Next are many reporting graphs including top clients, revenue by category, and weekly timesheets. To round things out ServiceM8 provides a quoting and invoicing tool. With a few clicks quotes can be sent and then recorded. Note that ServiceM8 is not an accounting service, but it will help ensure clients are paying their bills. In fact it tracks every recorded event for each job and each client so it’s easy to see the status of a client or job.
The basic offering is free for the first 20 jobs. A full list of pricing information can be found here. Of note, all features are available regardless of pricing structure. The only thing that changes across plans is the cost per additional job and cost per SMS message.
ServiceM8 can be put on the list of companies that are most likely to go somewhere. Its job, client, and staff tracking capabilities will help businesses manage their remote clients. The fact that all this is accessible from the iPhone, as well as the ability to communicate with clients and staff, makes it an invaluable tool. With ServiceM8’s online service delivery software, less time will be spent keeping track of the details of a business, so more time can be spent making money.