How to Start Your Review Process for Service Scheduling Software
Today there are two major types of service software programs. Rental Service Software that you subscribe to monthly using the internet and service software that you can Purchase to install and operate on your office computer(s).
If you take a few minutes to review and answer these questions you will be better prepared to start your software interview process and quickly eliminate those that don't qualify based on your requirements.
Do we want generic service software or software designed specifically for HVAC and/ or Plumbing service companies?
Software is designed to address the specific needs of an industry. Each industry has unique requirements that the software can be tailored to address. Sometimes it's easy to find out if a service software is generic rather than tailored for just HVAC and Plumbing. Find the software website and search the front page. Sometimes you will find a menu selection that says something like, "Industries Served". If the software is being promoted for several different industries you will know that it is more of a generic service software.
Do we want Rental Service Software ?
- Is our company’s internet connection always “ON” with a fast enough response? What happens if the internet stops working?
- Since you are 100% dependent on the internet, how will you continue to monitor and schedule new service calls during the busy season if you lose the internet connection to your software? No access to your calendar or customer and equipment history.
- How much is the rental subscription fee for the number of office users and mobile users that we will need including initial set-up and training services…...per month? …per year? ..over five years? ….over ten years?
- Rental software companies provide a back-up of your company data on their corporate computers. But your company back-up is only usable when it is restored to a computer with your service software program. If you decide to rent software and stop paying the monthly fee you will lose the ability to restore your customer history back-up since the software is not installed on your computer.
- If you are a QuickBooks user now you are probably creating your customer invoices and sales receipts INSIDE QuickBooks. If you select rental software you need to ask if you can still create your invoices INSIDE QuickBooks OR if the rental service software creates the customer invoices. If they create your customer invoices they will also compute the customer sales tax. You will be required to import or sync their invoices into your QuickBooks. This may cause issues with your QuickBooks. Don’t forget to import all of the invoices. You need to monitor every import for duplicate records and make any amount corrections.
- Data privacy for your company and customer information is important. Corporate computers seem to be a bigger target for hackers because of the amount of data available. You need to trust the rental software company to protect your company and customer data.
Do we want to Purchase the Service Software Program and operate it on our own computer(s) without depending on the internet ?
- Are our computers updated and provide a fast enough response for our software? Ask the service software company for computer specifications just to be sure.
- How much is the initial purchase price for the number of office users and mobile users that you will need including initial set-up and training services? ..over five years? ….over ten years?
- How is back-up performed for our company and customer data on our computers? Can we also use an offsite back-up service like Carbonite to save our back-up offsite daily?
- If you are a QuickBooks user now you are probably creating your customer invoices and sales receipts INSIDE QuickBooks. If you select purchased service software you need to ask if you can still create your invoices INSIDE QuickBooks OR if the service software creates your customer invoices. If they create your customer invoices you will be required to import or sync their invoices into your QuickBooks. This may cause issues with your QuickBooks. Don’t forget to import all of the invoices. You need to monitor every import for duplicate records and make any amount corrections.
- Data privacy for your company and customer information is important. There are many simple firewall protection software programs available for your office computers. You can also turn off your computers at night so they are not available to the internet. Find a reputable computer company locally to handle this for you.
- In summary, if you are considering service software for your company it is very important to answer these questions first before you arrange software demonstrations. Using the answers to these questions you should be able to narrow down your service software search very quickly. The final step is to request a personal demonstration of those software programs which meet your basic requirements. During the demonstration be sure that they address your specific service software needs like scheduling ,equipment tracking, agreements, mobile paperless, etc.
Contact Paul to arrange your Free Software Needs Review.