This year’s ServSuite University, which took place in Las Vegas Feb. 6-8, featured a panel discussion that examined how office and field-based automation makes for efficient daily operations.
On day two of the event, three of ServicePro’s customers shared how they save time by automating the tasks that keep their companies running smoothly.
To get the conversation started, moderator and Pest Management Professional Managing Editor Diane Sofranec asked panelists how they leverage ServSuite modules to increase efficiencies at their companies.
Del Lawson, vice president of operations for Modern Pest Control in Houston, Texas, said ServSuite’s web portal has become an important tool as his company moves toward credit cards and auto billing. In addition, he finds the mobile app indispensable.
“We simply couldn’t run our business without the real-time data we get from the mobile app,” Lawson said. “Within minutes, we can tell whether a customer’s service wasn’t done, and we can use the tech comments section to get pertinent info about each account.”
Jamie Stocker, CPA, president of Apex Pest Control Service in Oakwood Village, Ohio, also favors the mobile app because it helped his company improve and customize its client logbook, and grow business in the food manufacturing/distributing, healthcare and logistics markets.
“It allowed us to compete directly with the big names in our industry, and to win accounts that smaller firms usually wouldn’t be able to finalize,” Stocker said.
The mobile app also helps improve office efficiency, as staff can process work in a few clicks, and customers can immediately receive invoices, he said.
Stocker said the company provides residential and commercial customers with access to the web portal to view service and payment history, see scheduled services, pay via credit card, and correspond with the company.
Reports are vital
Travis Aggson, ACE, executive vice president of American Pest Management in Manhattan, Kan., uses ServSuite’s automated reporting functionality to plan ahead by seeing his schedule the evening before.
In addition, he said the company is implementing automated production and sales reports for managers on a weekly basis. “Every Monday, they will be able to report to their team their status on personal goals,” Aggson said.
The company also uses the inventory module to keep track of materials in its storage room. “We can set minimum storage levels, so if inventory is accurate, our office manager can print a report to show which materials we are low on without leaving their desk,” he said.
For Lawson, the reporting module and the mobile capabilities have made a difference. He said his company uses the reporting capabilities every day to gauge success or failure in the business. They are used for planning purposes, customer retention efforts, as well as customer service.
Because the mobile app lets him see in real time what is happening in the field, he considers it one of the most valuable tools by far.
“The mobile app is a tool we cannot live without,” Lawson said. “Our business changes so quickly on a day-to-day basis that we must have consistent communication between the office and the techs to adapt to changes in their schedules.”
Stocker said the routing module lets his scheduler see the entire service schedule one month in advance and tell at a glance whether changes are needed, and then make them immediately. She can tighten routes and reduce driving time — and labor cost — while improving efficiency and return per hour.
“Way back in the day, you would need to look up the customer’s address, find it on the map and place a pushpin,” Stocker said. “This would take forever. Thank goodness for technology.”
Managing Editor Diane Sofranec can be reached at email@example.com.