Time-saving IT tools


October 16, 2023

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Formerly known as Fujitsu, the Ricoh line of ScanSnap portable document scanners is readily available for sale online. The device sits on your desk and scans to your cloud software (Google Drive or iCloud). It saves time from going to the copier to scan. Photo: DNY59/E+/Getty Images

Every year after the busy season, I review business performance. I look for what worked and what didn’t, where we shined as a company and ran smoothly vs. where we failed and were chaotic. Then, our team works to simplify processes, eliminate work duplication, automate repeatable tasks, and prepare for a smoother busy season next year.

Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In business, I say, “An ounce of preparation removes so much chaos.”

Let’s face it: Chaos is undesirable, and much of it is preventable. As you review your busy season performance and pinpoint what worked and what didn’t, simplify and automate with some of my favorite tech tools. Please note I am not affiliated with any brand mentioned, except for my own. These are just things that have helped me personally as a pest control business owner, in addition to the many software-as-a-service (SaaS) industry providers that offer virtual assistance.

Productivity platforms

Companywide message apps like Slack (Slack.com) or Microsoft Teams (microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-teams/group-chat-software) allow you to set up different channels where employees will communicate with the office, management and one another in real time from anywhere. You can set up channels for billing, cancelations, customer compliments and each technician and salesperson.

Loom (Loom.com) is for recording videos of every task performed on a computer. Use it to document office tasks for training, reminders and accountability. Build a library to simplify training and empower existing employees to find answers independently. The first 25 videos are free; upgrade for less than $50 a month.

Sheri Spencer Bachman

Sheri Spencer Bachman

Manage the hiring process — applications, scheduling interviews, etc. — and employee documents — compensation forms, non-competes, tax forms, etc. — with Bamboo HR (BambooHR.com). It has an excellent timeclock system and can track everything concerning employee management. It’s very user-friendly with terrific training.

Monday (monday.com) allows users to electronically track office staff’s daily task performance with timestamping. It has a dashboard that lets management track in-progress and completed tasks and how long each task takes. You can attach written or video instructions for assignments. Monday makes training new office staff simple because everything they need is in one place.

Leadership, meanwhile, can plan their day electronically and share it with the management team via Jell (Jell.com). It’s excellent for holding leaders accountable and knowing where they are in each of their respective assignments and projects.

Last, but might I say not least, I created the customizable Pest Control Business app to help pest management company owners banish chaos. It helps track key performance indicators (KPIs) by employee and department; eliminates the need for managers to pull reports to see how their team members are performing; creates healthy competition; and more. More information is online at PestControlBusinessCoach.com.

The Game Plan

We all have smartphones now, but are we using them to their fullest capabilities? In addition to running mobile versions of many of the apps described on the next page, they are truly a powerhouse of mobile opportunities, including:

  • FaceTime lets technicians communicate with management when problems arise.
  • Camera documents what technicians see in the field.
  • Camera also documents graphs and other documents in the field.
  • Video (or FaceTime) shows inspection findings to customers.
  • Videos document how each service is performed, for use during training and for reminders and accountability for existing employees.

About the Author

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Spencer Bachman is a second-generation pest management professional, and owner of the Pest Control Business Coach consulting firm based in Canton, Ga. You can reach her at Sheri@PestControlBusinessCoach.com.

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