Charlie Howe, owner of Howe to Fix It Heating and Air in Garland, Texas, had a contract to service more than 2,500 rental properties across the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
It wasn’t easy. At least, he said, until he purchased FieldLocate, “cloud” based software that he uses to appointments, customers and technicians.
“I can’t tell you how much the map view saves me. It’s priceless,” he said. “It saves a ton of money on fuel and makes sure techs are used efficiently.”
The software allows the company’s dispatcher to map out the jobs in the most efficient way, saving time and fuel expenses.
“Our fuel bill has decreased over $400 per month and it saves us a ton of headaches since we’re not running around the (Dallas-Fort Worth area) metroplex,” he said.
The company is booking almost 25 percent more jobs each week, Howe added.
“When I receive a service request, I can pull up the map and locate a tech within 20 miles of a call. Instead of calling the customer back, I can book the appointment right then, and I’m doing this all from my phone while out in the field,” he said.
FieldLocate’s maps keep track of technicians and their locations. It helps when estimating arrival times and ensuring the hourly paid workers are where they need to be.
“I can bill travel time easier than estimating the distance, especially if traffic is horrible,” he said.
In the office, the software’s estimating tools eliminate the need to create estimates and invoices using different systems.
“Now I can create the estimate in FieldLocate and email it to the customer,” he said. “When approved, I just turn the estimate into an invoice and email it right back to them. It makes my life so much easier.”
That extends to billing.
“Thanks to FieldLocate, we don’t have to mail out paper invoices. We send everything via email,” he said.
The company can also accept on-the-spot payments, with the help of smartphone or mobile payment device.
“Now, I can pull up the invoice, email it to the customer’s phone, and they hand me a check,”
The checks can be automatically deposited electronically through his bank’s smartphone application.
He uses a similar method accept credit cards.
“Whether it’s a credit card or check, the money is in the bank before I drive away,” he said.
And when it comes to paying his technicians, FieldLocate has made that easier, too. Payroll used to take up to 90 minutes to handle. Now it takes only 15 minutes with the software’s integration of QuickBooks. He gives his contractors a weekly bonus when they exceed their revenue goals. Using the information in FieldLocate, he can see how much revenue each contractor generated to determine his or her bonus.