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Our App Partner of the month, ServiceM8, on running better business in the field

Posted 4 months ago in Apps by Nick Houldsworth

ServiceM8 is a field service management app. It empowers small business owners to run a better business and improve their lifestyle. It’s for field-based trades and home services businesses like electrical contractors, plumbers and pool care specialists. Field staff use the software via a native app for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. The office staff access the ServiceM8 dashboard via web browser on their Mac or PC.

ServiceM8 and Xero’s integration provides an end-to-end solution. They support a business from their customers’ first call right through to scheduling, quoting, job management, invoicing and accounting.

Darren Ford, Strategic Partnerships Manager at ServiceM8, tells us a bit more about ServiceM8. He explains how field-based trades businesses can get work, get it done, and get paid.

How has the cloud helped revolutionise the way tradespeople carry out their jobs?

The cloud has been huge for field service. The way it is revolutionising field service and transforming how trades and services businesses operate is significant. It’s like their paradigm shift for running a field-based business.

Before the cloud, small field service businesses just weren’t well equipped for the fundamental realities of managing a business with staff working in the field all day, every day. Cobbled paper-based and spreadsheet “systems” were ill-suited. Inevitably they throttled business efficiency, productivity and professionalism. Not to mention the owner’s lifestyle.

Before the cloud, field service businesses simply did not have the right tools for the job.

Now, with cloud-based field service software, trades and services businesses can:

  • Run the business from anywhere.
  • View staff locations and job status in real time.
  • Schedule, dispatch, and communicate with field staff in real-time.
  • Manage jobs from start to finish, in the field.
  • Access all client and job details in the field.
  • Create professional PDF reports, quotes and invoices on site.
  • Retain and access a complete history of every job.
  • Connect their job management system with their accounting package.

What are some of the main benefits of real-time communications when you’re in the field?

Cloud-based field service software solves age-old communication issues in field service businesses. Imagine you’re a plumber, and a past client has called you in a panic. A pipe’s burst at their house and it’s all gone wrong. You’re in the next town 50km away, but think one of your staff might be able to get there and stem the flood. What do you do?

In the old days, you’d probably have to start ringing your staff, see where they are, what they’re up to, and whether they can get to the job. Then you’d pick one, call them back, and get them to take down all the customer, address and job details.

ServiceM8 shortcuts this whole process. On your iPhone or iPad, you can view a map of where all your staff are in relation to the client’s house. It also shows whether they’re free or how far along they are on their current job. This way you can pick one, then dispatch the urgent job. Your worker will be instantly notified and have all client and job details they need to get the job sorted ASAP. Furthermore we’ll even send an ‘on-my-way’ text to notify the client that they’re on the way.

Real-time communication for field services means:

  • Clear and streamlined communication between the office and field staff.
  • Avoidance of interruptive phone calls to field staff.
  • Flexibility to respond to urgent jobs or scheduling changes.
  • More professional and informative communication with customers.

How does your app make life easier for small businesses?

Outdated and inefficient business processes affect field service business owners in common ways. They consistently:

  • Lose customer details;
  • Miss appointments;
  • Forget to invoice;
  • Spend their nights trying to catch up; and
  • Feel out of control.

ServiceM8 makes life easier for small businesses because it:

  • Provides visibility and control across their business.
  • Makes job management and administration in the field much easier.
  • Is easy and efficient to use on a constant basis.
  • Conveys a more professional business image.
  • Gives the ability to provide better customer service.
  • Makes them more efficient and productive.
  • Provides a competitive advantage.
  • Is cost-effective, reasonably priced and scalable.
  • Improves record keeping.
  • Improves cash flow.

Why did you choose to partner and integrate with Xero?

ServiceM8 integrated with Xero in 2012. It was a really easy decision. Together, we’re a great fit to help field service businesses manage every single job from start to finish. ServiceM8 and Xero provide an end-to-end solution. They support a business from their customers’ first call. Right through from scheduling, quoting, job management to invoicing and accounting.

But, just as important as this value to our mutual customers, Xero and ServiceM8 share common values:

  • We exist to help small business thrive;
  • We believe in the power and potential of cloud technologies; and
  • We emphasize the importance of user experience.

We’re looking forward to seeing you at Xerocon Melbourne! Also you can check out this video, to learn more about how SerivceM8 work together.

Darren has helped ServiceM8’s independent Partner program become a growing global network. Now, he focuses on working with strategic partners to find new ways to help field service businesses thrive. In his free time, Darren enjoys four-wheel driving through the Northern Territory bush. He is also working on refining his recipe for the perfect burger.

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