Spring is in the air! Or should I say … Service Management Software is in the air? We have received a lot of inquiries from clients and potential clients about changing or implementing Service Management Software in their business. Some of this is due to clients changing a server- based software to a cloud-based software or the need for additional functions such as purchase orders, marketing reporting, or better details for the customer records. Regardless of the reason, you need to be prepared for this change in your business. After many engagements to help clients to clean up after they have implemented this software, I wanted to provide a check list to do BEFORE you begin the onboarding or migration to scheduling software.
- Will you be using QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop (Enterprise), Sage or another accounting software? Your choice is determined by a few things: Inventory Tracking for Multiple Locations (trucks), Job Costing, amount of transactions in your business, and the need for 24×7 access for you and the trusted partners. You need to consider each of these functions and determine what is best for your business. One thing I would like to point out is that this is Accounting software and is designed to do accounting functions. Do not confuse this with your operations that should be a key part of your Service Management software.
- Determine the Chart of Accounts and process of classifying sales in your accounting system. The best approach to a Chart of Accounts is to have the correct accounts that sales, cost of goods, expenses, assets and liabilities can be classified to allow for you to review the summary of the totals in a way that provides you transparency to your business performance.
- Do you have a price book? Are you using a third- party price book? You must have a price book to be successful. The price book needs to have associated parts, supplies, and equipment itemized so that you can build tasks easily and track costs to jobs, departments, and projects.
- Review your customer lists to understand how work orders and billing are organized. Commercial or property management customers are set up to either be billed to the main billing address or sometimes are billed to each work location for payment. Understand your customer’s billing needs and be able to describe this as a requirement for the new software company. Prior to onboarding or migration, take the time to clean up your Customer List specifically delete old information and revise the information you want to keep. This will enable the import to bring across the information that your business needs.
- Lastly, build a list of business requirements for your needs for customer experience, marketing, service agreements, operation reports, time keeping, compensation such as commission, and proposal presentations for your quotes. Service Management software is a framework for you to implement your business requirements and processes. Software is dependent on you to load your content and your rules to optimize it for your business.
In conclusion, be prepared before selecting and implementing new Service Management software. Most Service Management software will perform the same or similar for booking job appointments, dispatching, maintaining customer records and transactions, and integration to an accounting software. Key differences in software generally are in operation reporting, proposal presentations and price book display, and purchase order and job costing capabilities. If you know you are going to deploy these key functions, you may need to accept the software process and understand that it may not be the way you want it but in general it will work! Be flexible and be prepared when making your decision on your Service Management software partner.