Data Migration – Part 2 of 10 ways to make your business more efficient with Field Service Software

Migrating your data into a Field Service Software solution

Now that you’ve made a decision to streamline your service operations with field service software it is critical for success to gather and import your existing data into the new system. Make certain the software solution you select has import capability and their support team will assist with the import process if needed.

Customers with QuickBooks

QuickBooks Field Service Software Integration
Many of our new customers have QuickBooks with years of data. This data can easily be exported from QuickBooks to Excel and imported into Bella with our import tools for Customers, Vendors, and Items. Going forward, if you decide to continue using QuickBooks for your accounting you only need to enter new data or update existing data in Bella. When you sync the invoices from Bella to QuickBooks the data in QuickBooks will be updated automatically. We will discuss the integration with QuickBooks process in more detail in a later post of this 10 part series.

Customers with paper files

Paper Data Import Process for Field Service Software
Many new customers we work with have years of paper, post it notes, white boards, etc… and no electronic database. The painful truth is this information will need to be somehow converted to electronic format. There is no way around it. It must be done in order to streamline your business to reduce cost and grow. You have options such as hire a temp worker to manually go through all of the paper work and enter your customer and contact information into a spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel. You can find service companies that will scan all of your paper work and covert into electronic format. It is worth the effort!

Customers with multiple data sources

Multiple Database Migration for Field Service Software
Some companies have data in multiple existing systems. Typically these systems will have export capability into formats such as Excel and CSV. Simply export your data from all sources and combine into one spreadsheet. Unfortunately, many businesses we work with have not managed their data properly over the years. Data management is challenging due to the different ways employees enter data and different formats used by systems. This process is a chance to “clean up” you data. Once migrated into a state of the art system such as Bella you will be able to manage and control your data much more efficiently.
 
 
Which ever of the above situations your company is in, the data migration process will be successful when partnering with an experienced and strong field service software provider such as Bella Solutions. It may be slightly painful at first but the payoff in the end is well worth the effort.

10 ways to make your business more efficient with Field Service Software

Over the next 10 weeks Bella Solutions will be providing an in-depth view into how to make your business more efficient with Bella Field Service Software. Over the past several years we have worked closely with thousands of companies big and small and have learned so much. We would like to share this information and encourage you to reply with your comments for a candid discussion.

First and possibly most important is stop searching and evaluating different possible solutions month after month looking for the perfect fit. Unfortunately, it does not exist. We have worked with many companies that spent so much time and so many resources evaluating different options that they became overwhelmed and never decided on anything or put the decision on hold. This is a situation that delays increased sales and profits and growth for your business.

We understand implementing a field service software solution into your business is an extremely important decision. Whether you are coming from whiteboards and post-it notes or deciding to move away from an out-of-date software package you’ve been using for years, deploying a field service software solution is a critical step to managing and growing your business.

Good Field Service Software is actually a solution like “Bella Field Service Management” solution that provides tools to manage your en business process. You and your employees and possibly your vendors and customers will use it every day all day. Over the years we have designed our software to be easy-to-use and customizable to fit the way you do business. Our customers have been driving the design of the software!

Minimum features you should look for in a Field Service Software solution

  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
  • Job / Work Order Management
  • Scheduling / Dispatch
  • Tasks / To do’s
  • Employee Management
  • Vendor Management
  • Estimates / Invoices / Accounting
  • Interface to QuickBooks or other accounting applications
  • Customizable
  • Mobile access

When you find a Field Service Software solution that is close to what you want then get it! Our customers success rate is over 90% for those who make a decision immediately.

Please feel free to comment and remember to follow the additional information we will be posting on this subject over the next 10 weeks.
 
 
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IT Service Software In The Modern Business

Businesses have come to rely more and more on software applications and electronically stored data in the running of the business. There is a wide range of IT service software available to maintain operations, as well as modern resources for minimizing downtime.

One area that IT managers are now increasingly interested in is virtual backup of data and applications. Bella IT Service Management software assists service businesses to help other companies. Just as companies are beginning to realize the potential of virtual applications, they are becoming more aware of virtual backups.

The use of virtual applications is on the increase. The development of cloud computing has made virtual applications possible. Companies that use cloud computing can save significantly on software, hardware and labor costs.

A virtual application is one that resides on a virtual machine or machines in the cloud, and is often hosted on third party infrastructure. As an example, a company can contract with a cloud service provider to use a database application hosted on a virtual server, rather than having to purchase licenses for the database application and install it on its own hardware.

This removes from the company the responsibility for installing, upgrading and maintaining the application, since all that work now falls on the cloud computing provider. The company saves by not having to buy the application, and not having to pay staff to support it.

Another advantage is that the company will only be paying for resources that it actually uses. In the most common business scenario, companies are required to buy licenses to cover every client computer that will use an application. Most software manufacturers sell licenses in bundles.

This means that a company can end up paying for more licenses than it actually uses now, or will ever use in the future. But when a company decides to use virtual applications, the company will only be required to spend money based on its real use of the resources.

Businesses that use cloud computing can also make considerable savings on hardware expenditure. Even though a network can be quite small, it will still need an expensive and powerful server to run it properly. The cost of the server will increase proportionately to its power. By using cloud computing, a company will only have to buy lower spec machines, thereby saving money.

Businesses can often experience problems when it comes to data backup. Being able to maintain real time data backup requires resources that many businesses cannot afford. They rely instead on running scheduled backups at intervals. When something crops up and it is necessary to restore data from the latest backup, any data entered since then can be lost.

Even where companies have been diligent in their backup routines, critical data loss has occurred when the backup medium has proved faulty. Companies can suffer severe problems when this happens.

Problems like these can be avoided by turning to virtual backups. With virtual backups, all data is backed up in real time, and never on a single medium. Data restoration is almost instantaneous, and problems can be resolved very quickly.

Bella Solutions – Software License Agreement with ServicePower Technologies PLC

Bella Solutions, Inc., a leading mobile field service management software provider, is pleased to announce a licensing agreement with ServicePower technologies PLC for Bella’s service management software.
Reston, VA (PRWEB) January 17, 2013

Bella Solutions, Inc., a leading mobile field service management software provider, is pleased to announce a licensing agreement with ServicePower for Bella’s service management software.

Under the licensing agreement, Bella will allow ServicePower to host its own version of Bella Solutions software and will allow them to further develop it to provide a hosted, subscription-based service management application to its network of independent service providers.

Bella Solutions mobile service management
software enables a service provider to efficiently manage work orders, employees, subcontractors, inventory, marketing and finance with dashboard reporting on all these activities. A client portal provides access to pending work orders and gives the ability to a client to request a work order in real time. The product is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) based application which can be accessed from any desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone, or web-enabled handheld device.

John Linn, CEO of Bella Solutions, added: “This agreement will accelerate Bella Solutions growth in this very important market and demonstrates, yet again, that we are a recognized leader in software that offers service businesses comprehensive, low cost solutions that help them run their businesses more efficiently.”

About Bella Solutions

Bella Solutions infuses cutting edge technology with a creative vision and a rock-solid foundation of experience, to provide a web-based solution for managing any and all field service business operations. With only a low, month-by-month subscription fee with no required long-term commitment, Bella Solutions provides a simple and flexible application for streamlining service businesses.

Click here to see full Bella Service Management Software Press Release

 
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Workforce Scheduling: Automating for Results

Source: Aberdeen Group | Workforce Scheduling: Automating for Results | June, 2012

Every day, companies around the world must solve the jigsaw puzzle of scheduling – matching up availability, skills and business demand to create an efficient, effective schedule that meets the needs of various involved stakeholders. After hours spent creating schedules, many organizations still find themselves struggling with overstaffed shifts, or shorthanded rushes. Based on data from 163 organizations collected in May and June 2012, this Research Brief will look at how organizations are optimizing and automating scheduling to improve business results, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement.

Scheduling Automation and Integration

If the right workers with the right skills are not in place at the right time, the organization cannot deliver a profitable, engaging and satisfying customer experience. But building a schedule to accomplish this can be a huge burden, particularly on operational managers. People in this critical role have to balance time spent on customer facing and revenue driving activities with time spent on internal processes like schedule creation and management. So it’s not surprising that organizations seek to automate this important, complex, and time-consuming task.

Best-in-Class organizations in Aberdeen’s June 2012 workforce management study were 29% more likely to indicate they used an automated scheduling solution, compared to all others. And for good reason, given the impact to revenue and customer retention illustrated in Figure 1.  And as Figure 2 shows, organizations automating this process are also reducing the administrative and time burden on operational managers by ensuring greater schedule accuracy, but are improving workforce utilization, allowing organizations to be more productive. The need to improve overall workforce productivity was the top workforce management pressure cited by 69% of respondents in the 2012 workforce management study, and investment in automated scheduling is clearly addressing this critical need.

Automated scheduling can improve the lives of scheduling many stakeholders. Operational managers who are held accountable for creating schedules must do so quickly and efficiently. Financial and business executives want to deliver performance at an acceptable cost. HR leaders need to streamline tactical activities and focus on strategic priorities. And employees want a transparent and fair scheduling process. Automated scheduling addresses all of these issues.

Improving Scheduling Performance

Not only can automated scheduling improve efficiency and performance, it also allows organizations to use scheduling data in new ways (Figure 3).

Organizations with automated scheduling solutions are more than twice as likely as organizations without automated scheduling to provide self-service access to employees – a critical element to improving employee engagement and schedule accuracy. When employees can see and correct scheduling problems in advance, and feel their voice is heard in the scheduling process, they will be happier with the overall experience.

Organizations with automated scheduling are also more than four times as likely to use dashboard tools that can share workforce management data with executives. Labor is the biggest expense in most organizations, and this expense must be balanced against business results. Workforce and labor data dashboards help executives understand how labor budget is spent, and enable better conversations between operational and financial managers about talent needs and investment. This data can also help with future labor forecasting. Understanding past patterns, and the business and financial results of various schedule scenarios, helps organizations plan better in the future. While this can be done manually, organizations that automated scheduling were more than three times as likely to use automated tools to forecast future labor needs, improving accuracy and results.

Automated solutions can also offer additional functionality to manage complex issues like variable customer demand or other factors that may require organizations to staff up or down rapidly to meet business needs. By integrating data, modeling demand, and automatically and dynamically creating and modifying schedules, this functionality can rapidly improve productivity and workforce utilization. Forty-two percent (42%) of organizations with automated scheduling tools also use scenario planning software – solutions that calculate the most effective combination of shifts or day models based on staffing needs. Only 2% of organizations with manual scheduling are taking advantage of this kind of functionality, so clearly automation is critical to optimizing schedule performance. This capability is also a critical differentiators of Best-in-Class performance. Automated solutions also save time and improve efficiency by helping managers fill open shifts. Organizations with automated scheduling in place are nearly 10 times as likely (29% vs. 3%) to enable managers to automatically send notification of open shifts to employees via text, interactive voice response or email, helping to avoid managers spending hours tracking down employees to fill in for an unexpected absence.

Key Insights

Automation is a logical choice for improving efficiency, and, when done well it can also have a significant impact on effectiveness and customer and employee engagement. When evaluating automated scheduling solutions, consider the following points:

  • Implement with all stakeholders in mind. Automated scheduling solutions can be a significant investment, but this investment can be justified easily by building a business case that focuses on all key stakeholder groups – operations, finance HR, IT, employees and customers. By creating efficiencies and using schedule data to improve effectiveness and business impact, organizations can quickly measure the impact of automated scheduling. As shown in the case study, it’s smart to know how projected performance improvements will pay for the investment in automation when building a business case.
  • Make automation the foundation for integration. Scheduling does not exist in a vacuum. Automation of scheduling alone can result in less manager time spent on manual processes, happier employees and more accurate schedules. But automating scheduling and using scheduling data along with data from other workforce management processes (such as time and attendance) can have an even greater impact. Feeding performance data into the schedule and correlating schedules with business output creates a feedback loop that helps improve not only scheduling but overall business performance.
  • Know your business drivers. In organizations that are highly schedule dependent –where the right person with the right skills to meet the customer need is critical to business results – HR and the business must be completely aligned. If HR and operations don’t come together to design a scheduling process that speaks to key business drivers, scheduling solutions will never have the desired impact. A bad process, automated, will only produce disappointing results faster. Organizations must understand the business drivers and critical inputs to their scheduling process before automation begins.

 
 
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Functions of A Property Management Software

With property management software, residents owning sizable bits of properties have the best way of making certain that their effects are well organized and managed. The software offers the right way on the right way to manage asset records and money worth. It contains a user friendly interface, which is straightforward to understand and use.

The tool saves some considerable time that would have been spent in keeping records manually. Archaic techniques are not as effective as with the use of this program. This is because record keeping requires updates to be performed often. The program therefore saves money, as it is able to handle all of these effectively.

The program offers proper money management in the sense that users may be able to have all of the calculations performed at an instant and recorded where needed. For example, different financial aspects handled include rental yields, net income and cash flow. Rather than having employees deal with the situation, having this product is an effective way to cope with the calculations. There is no chance for errors.

Record maintenance is also made far easier by employing this product. Asset owners do not have to worry about the location of past records remotely. For example owners get the chance to have their renters information organize in chronological order. Keeping manual records is a difficult job since when talking of accessibility, a lot of time is wasted.

This program also offers a cost effective way of handling assets. Owners don’t need to hire staff to look after their possessions. This results in reduced spending on wages. It’s also effective, as the program has no mistake rates as humans do.

With Bella property management software, owners have the best chance to manage their assets. It is appropriate and trustworthy to handle asset handling. Most users find the tool to be trustworthy.
 
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NEW FIELD SERVICE SOFTWARE FEATURES ALERT – April 12, 2012

These field service software features were just added to Bella Solutions:

1) Include file attachments with Work Order email alerts

  • Upload and attach files to a Work Order such as photos, contracts, PDF’s, spreadsheet’s, and more.
    • Take photos with your mobile device and upload while in the field!
  • While uploading a file you have the option to include the file attachment with Work Order email alert.
  • Email Work Orders with file attachments to assigned Technicians and/or the Customer.

2) Email Estimates, Work Orders, and Invoices to Customers and Parent Customers

  • Estimates (Quotes / Proposals)
    • Email Estimates directly from Bella to your Customer.
    • Option to email the Estimate to the “Parent” Customer.
    • The “From” address is your email address.
  • Work Orders
    • Email Work Orders directly from Bella to your Customer.
    • Option to email the Work Order to the “Parent” Customer.
    • The “From” address is your email address.
  • Invoices
    • Email Invoices directly from Bella to your Customer.
    • Option to email the Invoice to the “Parent” Customer.
    • The “From” address is your email address.

Learn more at Bella’s Bella Mobile Field Service Software

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NEW FIELD SERVICE SOFTWARE FEATURES ALERT – April 4, 2012

Recently added Field Service Software features:

Job Payments / Deposit / Prepay

  • Payments may be entered directly on the Job page with the “Payment/Deposit” button.
  • Deposits or Prepays may be entered directly on the Job page with the “Payment/Deposit” button.
  • “Total Paid” and “Balance Due” display on the Job page.
  • Payments and Balance display on Work Order and Invoice forms to send to your Customer.

Color Codes Displaying in Lists

  • Customer List – “Location Zone” column displays assigned Location Zone color codes.
  • Job List – “Job Status” column displays assigned Job Status color codes.
  • Employee List – “Employee Name” column displays assigned Employee color codes.
  • Vendor List – “Vendor Name” column displays assigned Vendor color codes.

New Customer Address Default

  • A State/Province “set as default” checkbox has been added on the Customer page to select a State/Province as the default value each time you create a new Customer.

Invoice “Bill To” Options

  • The Invoice page now allows you to select either the “Parent” or “Subsidiary” Customer as the “Bill To” Customer.

Learn more at Bella Mobile Service Software

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NEW FIELD SERVICE SOFTWARE FEATURE – CRM Access Levels

We are listening! The new CRM (Customer Relationship Management) feature described below significantly enhances your ability to control access of Customer records to Account Managers, Sales Reps, Branch Managers, and more!

  • Assign a CRM access level to an “Account Manager”
  • An Account Manager is a Sales Rep, Technician, Branch Manager, Store Manager or who ever you decide to give access to a Customer record.
  • Account Managers will only be able to view Customers and Jobs they are assigned.
  • Currently, Field Resources (Technicians) may be assigned an access level to only view Jobs they are assigned.
  • This new CRM feature gives the ability to increase the access to include Customers and Jobs for the Account Manager.
  • Assign the access level in the Admin tab by editing the User and selecting the Account Manager option.

Learn more at Bella’s Mobile Field Service Software

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Would I have the ability to distinguish 2 Companies within one Field Service Software Account?

Question

Sat, Sep 24, 2011 at 2:02 pm

1)  I have 2 types of service businesses under 1 corporate name, would I have the ability to distinguish the 2 entities within the same system?

2)  Is there a task filter or process that helps in suggesting workers by both availability and skills?

Answer

1) Yes,  you can use one Corporate Name with logo and profile in the system that will display on Estimates, Work Orders, and Invoices.

There would be several ways to track two entities in the system. For example, you could create a custom “Customer Type” for each entity and then assign to the appropriate Customers to keep them organized. You can filter the Customer List by Customer Type.

Also, when creating a Job you could reference the entity name in the Job Name. The Job List can be sorted by Job Name.

There are endless ways to add notes, descriptions, etc… that could help distinguish between entities.

2) Currently, you can assign two work types to a worker, sales and/or service. When scheduling a Job you can filter the work list by work type then availability.

By the end of this year we are adding the ability to create and assign more work types.