The past decade has witnessed an explosion of cloud-based computing and internet hosting that has forever changed the way that businesses store information, conduct transactions and manage the technology they rely on every day. Many small service management businesses are turning to Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, hosted in the cloud. Other businesses rely on more traditional, on-premise solutions run from their own in house or hosted servers. A fledgling service management business might be wondering, what is the difference between the solutions and what unique advantages do they offer? Experienced business owners are probably curious about the benefits that these software solutions offer to their business process.
Service management and help desk style businesses are hard to run without the proper organizational tools. If you’ve ever tried keeping track of your own finances using an eclectic assortment of spreadsheets, saved emails and receipts you know that it can get out of hand. Even if you can manage that, keeping track of the financial interactions of dozens of customers using a similar, home-brewed system is exponentially more difficult and expensive to maintain and update. Receiving and logging requests for maintenance or repairs, assigning technicians to those duties, issuing estimates and invoices to customers, receiving payments and tracking income. It can be a lot to deal with. Take a minute and reflect on how much time you might be spending on processes that could be automated. Without a good system in place it can be impossible to expand your business or even keep up with your current customers.
Do you want to keep trying to make your spreadsheets play nicely with your email account and hard copy receipts? If you’re experiencing problems in any of the following areas, you might want to look into service management software.
• Double entry of data
• Automatic invoicing
• Automatic messaging
• Customer information storage
• Automatic payment processing
• Work order creation and distribution
• Expense and income tracking
You need a tool that automates as much of the service management process as possible, stores information in a single place, automatically shares information between platforms and generates invoices with a single button.
• Increase productivity by spending less time entering information in multiple places
• Boost revenue by sending more technicians into the field rather than wasting time with back office activities and paperwork
• Optimize turnover time with automatic invoicing, payment processing and interfacing with QuickBooks or QuickBooks Online
You could invest in on-premise software, installed on your own computers. These solutions are very robust and typically have a greater capacity for complex tasks and vast amounts of inventory. This type of software is excellent for larger service businesses that have their own servers and infrastructure in place. If you are a small business looking for service management software, be aware that the initial start up cost is only part of the expense of on-premise software. You should also be aware of future expenditures like:
• Upgrading hardware and software
• Keeping licenses up to date
• Moving hardware in the event of relocating your business
• Insurance and maintenance for hardware
• Replacement or expansion to allow for scalability
Many smaller service management businesses without on-premise servers are taking advantage of new, cloud-hosted Software as a Service solutions. Many of the expenditures above can be alleviated using online service management tools rather than in-house software. With new Software as a Service solutions hosted online in the cloud, software is made available to businesses in the most convenient way. The benefits are:
• No in-house servers or hardware required, so no big start up investments
• Software can be run on any device (iPad, iPhone, Mac, PC, Tablets, Android, etc) so that if you have internet access, you have your software accessible anywhere, anytime
• There is no long term commitment to the software. You pay per month, so you can scale your usage up or down based on your current needs
The Bottom Line
Your business is service management. Ours is service management software. Let us take care of solutions for keeping you organized, efficient and focused on what you’re best at with our software solutions. When you run into problems with your homegrown jumble of spreadsheets the only tech support you’re going to get is the “Help” feature in Excel. We’ll personally guide you through any confusion you have, on site or over the phone.
If you’re not sure about using a software package for your service business, why not try out a free trial? Most service management software is offered as a free trial, including High 5 Software’s on premise software, Service Management Enterprise (SME) and our online, hosted software, Service Management Online (SMO). If you need more advice on what product is right for you, contact us at email@example.com and we’ll help you determine which package will work best for your specific business needs.
To try a free trial of SMO, go to http://h5sw.herokuapp.com/ and click sign up!
To try out SME for free, go to http://www.high5software.com/request
For a more complete comparison of High 5 Software’s on-premise software versus our Software as a Service solution, hosted online, visit the following link: