Expanding the Business
Founded by two brothers in 1995, ProDrain & Rooter Service quickly grew from a drain cleaning company into a 16-person business offering plumbing, excavation, line repairs, video inspection and other services. The company's growth brought its share of challenges "With only two or three people, it's easy to know what everyone's doing each day," said Office Manager Aimee Lawlor. "But as we added more services and employees, and our jobs became bigger and more complex, our existing methods didn't cut it anymore."
For example, ProDrain & Rotter Service was using a Microsoft Office Word document to manage scheduling. Each day Aimee would create a table with a column for each technician, their jobs for the following day, and the times they needed to show up. At night she would email the document to the company's technicians so they could review it before hitting the road in the morning. "As we added more employees, it became harder and harder to fit everything into the schedule."
Managing jobs for property management companies that had multiple tenants required different services on different days complicated the scheduling process further. "We were leaving messages if the tenants were out, but without a simple way to update and view the status of each job, sometimes we'd forget to follow up." This was only one of the ways existing processes were negatively impacting customer service. "When we had more than one technician on a single job, our systems required us to create multiple invoices. Obviously our customers didn't like this."
Time for a Change
Aimee knew it was time for a change when "the boxes on the Word schedule became too small to read." When Aimee called other plumbing companies to ask how they managed their scheduling and dispatching processes she often heard, "with a big white board on the wall." Aimee knew there had to be a better way.
Aimee searched for the Internet for "dispatching software" and discovered ServiceCEO. After engaging the company and seeing a demonstration, ProDrain & Rooter Service knew ServiceCEO was exactly what they were looking for. "After seeing all the features, and all the ways it fit our business, we knew it was the product we needed to manage our entire business." The company purchased ServiceCEO for their back office, and ServiceCEO Mobile to improve the productivity of their technicians out in the field.
As a customer, Aimee had access to ServiceCEO's Interactive Member Center where she was able to watch pre-recorded videos of different product capabilities. "Once I was able to prioritize what we needed, the videos helped us get going with the software."
A Win-Win Situation
With the office team using ServiceCEO, connected to technicians using ServiceCEO Mobile out in the field, coordination improved significantly. "The software not only makes our techs more efficient, it saves a lot of time for our schedulers as well." With technicians using ServiceCEO Mobile to update job status from their mobile devices in real-time, it's easy for Aimee and other members of the office team to see if a technician is on route, on site, or finished with a job. "With a quick glance at the ServiceCEO dispatch board, we can easily see if a tech or team is running behind or ahead. It's also easy for us to move or reschedule jobs, and to schedule jobs as far out as we want." With the ability to take on more jobs during the day, ProDrain & Rooter Service has created a win-win situation-the company makes a bigger profit while their techs, who are paid on commission, get bigger checks.
With ServiceCEO Mobile, technicians can update job information-services performed, time taken, equipment used, and more-right from their mobile devices. Since the company no longer has to manually enter information from paper forms given to them by each technician, Aimee says invoice turnaround time has improved by a factor of 10. "We just proofread the invoices and email them to the customer immediately. Before ServiceCEO, it could take a week to 10 days to get an invoice out."
ServiceCEO also enables ProDrain & Rooter Service to deliver better service to their customers. For example, when a landlord calls in to find out how much a job cost or what was done at each rental property, any employee can find this information right away. "We no longer need to call a customer back after checking in with a technician out in the field. We can see everything the technicians have done in ServiceCEO because they've already updated every job from their mobile devices." Without all the back-and-forth communication and re-keying of information, customer service and employee productivity have significantly improved.
Improving the Bottom Line
ServiceCEO's reporting and analysis features are helping ProDrain & Rooter Service continue to grow efficiently. "With everything in the system, it's easy to run a report to find out what parts plumbers and drain cleaners are using, how productive each of our technicians are, which category of our business is producing the most, even how effective our marketing and advertising campaigns are."
With the back office and field technicians always connected, the productivity of the company's field and office staff has increased dramatically. With the information employees need to respond to customers at their fingertips, customer service has also improved. Together, ServiceCEO and ServiceCEO Mobile have helped ProDrain & Rooter Service maintain their growth rate despite the recession, while significantly improving the bottom line.