The simPRO Blog

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Google’s ‘Jacquard’ meets field service

I recently came across an article about a new product that will premiere in the spring of 2017. It’s Google’s ‘Jacquard’ and it’s the first (but certainly not the last) piece of connected clothing to hit the market.

In a partnership with Levi’s, Google has created what they call “interactive denim” – indistinguishable from Levi’s traditional denim but loaded with sensors that can detect hand movements.

The pitch is that a wearer can interact with with Google Maps, Spotify, phone calls, texts (and many more apps to come) by simply touching the sleeve of their jacket.

After I finished reading the piece, my tech-curious mind immediately asked: “How will this technology find its way into the field service industry?”

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Five (other) reasons to consider GPS fleet management in your business

Think you know all there is to know about the benefits of GPS fleet management software?

Now that the GPS tracking industry has matured and most businesses have been approached by GPS tracking vendors, many business owners and managers know the core functions of GPS tracking that provide the ROI (return on investment).  

But you might not be aware that there’s more to tracking than these core functions.

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Empowering your managers to create autonomy

If you’re seeking to achieve business growth and expansion, it’s likely you’ll look to leverage the passion and talent of your employees. This might mean looking to your star performers, and it might mean looking for new hires.

The ultimate outcome here is to create autonomy within your workforce – you’re seeking to create a capability that works as if you were controlling it but with little need for your input. Think about that for a moment.

When autonomy is reached, things will just flow and you are free to turn your attention to higher level strategic matters to promote growth and expansion.

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How to attract, create and keep exceptional employees

Great employees are made up of two foundational elements: enthusiasm and teachability.

The former denotes a passionate individual, while the latter is one who wants to develop and progress, who is hungry to learn, and who evidences the trait of humility.

If you can find an individual with these two traits as well as highly developed skills, then you’re on to a winner. And, even if the skill levels are less than required, their rise to skill mastery will be much faster if they already have these two foundational traits.

The following are my key tips to attracting, creating, and keeping exceptional employees.

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Using the force to create a positive company culture

It seems, nowadays, that everywhere you look you’ll see something related to ‘culture’ and the benefits of a good company culture -- and of course the disadvantages of a bad one. So what is this ‘culture’ I speak of?

If you do a Google search for ‘company culture’ you'll get a few different definitions -- but at simPRO we don’t have a culture policy as such. I don’t believe you can define it in a paragraph or three, but I like to think of it as a force or momentum that invisibly swirls around the building or company.

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API Love

Here at simPRO, we love integrating with other great cloud products, such as accounting software solutions Quickbooks Online, Xero, and MYOB (to name a few). We’ve also had many great products integrate with us, such as Groundplan takeoff software and SyncEzy (Infusionsoft) marketing software.

For those of you who may not know, API (Application Programming Interface) makes it possible for different applications to connect and communicate with each other. We’ve set out to make the simPRO API more powerful and even easier for other developers to integrate with us, so we can offer users even greater functionality.

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A metric is a measurement – not a goal

First-time fix rate, response time, parts expense, reliability, customer satisfaction – these are all ‘big hitters’ in the list of key performance indicators (KPIs) for field service. Many service organizations look to these and other KPIs as a means to determine effectiveness and profitability.

However, just as teaching to improve test scores is a sure way to keep a child from getting a well-balanced education, creating poorly thought-out KPI improvement programs or setting KPI goals for service techs can lead a service team to take a lopsided approach to their jobs.

It’s important to keep a proper perspective when it comes to using metrics in the field service world, or you might end up sacrificing one KPI to improve another.

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5 simple tips for speedier invoicing

Many small businesses must take care of their own invoicing, but many view the task as a chore. This could explain why the average business takes a week to send an invoice – and for some businesses, up to two months.

While it may be a pain in the neck, prompt and efficient invoicing is vital to the success of a business.

According to research by accounting software provider Xero, small businesses are paid, on average, two weeks late. A recent UK survey found an even longer delay of 21 days.

There are methods you can use to speed things up, though. From tightening payment terms, to chasing invoices more aggressively, to simply getting your invoices out faster – these are just a few of many examples you can use to help keep the cash coming in.

Avoid the dreaded cash crunch that spells the end for many small businesses with these five tips for better – and faster – invoicing.

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