29
Oct
2018
5 THINGS EVERY GOOD FIELD SERVICE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE SHOULD HAVE

Field service management software is a huge help to businesses who have to manage many different types of services, deliveries, departments, and customer interactions.  There are several different options when it comes to field service management software and those options can be confusing, especially to companies and entrepreneurs that have never used the software before.  Before you spend your money on a software that won’t meet your needs or that is simply of poor quality, read through these five things that every good field service software should – and most likely will – have.

1. RESOURCE AND PRODUCT MANAGEMENT

A good field service software will allow you to keep track of your company’s inventory in a timely and efficient manner. It’s important to know the amount of products and resources you have in stock at any given time so that you know what to purchase and when. It’s also helpful when it comes to charging customers for goods purchased and so that you may answer inquiries about available products as soon as the customer asks.  All of these advantages can be handled through the right field service management software.

2. FIELD SERVICE SOFTWARE CAN BE USED TO TRACK YOUR TECHNICIANS THROUGH GPS

Often, it’s essential to know when a technician arrives at a customer’s place of residence and when they leave because exact times will lead to more accurate billing.  Field service software can track the GPS on the technician’s smartphone automatically, making it easy and simple to know exactly when the technician arrives and when they leave.  This, in turn, makes your job easier and leads to less confusion.

3. OUTSOURCING IS MADE SIMPLER THROUGH FIELD SERVICE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

When your company is given a difficult or complicated task, it usually makes sense to outsource some of the work to other companies, contractors, and seasoned professionals in a given line of work.  It can become something of a headache to keep track of all the outsourcing work but with the right field service software, that headache will disappear. Field service software will allow you to organize, catalogue, and keep track of all the work that’s been outsourced and those who are doing that work.

4. FIELD SERVICE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE MAKES PHYSICAL BILLING UNNECESSARY

Paperless billing is the billing method of today because it is simple, clean, straightforward and, most importantly for many, ecologically friendly.  Sometimes it can be hard to keep track of what customers still need to be billed, when they need to be billed, and so on. Electronic billing takes all the hassle away and leaves less waste paper to deal with and less time waiting for customers to pay their bills.  With a good field service management software, you can bill your customers online with little to no trouble.

5. FIELD SERVICE SOFTWARE GIVES COMPANIES AND EMPLOYEES MORE MOBILITY

Field service management software can be put employees’ mobile devices so that they can run through data and optimize their working hours from almost anywhere. It’s a great time-saving feature that any worthwhile field service software will have available to its users.

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29
Oct
2018
5 Ways A Real Estate CRM Can Automate Your Business

A CRM system stands for client or customer, retention or relationship, manager or management system. The features they offer make it easy to stay in contact with past clients, current customers, and future leads. A real estate CRM system is like a virtual assistant that manages a database. Here are five ways a CRM system can help automate a real estate business.

1. Immediate Response

When a prospective buyer or seller asks a question, they usually want the answer right away. In today’s world of instant everything, you have to be fast. One way an automated CRM can help agents is to send an immediate auto-generated email back when someone submits a question. The response is general. It may say something like, “I got your message. I am looking the information up. In the meantime, here is a list of tips I thought might be helpful.” This type of message can buy the agent some time to get into a place or situation where they can answer more appropriately.

2. Past Clients

Past clients are a valuable resource to most real estate agents. They often refer family and friends, so keeping in touch with them is one easy way to grow business. Set the CRM to send them home buying or selling anniversary emails. Many of the systems will send out birthday and Christmas cards. As soon as the transaction closes, input essential dates for the next year and have the system take care of the rest.

3. Manage Active Leads

An active lead is someone who is going to be making a real estate transaction within a few months. If the lead is a buyer, set the CRM up to send them weekly tips on mortgages and escrow information. If the lead is a seller, send them weekly tips on how to prepare a home to sale. A real estate CRM makes staying in front of the consumer easier.

4. Nurture Contacts

It is not uncommon to talk to people who are not ready to buy or sell yet, but they are beginning to think about it. An agent could set up a CRM campaign to call the prospect every 90 days, and the program could email them a monthly newsletter about the real estate market and trends. This way agents are not hounding people who are not ready to make a move yet.

5. Text messaging

Many consumers prefer a text response. Just like the auto emails, a real estate CRM can send out a quick response text message for you. If the consumer responds back to your text, then you know you may have someone who needs immediate assistance, but if they do not, you can set them up in the CRM as a potential client, and let the program follow up with them.

Program the real estate CRM to respond quickly to emails or text messages automatically, and set it to remember important dates. An automated CRM system frees up agents, so they can spend more time showing properties, having open houses, and closing escrows.

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26
Oct
2018
4 Benefits of Field Service Management Software

Field service software is typically used to organize technicians who perform service work and repairs such as a plumber, electrician, appliance technician, or similar. This type of software can maintain a schedule, log technician notes, arrival and departure times, and even process invoices. Keeping track of an entire fleet can be difficult. Review these 4 benefits of utilizing field service software in your daily business activities.

1. Instant Invoices

Most field service management software programs provide technicians with the ability to invoice their clients and process payments immediately upon completing their service. Customers can sign the invoice, receive an emailed copy of the invoice, and process a credit card payment all from the technician’s phone or tablet. Cash paying customers can receive the same type of invoice. Another perk of this is that all this information is immediately stored and thus relayed to office personnel.

2. GPS Tracking

Many FSM programs can track your technician’s route via GPS signals. This is beneficial if you have a technician who is not where they should be, is lost, or is in route to a customer. This can alert the main office when a technician has arrived at or left a job site. Additionally, if you have an emergency and need a technician to re-route and head to a new location, your FSM program can show you the location of all your technicians so you’re able to pick the most convenient technician for the new job.

3. Scheduling

You’re able to maintain your daily schedule with your field service software. If your technician starts the day with only 2 appointments, the office staff can update the technician’s schedule in real time with new appointment details, location, and customer details such as name and phone number. If a customer reschedules, you’re able to fill the available spot to avoid down time for your technicians.

4. Pay for What you Need

Many field service software programs can be somewhat tailored to your organization’s needs. You can opt out of certain services that you would not utilize. This saves money for your organization and saves your staff from having to navigate around certain steps within a task. An example of this is GPS verification that your technician has arrived at his scheduled appointment. Some FSM software programs will not allow a technician to navigate through an appointment’s details if their GPS has not acknowledged that they have arrived.If your technician is using a personal vehicle for the day that is not equipped with GPS, this could cause difficulty in navigating through their scheduled appointments.

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09
Oct
2018
5 Etiquette Tips to Follow When Reporting Bugs to Your Developer Company

Virtually anyone who works with a custom Android app development company will eventually have to report bugs. When your app starts to malfunction, you want to ensure the bugs are fixed as soon as possible to enhance the UX experience. Here are useful tips to report a bug and how to avoid possible conflict with the developer.

1. Be Sure It’s a Bug

Usually, you expect an app to produce a specific outcome. If the app fails to meet your expectations, you may presume the program has a bug. While this is sometimes the case, the Android app may be functioning just the way it’s programmed and designed to by the developer.

So before filing a report, be sure to confirm whether the app is functioning as designed. To get this information, read the documentation and contact tech support to make sure that the app is not functioning as expected.

2. Don’t Be In a Hurry to Report

Sometimes, you get so overwhelmed that you found a bug that you forget to check if you performed thorough app scrutiny. Perhaps you were unable to access the app because you typed in the wrong password or had a bad connection. Or maybe the location sharing is not working because you forgot to allow the app access to your location. Always double check and make sure you’re not at fault before reporting a bug.

3. Provide Accurate Descriptions

Phrases like “the app stopped working” or “it won’t run” don’t succinctly describe the app’s problem. Rather, they usually just frustrate the developer who is responsible for fixing the issue. The best way to handle this issue is to provide an accurate description. Be more specific in your details. State clearly the actions that the app was supposed to take and what happened instead. Make sure you include how it all started and provide any error text displayed by the app. The more detailed the report, the better help your custom android app development company can provide. The title of the bug report should be clear, concise and easy to understand.

4. Assist Your Developer

Assist your developer every step of the way. If you know how to reproduce a bug, do so in their presence. Help your developer find the bug and, if there are more paths to reach it, clearly state them as well – no one knows where the solution might come from. Also, you should mention if there are any conditions that have to be met to help simplify the process. If your developers have to gain access to the app to fix the bug, then to which account – standard or premium? This information plays a critical role in making the search for a bug easier and more effective.

5. Attach a Screenshot

If you think the developer might find it difficult to understand your descriptions, it’s best to attach a screenshot of the problem with a red arrow pointing to the problem directly. If the bug is more complex, then provide a step-by-step video recording.

Reporting a bug is a key step in the software development cycle. For a quicker and long-lasting solution, be sure to provide an accurate description of the problem.

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28
Sep
2018
Four Ways Your Real Estate CRM Can Improve Marketing Efforts

If you are new to the real estate industry, you may have heard some of your experienced counterparts talk about their CRM, or customer relationship management program. A real estate CRM is a veritable necessity for success in the industry once your business picks up, and you may actually need to invest in a CRM before you reach the point of actually needing it to stay on top of your activities. On the other hand, you may be a seasoned real estate agent, and you may already be using a CRM. However, your program may be outdated and lack the exceptional benefits that a new program can provide. These are some of the essential ways that a quality real estate CRM can take your marketing efforts to the next level.

1. Maintain an Accurate Client List

At its most basic level, a CRM is used for you to maintain and track your clients. You can use it to look up contact information for any client, and you can also use it to maintain and review notes about each client. For example, you may need to quickly refresh yourself about a conversation that you had with a specific client a week ago. The information will be in your CRM. Remember that an accurate client list is essential for email and direct mail marketing efforts.

2. Assign a Classification to Each Client

Quality CRMs also allow you to classify each client, such as by ranking them in terms of whether they are hot or cold. You may classify them as buyers looking for a first-time home, empty-nesters or something else. Because you can easily segment your client list, you can create customized marketing material that speaks to each segment.

3. Automate Touches

You can also automate some of your marketing. For example, you can create instructions in some CRM programs to send a quick email to touch bases to a small list of clients who you spoke with a few weeks ago. Each CRM is unique, so you will need to look for a program that has this important and beneficial feature.

4. Create Reminders

Another excellent marketing benefit is that CRMs can provide you with reminders. For example, when you are entering notes in a client’s record about a conversation you recently had, you can create a reminder to touch bases with that individual on a specific date in the future. In this way, you can ensure that none of your leads fall through the cracks.

If you are not currently using a real estate CRM or if you have not upgraded your program in a few years, now is a wonderful time to explore the options. You will find that a modern CRM designed for real estate agents can improve your efforts as well as your results.

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06
Sep
2018
8 Must-Know Tips for Submitting Your New App to App Stores

Thankfully, your custom android app development project has been a success. So, what next? Submitting the app to the app store. Here are some ways to get your app featured in the best app stores.

1. The Right Stores

The first thing to consider is choosing the right app store. There is no doubt you want your app to get featured in the more popular app stores, but you need to set a target to get started.

2. Research Stores

Keep in mind that all app stores have their pitfalls and shortcomings. For some, you’ll have to pay a high membership fee for your app to get featured while others have stringent policy restrictions. Conduct thorough research on your app store of choice to get more information about the submission process. Choosing the right store for your app is a step in the right direction.

3. Create a Budget

You’ve spent a considerable amount of money during the custom android app development stage. If you want your app to stand the test of time and reach as many users as possible, then you should be ready to budget to be featured in popular app stores.

4. Sign Up

Sign up for the app stores of your choice. A good number of app stores allow you to not only submit your app post registration, but they also provide you with useful tips and guides to do so. In addition to that, a few app stores provide users access to handy software development tools. These packages will come in handy.

5. Read the Fine Print

You shouldn’t submit your app without reading the fine prints. Make sure you have a perfect understanding of the terms and conditions. If you don’t understand a particular term, consult a professional for clarity or do some research on your own. Reading and understanding the terms and conditions will further increase your chance of getting your app approved.

6. Test

It’s critical to test your app before submitting. Make sure there are no bugs at the time of submission and the app is working optimally. Failing to test and re-test your app before submission might have grievous consequences. There have been many cases where app stores have rejected users’ proposals to feature their apps because they malfunctioned during evaluation. If you don’t want to end up in such a bad situation, thoroughly test your app.

7. Don’t Breach Copyright

Do not use any form of copyrighted material, including in your choice of pictures, logos, or videos. This gives the app store a good reason to reject your app. Increase your chance of getting your app featured in the app store by only using original materials.

8. Describe Your App

Be sure to provide a detailed description of your app. This should include its features and functionality. Also, state what sets your app apart. Make the app store see the great reasons why they should feature your app. You should also create a unique icon for your app, so if it gets featured, users will be able to easily spot it among the sea of apps in the store.

Your chance of getting featured in app stores will be greatly enhanced if you create a great mobile app that not only has a creative design but also addresses the needs of your users.

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30
Jan
2017
User Stories: Agile Requirements Definition (Part 1) [Video Transcript]

Hello. I’m Tom Hathaway. I’m wearing my BA hat, so let’s talk business analysis. In this nugget I’d like to discuss how to write good user stories. We’re going to talk about what the components of a user story are and how to make your user stories more effective. These techniques will help you when you are the one wearing the BA hat.

What Are User Stories?

User stories have rapidly become one of the most popular forms for expressing stakeholder requirements management software on projects whether your project follows an Agile approach or a more traditional methodology. Many feel that the mold, “As a role the author represents. I/we can do or have something with these qualities to achieve my goal or objective” by itself is sufficient to explain how to write user stories.

I believe there are still a few dimensions missing. For instance, examine two implementations of this mold. “As a website visitor, the role, I can view all training, do something, which I need, quality requirement, to qualify for the CBAP exam, goal.” Second example: “As a human being, role, I can differentiate sounds, do something, in my native tongue, quality requirement, to comprehend what others are saying, goal.”

Note that both statements follow the mold, and, by that definition, are user stories. Whereas the first gives the developers great guidance, I question the value of the second. As a result, I have developed a set of guidelines or rules for writing an effective user story that go beyond the mold and might help you.

Keep The Story Simple

The first rule in writing an effective user story is simple: keep the user story simple. A simple sentence states only one thing. However, it does a good job at that. If you try to express too much in a single sentence, you add confusion. For instance, the user story, “As an applicant I can navigate to the coverage screen, enter personal and vehicle data, and submit the application online to request automobile insurance coverage,” contains three distinct thoughts. It would be clearer if you expressed each thought as a single user story, i.e., “As an applicant I can navigate to the coverage screen to select the insurance coverage I need. As an applicant I can enter personal and vehicle data to compare premiums. As an applicant I can submit an application online to request automobile insurance coverage.”

Avoid Compound Sentences

Compound sentences are by definition never simple. That means you should not have ifs, ands, or buts in the user story. Well, you actually have to take that with a grain of salt. The word and is a phenomenally versatile word in the English language, and in my experience in any language. It can be a sign of a compound sentence if the sentence contains two phrases, each of which contains an action, a verb, and a subject or object, nouns.

The other use of the word and is to create a list of items based on common characteristics. For example, let’s look again at our previous example. The original user story, “As an applicant I can navigate to the coverage screen, enter personal and vehicle data, and submit the application online to request automobile insurance coverage,” uses the word and in the phrase, “and submit the application,” to create a compound sentence. The use of and in the user story, “As an applicant I can enter personal and vehicle data to compare premiums,” simply connects common types of data.

Be Careful When Using Delimiting Phrases

I also recommend against using delimiting phrases, starting with words like unless, or except, in the user story. For instance, the user story, “As an underwriter I can override a coverage denial for an applicant to increase our customer base unless the denial was due to bad credit, in which case I can confirm the denial to protect our customer base.” That user story is confusing and would be much clearer if I expressed it as two user stories.

“As an underwriter I can override a coverage denial for an applicant with good credit to increase our customer base. As an underwriter I can confirm the coverage denial for an applicant with bad credit to protect our customer base.” Delimiting phrases commonly create a user story with two different goals. By expressing each goal in a separate user story, the intent and purpose of each becomes much clearer.

To sum up my first rule, an effective user story is a simple sentence that does not contain conjunctions, and, or, but, etc.; or limiting phrases, unless, without, except, etc. Following this rule facilitates user story elaboration, the process whereby developers ensure that they understand the story and can implement it.

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28
Dec
2016
Using the Latest Technologies to Improve Dental Implant Procedures

If you have been told that you need to get dental implants Toronto, you may be inclined to work with the original dental professional who recommended the procedure. In some cases, this may be ideal, but keep in mind that there is new technology with dental implant procedure that may yield improved results and that have better processes. For example, some technology may enable you to enjoy same-day results with minimal downtime and recovery time as well as improved cost. With this in mind, you may be wondering what to look for as you interview professionals to perform the procedure for dental implants.

lips-brown-circle Improved Tools Available For Dental Implants

As you interview dental professionals, it is important to ask about the type of equipment and tools they may use to perform the procedure. For example, there are both new insertion tools and wrenches as well as prosthetics that are surgically installed in your jaw bone. These may be designed to reduce the risk of infection, to improve the recovery time and to promote a shorter procedure time. You may need to learn more about the different tools and equipment that have commonly be used for this procedure in the past in order to compare them to the new equipment tools that are now being used by the top professionals in the industry.

lips-brown-circle Alternative Techniques Available for Dental Implants

While there are new tools and equipment that are available for use with dental implants, there are also new procedures and techniques that some professionals are using. For example, an immediate load dental implant is a method that is used to place a temporary crown on a surgically implanted post. You will still need to wait several weeks or months for the jaw bone to fuse to the implanted post, and this will need to be completed before the permanent crown can be installed on the post. However, this will reduce the amount of time that you are without the use of a functional tooth in the mouth and can make the entire process of getting implants easier and more convenient.

Through new technology with dental implant procedure, you can benefit in a number of ways. Getting dental implants is a healthy and effective way to overcome tooth loos on a permanent basis. It promotes the health of the jaw bone and eliminates the need to deal with the hassles of dentures. However, there are different techniques, tools and equipment that are used to surgically place implants in the jaw bone. Through your effort to research the technologies available and to find professionals using the latest technologies, you can enjoy improved results from your dental implant procedure.

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20
Nov
2016
How Mapping the Indoor Environment Helps in Navigation

Indoor navigation for hospitals is an idea whose time has come. With airports and hospitals becoming extremely complex, visitors are struggling to deal with the hustle and bustle of modernity. Maps are instrumental in navigation, especially in the outdoor world. Today, there is a need to put the indoor world on the map as well to aid in wayfinding. Since GIS can only help in the navigation of the outdoors, it is critical to come up with several Wi-Fi-friendly tools that aid in the navigation of the indoor world as well.

Indoor navigation in health centers

Indoor navigation for hospitals solve many problems within the hospital, such as allowing a smooth flow of patients from the waiting room, triage, laboratories, and treatment rooms. With this technology, the visitors can also find the patient easily during the visiting hours. The hospital can simplify a complex facility by dividing it into several zones that include the emergency, theater, casualty, and radiology sections. If necessary, you can also subdivide the hospital blocks by identifying the various sections in every floor.

Indoor navigation for visually impaired patients

Some of the mobile-friendly platforms come with voice navigation features that make it easier for the blind to find their way throughout the various public facilities. Visually impaired patients can now find their way in any facility with the help of the voice command feature that comes as an inbuilt app in some mobile phone applications. This technology introduces another dimension in the healthcare experience, enhancing the safety of every patient and allowing the patients and visitors to act independently within the hospital.

Wheelchair-accessible routes
Navigation for persons with physical disabilities is quite easy with the help of the indoor positioning system. Gps for indoors provide a vast array of solutions that offer some wheelchair-accessible routes where necessary. Hospital visitors can find their way easily around the hospital without getting lost. Making a hospital more accessible is very important especially for people on wheelchairs. The indoor maps can help you to identify the wheelchair-accessible routes to make it easier for the patients to move around.

Indoor navigation in airports
Airports can be extremely busy. For people who do not travel often, the hustle and bustle of an airport can be startling. With flights to catch and visitors to meet, saving time is always important. One of the best ways to navigate the airport is to have a digital map on the mobile phone. With a digital map, people will not get lost in an airport since they will go to the appropriate terminals to book their flights. Missing a flight is always a risk if you go to the wrong terminal, meaning that you will not book your flight on time.

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24
Aug
2016
Getting the Most out of your Lap Band Surgery

Making the decision to get Lap Band Surgery can be one of the best choices you may ever make. When years of countless diets and will power have failed, sometimes weight loss surgery is the best option.

Lap Band Surgery is the least invasive gastric procedure that simply involves placing an adjustable band around the the top section of the stomach. However, unlike other procedures that permanently change the structure of the digestive organs, the Lap Band will eventually be removed once the ideal weight has been reached. This means that the patient must put forth more effort to maintain the weight loss.

Before Getting The Surgery

Your eating habits prior to the Lap Band Surgery will have a large effect on your results post-operation. It is advised to lose as much weight as possible and make an attempt to reduce your portion consumption beforehand. You must be in the right mindset to change your lifestyle before and after surgery, as once the gastric band is removed, you may gain the weight back.

Calories Will Always Count

Gastric surgery is not a “free ticket” to eat as you please. Although the lap band pouch will only hold about a tablespoon of food at first, this pouch can gradually become larger if too much food is consumed.

High calorie liquids, such as bottled juices or fattening soups can easily move through the pouch into the stomach. If these are consumed on a regular basis, you may experience weight gain or abnormally slow weight loss.

Your practitioner will provide you with a diet that will yield you the best results.

Ensuring You Are Getting Enough Nutrients

Since you are not able to eat a wide variety of food in large portions, it is crucial to eat the most nutrient dense food. This includes focusing on protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Protein is especially important to preserve muscle and tissue, as your body is prone to break these down during your weight loss. Low-fat protein options include lean chicken breast, turkey breast, fish (such as tilapia), egg whites, beans or fat free cottage cheese.

You must eat these foods in very small bites and chew them until they are almost liquidfied in your mouth. Swallowing solid food may create blockages inside the band.

Your doctor may also recommend supplements such as a multi-vitamin, calcium and iron.

The Bottom Line

Getting Lap Band Surgery will undoubtedly change your life forever. To keep your weight off, you must always strive to practice a healthy lifestyle of proper food choices and exercise. Always use your better judgement to take care of your body.

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