Scheduleflow Features for June 2014!

Scheduleflow Features for June 2014

Yep, we’re at it again!  Here’s the latest updates from the tech team.

Here’s a few teasers.

  • Easier job identification for techs out on the road

  • Invoices, quotes and reports can now be found under +New buttons

  • Easier dual invoice and print option added to invoice preview page

  • Other really cool additions

Download the details here!  Scheduleflow Features List for June

 

 

 

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Scheduleflow Case Study: Everyday Care

Every business has a unique set of expectations, requirements and challenges.  The variety of businesses using Scheduleflow software management is growing so we thought we’d showcase one of our faves for you.

Everyday Care is no exception to the rule. As an Aged Care home service provider that has a significant impact on the lives of their clients, their scheduling is as important as their capacity to care for each individual and provide the independence and security families’ desire. 

We had a little chat with Lisa, from Everyday Care about what life was like ‘pre-scheduling software’.

Everyday Care. Visit them at www.everydaycare.com.au

Everyday Care. Visit them at www.everydaycare.com.au

The day-to-day operation included manually diarising client information. A schedule for the week would be emailed to staff that was easy for them to print off and read.

This worked in theory, as long as there were no changes to the schedule.  However, regular rescheduling, cancelations and jobs placed on hold were a regular challenge for staff and changes that were made needed to be worked into the paper diary system.

These changes then needed to be directed to staff, who were either notified by text or email, and all client information had to be recorded and updated, again, manually.

As you can imagine, this used up valuable time with the added challenge of confusing staff that also had to make manual changes to their hard copy of the weekly schedule.

This created a perfect breeding ground for human error and miscommunication.

The bottom line was that as most staff were already time poor, these often daily changes added stress to the work day and made it difficult to follow up with clients.  It got to the stage where they needed to set reminders, just to make sure they didn’t miss anything!

The most pressing issue was not arriving to provide services with clients that were scheduled or not having up to date information of any client changes or daily needs, such as cancellations or change of pickup location.

Everyday Care needed a flexible solution due to the expansion of the business and this is where Scheduleflow enters the scene.

Now let’s fast-forward to some of the changes that have occurred since Everyday Care have incorporated Scheduleflow into their business workflow.

Working in Aged Care, Lisa found that a lot of collegues within her own business network had not used such a system like this and when shown, they were impressed with its intuitive and customisable simplicity.

As many were still using the predictable email printout of schedules, they were keen to gain access to something that assisted them in their workflow, knowing that continuing to use the archaic paper-based system only maintained the challenges faced by staff.

Lisa knew that her teams were on to something with changes occurring immediately for staff, herself and clients. The benefits the staff at Everyday Care have discovered since using Scheduleflow, are many fold.  Here are just a few of the immediate improvements they have experienced:

  • The team can view their client appointment times and predicted requirements, for up to 2 years.  This is fantastic for planning holidays or personal/family appointments they may have
  • Weekly schedules no longer have to be emailed, freeing administrative hours previously tied up with this activity
  • Staff can access Scheduleflow at any time and do their own planning for the coming weeks

Other significant changes that have occurred over time have not only impacted staff, but also Lisa’s personal administrative hours.  Being able to update client information, as it happens, allows her team to read and respond to updates, prior to providing client services, opening up valuable business development time for her to invest in.

Here’s a little word from Lisa herself:

“By using Scheduleflow, Everyday Care is fast becoming a professional leader in our industry. We constantly aim to be the best in all that we offer and Scheduleflow allows us to achieve that.”

Their business partners couldn’t be happier either, as they can be assured that their client information is readily at hand, easily updated and quickly delineated to the appropriate staff for immediate action.

One of the benefits of chatting with a business owner about how they use our software is how excited they are about the features.  Lisa explained that in previous roles, managing merchandisers, reps and large teams with multiple clients, was often a headache and that this is a tool she really could have used effectively at these times.  So it’s not just us tooting our own horn!

Here’s another quote from Lisa that ratifies Scheduleflow’s effectiveness:

“I don’t have a particular favourite feature. I love everything about Scheduleflow.

It allows me to have more time, offer client feedback to Case Managers and become more efficient at how I run our business.

My team love using Scheduleflow: they can sign in on their phones and read notes and see if there is anything new they need to know. It allows them to fill out important information in completing notes whilst with clients, and send that information directly to me.  Once they have finished providing those services, they hit ‘complete’ and this allows me to immediately see the service has been provided, (helps with payroll!) and read any notes if there are any. I can then respond or action the information as required”

The customisable nature of Scheduleflow means that practically any business can use the software in a way that meets the needs of that industry.  And because it’s so customisable, the team at Scheduleflow has been able to tailor it to meet the needs of this busy Aged Care Facility, helping Everyday Care to save time on payroll, invoicing, scheduling, and updating information in real time.

It seems only fitting that the client has the last word on the matter.

“I can’t speak highly enough about Scheduleflow, and recommend this software, and the team behind it, at every opportunity I can”.

Thanks Lisa and Everyday Care for your kind words and your review of our product.

If you’d like to know more about Scheduleflow scheduling management software, click here and try it out free for 14 days!

We expect you’ll be hooked.

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Juggling Family and Business

Do you feel like you’re constantly juggling between family and business?

pretty very busy multitasking housewife  on white

It’s so easy to tip the balance one way one day and then over compensate the next and family life is as unpredictable as business life!

Given it’s Wednesday, we thought we’d post a feel good look into some ways you can get that balance realigned, especially if you’re the mum in the mix.  Hopefully by Friday arvo, you’ll be on a roll, and ready for the weekend!

Being a part of a husband and wife operation can be thrilling, rewarding and totally overwhelming but there are some simple measures you can take to catch your breath more often.

I can look back and giggle – now. But when Ron and I first started working together things were a shambles. Our business ran out of our house, our kids were 2.5 and 5 months and as much as we love them oh so dearly, seemed to take great pleasure in demanding my attention just as I was coming to grips with everything that needed doing for the business to run smoothly.

I was lucky in that my prior administrational background put me in good stead for starting off organised. Ron’s business (now our business) is busy – we have customers calling from morning to night and the techs are handling about 200 jobs per week.

They need to be managed to make sure their schedules, parts and jobs are just so and our customers are happy!

After a couple of years of trying to keep on top of everything to keep them moving and keep the kids out of trouble, I’d like to share some of my learnings about juggling family and business from home.

Here’s some tips that work for us as a family: alter them to suit your unique set up and see the difference within days!

Set time for work and for family.

Plan Diagram Means Managing Time And Areas Of Life

  • Try and get up a little earlier to have an hour or so before the rush of the day.  Use this time to tend to some of the more uncomplicated tasks for work like invoicing, emails, checking your website, paying bills, etc.
  • Schedule in the household activities: making breakfast for the family, getting you and hubby ready for the work day and getting the house into some semblance of order.  Basically attend to those tasks that you know will be forgotten once the phone begins to ring.
  • Run errands when you have the most energy to get them all done and do them back to back.
  • Down tools for lunch and give yourself at last 30 minutes to eat and have a drink away from the office space.  Get some fresh air, even if it’s just a 5 minute walk around your street.  The oxygen will refresh your mind and your muscles will enjoy the stretch.
  • Switch off when the tribe returns home from their day out or at least at a reasonable time before dinner.  Remember that your family are your lifeblood!

Setting boundaries that include face to face time with them is vital to the long term health of both your business and your relationships.

Create a designated HQ

One of the most important things to determine when running a home business, is to square off a specific area for you to run your operation.  Ultimately, a separate room with a door is the best!  But if you can’t do that right now, make a no-go zone for the youngens and ensure that all your work is kept neat and tidy and away from little fingers.

Plan ahead

Okay, so I know that this can sometimes be tricky, especially when you throw kids into the mix.  But at least having some plan in place means that when the days’ schedule goes to the dogs, you can rearrange quickly and regain your peace of mind.

We are always talking about getting the right kind of scheduling system for the office and this is a really important factor in the household as well.  Scheduling family time, time with friends, date nights and general ‘bum around the house’ days are all as important to factor in around your business hours.

On that note, make sure you set business hours!  Time slips through our fingers at a rate of knots when life is so busy so the kindest thing you can do for you and for your business, is to determine the hours you should be working and do everything you can to stick to them.

Delegate

So, there are plenty of things that we can palm off to others in the work place.  We can get someone to do the accounts; someone to answer customer enquiries and someone to clean the office once in a while.

But it’s hard to delegate at home.  That’s why I recommend working out the chores and obligations that you and your family have, and delegating.  Even young kids can help out here.  There’s no reason why a 3 year old can’t learn how to help mum and dad by picking up after themselves.  And teenagers are well and truly ready to make a meal here and there when you know that you’ve got a monster week coming up.

These may be no brainers, but when you’re feeling overwhelmed, sometimes you need a few simple cues to get you going.  So, get that pen out and start delegating.  Put your list on the fridge and remind everyone to do their part!

Put your best foot forward, every day

Okay, so this bits for the gals in the ‘office’.

If you’re the admin guru of the duo and spend more of your time in the office than your other half, don’t fall behind with making sure you feel good about how you look.

Yes, it’s superficial.

No, it’s not irrelevant.

You’re doing this for you!

‘Dress’ for work so in your mind you are away from household distractions like the washing, dirty dishes, tidying bedrooms.  Seems like a silly thing to do but has a profound effect on productivity!  Check out this related blog all about why you should get dressed for work even though you work at home.

Don’t loose sight of why you’re doing this

Happy boss and employee together, father and son engineers on work playing

Working from home, running your own business in a shop: however it happens to look – there are so many things that can distract you from the reasons why you began this journey in the first place.

Take stock.

Put a reminder in your calendar to remember your reasons for working so hard:  for me? It’s my family.  I want them to be empowered; to have a life that speaks of hard work, yes, but also, of balance and self-driven success.  I want my kids to understand the importance of taking who you are seriously and making the most of what you’ve got to give the world.

Join some online community groups

I’m all for face to face contact, but sometimes you just simply don’t have the time!  Recently, I decided to join one group through Facebook.  It’s a community of like-minded folk who are very active in supporting each other.  Someone asks a question and a flurry of responses occur: it’s fantastic!  Sometimes people even post ideas and solutions to problems we all face and it’s a very encouraging environment where I’ve learned a whole heap…mostly this:

You’re not alone.  

Countless other families are juggling the work/life balance just like you are, so enjoy the ride, stay organised and don’t sweat the small stuff!

Click here to share this blog with your friends Tweet

For more great reads about working for yourself in the HVAC industry, visit myHVACSoftware

To chat with the team and find out how Scheduleflow can help you regain your balance, click here

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Digital Signature Release for Scheduleflow Customers!

Scheduleflow are proud to announce the release of the Digital Signature capture option for customers to sign invoices.

Robot with Pen

Okay, so we’re being a little cheeky today but can you blame us?  It’s been a while coming; the team have worked around the clock and it’s finally here!

 

Even if you don’t have a digital pen, your customers will be able to easily sign their John Hancock directly onto the screen.  And to celebrate this latest update to our software, we are giving you a handy and free downloadable PDF to hand out to your staff – 4 easy steps and your on your way to a smaller paper trail and less authorisation headaches!

4 Easy Steps to Digital Signatures with Schedulelfow

Enjoy!

 this post – thanks heaps!

 

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Digital signatures on the way with Scheduleflow!

newsletter_blog_image

The team have been working round the clock on developing the option for customers to leave a digital signature on your invoices.  It won’t be long, so stay tuned!

While you’re waiting, here’s a quick 4 step refresher on customising your invoices.

Product Review

samsung, scheduleflow, s pen, invoicing,

Does the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 really deliver?  How compatible is it with Scheduleflow’s software? Click here to find out if the S Pen is really going to improve data entry accuracy on the job.

 

Thoughts on recent events in the HVAC Industry from Paul, CEO of Scheduleflow

 Thank you for your continued support of our product.  Without you, we wouldn’t be able to continue improving the software, so thanks for the feedback.  Please keep it coming in!

Industry news shows that The Australian Building Industry is expected to move into a growth phase over the next 2 years due to the amount of demolition work being assigned.

 We know that HVAC businesses have been doing it tough, and that some have even shut down, but there is hope and the survivors will make the most of it.

Stay close to your community; continue to maintain your network and develop customer service and let us know if there is anything we can do to help you in your business.

If you’re new to Scheduleflow, you may not know that we help our customers get up and running for free, and continue to maintain a supportive relationship with you.

We also offer a free assessment of the best software solution to improve your profitability and kill double data entry.  So give us a call or shoot an email down the line - let’s see how we can make your business better!

If you are busting to share, we’d love to hear about how Scheduleflow is transforming your business day.

We plan to showcase some local businesses who use and love our software, so if that’s you, drop us a line through the website or simply email us at info@scheduleflow.com.

Thanks,

—Paul Tyrrell

Want some handy hints?

Every now and then, we release some tricks and ideas to help you use Scheduleflow to your greatest advantage.

And if you’re anything like our friend Harry here, you might just want to stop by and read the latest:  Appointment Booking Stress Syndrome: Scheduleflow has the answer.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Scheduleflow – Product Review

These days, everyone wants a great product or service that genuinely improves the quality of your work.

Since smart phones of some description are used so extensively, we thought we’d check out the latest developments from Samsung with their latest version of the Galaxy: Note 3.samsung, scheduleflow, s pen, invoicing,

Whilst we have no affiliation with Samsung, we thought that a review that considers the practicality of such a device and how it’s compatibility with our own software application, Scheduleflow, was worth undertaking.

To begin with, let’s look at some ‘on the fence’ issues that you may or may not consider an issue.

You be the judge.

Some thoughts about the Samsung Note 3

 

It’s big.

 

It is only 0.83 inches larger than the iPhone 5S, however this does make a difference. Being an iPhone user myself, I wasn’t that convinced about the Note 3.  It certainly does feel different to the iPhone 5S. I have small hands and when playing with these larger devices, felt hesitant that I would find it a comfortable fit for my physique.

However, it’s thinner to begin with and has a nice ‘leathery’ feeling skin on the back. It’s almost something I could forgive the sheer size of the device for!
Navigation as a brand new android user was a little frustrating. Some users do find it’s a little tricky to navigate at first, but I’ve been assured that once you get the hang of it, it’s a breeze.

It’s pricey.

 

Let’s not say expensive. Really, it does cost more than some phones, but if you’re willing to pay for the extra screen size, the handy S Pen functionality, and the multiscreen action, then it’s well worth the price.

Scheduleflow and Samsung – is this a perfect fit?

 

To get a good feel for the product, you can catch the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 video here – it’s slick and professional of course, but I will admit that I learned a lot in the 6-odd minutes of watching it.

What’s so good about the Note 3?

 

Glad you asked.

For me, it’s not so much the tech guru stuff that impresses. Although I do have to say that when I read about the speed with which it downloads and uploads information, it grabbed my attention to say the least. cNet.com.au do a great and in-depth review on some of the more technical aspects of the product, which you can check out at your leisure.

In the meantime, here are my 3 top features:

 

The S Pen

It kind of makes me think of Superman whenever I read it.

The Superman Pen.

But seriously, even with smaller hands like mine, there are times when I find my fingers get in the way of my need for speed and I end up writing information down that later on, is nonsensical!

 

How does it help when using Scheduleflow?

The S Pen’s accuracy, with a smaller stylus and therefore a finer ‘nib’ with which to point with, makes selecting the right information a no brainer.  If you’re out on the job, servicing a customer and need to quickly and accurately input customer data and other job details, then you really want to take a good look at using the S Pen as an option.

Being able to split the screen and move information from one app to another is priceless. No more cut, copy, paste process.

Just select, drag and drop. Definitely a time saver once you become accustomed to using it!

Invoice for Scheduleflow

Invoice for Scheduleflow

Additionally, Scheduleflow’s tech team are working around the clock to integrate the software with the Note 3 so that you can have your customers sign on the virtual dotted line on your invoices.

This is going to not only save paper, but also improve data collection for your business.

Having a digital signature on your invoice means you can instantly email that invoice through to the office, speeding up the process for both your customers and your admin team!
Not bad, hey? The developments are still in the works, so stay tuned – it won’t be long before this compatibility is a reality.

 Subscribe to Scheduleflow to stay up to date with developments

Amazing Camera

Okay, confession time.

I am a happy snappy phone camera nerd.

So for me, the 13x megapixel camera gives me Goosebumps. Like I said, I’m an iPhone user and have been for years, but one’s ears are pricked when you start talking about megapixels!

Crystal clear imagery is certainly something I relish in having and the Samsung Note 3 certainly doesn’t disappoint.
So why is it useful for techs out on the road?

Very simple.

Say you’ve sent your new apprentice to a job site and a pipe has burst but there are no serial numbers or identifying marks to be seen.

Great. Now he’s going to have to think about what it looks like, try and recall some details and remember them when he goes to order a new part.

But when you have a camera like this, there’s no need to remember things – just click and then add the pic into your Scheduleflow app along with the customer’s details.

Get back to the job and order the part later or even send the image and details to the office to expedite the order and get the job completed sooner!

Now you have a visually accurate record of the problem attached to your order information, making it a simpler process to complete the job on time.

Multiscreen

Now this really has to be my favourite part of the Note 3.

Say you’ve taken down a new clients’ details and they’ve asked you to contact them tomorrow with a quote. They’d like to schedule an appointment and they need to give you the address details for their new home that you’re going to be working at, which is a battleax, in a no-right-turn street…

You can have your Scheduleflow app, a note app and a floating map at your fingertips while talking to the customer on the super-charged speaker phone…all at the same time.

And the crowd goes wild!!

 

Just think about it: you can move details from your notes into your Scheduleflow app, write a note on the map (remember those tricky directions?), and upload it into your customer database and create the appointment booking at once.

Using the S Pen makes this possible and increases your data input accuracy, reducing the amount of time spent moving from one app to the next and wasting time cutting and pasting information. Watch Samsung’s product videos to get a really good grasp of the S Pen in action.

With Scheduleflow’s up and coming capacity
to accept customer signatures, you’ll wonder how you ever did without this nifty device!

Samsung have certainly created an elegant, intuitive and practical device that can be used by creatives, Fortune 500′s and tradies across the world. Yes there are some issues, but like any device used for business or personal management, you’re going to love it and profess it’s perfection, or not, and love something else.

So, thus ends the review for now.

We’ve tried to remain impartial and hope to write a review in the future on the other brand…just to remain unbiased, of course.

We’d be more than happy to hear about your experiences using Scheduleflow with your Samsung device – Do you have some tips? We’d love to share them!

 

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4 Steps to Invoicing with Scheduleflow

Here’s 4 easy steps to invoicing using Scheduleflow.  You can also check out the how-to video here

Share: Creating an invoice with Scheduleflow_Infographic

 

SF_Inv_Step 2

 

SF_Inv_Step 3

 

SF_Inv_Step 4

 

And that’s it!  Our advice is to make yourself really familiar with where all the functions are and watch the how-to videos.  The more you customise the app to suit your business needs, the more powerful the app will function on your behalf.

Happy Invoicing!

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Appointment Booking Stress Syndrome: Scheduleflow Has The Answer

Do you suffer from paper based appointment booking stress syndrome, otherwise known as PBABSS?

Online appointment booking might just reduce your HVAC scheduling stress.  But first, here’s a checklist to see if you indeed need something so intuitive and high tech.

  • Are you attached to your paper calendar?
  • Love the feel of a book in your hands and the sense of satisfaction as you manually cross out your accomplishments?
  • Do you enjoy lugging around your desk diary, which no doubt could double for a kettle bell?
  • How many times throughout the week do you leave it sitting on your desk? Or do you write down appointment times on scraps of paper and lose them?

appointment scheduling, HVAC scheduling stress

 

If you look or feel like our friend Harry, you probably qualify!

 

 

 

Hmm, if you said yes or no to any of these, perhaps what you need is an online appointment booking system?  See what we did there?

Online appointment booking allows you to have your appointment book with you where you go, and allows clients and employees to access it whenever they need to.

While the classic feel of a personal calendar may make you feel professional, it’s probably time to upgrade.

Online appointment booking allows you to free up your time, so that you can actually work at your job, rather than spending that valuable time using archaic paper based scheduling systems.

How does online appointment booking work?

Here’s a scenario:

You’ve missed a client call while you are out of the office.  They wanted to know about your availability.  And because your details are in your office desk diary, you’re going to have to call the office, have someone find your calendar, then call the client back.

You know this wastes precious time!

If you find that this is a growing source of frustration and is impacting your customer relationships and therefore your ROI, Scheduleflow is what you’ve been looking for!

Online appointment booking is easy and painless to learn with Scheduleflow.  Here’s some hard to argue with reasons for why it’s a great solution to your needs:

▪   Customise your availability hours

▪   Easily insert client’s name and contact information on the go

▪   Send your clients a friendly SMS messages reminding them of their appointment time

▪   Clients can change their appointment, and Scheduleflow will send you an SMS message alerting you to the change

▪   SMS messages can also be sent to employees on the road, ensuring they have the most up to date information

Not yet convinced?

What about the fact that you can receive and accept new jobs on the road without making a single call?  Or that you can use the system to create professional invoices to give your clients or easily order parts for a job?

appointment scheduling, HVAC scheduling stress

Reduce scheduling stress utilising Scheduleflow’s software management system

Not Tech Savvy?

Sometimes it’s a real hassle to transfer your paper appointment book to an online format. Is it really worth it?  We know that learning a new system can take way too much time for you and your employees to learn.

Scheduleflow is here to help.

With engaging and informative free self-help videos and a growing library of how-to-articles,  you’re bound to find what you’re looking for.  Here’s what else you get:

  • 24/7 customer support
  • A wide range of services included
  • Up to 20 technicians can be on the system at any given time

Scheduleflow software management is fully customisable, and multi-device friendly.  Syncing on the job is a breeze and your customers will thank you for using such an efficient and professional tool.

Add-URL-to-job

 

Think about it: you’ll never have to worry about forgetting your calendar again!

 

Try it free for 30 days. Love it?  Get started whenever you want with our simple upgrade option. With the 90-day money back guarantee, you’ll have plenty of time to realistically learn the ropes and teach your team.

Assessing the value of this handy tool will be easy as you see the double-booked appointments and missed customers disappear before your eyes!

I want to try Scheduleflow now for free!

You can follow Scheduleflow via subscription to our e-newsletter, Facebook and Twitter, to receive regular updates, informative information about using the Scheduleflow App and much more!

You know you want to tweet :D 

Catch up on all the latest here 

 

 

 

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The drop down scroll bars in the latest version of chrome have stopped working.

We are working on a work around to this problem.

 This is on all websites not just Scheduleflow.
We are looking for a work around and pushing for Google to fix the bug in Google Chrome.
In the mean time to select the end times you want you can use the up and down arrows on the keyboard or the wheel on your mouse.

Image of the select end time.
Inline image 2
support @ scheduleflow.com if you have any questions or need a hand.
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How to create an Icon from the browser for our scheduling software

Hi All,
This is a quick way to create an App Icon so that Scheduleflow  will look and feel like an App on your mobile or tablet.
2. Login with your username and password, checking remember me.
3. Then at the bottom of safari you will see this Inline image 1  or this Inline image 2  These will open up a “Add to Home Screen” option and this will create an App icon for you.
4. Done
Scheduleflow then behaves just like a native Scheduling app, you don’t need to re-enter your details again either, just click on the App Icon.
If you want to switch between tech and scheduler just click the Scheduler View on the iPhone or the Driver App from the Scheduler view to get back to the app. You will have one of the most powerful Scheduling Software solutions at the tip of your fingers.
The navigation on tablets is a little different so just play around with single and double click. You can’t drag on the iPad currently.
Any questions flick an email to ptyrrell @ scheduleflow.com or give us a call.
Regards,
Paul
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