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Pest control in London is a very competitive field. And the leading companies, including Integrum Services, are all eager to get an edge that will allow them to be 1 step in front of the competition. It is not only good enough to be one of the best pest control companies in London, the best mice exterminator or have the best rodent control service. It also matters that you be able to provide the critical information to the clients as efficiently as you can.
If we put aside the pest control software cost, they are all basically a powerful CRM coupled with a calendar that can be integrated easily with most mainstream banks through a simple plug-in. Until here, there would seem to be pretty much all the same. The difference actually come to light when we suddenly want to customize.
I had the chance of exploring a number of them and the main sticking point for me was down to the handling of the report information provided by the technician. When carrying a pest control mice treatment there can be an extensive amount of information that the mice exterminator need to pass on. I most system, what is allowed is but a dialogue box that the pest controller need to fill one letter at a time.
When describing the mice control proceedings, it is not so much we try to explain the clients how to get rid of mice. But if you wanted to describe the presence of mice droppings in every single areas of the building it would take for ever. The best bait for mice may differ from one company to the next, but not having to write it down every single time can only be described as time saving.
Some of the pest control softwares available can have custom formularies made for you. They may be great for a contract initial set up as but not necessarily for a day to day jobs. The down side is that the form need to be attached to the pest control job booking every single time by the admin staff. Also it doesn’t allow for any conditional answering .
So basically you need to either create a very basic form, or a very comprehensive one that the technician will have to go through and only answer the questions that are relevant to the pest treatment in question. So you are left between sending a text to the office or use a cumbersome formulary?
I think that the only pest control software that should be considered are the one that allow for conditional statements that through programming can actually generate a bespoke form that is specific to the job actually being carried out by the technician. The first questions would simply be sorting questions as to define the type of job you are doing.
Such a conditional construct can be carried through the full process of making a report, the next screen or question being conditioned by your previous answer, or just initially as a sorting method to get to the relevant form.
The issue that then transpire is an issue of set up as well as capability. Most of the initial set up is quite straight forward: create profiles fro the technicians, create jobs, put them in the calendar, various level of assisting, various integration for commonly used tools such as accounting or email providers. But when it comes to create your report maker, you often end up as choosing the plain dialogue box, or spend $$$$s on a programmer.
A further difficulty if finding the right kind of programmer who already has experience of this kind of language. I approached my regular guy, and basically he told me he would look into it. But what he actually meant was that he would have to work it out to start with. The software providers have a team that are working tirelessly to developing further their product.
But in the initial stages, the priority is to expand on the potential market you can reach. Most pest control software companies are from the U.S. and it is only when they have reached maturity on their home market that they will look across the pond to UK and Europe later on. It is clear from the library of forms that are available as resources. They are very much specific to the American market and hold only residual interest to other countries who hold their own regulations and procedures.
Of the few softwares that have been around for a while, and that have the capability to be customized through programming, I had the chance of seeing PODIO in action the way it had been set up by one of my competitors. Other system can be made to do the same such as Zoho, Vtiger and OctopusPRO, but so far did not see them in action yet.
The technician doing the report up, had but to touch on buttons and select the relevant features: treatment//mice//droppings-smear marks//kitchen-bathroom-airing cupboards//bait formulation x-contact pesticide y/house keeping-proofing/quote 450/[dialogue box for other comment]. And it would generate automatically a branded PDF ready to send to client.
If this feature is great, it should be developed further in the form of a “report maker wizard” that would allow non programmers to make simple forms without having to rely on expensive programming. Or possibly, a plug-in could be independently developed with various integration available for the main stream pest control softwares.