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Mobile Apps Buttons

Making it easy with RealTime Forms

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Here are some of the new buttons that you can add to your forms to not only reduce phone calls back to the office but make it so much easier for the mobile workers:

History: The History Button pops up the history of the jobsite. Including how much is owed, priority level, payment terms, discounts, location of cleanouts, warranties, recent work done, and other important information about the jobsite.  The techs can now even look up the history on jobs that they are scheduled to after hours by the answering service.

Work Ordered: This popup on the form simply reminds the tech what the customer wanted done. . . not that they would forget!

Navigation: Opens an interactive map routing the technician to the job with turn by turn and traffic conditions.

Job Call: Plays the actual recorded phone call of the customer ordering the work. The technician can zoom quickly through the call. When the job is dispatched, any phone call can be designated.

Help: Plays a video that walks the technician through how to fill out the form. Your forms can be as complex or as simple as you want. You can have different invoices for different types of work, different bids, inspection forms, time sheets, etc.Screenshot_20170829-065310

Sketch Pad and Photos: This will create a new page. If it isn’t selected, it won’t be included. These pages can be designed any way you want. You can even sketch on top of photos.

Preventive Maintenance Contract or Customer Protection Plan: Automatically create a special contract – all filled out with whatever information you have in JaRay or elsewhere on the form.

Workflow options: How about different terms and conditions for different types of work or if the ticket exceeds an amount . . . on just residential? Want special pricing options for certain customers, or how about sending the ticket to a manager for approval before the customer signs it? If you can dream it,  RealTime Forms can do it!

Did you know that if you schedule a job from a contract, everything is filled in automatically for the technician! All they need to do is the work! Now, if we could just figure out how to do that too.


 

 

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Famalytics

If you don’t know the score you can’t play the game.

My dad was my coach and mentor when I started my first business in 1969. He loaned me $20,000 and coached me on the numbers so I could pay it back. It took me about 4 years, but it was worth an MBA. I would have to have all my financials by the 5th of the month and we would sit down and look at the numbers every way known to man. When we “computerized” in 1978, we stretched VisaCalc to the limits. With only 48k of RAM in our TRS 80 Model 1’s that wasn’t very far. I had one sales report that ran from Friday night to Monday morning – if it didn’t storm or the computer didn’t reboot. One of my fondest memories was when Lotus 1-2-3 came out in the 80’s and dad and I took a class together to learn how to use it. The computer became my best friend. We looked at the score all of the time. We added metrics to help us understand what was driving the numbers and how to improve them.

Static spreadsheets, as good as they are, are no match to dynamic computer generated reports and dashboards. We became obsessed with reports. We drove my poor sister Jane (the “Ja”in JaRay) crazy writing reports. In order to get good reports, we needed more fields to report. We added “Callbacks” – free job reports. Of course then we had to add variables to define what a “free” or no charge job was. Was it a case where the tech screwed up and we had to do it over under warranty; was it a continued job without a ticket; was it to gather information for a bid; did one tech do the job for another or did they do their own callback; were multiple techs involved, etc. Did we pay a commission or incentive? At last count, there are over 90,000 variables defined over the last 30 years and an almost infinite number of reports depending on how you run them – commercial vs residential, by work done, employee, customer, customer type, sales volume, job counts – shared jobs, bid jobs, free jobs, “won” jobs, media campaign, phone ordered, landing page ordered, preventative maintenance, production time vs driving time, overtime – you get the picture. They enable you to know what types of jobs drive the most profitability, compare work across branches and companies and know best practices. The more integrated products (GPS, Phones, RealTime Forms, M2M, etc.) you use from Famhost, the more valuable your dashboards will become.

We want you to know what is driving your profit and alert you to trends (good and bad) that might sneak up on you. All JaRay users have Famalytics as part of your system. What you do with it and what data you want is up to you, but this is an incredibly powerful tool. It comes with some standard graphs and metrics and you can set up different dashboards for your different users depending on what is critical for how you want to run your business. If you would like us to design special dashboards for you or your managers, just let us know. There is a fee for professional services to design your graphs if you don’t want to do it yourself, but sometimes that is cheaper than doing it yourself. Then you have your dynamic dashboards the way you want them. Your personal dashboard has what you need for your eyes only “Just the facts, ma’am – Joe Friday” without requiring you to sift through mountains of reports waiting for someone to run the numbers for you. Sometimes when you depend on other people to give you information, the numbers tend to get skewed or filtered – but that is another blog.

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Updating prices in Real Time Forms

Price selections for Invoices, Flat Rate, Bids, and Preventative Maintenance.

As with most data sets in Real Time Forms, when you update the databases in JaRay, all of your mobile workers’ tablets and phones are updated automatically – in real time!

You can set different customers or types of customers to use different price lists (not counting discounts). This is useful for many types of pricing scenarios, but especially for flat-rate pricing which usually has four prices: preferred, standard, preferred add-on and standard add-on, depending on whether the customer has purchased a preventative maintenance agreement or not.

Forms can be set to display only the appropriate price options. If a preventative maintenance or contract invoice is created, the invoice will automatically be populated with the contracted prices and services so all the worker needs to do is have the customer sign the ticket.In the setup for “Prices on Invoices” 5HEA where they define the line item prices, there is a new button to show “Other Price Sheets”. There are currently 10 alternate price columns for each line item, but more can be added if needed.  Forms can be programmed to display, or the technician can simply select the alternate pricing that corresponds to the price sheet of the customers. There are no limits to the workflow and data options in Real Time Forms. Only the price list options that apply to the specific customer will be displayed to the technician.

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Happy 4th of July

What a great opportunity to ponder our many blessings. This photo was taken at the Veterans park next to our office last Memorial Day. The person standing in the middle of the photo is our son-in-law. Tim is a Marine and manages our security. His wife is our youngest daughter Lisa (taking a photo with her phone). She was pregnant with our grandson and future programmer, Robert Paul. 

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The many memorials in the park create a serene escape where we can put aside the often trivial problems of the day and recognize the sacrifices that were made by courageous men and women who not only wanted to keep the homeland safe, but were willing to walk the talk and sacrifice their futures. We have several disabled vets who work in our company and I’m constantly in awe about how they ignore the pain and press on to the goal. Thank you Lord for allowing us to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

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Ability to choose

The Famhost and JaRay systems are designed to help our customers, not control them. Some software systems require you to buy everything whether you want to use it or not. Our model is that you pay for what you use, when you want to use it.

One of the biggest differences is the way our mobile platform works. If there is one thing that I’ve learned over the past almost 50 years that I’ve been in business it is that every business is unique. It has a different management style and the owners are in different seasons of their lives. You can’t have one size that fits all. We are compiling some videos that show the options. If you would like access to them or would like a demo, please give us a call. 800-658-1676.

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Memorial Day thoughts

Soldier at Calvary Cemetery in Wichita KSMemorial Day is always a bittersweet time for us. Our oldest daughter died on May 27th, 2008. That date lands on Memorial Day every 28 years. It is a painful day of reflection. Shirley and I decided to take a little extra time this year to celebrate our grandson, Pete’s 8th grade graduation and enjoy our middle daughter’s family in Lafayette LA. Last year we lost a brother, nephew, cousin and more than the usual number of friends. At the cemetery dad and Paula are buried at, we would always celebrate the Mass, an ancient and cherished remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice on Memorial day. This soldier has quietly and reverently stood behind the altar for as long as I can remember as another symbol that speaks to me of integrity. We won’t be there this year, but I’m sure that he will be.

My dad was my biggest hero. When he died in 1992, we left his office alone for quite some time as somewhat of a shrine. Eventually I moved into it and cleaned out his desk. He died totally unexpectedly and never had a chance to come back to the office after his heart attack. I found a half dozen bibles of different translations, all with his notes and thoughts written on almost every page. He also had a file folder marked “Bible Cleanings” which was stuffed with different notes from family and friends, cartoons, and things he liked and had stuffed in his bible. Dad enjoyed his kids and grandchildren, laughed a lot, and the feelings were reciprocated.  He often quoted scripture with his own translation, and his favorite was James 1:2, “Consider it pure joy when you encounter trials of various kinds, because the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” Actually, he had lots of favorites, so nothing was a surprise, except for one thing:

He had typed a specific scripture on green paper and laminated a bunch of them. They were hidden all through his office, tucked away in books, in drawers, different types of file folders, even tax documents and business information. I had never heard him quote it. These were just for him. It was also his gift to me. The scripture was Proverbs 20:7 “A righteous man walks in integrity; blessed are his children after him.” It is a special gift to be a child of a man of integrity. I think it was a reminder to him to walk in integrity.

Integrity is what we do when nobody’s watching. It is what we do in secret. It is what is in our hearts. It is doing what we know we should do. It causes a win for our customers, a win for our employees, a win for our vendors, a win for our business, and a win for our family, but mostly it brings pleasure to God. If we always try to bring God pleasure, all of the other things will just happen.

-Paul

 

 

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Hidden Treasure

jaray_treasuresA comment we often hear when we meet with our customers is that they didn’t know that something they wanted was already included with their system. They find things accidentally  – usually when they just hit a key wrong or call in for support and we log in to help them and notice they don’t have something set up. See those three little jewels in the upper left corner of the menu? Click them to make the screen larger or smaller. Works great when you use different devices to log in with. You can even have different sizes on the same desktop.

Check the updates button on your main menu often. Subscribe to this blog, and let us know if you want something special. We care and are here to serve.

One of the benefits of the Famhost family of integrated system is that all of the server and network processing runs in a secure virtual desktop, not on the user’s local device. Rather than sending your information back and forth across the Internet and finally uploading it on your computer or tablet, we securely process the data on our servers and simply display it on your device. That eliminates the possibility of your data being intercepted by the bad guys. You don’t have to worry about your company’s data being hacked because it is never exposed to the public Internet. It also enables us to apply all the updates for you. So when you log in each morning, you simply log in; you don’t have to wait for the JaRay system to update. Every time you have to update something that runs on your local device, you can appreciate that your most important application was updated and tested for you by us in the middle of the night so it wouldn’t affect you.

The Famhost system has enabled many of our customers to reduce or eliminate an IT staff. However, a downside is that many of our customers have not properly applied operating system, device, and security updates on their local equipment.

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Cozette helps Rick update a server at 2:00 A.M.

Because JaRay runs on Famhost servers, we do all of the updates for you. However, when we log in to help you, we usually piggyback into your session, not on your local devices. We may not see any problems that you might have on your local equipment.

In most cases, malware or viruses on your local system don’t affect how JaRay runs. However, since printing and scanning obviously need to use your local printers and scanners, the device drivers on your computers need to be installed properly and updated to work properly. We created the cloud printing system to simplify the support, but unfortunately, it does slow down printing and creates extra steps. After our last round of training sessions, I realized that many of our customers wanted local printing. We updated all of the servers to enable it, but very few customers are able to use it because a program has to be installed on their local systems and our customers either didn’t want to take the time to install the client or needed to have an outside IT company do it. We’ve always been hesitant to provide technical support for the local devices, but this is important to us. So, we’ve hired additional staff and added licenses to our hardware support software system to help you.

We will install your local printers at no cost to you. Andy Clark is the project manager and will remotely log into each of your workstations and check it to make sure it has the necessary updates before installing the client. We are offering this as a free service. Before joining Famhost, Andy worked for the City of Wichita using the same HIPAA compliant processes and tools that we are using. If you would like to set up an appointment, install the client yourselves or want your IT department to do it, just give Andy a call at 800-658-1676 (8-5 Central Time) and he will provide the details.

We want you to fully utilize everything that Famhost and JaRay has to offer.