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Old 04-28-2012, 09:55 PM   #1
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Default Web scheduling software. Would you use it?

A few years ago I worked with a web designer to develope a web based scheduling software for my business. At the time, there wasn't really anything available like this and I wanted to have the ability for my customers and employees to be able to check the schedule.

I was considering having my web designer make this software compatible for others to use. I wanted to first see if there was any interest in a program like this before I forked out the money to get a beta program out there for others to use and review.

Here are the key features:

1. You have two options on how you enter the job start date. First is to add it to a que of jobs where the last job gets automatically tacked at the end of the schedule for that "crew" and is assigned a date. With this option the date for the job fluctuates depending on delays, or how fast you get a job done before it. Second option is you can manually enter a date. For exteriors we mainly enter jobs in the que system because all jobs in the que will automatically get pushed back a day if the current job wasn't completed or updated that day (weather delays, job delays, etc.) We use the manual enter date when we know for sure we are going to be at a customers house...mostly for interiors.
2. When customers log in they see their name and their tentative start date. All other customer information is hidden from them with ***x
3. When employees log in they can see the job scheduled for that day as well as a word doc with details for the job. Customers can't see the word doc, that's only accesible to employees. Word docs take a matter of minutes to create, we just created a customized letter in quickbooks so customer detals (address, phone, etc.) is automatically populated into the letter and then job details for employees is manually entered. The word doc just gets uploaded when you create a job.
4. You can create as many crews as you need. You can also create multiple sales people or project managers so each would have their own schedule.

So those are the key features and it's worked really well for us because employees and customers can see the schedule. I think it gives our customers an added sense of security when they login and see their job scheduled in our system. Especially when we're several weeks out. My employees like it because there is never any confusion about what they're doing that day.

Let me know what you think, I want to figure out if this is something just useful for my business or if others would find it useful. It typically takes 4-5 minutes to enter a job into the system as long as the job details document is already made and ready to upload.

Here is a screen shot of what employees would see. Customers aren't able to view the word docs located to the right of the job description.
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Old 04-29-2012, 05:41 PM   #2
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It doesn't have to be that complicated.

Customers are given a tentative time by the office manager.
Job managers get their job folder (mostly from the "in progress" dropbox file)
Weekly scheduling meetings decide what is going on in this order:

1) the next week (colours, deposits, job manager, equipment, pre-job visit)
2) anything else tentatively after that

Anything more than that seems to become like trying to put the "round peg in a square hole".

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Old 04-29-2012, 08:21 PM   #3
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We have been experimenting with this for a bit. We now use a combination of digits and analog based on MS project for resources ( we track on the crew level, and our white gloves guys as resources for those types of jobs) and big white boards.

We are about to go really big with a year long white board about 30 feet long.
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Z View Post
It doesn't have to be that complicated.

Customers are given a tentative time by the office manager.
Job managers get their job folder (mostly from the "in progress" dropbox file)
Weekly scheduling meetings decide what is going on in this order:

1) the next week (colours, deposits, job manager, equipment, pre-job visit)
2) anything else tentatively after that

Anything more than that seems to become like trying to put the "round peg in a square hole".
What if you don't have an office manager or project manager. My company is small, i can't justify having all those managers right now but that doesn't mean we don't book out several weeks during the summer. I'm busy at job sites or estimates all day. Before i used this system I was either relaying info to my painters at the end of the day for the next job or on the phone with customers updating them on the schedule. I don't have to do that anymore.

If I had a company large enough to have a manager for everything then your system would make sense. I think if I did further develop this software it would be for the small to medium sized company, companies like myself.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:03 PM   #5
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I'm guessing you don't have a wordpress website, if you do they are TONS of free and paid scheduling plugins.

I can't recommend any but a simple search in Wordpress or google will bring up a whole list of them.

There's bound to be one that meets most of your requirements.

If your not using wordpress, then nevermind.

Good luck with it.
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