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The Lighting Geek
08-17-2012, 07:48 PM
I am wondering what you all are using for contact management, sales tracking, etc.

I am paperless. I am utilizing iphones for my foremen and am looking into adding either ipad or MacBook Air for foremen to use in the field, to invoice, manage calendars, access to client info in real time. I want it to interface with Quick Books or equal software.

Any suggestions? If I can't find it, I will develop one. Is this a need you have as well, even if you don"t need the field component?

My plan is to open 1-2 more offices in Northern CA in the next 2 years and I need to conquer this first.:)
After that I am opening offices in Southern CA next.

Avalon3
08-17-2012, 11:48 PM
Are you physically opening offices or just doing a P.O. box or something to pick up areas outside of Sacramento?

The Lighting Geek
08-18-2012, 12:56 AM
no P.O. box, an office in the bay area.

Avalon3
08-18-2012, 01:23 AM
Is it your plan to work out of that office or just have an admin person there and you float all over?

The Lighting Geek
08-18-2012, 11:05 AM
The first step is flow of information. Later I will be setting up a crew in or around San Jose. I will be doing sales for now for both areas. It might be better termed a satalite office. Travel time is killing me but the business is there and we are already completing jobs there.
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Mark B
08-21-2012, 07:52 AM
Tommy, this is a tad off topic. But I would think that someone with a large customer base (lots of data) could use the software where I work. They are the king in analyzing data in every field of work. Look into sas.com.

From what I understand it could help you with the sales returns, parts, call backs.

In case anyone ask I am one of the maintenance guys.

The Lighting Geek
08-22-2012, 08:12 PM
Thanks Mark, I appreciate the info.

bcg
08-22-2012, 10:59 PM
You better get your big boy wallet out if you're thinking about SAS.

We use Field One for our service call and customer management. It has a remote piece and will integrate with QuickBooks. There are so many field service applications out there already you should be able to find one you like without having to reinvent the wheel.

It's always better to have an off the shelf product with ongoing development and support than to develop your own app. We had our lawn service app developed because our business model for that didn't fit with any of the available off the shelf apps and we're about $8,000 into it so far and still don't have all the functionality and features we want. Custom software is expensive.

Mark B
08-23-2012, 02:53 PM
I hear it is expensive. It would neat to see if it would help the smaller guys, like it does the larger companies.

Good luck with expanding.

niteliters
08-23-2012, 03:11 PM
I am wondering what you all are using for contact management, sales tracking, etc.

I am paperless. I am utilizing iphones for my foremen and am looking into adding either ipad or MacBook Air for foremen to use in the field, to invoice, manage calendars, access to client info in real time. I want it to interface with Quick Books or equal software.

Any suggestions? If I can't find it, I will develop one. Is this a need you have as well, even if you don"t need the field component?

My plan is to open 1-2 more offices in Northern CA in the next 2 years and I need to conquer this first.:)
After that I am opening offices in Southern CA next.
i don't personally deal with the tech side of company I work for so I don't know if it's the answer your looking for. It's called nocturnus, set up specifically for low voltage lighting business. www.nocturnus.us
hope it's helpful

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
08-24-2012, 06:39 AM
Thanks for the heads up on Nocturnus Chris. I had never heard of that program before and it certainly does look interesting... until you get to the cost! $250 per month seems to be one heck of a fee for cloud based software. It also does not state anywhere on the website 'who' is behind the program. Who developed it and manages it? Similarly who gets the priveledge of storing all of the data? Where is the privacy policy? What happens if the hosting / management company suddenly disappears? Lots of questions I know, but that website really only served to generate these questions and gave no hints as to the answers.

Thanks.

niteliters
08-25-2012, 06:52 PM
these are are all good questions. I am not the one to answer them properly. for now, if you could get on the sight and under registration click the box "information" type in your questions someone will get back to you with those answers