Standard CRM tools are entirely focused on the outward looking part of the business, towards the customer. This means that features like scheduling of engineers is something best left to an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tool. However, we took the view that the whereabouts of engineers and their direct relationship the customers is something that can fall under the CRM remit, of RealtimeCRM anyway. So, we introduced a scheduler feature. The benefit to our users was more than we could ever have dreamed of.
In fact since that initial development and thanks to the feedback we received more more functionality was added to it. People asked for the ability to filter the scheduler by groups of users so, for example, you only see the schedules of engineers.
As ever, our best ideas always come from our users and we welcome feedback so that we can continue to improve RealtimeCRM and make it a more useful tool. But feedback from one of our users was really satisfying and worth sharing.
The challenge faced when scheduling their team
This particular company are busy and successfull and so are sending out engineers to their customers all the time. Their engineers carry job sheets with them that need to be completed with hours worked and handover notes. When complete these job sheets are then handed to their accounts department who then do the billing. Unfortunately, sometimes these job sheets would get lost or they’d come into accounts long after they should have done so.
As you can imagine, their engineers are busy people and so it’s easy to be completely focused on the next job and leave the admin side of things hanging.
How RealtimeCRM helped schedule their engineers
From feedback that we received we were pleased to learn that the accounts department now billing very efficiently. They actually have the scheduler grid on a big screen all day long, and they can see in real time when an engineer is en route to a job or, critically, when they have completed a job.
This is made possible through the engineer simply updating their appointment status on the scheduler via their smartphone. Once changed, the colour of the appointment also changes on the scheduler which the accounts department back in the office can see on their screen. As soon as this happens they then bill the customer.
As you can see in the example below Billy Jones has completed his appointment Friday afternoon and we know about it the instant he updates his Schedule in RealtimeCRM.
Engineers no longer need to worry about job sheets being handed back in to confirm whether a job has been completed, the business cashflow has improved thanks to prompt billing and RealtimeCRM now more than pays for itself. It has also made admin for the engineers quicker and easier too, leaving them to focus on what they’re good at.
It’s always great to learn how you can do something better but its also nice to learn of when you do something right. We’re planning on rolling out more useful features soon too so watch this space.