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PestFriend - THE PEST CONTROLLERS FRIEND

ABOUT PESTFRIEND SOFTWARE PACKAGE

BACKGROUND

PestFriend was created in conjunction with active Pest Control companies by FITEC Consultants to meet the everyday business needs of recording all aspects of Pest Control site visits. The system includes many features either not available in other packages or which are spread over many modules.

The details in this section are intended to give a brief overview of the system; for more details and the latest additions to the system, please see the dedicated site run by Friendly Data Solutions.

PestFriend is intended to be the single system that Pest Control Technicians and Main Office require to run the specific business needs. It fulfills four key functions; provide all the facilities needed on a customer site by a technician, creates schedules for site visits, enable sales leads and prices to be recorded which can be linked to a subsequent technician visit and provide main office Invoice and Work Control facilities.

The software has been designed with opportunities to expand the facilities without a total re-design of the system or data changes. Even at an early stage of the product life, the facilities for the Pest Control technician were comprehensive and in daily use in various ways by our user companies. Customer and Pest Control operatives input has played an important part in the overall “feel” of the system whilst the design has included many opportunities for additional advanced features to be added as the system is developed.

Data security has been an important consideration. Thus although the technician has access to all the information he needs for his work, only the main office machine can see all the details about all customers. This reduces the chances of the loss of a portable machine compromising critical business information.

The package was designed to entering data once but using it in many times. For example when a Quote is created for a job, the majority of the Invoice data is also created; only additional work or expenses need to be added. The Quote / Invoice also creates a History Record of the work done. This reduces time spent by operatives on data entry whilst increasing time on profit generating work.

Matching the software considerations has been targeting a suitable machine; it had to be portable but able to display all the key information to complete a job. Whilst PestFriend will run on any Windows machine, the Technician’s ideal machine would be an Ultra Mobile similar to a Samsung Q1. This type of computer typically uses a display of 7" by 4" - larger than a PDA but smaller than a laptop - which enables a useful amount of information to be shown which can easily be read. The more modern Netbooks provide an alternative with better battery life and lighter weight.

The key to PestFriend is the Technician’s view; it is the income generator for a company. This is backed by a comprehensive main office package and sales facilities. This first release of the software will give any company a very good return on investment but some of the facilities planed for the future will substantially enhance the value to a company.

 

Facilities for the Technician
A Technician on site has all the known details available; for instance numbers of visits required / past visits, pests covered, number of fly control units, the locations of baits or insect detectors and access to previous reports plus chemicals used (which aids the rotation of chemicals used).

Text Box:  History information is created automatically by the Technician during a visit using  a set of linked screens to create a documentation pack including a Customer Report and technician site comments for subsequent visits (such as beware of the dog). The example screen shown will create a paragraph of text for use in the final report. The centre white area shows the full text as it is created from the technicians input.

Report paragraphs are constructed from standard sentences with values or names inserted within the main sentence. Additional text can be added if necessary. The paragraphs created by this process create a professional looking A4 report which appears to have been personally written for the customer but in fact has been created in seconds from standard sentences written by the company management.

The report details are initially stored on the technician’s machine but a copy is transferred onto the main office computer and subsequently can be made available to other technicians.

Quote and Invoice facilities are also available for the one off jobs which are initially based on standard prices for a task but can be factored by Post Code area or amended to cover additional costs (eg car parking, congestion charges, access, etc.).

Where a technician incurs expenses, facilities are available to record these on a daily basis plus start / end of day mileage. Parking Charges can be added to the Site Visit costs as well as the technicians expense sheet.

 

Main Office Facilities
The system has been designed to have a central machine which can be updated with visit information from the technicians machines which gives an overview plus a central repository for all data.  This gives the ability to monitor actual contract visits against budgeted number of visits irrespective of which technician carried out the visit. 

Storing actual work data is just part of the function of the central machine. It covers everything from holding master information on customers, contract details, renewal dates, materials used, the ability to create values / text used by technicians on drop down menus and Invoice Control Facilities. Access to all the features are through a series of Control Panels. Information for the actual Pest Control Company is held on a master record which can be updated at any time and can include company / trade association logos (for use on Site Reports, Quotes, Invoices, etc.).    

 

The Initial Menu for PestFriend
The actual costs for a customer are calculated by the system taking into account labour, materials and parking for each visit over the period of that contract / job. With accurate past costs, your profit margin by customer can be effectively used when setting prices for a contract review.
                                          
Text Box:

For repeating work, the system will create Invoices at the appropriate renewal intervals - the Invoices for a complete month can be generated in seconds. The payments from these invoices can be treated as automatically reconciled or set to a state where they are reconciled manually from bank statements at a later date.

The central machine also covers the Job Work where the technician has not raised the invoice at the time of completing the work (possibly because an Invoice for a Site is fact sent to the companies Head Office for Payment).

 

Facilities for Sales Operative
The Sales Operative has facilities including some of the Main Office features (such as the ability to add a Customer or Site), create Quotes for Job or Contract work, enter key data to set up a Contract or record details of a site layout.

Like the Technician, the Sales Operative also has facilities to record expenses incurred and start / end of day mileage.

 

Future Development
The system is still evolving with extra features being added based on input from both Pest Control Operatives and their customers. Listening to real users and customers has proved a great benefit in adding facilities that create a very easy to use system.

In addition to user feedback, the system has a number of key facilities included ready to be exploited as the system develops. The aim is to make the system grow to meet all opportunities to make a company more profitable.

PestFriend is a development by FITEC Consultants with active feedback from our users.

For further details of PestFriend and all the latest news / developments, please visit the site dedicated to PestFriend at www.pestfriend.co.uk

 

 

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