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Service Dispatch

Managing your service department effectively requires prompt attention to the customerís needs, quick access to all historical data including equipment, installation dates and past service data, and complete customer demographics.  The Nextsoft Service system provides the tools for taking, tracking and billing service and installation work.

Work Orders
Each service call or installation you perform starts with a work order which outlines the basic requirements of the call, including who to bill, jobsite location, who called in and when, and description of the problem.  In addition, the job classification, severity and nature of call can be cataloged for identification and future analysis.

The Schedule tab allows you to provide specific directions to the jobsite, including map coordinates, schedule details such as First Call, Second Call, AM, PM or preferred crew.  An estimated duration is used by the Dispatch Board to display the call on the visual scheduling board.

The Quote tab provides quick access to common inventory and pricing, allowing you to generate a quoted price for the customer and estimate profit.  If the job requires special order items, a Purchase button automatically creates a linked purchase order which can be tracked with the job.

All previously completed work, including installations, service calls, warranty and callbacks are conveniently listed on the History tab.  This history shows who was sent out, what work was performed and the materials used, and is kept in the customerís file permanently.  In addition, all known equipment, including model and serial number, date of installation and location are displayed.

Dispatch Board
Organizing service calls and installations is the Dispatch Boardís call-of-duty.  The Dispatch Board provides a visual board for taking and scheduling work orders, allowing you to easily drag and drop calls on the daily schedule, move calls around, or flag calls as unscheduled or on hold.   The top of the Dispatch Board holds all unscheduled calls, arranged by priority (First Call, Second Call, AM, PM or anytime).  Calls can be dragged and dropped onto the board by selecting the column for which crew, and the corresponding time.  The Unassigned column allows you to specify a date and time for a promised call, without specifying the crew.  Color coded workorders help to easily identify the type of work being performed.

Events are used to schedule time off, safety meetings, warehouse time, or to block off time for loading and unloading trucks.  Events can recur so, for example, a monthly safety meeting appears on the Dispatch Board at the same time each month. 

If you maintain communications with service technicians throughout the day, timesheets and workorder status can be updated in real-time by clicking on the ticket to start or stop the job, enter timesheet data, or bill the job immediately.  All changes are shared with other team members in your office immediately, so multiple dispatchers can work together managing the days calls.

Daily timesheets are used to collect each crewís hours through the day, including time arrived at the jobsite, time left and duration.  Optionally, you can record travel time and mileage for productivity analysis.  Billing codes determine the chargeable rate for time and material jobs, and the effective cost per hour billed.  Hour information can flow into payroll to drive wages and overtime.

In addition to labor, Timesheets are used to record materials used on the job, which drives jobcost and relieves stock inventory.  All material transactions are real-time so on-hand and availability information is always current.

For those jobs which span multiple days, or even weeks or months, Timesheets allow you to record labor and materials on an on-going basis, allocating inventory as it is used, regardless of the customer billing cycle.

Job Billing facilitates the creation of customer invoices for each work order, and can be used to invoice multiple times during the life of the job.  For example, you may invoice the customer for a deposit, then progress payments during various phases of the job, then for the final retention at the end.  This cycle can be separate from the actual materials used and labor performed as recorded in the Timesheets.  For service calls, billing can be made immediately upon completion of the call.

During the billing process, notes regarding the actual work performed by the crew are recorded and stored with the call.  These notes, along with all billing information are available permanently when viewing the customerís history.  Billing removes the call from the Dispatch Board, updates inventory quantities, and sends accounting data to the General Ledger and Accounts Receivable.

Jobcost data is maintained for all activities against the job, including the timesheets, materials used and Accounts Payable entries.  Total cost-to-date is updated in real-time so you always know where you stand with a work order.

Job Status
The Job Status screen provides a complete view of all transactions related to a job, including purchase orders, material receipts, vendor payments, customer invoices and customer payments.  This provides a quick and simple means of determining which purchase orders for a given job are still open, if a customer has been billed, and the status of all payments.

Managing Service
Keep track of each service call, tracking job progress, and truly understanding your cost of doing business are all part of the Service Dispatch system.  Reports allow you to review all calls for the month by call type or crew, while the Business Manager provides an analysis of average calls per day and per crew, dollars billed per call, and calls taken.


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