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Perhaps one of the most common questions asked amongst pest managers, certainly on the Pest Managers’ Network Facebook page, is “Which business software do you use?”

Perhaps one of the most common questions asked amongst pest managers, certainly on the Pest Managers’ Network Facebook page, is “Which business software do you use?”

Sometimes these questions are referring to report writing systems and other times to business management software that can performance a range of tasks (job booking and management, invoicing, reminders and more).

What is clear from the various discussion threads is that there is a range of software options out there, often providing a wide range of benefits. Our quick survey showed over 40 different business software packages were in use. It certainly is a challenge to know which one is best for your situation, and whilst it’s good to get feedback, ultimately what is good for one company is not necessarily good for another.

Firstly let’s look at the ‘old school’: about 5% of respondents do not use any software in their business or just use pen and paper. Approximately 12% of respondents use Excel spreadsheets as part of their planning process, with about 50% of these also using Google Calendar as their key booking tool. In fact, over 20% use online calendars to help manage their bookings (primarily Google Calendar).

When it comes to report writing, over a third of pest managers use a dedicated report writing software, with Report Systems Australia and Report Writer being the most common. Of course, a few pest managers are still using paper versions of these forms, whilst others have incorporated some of these reports into their multipurpose business software.

Companies keen to embrace technology to gain efficiencies and streamline their business are always looking for a single software package to meet most if not all of their business requirements. Over 40% of respondents are now using multifunctional packages, with Formitize, Service-Pro online and ServiceM8 being the most popular.

So which software is right for your business? Most software companies will tell you to draw up a workflow process for your current business, which will help you to identify bottlenecks and resource-intensive activities. Having a system that ‘talks’ to the other software packages you may be using is another consideration. This then gives you the basis to have discussions with the various software providers – not only does it provide you with a checklist, but it also allows the software provider to make the best recommendations for your situation.

SOFTWARE % Pest managers using software
Dedicated reporting writing software 37.3%
     Report Systems Australia 16.1%
     Report Writer (Rapid Solutions) 13.6%
     My Inspection App 3.4%
Multi-purpose business software 55.0%
     Formitize 11.9%
     Service Pro On-line 9.3%
     ServiceM8 8.5%

Table 1: Which business software do you use?

(percentage of respondents using various business software)

Once you have this information, it’s important to put the time in to speak to the potential software providers, view demos and even run a free trial before taking the plunge. Choosing the correct business software is one of the biggest decisions you will make – get it right and the efficiencies can deliver increased profitability, get it wrong and it can end up a real mess!