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SMART REPORTING FOR COMMERCIAL ACCOUNTS

A new report-writing app from ePestReports has been specifically designed for pest managers who service commercial accounts.

An important part of conducting commercial pest control services is reporting. Not only is it necessary to produce service reports that meet respective standards, but there is also the issue of the supply and storage of all relevant compliance documentation. Many companies, particularly smaller operations, still use paper-based reporting systems. Printing, photocopying, filing and updating expired documents can be costly, not to mention the environmental impact of paper usage and waste. While there are a number of reporting apps already in the market, there are few that have been specifically designed for managing commercial accounts.

Our industry’s ever-growing compliance requirements, particularly in commercial accounts, means more businesses require activity reports to be generated, with barcode scanning becoming an increasingly important part of this process for improved quality assurance. While some of the larger pest control operations have the resources to develop an in-house digital system that incorporates barcode technology, options for smaller companies have been limited.

ePestReports has launched a new report writing app and software program that has been specifically designed for companies offering commercial pest maintenance services. The program offers a digital, affordable, cost-effective solution for small and medium-sized pest control companies.

General manager of ePestReports, Rohan Burke, believes the program fills a gap in the market. “Commercial pest control operators tell us it’s difficult to find a report writing program with the necessary features, and one that is also affordable.

“Companies are looking for an app that is simple, easy to learn and use – one that will save technicians time when on site. It also needs to provide all the information technicians require to complete a service, such as site specifications, previous service notes and past service reports. The app also offers technicians various tools to make the report writing process quick and simple.

Screenshot from the ePestReports app showing customer data

“However, the most important aspect of any reporting program is the service reports and how they are displayed. ePestReports create and display reports in a similar format to current written reports and are easily accessible for customers with reports, activity data and all documents in one location.”

ePestReports allows users to create reports that are customised to the customer’s need, from basic reports to HACCP level. The digital reports are completed by the pest manager on a smartphone using a combination of free-form text, dropdown selections and data selectors.

Free-form text is used to complete fields such as Activity Summary, Treatment Report, Recommendations and Notes for Next Services. Chemicals are selected from a dropdown menu where the name, active ingredient, dilution and application method auto-fill. Predictive text makes written reports very quick and easy to complete.

Example of a service report

The power of ePestReports comes from the use of barcode scanning in the activity reports. The data is produced in a grid pattern with each bait station depicted as an individual box, colour-coded to show activity level, showing a time stamp and the amount of bait used. This grid pattern offers excellent trend analysis.

A unique feature of ePestReports is the ability to generate activity reports either with or without the use of barcoding.

“Barcode scanning has become an important feature for customers that are subject to audits and held to a higher compliance level, so being able to visually display this information is very helpful,” said Mr Burke. “There are also those customers who want activity data but don’t use barcode scanning. Using ePestReports, an activity report can be generated very quickly using only the station number. For example, for a site with 50 stations, it will take a pest manager less than two minutes to input the data and create the activity report.”

Example of a bait station activity report showing low (green) to medium (orange) levels of activity

Most pest control software has generally been designed for administration staff to improve office efficiency. Similarly, ePestReports assists the administration process in that there is very little ‘management’ once the database is set up, and the simple scheduling feature is easy to use. However, ePestReports is different in that it has been designed to deliver the greatest benefits to pest managers.

The app provides pest managers with a client database, giving them instant access to their contacts, site specifications, pests covered under the contract, and notes from the last service, complete with a copy of the previous service report (including activity data). Clicking on the customer’s address will open Google Maps, giving site directions and a quick-dial button makes it easy to call the customer.

Upon completion of the service, and the written service report, the customer digitally signs their name and the report is submitted. The report is then instantly accessible by the customer. Customers are given a link and an access code by their pest manager. The link will take them directly to the customer access portal where they input the code, giving them access to all reports, activity data and documents in one easy to navigate location.

Although primarily targeted at managing commercial accounts, for those involved in termite baiting, using the barcode scanning and activity reports provided by ePestReports is an efficient way to verify and report a service.

ePestReports has been designed to allow pest control businesses to minimise their time onsite by allowing them to execute their services in a streamlined, efficient way, with the added benefit of reducing time spent printing and photocopying back at the office. ePestReports enables smaller operators to compete with the larger companies in terms of reporting and the type of data they can offer to their customers in a cost-effective way.