Here is a summary of the webinar we ran today, to highlight the differences between the 2 applications so that you can make an informed decision as to what is the best option for your business. If you missed out on the webinar, you can read a summary of the content below or you can also watch the recording (available via our events page).
A little bit of background on the applications themselves
Connect was the original simPRO field application and has been around for a long time. It was originally designed for Service based works (attend a job, complete the works and move onto the next job). It has the ability for field technicians to clock on / off to jobs, allocate materials used, raise PO's, record and test customer assets , complete audits and get a customer and technicians signature at the end of the job.
simPRO clients that were project based found the connect application operationally difficult to use as each "cost centre" within the job need to be both scheduled and clocked on and off by field technicians individually. This made it difficult and time consuming for the field technicians working at 1 job site over multiple cost centres to log their time effectively.
simPRO Mobile is the new mobile application for field staff from simPRO - It has been out for a few years - though simPRO have done a slow staged release of its features. simPRO have stated in the past that the Connect Application is at the end of its life - meaning there will be no more further development of new features and functionality. While they will keep Connect running for as long as there is functionality that the Mobile app does not provide - post this there will be a push for all simPRO customers to make the switch to Mobile and eventually there will be an end date to connect where it is no longer available for use. simPRO have stated that they are committed to giving businesses time to make the switch before this will occur.
The early staged release approach has left a number of users determined to stay on Connect for as long as possible and they are hesitant to give simPRO Mobile another go. There are also many simPRO users that do not know about simPRO Mobile and the features it contains.
The simPRO Mobile Application is structured very differently to Connect
simPRO Mobile is an application that contains a number of different modules. Essentially it is 1 app that contains a number of mini apps inside of it.
There are currently 4 Modules within simPRO Mobile - with the newest module (Stock) being released just over a month ago.
Each of these Modules have a very different purpose - and it is vital that simPRO Customers have a understanding of what the Modules do and when they should be used, in order to get the most effective use from the application. It is also easy to switch between modules depending on what work situation the field technician is faced with. The idea being they would select the most relevant module for the type of works or the task they are scheduled to.
simPRO Mobile Modules at a glance
Quote & Sales - A tool to be used for building quotes in the field with the ability to present them directly to the customer to be signed on the spot
Timesheets - This name is a little misleading - while it does have the ability to edit timeblocks submissed for the week, it is also a really effective tool for project based jobs - where a field technician is on 1 site for the day working across multiple cost centres.
Service - This module is very close to the Connect Application. It works best for Service based work - where the field technician is attending multiple jobs and needs the ability to record time and materials to the job. You can also add, edit and test customer assets in this module.
Invoicing of the Job and collecting payment on site is also possible if you enable these features and this is permissionable at an individual employee level.
Stock - the newest addition to the simPRO mobile application - this module allows field staff to raise Stock PO's - a long awaited feature that was keeping a large number of businesses dependant on the Connect App.
simPRO Mobile - Service Module is a:
- Service Based Application
- Ability to Record Hours & Materials to Jobs
- Take Photos / View Job & Site Attachments
- Asset Creation / Testing
- Pre & Post Works Audits
- Onsite Invoicing and Billing using Square
The simPRO mobile application is obviously newer and is a little more streamlined in its design. The Connect Application contains a small section of information per page and requires the field technician to click the next button to manoeuvre through the app to see and record different pieces of information (Job Notes / Materials / Assets / Time Recorded etc).
TIP: A little trick we always encourage field technicians to use is the ability to do voice to text in simPRO Mobile - wherever they are required to write notes you can click the microphone button - normally located next to the space bar on the keyboard and literally speak the notes into the phone and it will convert directly to text. This is real time saver on site and the accuracy is pretty impressive. The field technician may need to correct a few words - but won’t have to type out all of the notes manually.
The simPRO mobile app has the same core functionality and data as the Connect app - however it is laid out all on 2 pages - The first page contains all of the job information (notes / materials / assets/ PO's ect) and then the second is a review page for them to overview what has been entered which condences the information and allows for both Customer and Tech signatures to mark the completion of the works.
From a customer point of view the simPRO Mobile application is far more visually informative as the job information is on the same screen you are asking them to sign - rather than just a blank signature box on the Connect App where there is no indication of what the customer is actually signing off on.
If you have the invoicing and billing functionality enabled you can allow field technicians to invoice jobs and collect payment from the customer - this is a fantastic way to increase your cash flow and speed of customer payments.
A note on payment platforms
An important difference to note between Connect and simPRO Mobile comes in the form of the payment platform that has the ability to collect customer payments by the technician while on site.
The connect application has long had a billing platform called integrapay which is setup in simPRO to process on site paymnents.
simPRO Mobile uses Square as the billing platform. There are not customer preference options here - the app you are using will determine which billing platform you will need to sign up with and integrate with simPRO if you wish to use the functionality.
It is also really important to note the Square payments are not currently available in NZ. So simPRO clients from New Zealand have the option to use integrapay only.
Ready for the next step?
If you’d like to learn more about simPRO features, do not hesitate to get in touch with us today!
We have a wide range of services at MO to assist you with the next steps in your simPRO Journey!
We can offer:
- Setup of the Square Integration for onsite customer payments
- simPRO mobile setup and training (including training of the field staff)
- Adhoc works as needed:
o Customised Quote and Invoice Forms
o Catalogue Works
o Training (both new staff and upskilling)
o Data Migration between systems
And if you feel you are just not getting the best out of simPRO we do offer a " Deep Dive and Strategy Session (1.5 Hours). The purpose of this workshop is to identify, analyse and examine your business processes. We will master:
- How the business currently operates
- How the business currently utilises your job management software (and other processes / systems) including the identification of your pain points
- The overall goals of your business moving forward – including how you would like to utilise your job management software
- How we can maximise the software’s functionality
- Upon completion of the Deep Dive and Strategy Session, we prepare a detailed analysis report with our recommendations moving forward, including a proposal for the works required and after implementation support.