Post 3 of 3: Welcome to the last post of my series, The Perils of the Paper Field Ticket and How to Avoid Them. In the first two posts, we looked at how field tickets can be easily lost, become damaged or are just illegible. Now, we will look at what happens in the back office.
Re-entering the Paper Ticket
Regardless of the quality of the paper ticket, the fact remains that it is paper, and it will need to be re-entered into the company’s accounting system. Poor quality or lost tickets makes this required, tedious function even more difficult and problematic.
Depending on the type of service provided and size of the company, a service company might have to re-enter thousands of field tickets a month. This is a time consuming task that is error prone and adds no value to the service provided.
I recently visited a trucking company that has hundreds of tickets per week. They had a full time staff of five bookkeepers that do nothing but process field tickets for billing. They have a great manual system in place, but still ended up with a high number of tickets disputed by their customers due to all the reasons already discussed. These disputed tickets cost them time and money and could have be avoided if they had a better way to accurately capture their data out in the field.
The Better Way
The electronic field ticket is the quickest and most accurate way to get billing and labor data from the field to the back office. Electronic field tickets have been around for several years now, but are still not widely accepted or used by service companies. The larger service companies have their own proprietary electronic field ticket systems. But smaller companies have been slow to pick up the technology.
The reasons for the slow adaption of the electronic field ticket are twofold: 1) high cost and 2) the need for the tickets to be stamped and signed.
First, let’s discuss cost. The majority of smaller service companies use QuickBooks. This is an inexpensive accounting system that works fine for smaller companies, but does not support electronic field tickets. There are existing, third-party electronic ticketing systems that may or may not hook up to QuickBooks, but they are too expensive to justify. Some of these existing systems cost thousands of dollars, much more expensive than QuickBooks itself.
The second problem is the dreaded stamp. For years, oil companies have used rubber stamps that have fields for the company man to write in AFE, Cost Center and account numbers for the back office. This stamp does not translate over to an electronic field ticket. You can’t stamp a laptop or tablet, although you may want to sometimes.
So here’s what you’ve all been waiting for: the better way. The better way is an inexpensive electronic field ticket solution that runs on a PC or tablet and can easily turn the field ticket into an invoice.
- Affordable and doesn’t cost thousands, of dollars
- Captures electronic signatures or can attach a scan of a stamped ticket. Many businesses are finding using electonic signatures to be a lot better for them as it is faster than waiting for a signature and also it is more reliable. Most importantly, it reduces the use of paper. You may want to look into a site like https://www.salesforce.com/solutions/small-business-solutions/integrations/docusign-integration-salesforce/ to find out more, in terms of the benefits this can have on you and your business.
- Integrates with QuickBooks and other accounting systems for quick and accurate billing
- Runs in an off-line mode when you don’t have a cell or WiFi signal
VistaVu Solutions offers such a field ticket. It is FieldVu Mobile and it solves all the problems of the paper field ticket.
Problems solved. No more lost, mangled, illegible paper tickets. Quicker invoicing, more accurate billing and payroll. There really IS a better way.
Check us out
If you would like to make your field service company RUN GREAT, then check out our website and sign up for a 30 minute demo. We’ve helped hundreds of companies just like yours improve their bottom line.