Track everything your office staff need to get done with office tasks

Jason Morjaria
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In the previous version of Commusoft we had a feature called Job Actions.  These were 'notes' or 'actions' against jobs and were used by office staff to keep track of things that they needed to do against a job.  This was often used for reminding them to order parts and raise estimates.   While building version 4 of Commusoft we originally thought that because we'd improved our parts system and estimate system that we no longer needed Job Actions.  

We were wrong.  After speaking to a number of clients, we realised that while Commusoft helped keep track of what engineers needed to do, the software didn't help office staff keep track of things they needed to do.

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After some brainstorming, the fantastic web team came up with a brand new feature, Office tasks.  Office tasks is a task list for office staff which allows both office staff and engineers to create office tasks which are linked to estimates or jobs.   The new office task feature gives users a lot more control and flexibility over how tasks are managed within the office and lets managers report on what tasks have been completed by which office person, helping to provide transparency in the office.

Assigning tasks to estimate or jobs
It’s now possible to assign office tasks to both estimates and jobs.  It’s important that service businesses can track not only what is going on in the field, but what needs to happen in the office (and what’s happened in the office).  With so many calls, emails, jobs and invoices office staff can get lost in a mountain of work.  Office tasks are designed for office staff to keep track of any task, however small, against any estimate or job within Commusoft.  Office staff can keep track of all these tasks on a global level with the integrated reporting tools, designed to make it easy for them to see a list of tasks assigned to them, to their user group and unassigned tasks. 

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Allocating a task to an individual user
Commusoft work with a range of clients from small growing companies all the way to large enterprises.  We’ve therefore built office tasks to be flexible, suiting the small and large alike.  Office tasks can be unassigned (linked to no one) or assigned to a particular user.  We're expecting office tasks to be left unassigned until an office person ‘picks up a task’ and assign's it to themselves - although to be honest, we're really interested to see how they're used as we know clients are going to be using them in really unique ways to help them get more done.

Marking an office task as ‘Done’
As you’d expect, office tasks operate in a similar way to a task list.  These tasks are created and then finally marked as ‘Done’ once they are complete.

Displaying office tasks prominently on the estimate and job screen
When viewing the estimate or job screen on the PC/Mac it’s critical that office tasks are (clearly visible so nothing is missed).  presented with the open office tasks clearly, so nothing is missed.  We’ve prominently positioned the open tasks at the top of the estimate and job screen, making it incredibly clear what and who is responsible for the task.

Using #hashtags to aid reporting
We’ve taken a leaf out of Twitters book here.  Hashtags are slowly becoming more and more common across the internet.  They are a simple way to ‘tag’ a piece of content and we’ve used them in a easy and clever way within office tasks.  Simply use a hashtag to identify (tag) a task so it can easily be found later within reports.  For example, "Please #call the customer to arrange for a new appointment to fit the electrical unit".  The hashtag #call has been used which will then automatically allow users to filter all the tasks by the tag Call.  This is particularly useful when you have several tasks with the same hashtag.  Within the reporting system you’ll now have a drop down filter called Hashtag with the option ‘call’ in the drop down.  You’ll be able to filter your tasks by ‘call’ selecting only those that have the relevant hashtag.  It’s a great way to group tasks together, enabling you to tackle different types of work in one go.

Managers can report on what office staff have been up to
Commusoft have a lot of different features designed to keep track of engineers onsite, timesheets, GPS information and job reports to name a few.  Up until now though, we’ve lacked an efficient way for managers to keep track of what office staff have been doing.  With the addition of office tasks, managers can now get insight into what tasks are being completed on a day by day basis.

While the web team have been focused on delivering office tasks, this isn't the only thing they've been working on.

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Customer advertising performance report
The customer advertising performance report lets you keep track of how successful your advertising effort has been and whether you're spending your limited advertising budget wisely.

The ability to automatically send job reports to customers when an engineer leaves site, aborts, rejects or no accesses a job
Many of Commusoft's clients send job reports after each visit to keep customers up to date with the progress of the job.  The web team have been thinking about innovative ways to streamline the process of sending out these reports.  It's now possible to setup an automated email which gets sent to a customer when an engineer has left site, aborted, rejected or no access a job, keeping the customer up to date without your office team lifting a finger.

Improvements to the import customer processes
We've had a lot of feedback recently regarding our customer import.  Clients have been busy importing thousands of customers into Commusoft using this fantastic tool.  However, we've learned a lot about how the tool is being used and have made a number of improvements to the import processes to make it quicker, easier and more stable.

Improvements to the invoice PDF
Invoices are a vital part of every service, maintenance and installation company.  We therefore want to make sure the invoice you give to your customer is professional.  The design team have been hard at work making a number of improvements to the invoice PDF layout.

It hasn't been all new features and improvements, we've also fixed 86 different bugs and performance improvements helping to make Commusoft more stable and more robust.

 

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