Episode 506. Service Business Mastery Podcast

Show Notes

Service Business Mastery Podcast

Transcription

Tersh Blissett: [00:00:15] Hello everyone out there in the podcast world, are we having a great day? You're listening to Service Business Mastery Podcast. I'm your host, Tersh Blissett. Today we have Mark Schwartz here with us with Viewpoint. And if Viewpoint Point is a little bit different, going can be different than a CRM. It's not a CRM. Know a lot of your listeners know that I'm really big into CRM and just in general in that communication between the client and in the companies. And what we're going to talk about today is more like your subcontractor's your a product called service tech and somebody. So for people, this is going to be focused on people who do a lot of projects, maybe construction work and not so much of a service as things sit. If you listen to the podcast, you know that we do a lot of services like that. We're primarily a service-based company. We do very little of the project-oriented type things. So whenever I ask questions, there's going to be January for me because I don't know the answers to these questions, so welcome to the show Mark.

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:01:21] Thank you, Tersh. A Viewpoint actually has a couple of products, one called spectrum and one call just by talking about Spectrum today and we are going to talk about service, at least I hope we talk about service. I get by my role in the organizations, I'm a senior product manager and I'm responsible for our service portion of the software for his project work as well. I listen to some of your other podcasts and frankly, I love your focus on the customer and that communication with the customer. It's so crucial is that we focus on what we do. Our business is built around managing your business once you've landed that cost, and to provide that back-office support, the accounting, the accounting staff, we've got our share. I'm a product manager. There's another product manager on the spectrum an account in the two of us kind of tease each other about the difference between the accountants and the and the and the project guys, you know, the production guys. And I think the biggest thing that we've learned is, is that they really are two different people.

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:02:38] Why? It's like if you wanted to be if your listeners want to be a chance, they would have it. But they tried. They chose to be technicians.

 

Tersh Blissett: [00:02:50] Yeah. Most of us get freaked out by numbers like that. I mean, I like numbers, but those that take numbers to another level and it's that.

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:03:00] And yet you need those numbers. That's the part. That's the tough part. You need those numbers to know how is your business going to do?

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:03:08] Well, can I I always ask my customers, you know, at the end of the day. How your dinner?

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:03:15] I mean, when you're laying in bed, waiting to fall asleep is hard to fall asleep because you're worried about these things you don't really have a good handle on. That's where getting those numbers under control so crucial.

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:03:26] And what we think we bring to the party, I don't want to brag, but what we bring to the party is going to be that that ability to have the numbers there for your numbers, guys. And what I do is say, hey, look for the guys in the field. How do we make it as if the numbers guys weren't around?

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:03:47] It's like, let's get it simple for the guys in the field. Let's focus on the field, guys, so that they can so that they.

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:03:57] I'll tell you another story good.

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:04:00] If I were making pizzas or building cars, I know that my customers would love my products because we all love to drive cars and we all love to eat pizza. Absolutely. If but on the other hand, I make a product that I know my customers would prefer not to use because technicians don't like paperwork. And I've never found a technician that goes, I can't wait for this thing, just doesn't happen. So so I am responsible for building a product that guys don't want to use. So I have to make my product design in such a way that they don't have to use it very much. And that's and that's what we've looked at to do on service tech. And so it's service tech does, is it? It's something the technicians can use. It's on their phone. It gives them all the information they need. Well, it will. We're still kind of new. We're still it's still young and it's lifecycle.

 

Tersh Blissett: [00:04:59] How long has it been?

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:05:02] Well, we have that. It's confusing. So you better sit back and wait until Service Tech started its life as a browser-based product. So that means you could pull up a web, a web page, you know, would have everything you need. It's pretty cool. Our customers came back to us and said, OK, nice try, but you really need to make it an app. Yeah. And so we were building it out and. One of the things you learn when you're building these products is that they're too expensive to wait until everything's done before you release it. Oh, yeah, absolutely. So you have to release it in chunks. So I hope all your listeners go pull their phones out. I'm going to make a plug. So get ready. Get your phone out right now. Go to your app store. If you're an Apple guy, go to your app store for a Google guy, go to your Google Play store and then search on spectrum service tech. So you can search on that and then you can download the app and there's a demo database to play with, and right now the app just does three things. It just does labor and it just does notes and images.

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:06:18] And we will eventually have all the other things that you'll need, like signature capture materials, other charges, custom forms.

 

Tersh Blissett: [00:06:33] So I'm all set up right now is set up for primarily ton material. So not flat-rate pricing, but type stuff with tasks.

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:06:42] Flat rate tasks are on their way. So they'll have all of that is going to be common. But right now I would encourage. Just to see what's out there and you can go ahead and download that and start playing around, and then you can start thinking about, OK, how do we do it today?

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:07:00] I know that like I said, I understand this the you you focus brilliantly on customer communication, but now what? You have the customer. How do you smooth out that process of servicing the customer? Mm-hmm. And so the work orders need to be built. You guys need to pick up those work orders. They need to fill out the TNM or the flat rate task work that they did that needs to flow back to the office or they need to collect payment if they're retail. If you're an industrial or commercial guy, you that information has to flow back to the office. Maybe someone in the office needs to review it before they send out the invoice. Do you want that? All of that paper, I'm going to use the the air quotes here, all that paperwork you want, all of that is automated as possible because the the more paper you have to touch.

 

Tersh Blissett: [00:07:56] You know, just oh, yeah, the more stuff the yeah, the ball get dropped, just dropped or it's done improperly. And if you can if there's any way to automate it, it's going to be absolutely key.

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:08:12] Yeah. I mean, the brilliance is, you know, I'm I'm I've got a lot of gray hair and so no hair, so. Well, my gray hair comes from being around a long time. And, you know, I was around when the first IBM PC came out. I went and bought one because I was looking forward to having that computer do everything for me. Yeah. And we've been doing this for a long time. We know that that's just not quite true. And so but so we're still working the more we can. Build workflows, that process of what do I do when I get a work order all the way through?

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:08:49] Out to the tech and then back into the office for billing, automating that process and having it be smooth so that you guys can scale. Yeah. I mean, ah, you know, if you're thinking about working with us. All right. Well, we work with, you know, guys that have more than a couple trucks traditional. Yes.

 

Tersh Blissett: [00:09:09] Not usually one guy in a truck or two guys in a truck. Right. So we're going to be a bigger company. Yeah. Probably 15, 20 trucks at least.

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:09:18] Yeah. Or ten, let's say. Yeah. So and so. Our guys are so those guys are thinking about how am I going to how many make this easier, how am I going to scale my business knowing about your business.

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:09:33] And it's funny, you'd be two kinds of people, some guys, they like to get that truck and they're happy with their one or two truck operation. Throw the guys and they want to go. You know, I think I can do better. Yeah. And I'm thinking about that little nicer house, maybe a little better vacation, maybe to give my wife a break so she doesn't have to work so hard.

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:09:53] Now you're thinking about all that stuff. And so how do you get your business degree? How do you scale it without having to add more overhead, without having to add more staff?

 

Tersh Blissett: [00:10:06] Yeah, that's key there. Because of that staff overhead, that's a nonbillable overhead item. So, yeah, it's tough to increase your prices to justify adding three or four people in the office. If you can replace those three or four people with a software program, you know, that's going to be golden.

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:10:26] Well, I think yeah. I mean, just think about the work that it takes to process a work order. Yeah. You know, just think about and you don't think about these things because it's the ugly part of it was always the fun part, which is going out fixed and stuff. And then there's the ugly part, which is that back office stuff. Again, we're going to nobody think about the ugly part. And I'm sorry for bringing everyone down to ask you to start thinking about the ugly part.

 

Tersh Blissett: [00:10:48] Yeah. I just remember back in 05 when I first got into the industry, I remember everything was on a triple carbon paper invoice and then, like, you filled it out. Hopefully, if you got a check, hopefully you attached it somehow if it was cash or a  credit card number, you either had to write down the credit card number, which wasn't safe, or you had to call the office and get the credit card process, and then you had to take the paperback and hopefully, you didn't lose anything in the process. You turned it in. They have to file it. They have to manually type in everything that was written on the invoice. And then hopefully it's filed away somewhere properly so it doesn't get lost. And then it just turns into this really long, drawn-out process.

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:11:36] Yeah, it's just a symphony of pain and suffering and and things that are to revolve around hand suffering tend not to get done.

 

Tersh Blissett: [00:11:46] Absolutely. Yeah. You have a huge stack of stuff that needs to be input into the system. Why haven't you done that yet? Oh, I've just been so busy here, it's busy doing other things.

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:11:57] Have I had a I still have a one of my first customers was in North Carolina and is a pretty good size operation. And he had his cat. He was he had like three quarters of a million dollars outstanding invoices. It was over forty five days old. Yeah.

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:12:20] And I said, what's the deal here? It is because he started to take me through his process and his process was just a whole bunch of ugly, you know, from what they had to do, it was reasonable. He wasn't being unreasonable what he had to do, but.

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:12:36] The reason why you turn to a company like ours is because you're thinking I could do this a little bit better. I could smooth some of these things out. It's going to be hard now, but I'm looking downstream that say we're going to be prepared for growth. And that's kind of what we're looking to do.

 

Tersh Blissett: [00:12:52] Yeah, I really like that. So with that production productivity and all that other stuff, what's so your target says who is it that should be reaching out to you? Because obviously, we've discussed that it's not going to be a one-man shop. That's not going to be your target audience who are listening to this is going to be going to benefit the most by implementing your program.

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:13:14] I think if you're if you're at about a five dollars million range annual, you know, annual growth that you can you can you should you should reach out to us. And which is, you know, the your your all your traditional subs, your your age fat guys, your plumbers, your electrical guys.

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:13:35] If you've got an if you have a service business and certainly if you have a service business and or you have a project-oriented business or you got both the beauty of what we're bringing, a lot of guys I talk to, they go, well, we start out doing projects. And then we said, so they bought quick books for contractors and they're working off quick books. And I used to run a business. I quit books. I'm not going to say anything bad about them. They're pretty cool. They are, but then they go. But then we saw we had to get a service. So now they've got quick books for projects and they bought a service package. And now, you know, they're kind of the kind of integrated. That's another part of what my responsibilities are integrating you all in. Yeah. I mean, the integrations, you know, there's always the puppies and butterflies part of something. And then there are the ugly details.

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:14:32] So the puppies and butterflies are we're going to integrate package with package B, and that means maybe we're going to share customers or we're going to share some other things. But as you use the package and go, yeah, I got to really get this thing find, too, and you'll find out that there are parts of the integration that's just too much work to do. And that's the ugly details. What we come to a customer and say, look, we've already handled all the ugly details. We were the ugly detail people.

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:15:00] It's probably not a phrase that's marketing guys. You can use this thinking, but the.

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:15:09] But that's when you get right into it. That's what it's about.

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:15:12] It's making sure all those little parts connect together. So as an example, if you're a project guy, how do you manage projects? We've got a whole job ecosystem to help you do that. What if you want to start track and RFID and drawings and plans and you've got stuff to do that. But then, on the other hand, that 20 percent twenty-five percent of your business is in service. How do you need to manage that and you share the same companies and you don't want to have separate purchasing systems, you don't want to have separate systems. We're bringing all that together in one shop. You have a name for that. We call that viewpoint one.

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:15:55] We'll have to put my marketing viewpoint one, two. So where do they need to go to learn more about you and connect with you?

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:16:07] You can look us up on Viewpoint. You know, the website. I better go make sure I'm giving you the right stuff for your audience. 

 

Tersh Blissett: [00:16:14] Viewpoint.com Yeah, is that what it is? Yeah. This is where my marketing guys come after me with a big stick. Yeah. Oh me and Mark.

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:16:29] Yeah. Let me make sure I'm not lying to you here. Yeah. Dewpoint Dotcom. We'll get you the perfect perfect perfect cool.

 

Tersh Blissett: [00:16:36] I appreciate you spending some time with us today and sharing this with us. Is there anything that we didn't ask it?

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:16:42] You didn't ask me again for the how to download service tech, so I'm going to help you with that again. Okay. Go go to your your app store and go to Spectrum Service Tech, download the app, play with it a little bit if you like it and you're thinking, man, I ought to get involved in this and you go to that view point dotcom and then. Get a custom demo and start setting it up. I appreciate it, thank you so much.

 

Mark Schwartz: [00:17:10] All right, Tersh perhaps some fun. Absolutely you do. Thank you. All right. Bye-bye. Bye.