While field service software is a general category that spans a wide variety of industries and offers specialized tools and functions for each, pest control software focuses solely on companies that provide insect and rodent removal services to their customers.
While the degree of functionality does not vary by vendor as much in this category as with other types of field service software, understanding the needs of your particular business is an important first step when evaluating new software. It’s also important to understand the options that are out there—so we put together this buyer’s guide to help you get up-to-speed on the market.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Pest control software is a specific type of field service software designed for use by pest management and control companies and their employees. This software assists with general business tasks, such as providing quotes and estimates to customers, and often supports invoicing and billing. But it can also include more industry-specific functionality, such as tracking pesticide use or even pest activity itself (more on this below).
The underlying theme of this software is that it offers users a unified system in which business owners can automate processes and track operations that are unique to their company.
Dashboard and mobile features in the PestPac pest control software program
The majority of products currently on the market include invoicing and payment features and appointment scheduling, along with varying degrees of customer relationship management (CRM) functionality, such as customer information storage. Beyond that, some programs offer users the ability to track the pesticides they use, or keep a log of insect and rodent activity.
While these features will differ somewhat from vendor to vendor, most software offers at least some of the following features:
|Billing & invoicing||Similar to the billing and invoicing functions found in basic accounting software, this helps automate customer payments and business purchases while minimizing human error.|
|Appointment scheduling||Allows users to plan out customer appointments in advance and cross-check employee schedules and availability. May include alert functions that flag upcoming, overdue or double-booked appointment slots.|
|Quote estimation||Allows users to draft estimated pricing quotes for potential jobs, taking into account variables such as property size and the amount of chemicals needed to treat a particular property.|
|Customer information storage||This basic CRM functionality allows users to store information and account histories for customers, so they can quickly pull up customer details and refer to previous appointments.|
|Mobile accessibility||Allows users to retrieve data from the main software system using devices such as tablets or smartphones. Offered by many vendors, given the nature of pest control businesses and the need for employees to access systems in the field.|
|Pesticide usage tracking||Allows users to track what types of chemicals they have used to treat a particular property, and how often. In some systems, may be included with customer account information, and can be referred to when scheduling new appointments.|
|Pest activity tracking||Generally utilizes traps and other devices to monitor the types of pests active in a property and how often they enter certain areas. Staff can use this more advanced feature to determine how to approach individual jobs and gauge the success of initial pest-removal efforts.|
Pest control software includes different levels of functionality, depending on what the user’s goals are. In general, the benefits of this software fall into one of two tiers:
Pricing for these solutions is dependent largely on the functionality they offer, as well as on the deployment model that is chosen. Deployment models include:
Web-based. This software is hosted in the cloud (online), on servers managed by the software vendor and is accessible using any device with an Internet connection. This is the most common deployment model for pest control software, and is an attractive option for small and midsize businesses due to the low cost of entry. Fees are usually subscription-based (known as “Software-as-a-Service,” or “SaaS”) and are charged, either monthly or annually, based on the number of users who need access to the system.
Given the nature of pest control, and the need for employees to access at least some aspect of the main system while at job sites or en route to appointments, the number of users who will be accessing the system is a significant factor to keep in mind when evaluating options.
On-premise. This is software that is hosted locally, on the software buyer’s own servers. Most on-premise software systems require the buyer to make a one-time, upfront payment for a license to use the software in perpetuity. Additional payments may be required for support, upgrades or maintenance.
While most pest control software is Web-based, on-premise solutions may be the right choice for larger companies with a large number of employees and/or clients. This is due in part to the issue of user access: A company with a large number of employees who all need to access the system may find more value in an on-premise system that only charges an upfront fee.
Because functionality can differ with these software packages, it’s important to keep in mind that added functionality tends to come at an additional cost.
For example, some basic software products may be competitively priced, offering the CRM features noted above—but they may not include capabilities specific to pesticide use or insect and rodent activity. For that reason, Web-based solutions with more advanced functionality can be a cost-effective option. The current software market offers a number of robust Web-based products, which tend to offer competitive pricing given the growing vendor landscape.
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