As we rapidly approach the end of 2017 and look forward to the year ahead, it gives all of us time to reflect on our journey over the past twelve months. A time to reflect on our accomplishments, and our goals for the year ahead. People begin to set their personal goals and resolutions for the new year, companies set the forecast and strategy for what’s ahead, professionals review their development and build plans to grow moving forward.
The end of the year is also a time of celebration – the winter holidays give us time to get together with family and friends, an opportunity to celebrate our successes and the things we are thankful for before starting a new journey in January.
At ServiceBridge, we’re taking the time to reflect on our journey throughout the past year – and look forward to what’s ahead in 2018. In the past year, we’ve helped franchise companies reach new heights through the introduction of powerful new features – and we’ve got big plans in 2018 to keep aiming higher.
Building a Better Solution
Entering 2017, ServiceBridge was already actively working with a number of leading service franchises – including Critter Control, among other Entrepreneur Top 500 franchises – in addition to hundreds of other service companies across the globe.
Through our work with these franchise companies, we came to a realization - service franchises needed a better solution. Software choices for these service franchisors were limited. Many franchise companies were reliant on outdated proprietary systems, or using field service applications that weren’t designed for the unique structure of a franchise network.
This lead us to the decision to focus our team’s time, energy, and resources on creating the best solution for service franchise companies – a platform that would empower every level of service franchise companies, giving them the tools to grow their business by helping them be more efficient at every level of their operations:
1. Franchisor: Creating a system that gives franchisors full visibility and control into the operations of their franchise network – allowing them to ensure brand consistency, run detailed reports, and effectively manage their franchise network from a central hub.
2. Franchisee: Providing franchisees with a full suite of field service tools to manage their team –including scheduling, route optimization, estimates, work orders, custom forms, and more.
3. Field: Continuing to improve our robust mobile field service application that gives technicians the ability to execute, document, and efficiently move throughout their jobs.
At ServiceBridge, we’ve been building and improving on our field service application since 2008 – constantly introducing new features and improvements to ensure our customers have the tools they need to effectively execute in the field. But in 2017, we went above and beyond – not only improving the features we already offered, but introducing a number of new features designed with franchise and multi-location companies in mind:
1. Franchise Reporting: ServiceBridge entered the year already offering a powerful reporting engine, allowing service companies to run detailed reports on every aspect of their operations from parts used to average job duration. Through the year our reporting engine has been improved and extended to offer full, detailed reporting across their franchise network – giving franchisors the data they need to drive franchise success. In addition to detailed service reports, we introduced a number of custom franchise reporting functions including royalty reporting and marketing ROI.
2. Asset Management: Detailed work orders, custom forms, and cloud file storage allow service teams to capture information on the services they provide – but for franchise companies dealing with thousands of maintenance requests across their network, these solutions are simply not granular enough. To help service teams effectively manage and document the equipment that they service, ServiceBridge introduced a full-featured Asset Management module. Asset Management creates unique, detailed service histories for every piece of a equipment that a service team performs service on and allows them to set customized recurring service schedules.
3. National Accounts: Many service franchisors work with other nationwide companies – utilizing their expansive network to offer services to other companies that have multiple locations. To simplify this process, we’ve introduced National Accounts – allowing franchisors to easily manage the assessment and work order process for their customers who have multiple locations.
4. Application Improvements: While we’ve introduced a number of new features in the past year, we’ve also worked to keep improving existing features – all towards the goal of providing the most complete field service solution for franchise companies. Some of these improvements have included:
1. Improved Calendar functionality
2. Extended Public API
3. More precise location information – including latitude + longitude on location.
4. Improved Reporting UI
5. Franchise Territory Management
6. Improved Route Optimization
While we’ve added a lot into ServiceBridge, the complexity of a franchise network’s operations means that no one program can handle everything. In order to be truly effective and successful, companies must assemble a ‘toolbox’ of best-in-breed tools that allow them to execute on every front.
At ServiceBridge, we have not only sought to partner with other franchise software companies that help franchisors grow their business – but we made it a priority to actively participate in the franchise industry as a whole. We have joined franchise associations, events, and forums to understand the challenges that franchisors face, and use that knowledge to build tools that help them grow.
As we reflect on 2018, we’re thankful for our partners who make what we do possible, and have joined us on the journey of empowering franchise success:
In 2017, ServiceBridge expanded its partnership with QuickBooks even further by joining forces with the Intuit Franchise Program – which provides franchise companies with customized accounting solutions for their networks, as well as helping franchises identify the right tools that integrate with QuickBooks Online.
The ServiceBridge team is not only part of the Intuit Franchise Program, but had the opportunity to participate in the first ever Intuit Franchise Summit in San Jose, California. The Intuit Franchise Summit brought together leading franchisors, franchise technology leaders such as ServiceBridge and ProfitKeeper, and Intuit’s dedicated franchise team to discuss how franchisors can overcome obstacles and grow their network through the use of the right franchise technology.
2. International Franchise Association: In 2017, ServiceBridge became a full supplier member of the IFA - joining over 1,400 franchisors and 13,000 franchisees throughout the world. Our participation in IFA has helped us learn more about what drives the franchising industry forward. We also became a member of the Northern Illinois Franchise Association.
Our team had the opportunity to participate in FranTech this past October, joining other thought leaders in the franchise technology space and innovative franchisors to the challenges they face, and how franchise technology can fuel their growth.
3. Third-Party Applications: The diverse nature of field service means that rarely can one application provide every tool needed for a service team – compound that with the unique nature of a franchise network, and multiple tools are almost always required to find success.
In addition to our partnership with QuickBooks Online, our extensive Public API has opened up the opportunity to integrate with countless other third-party applications, giving service franchises the right set of tools to empower their success.
Throughout 2017, we’ve had the opportunity to integrate and work together with a number of other software providers – including and not limited to:
1. Creating integrations with SureTREAT for a global pool service network
2. Integration with MailChimp to provide powerful e-mail marketing tools for franchisors
3. ReviewBuzz integration to help service teams capture more reviews
4. Integration with AvidTrak to help franchises better track their marketing ROI.
What’s Ahead in 2018
There’s a lot to celebrate at ServiceBridge as we look back at 2017 – new features, new partners, and countless franchises that have trusted us to help them empower their network and drive success.
But as with all great teams – from football teams to franchise networks – continuous improvement is key. The field service landscape continues to become more competitive for franchise networks, and technology is constantly evolving. As we celebrate all that we accomplished in 2018, we’ve also started to look ahead at what’s next – and how we can help franchisors be even more successful in the new year.
1. More Franchise Functionality: In 2018, ServiceBridge will be introducing even more features that help franchise networks execute in the field and grow their business, including improved route optimization and KPI dashboards.
2. IFA 2018: The ServiceBridge team will be in full attendance at IFA 2018 - the world’s largest conference dedicated to the franchise industry. Our team will not only be participating in breakout sessions, roundtable discussions, and franchise industry events; but will also be exhibiting in Booth 825 – handing out astronaut ice cream and showing franchisors how they can reach new heights by working with ServiceBridge
3. More Partners: Our team looks forward to continuing and strengthening our partnership with the Intuit Franchise Program, as well as working with a number of franchise-focused software companies to build great solutions for franchise companies.
2018 represents not only a new year – but new challenges, and new opportunities. To learn more about how we can help your franchise network reach new heights in the new year, visit servicebridge.com/2018.
From everyone at ServiceBridge – happy holidays, and have an awesome new year.
The end of the year gives us time to reflect on our journey, celebrate our victories, and plan for what’s next. At ServiceBridge, we’ve accomplished a lot in 2017 – and have even bigger plans for 2018.