Xero’s app marketplace has over 800 apps to help small businesses and their advisors succeed. Each month we celebrate an app partner who stands out for helping small businesses thrive. Find out more about becoming a Xero app partner here.
Congratulations to our March app partner of the month, ServiceM8 – a job management tool providing a one-stop shop for small businesses with high job volumes and mobile teams. ServiceM8’s Product and Customer Experience Lead, Darren Ford, gave us an insight into how ServiceM8 helps these businesses better manage jobs to improve productivity and cash flow.
A new opportunity
ServiceM8 was created in the late 2000s, after founder, Kim Ford, bought a locksmith business. Inheriting an overwhelming amount of paperwork and admin, Kim and the team immediately began looking for solutions. Without being able to find anything suitable that already existed, they spotted an opportunity to create their own.
“This was around the time the iPhone and the [Apple] App Store were released. After seeing the potential of how apps could work, the team saw an opportunity to develop a cloud-based solution not just for their business, but for all small trade and service businesses,” Darren says.
Bringing it all together
Fast forward a decade, and ServiceM8 is helping thousands of trades and services businesses. ServiceM8 is especially powerful for those managing relatively high volumes of smaller jobs, and mobile teams that work in the field – often separate from each other.
“Field-based businesses running on paper-based systems that aren’t fit for purpose can experience really throttled productivity, affecting cash flow, customer service, and their capacity to grow,” explains Darren.
ServiceM8 is a tool that replaces those paper-based processes with a single, easy-to-use app that can be used on the go. It helps run everything from scheduling and staff locations, to quotes, invoices and payments, and more. By capturing everything in ServiceM8, staff out in the field and in the office have the same visibility over each job.
For field staff, ServiceM8 allows them to work independently as it centralises their work into one spot. This includes communications with clients, and any job notes, videos or photos. At the end of a job, staff can then finalise paperwork on site, and even organise payments. ServiceM8 then automatically updates to the cloud, meaning staff at HQ can help sort any issues, or quickly assign the next available job.
Saving the team time
By then connecting with Xero, ServiceM8 is able to sync payment and invoice information to Xero’s ledger, making transactions easy to track and reconcile. This connection simplifies workflows and saves staff time, meaning they can work on more important things for the business.
“Once you have that kind of business system in place to guide your team, you can really ratchet things up and achieve great changes,” says Darren.
Better business outcomes
Using ServiceM8 together with Xero has proven to be a great tool for the team at Water Tight Canberra. Impressively, revenue has grown by 250% since using Xero and ServiceM8, supported by their average days to receiving payment for jobs reducing from 27 to 0.9 days. Owner, Tom Martin, told us:
“By linking these two advanced pieces of software, ServiceM8 for the job management, Xero for the accounting package, you’re really getting the best of both worlds seamlessly.”
Water Tight Canberra has also seen admin time reduce by 50% because of how simple ServiceM8 is for staff to use.
“ServiceM8 has solved so many problems for us. Our administration time has literally been halved by the fact that it’s so easy for our tradespeople to take easy job notes or video notes. Another benefit of using ServiceM8 has been how easy the staff have adapted to it, it is very intuitive. We’re completing jobs quicker, and to a higher standard, because of the ease of using ServiceM8,” says Tom.
More to come
As ServiceM8 grows, they’re trying to maintain their simplicity, which Darren explains can be a challenge:
“Our goals of ‘keeping it simple’ and ‘continuous improvement’ can conflict with each other. We’re keen to solve more problems, but it normally means ‘adding more’ to the app. So we’re always trying to solve them in a way that avoids complicating the product.”
Thankfully, it’s a challenge the ServiceM8 team finds fun to solve. In fact they’ve set themselves a goal that using ServiceM8 means ‘zero admin’ for small businesses in the future.
“It’s about doing the work you love, not paperwork and administration. Everything we do strives toward this ‘zero admin’ goal – we’ll create, innovate, and use pretty much any new technology we can to get our customers there,” Darren concludes.