What if there were apps for your phone or tablet that could make working in the trades easier and save you time?
Some of us embrace technology quicker than others. Perhaps it’s true that we in the trades are a bit slow off the mark when it comes to using new technology and social media, we don’t like too much change we just want to do our job in the ways we have known for years.
Things ARE changing though, nearly all of us own smartphones be it an iPhone or an android device. As of this time last year (2013) over 70% of people in the UK owned a smart phone but are we really only using them to make calls, check the odd email and browse Facebook?
The younger generation, having grown up with the internet, are perhaps more tech savvy than some of the more experienced tradesmen out there. No doubt some of you with more experience may have embraced technology too. Have you considered, however, that there are applications for your phone or tablet that could revolutionise the way you do business?
With that in mind, here are 3 apps that could change the way you do business, simplify your life and save you time!
Anton Sprint Mobile App
One for heating engineers, this handy app works with Anton Sprint flue gas analysers. This free to download App includes a range of useful tools (rather than just one) including a Gas rate calculator, Pipe size calculator and energy conversion calculator. The free app also provides seamless interaction with Anton’s Bluetooth enabled Sprint eVo3 to allow a full range of reports to be emailed directly to the customer. The ability to personalise everything with your company details, logo etc is a really nice touch too.
There are detailed user guides for FGA’s (Flue gas analyser’s) and the app as well as appliance specs preloaded and updated regularly. You can also import new appliances.
Reports can be signed off on screen (we would recommend using a tablet for this) which can then be sent to the customer straight away. This provides true traceability for the safety critical reports such as flue gas analysis testing, let by and tightness pressure tests, CO room safety tests etc. There are also plans to add Landlord certificates and gas safety certificates to the app in the future.
In addition to all of this the app holds your customer database with details stored in your device and even provides you with annual service reminders!
The Anton Sprint Mobile App is currently only available on Android devices but Anton are looking at ways of getting it on IOS devices in the distant future. Until then those of us with Apple devices will have to wait or invest in an android tablet, which you can actually do very cheaply now thanks to budget tablets from the likes of Tesco, Samsung and Asus.
Anton have released a handy little video guide to the app so you can see it in action below.
This App has so many great features it’s hard to know where to begin, and its free! On the face of it the SmartTrade App turns your phone or tablet into a contactless payment device for quick and easy payment when on site but in reality it is so much more than that. Whatever your trade, this App is designed to allow you to do all of your tiring administrative work in one place, including quotes, as well as keeping a database of your customers with maps to their houses, calendars and more.
SmartTrade turns your device into a card reader first, scanning your customers debit or credit card securely and in an instant. It helps you organise your leads, bookings and jobs, lets you send customised quotes, invoices and receipts. It even allows you to manage your accounts more efficiently. One nifty time saving feature is the ability to use quote templates, something we think will prove incredibly popular!
The amount of paperwork this app cuts out will leave you with more time in the evenings and at the weekends. One of the worst things about being self-employed is keeping track of your finances and working out your taxes, well the smartTrade App helps with that too!
You can see a full list of features here
Now to think outside the box. This App will require a bit of effort to learn on your part initially but the time saving rewards it can bring you have the potential to pay off!
IFTTT stands for “If this then that”. It lets you connect your existing apps and various features on your mobile device so that if one event occurs, for example you add a new job to your calendar, another event is triggered, like an email to your customer telling them the job has been booked in. IFTTT refers to these combinations as “recipes”.
The possibilities here are truly endless and with a little tweaking and testing you can automate just about anything. Users can also save “recipes” and upload them for others to use freely and there are already thousands to choose from. Shared recipe’s include “Text my wife when I leave work”, “If I miss a call from someone, add an event to my calendar to return the call tonight”, “Log your work hours on google calendar”, so you get the idea!
The App is free for Apple and Android devices, download it and start making it work for you!
Over to you then, give the apps a go and let us know what you think. Are there any that you are already using? Any you think we should add to the list?