Adopting Tech and Eliminating Paperwork: 27 Years of DogWatch Success
Pat West and his father Bill started DogWatch of Columbus in 1992. For 14 years they laid the foundation for a strong business that would go on to win numerous Dogwatch Awards, and be a standard for efficiency and customer service in the DogWatch community.
In 2006, Pat’s wife, Emily, joined the team to help run the business. Emily, a CPA by trade and a lifelong learner, teamed up with Pat who had 14 years of expertise in the field. A perfect match to carry on the family business!
The DogWatch installation process
For the DogWatch of Columbus team, an installation requires a few steps.
First, a lead contacts DogWatch to arrange an estimate appointment. Emily manages the office and takes the inbound calls. From there, Emily schedules Pat to do an on-site estimate. Pat completes the estimate, records special notes when required for the installer, and arranges the installation.
In the early days, everything was on paper. All the scheduled estimates and jobs were written down on a paper calendar. The crew was dispatched with the customer’s paper file along with a printed map for directions. “I just remember writing and writing and writing” recalls Emily. “It was really labor intensive.”
DogWatch must keep track of a lot of information during the prospecting, on-site estimation, and installation phases. Customer information, on-site notes and details, dates, times, and serial numbers are just a few of the details to keep track of.
With her background as a CPA, Emily advocated for ways to make sure that there was less duplicate entry. The team wanted to find a solution to ensure that things didn’t slip through the cracks.
Enter the era of the smartphone
One of the big efficiency breakthroughs for Pat and Emily was having the team in the field with their phones. This meant less paperwork and less opportunity for things to fall through the cracks.
The team started using Google Calendar and Maps, which effectively replaced a lot of the old paperwork. “Google Calendar was really big for us because everything was on the tech’s phone.”
But they were still looking for an integrated system. Google Calendar was a step up from their old paper files, but customer master records still lived at the office.“I was very tied to the office” says Emily “you never knew when the guys were going to call with a question.”
But even smartphones weren’t enough. There was still room for error and data duplication between the accounting software and client management records.
She says, “in QuickBooks, we would have one set of information. But if a customer called in there might be a different set of information. What ended up going in the calendar wouldn’t match Quickbooks. The information wasn’t flowing well.” It was clear that they needed a more thorough system to stay on top of the growing business.
The search for an integrated system
“We were really looking for a process where we entered the customer information one time.”
The solution that Emily and Pat found was Jobber.
With Jobber, Emily could take a phone call, update a customer record, and schedule an estimate all in one place.
Whoever creates the estimate in the field or does the install can add their own notes. They have the exact same information in the field that Emily has in the office. Everything syncs with QuickBooks Online, which helps keep their records clean.
“The difference in how we do business today compared to the past is like night and day. It’s a seamless flow from one step to the other.”
Emily says that integrating Jobber has been a helped the whole business. She says, “the business is growing and the amount of paperwork is going down.” This means that the team in the field and in the office can focus on what’s important: growing the business and focusing on the customer service that they’re so well known for.
Interested in learning more about Pat, Emily, and DogWatch of Columbus? Read about them and check out their 5-star reviews over at dogwatchofcolumbus.com