"From where we were this time last year, to where we are this year, it’s like night and day."
H&D Air Conditioning is a family-run air conditioning business based in Sussex in the United Kingdom. Servicing residential, commercial & industrial clients, H&D Air Conditioning offers a range of air conditioning, heating, refrigeration, and ventilation services, including design, installation & maintenance.
We've been established for over 28 years now. It was my father's business to begin with, and I took over after he retired. At that stage, there were only three of us — myself, my mum doing the books, and another engineer, and we’ve grown from there.
There are 16 of us now. We have eight vans, ten engineers, four admin staff, and my wife and I run the business. We’ve also recently moved into new premises, which has been great for us. We now have a two-storey warehouse, with a showroom and upstairs office space.
We provide an excellent service and customer experience from start to finish. We’re a quality outfit, which provides good value for money, but a professional service as well.
We needed something seamless to manage work from enquiry to invoicing. Something where you can raise a job and it goes all the way through from the initial enquiry through to completion.
I was seeing in the course of day-to-day work, what other businesses were using and how other people send you things. For example, other businesses were sending me these quotes — not elaborate quotes — but they just seemed to be a lot more professional than what we were sending out to our own clients.
One day an IT friend of mine, who was also a ServiceM8 Partner, came in to review how we were doing things and see if he could suggest any improvements. He suggested Xero for our accounts, and fortunately suggested ServiceM8 for job management.
So we looked into it. Some of the things about ServiceM8 that appealed to me were its usability, and being cloud-based and accessible from anywhere.
Also, we wanted something to help with health and safety, which is important and becoming a big factor in our business. ServiceM8’s Forms Add-on now helps our engineers document tasks like risk assessments on site, before starting a job.
When we started using ServiceM8, I was looking at it as a year-long project to get everything up and running as we should, but it actually happened a lot quicker than that. To begin with, some of our team were wondering about the change and how it would work, but now everyone's on board and can see the benefits using ServiceM8 has brought.
ServiceM8’s improved the business a lot. We’re more efficient, more professional, and make much better use of everyone's time, making everyone’s life a little bit easier.
It’s definitely improved our efficiency in terms of keeping the engineers busy all the time. All our engineers can see their job schedules, and what they’ve got coming up. They have access to all the information about the job when they arrive on site.
Just basic things make a difference, like each job having a job number from enquiry through to completion. Everything to do with the job is attached to that number. Everyone has access to the job details and history, from anywhere.
In terms of turnover, we’re up 40% year-on-year. Some of that’s got to come down to how we're delivering the service and making the most of our engineers’ time.
From where we were this time last year, to where we are this year, it’s like night and day.
Yes. It’s about those little things you can do with ServiceM8, like when you're going to a job, and you hit “Navigate to Job”, and then it says “Do you want to text the customer?”
A couple of times we’ve sent these notification texts, and for one reason or another, the customer’s phoned up and said “Oh sorry, I can't make it”. So, sometimes it saves maybe half an hour, or an hour’s drive, and the rest of the time it gives the customer the knowledge that you're on your way.
Those sort of touches just add to the overall presentation and professionalism of the business.
All of our engineers have iPads, and we’re currently in the process of getting all of our client assets catalogued using the Asset Management Add-on. So, when they go and look at a piece of equipment, it’s details are recorded, it’s tagged with a QR code, and we can complete service forms against it.
Our biggest service customer has 110 locations across the UK — some sites have two pieces of equipment, and some sites have 150 pieces of equipment. It’s probably going to take a year before all of these assets are recorded, but once everything is tagged, it’s going to make our life a lot easier going forward in terms of servicing and maintaining history of each unit.
One really useful feature of the Asset Management Add-on is it gives you the GPS reference of each asset. So, if an engineer hasn't been to a site before, it’ll show them a map view of where each asset is on site.
Communication with our engineers is definitely a lot better, and their ability to be able to look at what's coming up in their schedules, wherever they are. We used to have a white board on the wall for scheduling jobs — we’d have a name on there, but that's about the most information the engineers had.
Now with ServiceM8, staff can see their schedule for today, or next week, There are photos, information about what needs to be done, and what they need for the job. We also use Badges in the job cards, which are good little indicators of what's required for each job. There’s definitely a massive improvement in communicating and accessing schedule and job information.
Personally, I now get hounded about outstanding jobs and pending quotes in ServiceM8, but that's good, because it keeps me on the ball. Things don’t get forgotten, making me more efficient.
Invoicing is definitely done quicker because as soon as a job is completed in ServiceM8, it comes through to the Invoicing page, and it’s invoiced from there. That can only be a good thing, because we get paid quicker. It’s definitely improved the cash flow side of things.
Yes. I feel like we're more professional. Overall, it’s improved everyone’s efficiency.
ServiceM8 makes working so transparent — everyone can see what’s going on. All the information is in ServiceM8, rather than in someone’s head. It’s just made everyone’s life easier.
Personally, I laugh a lot more, and I don’t feel as stressed as I used to be, because I’m more comfortable with how the business is running. It’s about having all the information at your fingertips, rather than in a diary or on a piece of paper somewhere. Everyone in the whole company can see it, and have access to that information — I think that’s the biggest benefit really.
We've moved into our new premises, which is a nice new building with a great fit out. We’re growing, and we look much more professional than we did this time last year. I can only see us growing from here.
“The biggest benefit of ServiceM8 is it's made our scheduling and communication with the client instantaneous, on the spot, instead of that delay you'd normally have.”
"The app saves me 30-40k a year in wages. As a small business, those kinds of wages are all considered overhead expenses."
"The amount of time it’s saved us, it’s really allowed us to grow our business."