"I actually enjoy what i’m doing again. There’s kind of a symphony feeling that happens when everything’s smooth and works."
Jay & Satya - Owners of Pristine Professional Cleaning
Pristine Professional Cleaning is a locally owned & operated eco-friendly cleaning business, providing a range of domestic & commercial cleaning services throughout Perth, Australia. Our services include regular home cleaning, spring cleans, vacate cleans & office cleans.
Our main point of difference is that we’re eco-friendly experts. We focus on a service that’s environmentally friendly, using natural products and techniques which avoid using strong, harsh chemicals. We’re committed to 100% client satisfaction, we love what we do, and it shows.
We’ve been using ServiceM8 for 14 months. Prior to coming on board with ServiceM8, we’d plateaued at about 8 or 9 staff. We weren't really getting ahead at that point. It was just the limitations of our systems preventing us from expanding.
We now have about 15 staff, sometimes up to 17. We’ve grown a lot since we started, but just in the last 12 months it’s doubled. Twice the number of staff, twice the number of clients, but best of all - less than half the headaches we used to have with our pre-ServiceM8 systems.
We were using Google Calendar to manage our rosters and Xero for the invoicing side of things.
We were trying to be as organised as we could, but there was no one system to host everything. We’d have to check our email to find out when a client wanted to book in, then check our SMS’s to find other information, then check Google Calendar to write everything down.
Then there was a bottleneck in our process to even send out invoices that were accurate, because I had to check in with every team at the end of every day to see how every job went.
I was having to micro-manage the whole business in order to keep things smooth. I was the one making all the roster changes, and if a client made any changes to their job, I had to update everyone’s roster. Just the amount of admin time per client was exorbitant by the end, so growing was becoming very costly in terms of time. I had no life in order for the business to be doing OK.
It was an endless scramble between all these systems and we had thousands of dollars in unpaid invoices each week to show for it.
"The short version is that ServiceM8 has been a game-changer for us. Not only have we now clocked 2,000 jobs in a little over a year, we have doubled the size of our business in that time. Twice the number of staff, twice the number of clients, but best of all - less than half the headaches we used to have with our pre-ServiceM8 systems."
I came across another cleaning business using a centralised job management system, and I thought “Really? This kind of thing exists?!” So I started to do some research and found five or six major players that seemed to address this issue of managing field service businesses.
I basically went through a process of about two months, testing and replicating my business in each of these platforms, and trying to see which one would actually work for us.
ServiceM8 stood out very very quickly. By the end of the 2 months that I’d spent putting all these other apps through their paces, I found ServiceM8 was hands-down the one to go with, and that’s how we started rolling it out. Within a month we’d fully removed all of our previous systems, and we were using ServiceM8.
By and large, it’s been awesome for all the staff, because they are being micro-managed less. Previously, any given day, any staff member, or at least the leader of any team, would haveof had calls from me about little details on specific jobs. I was having to be in the trenches, micro-managing so many different people, and now, it’s like I’m on a need-to-know basis.In general, staff have also shown more initiative now. They keep better records because it’s all in a systematic workflow.
We maybe spend 15 minutes showing new staff through the app — what each page does; how to start/finish jobs; how to use ServiceM8 to add a job. From there, the data-entry errors are very minimal because ServiceM8’s quite intuitive, it’s quite logical, and they’re doing things in a logical order, so all my staff have picked it up quite quickly.
"ServiceM8 stood out very very quickly. By the end of the 2 months that I’d spent putting all these other apps through their paces, I found ServiceM8 was hands-down the one to go with, and that’s how we started rolling it out."
In the last two quarters, we’ve already grossed more than we did in the whole financial year before that, so growth is pretty significant.
The biggest one is cashflow. In the past, any given week I had around $10,000 owing to me in unpaid invoices, either because I hadn't had a chance to issue them yet, or there were discrepancies raised by confused clients due to mistakes happening on invoices since I wasn't on every job to check the hours and details. Or by the time clients did get an invoice, it was two weeks later and they’ve given themselves a bit of leeway to pay it because it’s arrived late.
Now, at the end of every week, even though we’re twice the size, I’m very unlikely to even have $200 owing to the business. Just the cashflow alone has made such a huge difference.
While our expansion has been very rapid, we have also become more efficient. Previously, we were actually becoming less efficient as we were getting bigger, because I was struggling to keep up with all the new staff and new clients, whereas we’ve gone the other way now, and we’re actually a tighter ship.
So, when an enquiry or a phone call comes in, job notes are being recorded straight away — we have a template that we use, and we send out a confirmation email straight away. We have less mistakes with bookings getting forgotten, or people getting the days and times wrong, because it’s all in writing now. Workers get their rosters, they notify clients when they’re on their way to the job, and they fill out the billing details themselves. And because they’re the ones on the ground, filling out the billing, they’re making less mistakes than if I’m trying to do it in the office — trying to guess how the job went, how many hours they spent, what they used.
Our improved systems were quickly apparent in the feedback we were getting from clients — people say things like “You guys were onto it the whole way through; your communication was great; I didn't have to wonder if someone was going to show up”. We just had happier clients with more peace of mind, because they didn't have to worry about checking in that everything was going to go to plan. New clients haven't even realized how haphazard it used to be. Sometimes we’d have people emailing, texting or calling us, saying they wanted to pay their invoice but hadn’t received it yet, because there would be these bottlenecks of me having to do everything — me having to confirm every workers’ final hours before I issued every invoice, and only then could we even collect payment.
Now, within 24 hours, every client gets their invoice. I just love being able to say that “You will get your invoice within 24 hours” and it’s already a paid invoice, because they paid at the end of the job, and they get the record within 24 hours.
It’s made decentralising so much easier. That’s part of the reason we were able to grow so rapidly is because our system was decentralised — I was no longer the bottleneck in the business. It’s been so much easier having a system where it’s also easier to delegate.
The best thing, from a lifestyle point of view, has been less micromanaging, and the ability to actually delegate and have a life back.
Over the last 12 months since we implemented ServiceM8, my partner and I went on two trips overseas where we essentially managed the business while on holiday. It was a test for ourselves to see if things could work without us being there on the ground, and because everything is cloud-based, most of our clients didn't even know we weren’t in the country. We effectively managed everything while we were overseas. It’s just opened up a whole new role for us to be much more remote based, and freed up more time to do actually do other things while the business is still smooth and growing, even when we’re not hands-on everyday.
A real holiday hadn’t happened in the four years before that — even just taking a week off, I knew that there would be headache after headache to deal with. That was a big test for us, and I don’t think we’d have been able to do it with any of the ease. We still had dozens of jobs happening every week while we weren't even in the country, and things were still by-and-large going well.
The short answer is, we didn’t have to do much because we were already using Xero, and it was a relief to not have to make any big changes to how we were using Xero, in order to use ServiceM8.
ServiceM8 fits in very nicely for all the stuff happening before something gets to Xero. Xero’s now where the final invoice is being documented, rather than the place where we’re needing to collect payments from.
Our Xero experience has been a lot more smooth as well, and our accountant has been loving it, because records are up to date and our activity statements are ready on time, which is just amazing.
Another thing I like between ServiceM8 and Xero is using the inventory and materials section to start giving codes to each of our services. So what’s been nice is to actually start to use the Xero reporting feature because ServiceM8 is sending all this data about the types of services being done. Previously, our reporting in Xero was really down to either profit and loss, or activity statements. Whereas now we’re getting a much more detailed view of which services we sold last month, because we’ve now got a pretty good inventory of our services being used in ServiceM8 itself.
So, I’d say our reporting has become a lot more sophisticated because of the way ServiceM8 and Xero talk to each other. It’s the same language — products and materials in ServiceM8 become inventory in Xero, so it’s great that it’s allowed us to have a good set of records, and it’s shaped how we advertise as well. We’re going in, not blind where we were trying to grow and not really knowing what’s working for us, but now we know more about our different types of jobs, so we’re putting more time into what’s working.
It’s been a lot more hands off, and there were so many more errors being made in Xero beforehand, but now the invoice is already reconciled by the time it’s sent to Xero. There’s not much we need to do back and forth with clients, by the time an invoice is in Xero.
I actually enjoy what i’m doing again. There’s kind of a symphony feeling that happens when everything’s smooth and works.
So, I feel so much more positive about small business than I used to. It used to just be a growing headache where the business always felt like it’s been slightly out of control, growing slightly too fast for me to keep up. Whereas now, we have had more strategic growth in the past year than we ever have. So, just feeling more on top of it is such an awesome thing.I can actually see the business supporting the lifestyle that I want now, as opposed to taking away from it, which is what it was doing before.
"I was surprised how easy it was for my older technicians to use the app because they don’t even own computers."
"ServiceM8 has helped us with efficiencies, but not only that, it has helped us grow the business by around 25%."
"ServiceM8 helps us succeed because of the fact it allows us complete transparency into everything."