Pointman is another field service management app that is designed to help you and your company manage the complicated world of home service. While it’s features are fairly standard for the field, it does have one aspect that sets it apart from the rest. Pointman comes with a team of industry experts and data analysts that are always available to help you grow your company and get a deeper insight into your own finances.
With that said, there is a major trade-off for that outstanding benefit. Let’s take a deep dive into this piece of software and see if it has what it takes to help your company grow.
I contacted Pointman for a demo. They were cool and did one with me so I could kick the tires. Here’s my review.
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What is this software?
Pointman bills itself as “the only field service management that comes with a team of data analysts.” Coming with a team of data analysts is definitely the stand out feature of this software. This is part of Pointman’s PACT program which stands for Process, Analysis, Community, Technology. This offers coaching from industry experts, comprehensive data analysis, access to Pointman’s support network, and the Pointman technology itself.
Outside of its marquee feature, Pointman comes bundled with the mainstays of field service management software.
You get all the standards such as inventory tracking, payment processing, team management, and customer support. Pointman also comes with a robust library of resources including blogs and webinars. These cover just about every aspect of running a small business from HR 101 to how to give quality customer service.
Pointman sets itself up as the full-service field management software, but which companies can get the most out of it?
Which small businesses is this geared toward?
Pointman expressly states that it is designed to work with small businesses in the home plumbing, electrical, and HVAC industries. This is a bit of a more narrow focus than most other field service management programs. Pointman’s main feature limits the number of industries they can serve.
Even their automated help bot knows what’s up. Pointman’s industry experts and analysts can only serve so many different industries. Depending on what your company focuses on, this can either be a huge plus or a deal-breaker. If you are in either of these three industries, HVAC, electrical, or plumbing, you are set. Pointman has industry experts ready to help you through the process of setting up an account and getting rolling. If you are in another field, say painting or remodeling, Pointman just isn’t software for you—yet. According to a salesperson I spoke with, they are working to expand their team of industry experts so that they can serve a greater variety of industries.
If you’re in one of these fields, how do you get started?
Step-by-Step Set Up
Setting up your Pointman account starts here at their free demo screen. I always recommend starting with the free demo for field service management software. It can be hard to tell if your business will be a good match. I recommend testing out the waters before you commit. Pointman starts by entering in your contact information and your company’s name. I’d recommend using your business contact info here.
Something I didn’t like was having to wait to start my demo. Most other field management software companies give you immediate access to their software with the option to schedule meetings with their support staff. Pointman begins with that initial outreach. This can be great if you need a little extra help along the way, but it also can be a hindrance if you want to explore their software on your own. It’s all part of what sets Pointman apart from other field service management assistants. Pointman strives to be there for its customers every step of the way, but, just like the industries they serve, this specialization can create limitations. If this detailed level of support is something you are after, it’s hard to beat Pointman.
Continuing the demo is a matter of scheduling a meeting with Pointman and their staff. Because their service is all about having industry experts help your small business grow, they will help you set-up the service and make sure that your HVAC, electrical, or plumbing business is getting the absolute most it can out of this software.
Pointman, like most of the field service management programs, got its start as a web service. This means that the backend can run on, essentially, anything that can access the internet. Your staff out in the field will be able to access Pointman from any smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC. This makes using the software a snap while networking between your main office and your field. I also know that for so many of us have our “main office” out in the field and it helps to be able to access it from anywhere.
Pointman also comes with not just one, but three apps to help you work from mobile devices.
The first Pointman app is SWRemote. This app is the one your field crew will be spending most of their time on. This app allows them to see all the specifics of their current job. This covers customer location, instructions, payments, and job updates. They can handle pretty much any work-related decisions thrown at them through this app. Your crew can even collect payments on-site which save tons of time on the back-end trying to chase down all those errant checks and online payments. SWRemote also features a “check-in” feature which allows you to manage time cards for your crew without needing them to spend their time driving back and forth from your central location and as I mentioned before, it’s even better for crews without a central hub.
Scout is Pointman’s eco-friendly solution app. This app helps you and your crew transition to a paperless system. Scout comes with suggestions for common documents such as invoices and supply management forms, but the best feature is the custom documents. I know what it’s like to be out in the field and have a client for some additional work. It’s great to bring in that extra income, but a hassle to run back to the office and print out a revised contract. Scout lets you and your crew handle that all out in the field. It’s a real time saver.
Acquire is the last of Pointman’s three apps. This program lets you build out sales pitches on the fly. This felt like the least supported and, if I’m going to be honest, least efficient of the three. You can use some useful templates to help itemize and pitch jobs to clients, but if you’re already at a client’s home you’ve likely already landed both the job and a working relationship. Some users will definitely get mileage out of this app if they need help working on their pitching. Pointman’s experts can work with you and this app to shore up that side of your business if it’s something you’ve been struggling with.
These apps might have already given you the hint, but Pointman does come with some impressive automation features.
Pointman has some excellent automation capabilities. The most notable of which are those that work out in the field. Being able to use their apps to make documents, process payments, and get in touch with your crew adds whole new levels of efficiency to running a business in the home service industry. It’s been a classic problem in our field for years. We’ve got the home office on one side of town and all of our clients on the other. That means a lot of time lost to travel. It’s better to frame that travel time is something that can be automated. Pointman, effectively, does the traveling for you. It won’t replace an entire office, but it will allow you and your crew to stay mobile and in the field.
Pointman also automates invoicing and payments. If you use their software to its fullest potential, you can easily cut out having to do manual invoicing ever again. Their app and mobile site can process invoices for clients and update them in real-time.
If Pointman has any major shortcomings it is in the lack of marketing features. Pointman is capable of your basic outreach tasks such as emailing invoices and calling customers to discuss quotes, but that’s about where it ends. It doesn’t allow for scheduling emails for marketing pushes or have any integration for social media, but I’ll get to that later.
The basic features are all there. It’s always good to remember that your invoicing and quotes are some of your most powerful marketing tools. Pointman does simplify this process and provide you with some clean-looking templates so your small business always puts its best foot forward. Their Acquire app also lets you build pitches from their professionally designed template software which can be a huge marketing gain for anyone who struggles with pitching or just wishes their outreach was a little cleaner looking.
Integration with other apps is an area where Pointman can stand to improve. It integrates nicely with your existing email, GPS, and phone apps, but outside of those three, there is really only one app specifically designed to work with Pointman. Like many companies in the field service management arena, Pointman fully integrates with Quickbooks. This is a much-needed integration as it radically simplifies managing your finances. However, that’s about where the integration ends.
Pointman could stand to have access to social media and maybe some of the more common emailing managing clients. I should take a moment to point out that the three apps that come with Pointman all integrate with each other and back with the main Pointman program. So any data processed on those can be shared and you don’t have to waste time doubling up entries all over the place.
Pointman comes with a robust set of features that can help your business grow.
- Customer Management – Pointman is designed to have tons of features to help you manage your clientele. From invoicing to scheduling jobs, using this software was a breeze when it came down to handling customers.
- Job Management – This program is also a great solution for handling your crew out in the field—even if you are one of them! The mobility of its office functions combined with the time card features let you stay on top of jobs without needlessly driving all around town.
- Mobile Apps – Mobile apps further simplify the process. Especially SWRemote which allows your field crew to have all the tools they need to complete, update, and collect payments for jobs while they are on site.
- Proposals & Pitching – The proposal and pitching app can be a great skill builder for anyone struggling to bring in new clients.
- Inventory – Inventory management is always a hassle unless it’s automated. Pointman lets you track all of your gear, what you’re running low on, and what you need to buy more of. This sure beats the old ways of either juggling spreadsheets or counting inventory back at the office!
- Data Analysis – This is the stand-out feature for Pointman. Their field service management software is standard for the field, but their expert support and data analysis can’t be beaten. If you’ve been looking to get a deeper understanding of your numbers and get some insight into what you can do to grow, there’s really no better service.
Pros and Cons
- Data analysis
- Support from industry leaders
- Robust set of features for the main software
- Three strong apps for your crew
- Amazing customer support
- Lack of marketing support
- Few points of integration with other apps
- Currently only serves three specific industries: HVAC, Electric, and Plumbing
The customer support for Pointman is really something else. I was impressed. They have all of the standard features for customer support on a website, but they run like clockwork. Pointman has email, phone, automated chat, and live chat support. Not to mention the ability to schedule video chats with their industry experts.
I decided to explore the use of their automated chat feature. I tried this on a Saturday when I figured no one would be around to help the bot out. It was able to point me to links within the website easily enough and it covered some basic questions, but when I stamped it with a question about a fourth industry, Roofing, something unexpected happened.
A live, real person hopped into the chat. On a Saturday even! It wasn’t some outsourced IT person either, it was a genuine employee in their home office. He was able to answer some questions about Pointman and other industries and give me some insight into their plans to support more than just the current three as their company grows. I can never stress this enough in my reviews if your customer support comes with a real live person, there’s really nothing that can beat that.
Overall, I’m pretty impressed with Pointman. If you are working in one of its three supported fields, this might be an unbeatable app. If, however, you are working in a non-supported industry you might want to try your luck elsewhere.
- Ease-of-use – 4 out of 5 – Pointman is very easy to use. The layout is streamlined and the focus on useful features means you won’t be digging through menus to find what you need.
- Customer support – 5 out of 5 – Pointman has amazing customer support. Actually people are available whenever you need help with your company and their service. You can even schedule meetings for some truly in-depth support.
- Features – 4 out of 5 – While the features are standard, it depends on your industry. If you are in the supported HVAC, Electrical or Plumbing lines of work the features are pretty great, but if your business is elsewhere there are, frankly, better apps.
- Value for money – 4 out of 5 – Pointman is on the higher end for field service management costs. The price is totally worth it, however, if you are planning to take full use of their industry experts and data analysis. Then it’s like having some standard field management software AND a team of high-end consultants on tap whenever you need.