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Howe To Fix

Howe To Fix

Industry: Residential Services

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Located North of Dallas, Howe To Fix Heat and Air maintains over 2,500 rental properties stretched across a broad service area. Owner, Charlie Howe used to manage his business through disparate systems and paper work orders.  Now, Charlie uses FieldLocate, a cloud-based field service management solution to keep track of his appointments, customers, and technicians.

“I can’t tell you how much the map view saves me, it’s priceless!” Charlie commented, “It saves a ton of money on fuel and makes sure techs are used efficiently.”  For example, when working several jobs in The Metroplex, the dispatcher can map out the jobs in order so the technician starts at a certain location and works through the region efficiently without wasting gas or time. “Our fuel bill has decreased over $400 per month and it saves us a ton of headaches since we’re not running around The Metroplex.” The business is booking almost 25% more jobs per week. “When I receive a service request, I can pull up the map and locate a tech within 20 miles of a call. Instead of calling the customer back, I can book the appointment right then, and I’m doing this all from my phone while out in the field!”

The map view also keeps track of Charlie’s techs and their current location. Since his contractors are paid by the hour, Charlie can ensure that techs are clocking in and out of the appointment accurately and tracking their drive time, which reduces the personal use of company vehicles. “I can bill the true travel time instead of estimating the distance,” says Charlie.

Efficiency in the office and field have improved dramatically. Charlie saves himself 10 hours per week on paperwork and invoicing. Before FieldLocate, he created estimates in Microsoft Publisher. Once the estimate was approved, he created the invoice in Quickbooks. “Now I can create the estimate in FieldLocate and email it to the customer. When approved, I just turn the estimate into an invoice and email it right back to them. It makes my life so much easier.”

In fact, as we were completing our interview for this success story, a customer called in and Charlie converted an estimate into an invoice and emailed it to the customer within the few minutes I was on hold. The ability to email work orders has eliminated much of the paper in the Howe To Fix office. “Thanks to FieldLocate, we don’t have to mail out paper invoices. We send everything via email. It’s great!” exclaimed Charlie.

Cash flow processes have also improved since implementing FieldLocate. Instead of mailing an invoice to the customer, Charlie or one of his technicians can generate an estimate, convert into an invoice, and accept payment in the field. “Before FieldLocate, I would have to create an invoice in Quickbooks back at the office, mail the invoice and wait for payment. Now, I can pull up the invoice, email it to the customer’s phone, and they hand me a check.” Using his preferred bank app, Charlie can deposit checks out in the field. He also uses a mobile payment device to accept credit cards.  “Whether it’s a credit card or check, the money is in the bank before I drive away.”

Payroll used to take up to 90 minutes to process. Now it takes only 15 minutes with the integration of Quickbooks to FieldLocate. Charlie appreciates the ability to pull information out of the system with just a few clicks. He incentivizes his contractors with a weekly bonus when they exceed their revenue goal. Using the revenue report in FieldLocate, Charlie can run a report of revenue generated by contractor to determine their bonus.

By using FieldLocate field service management software, Charlie can focus on providing quality service to his customers instead of processing paperwork back at the office. Anytime a customer calls in, the office team can quickly locate the customer’s history, view warranty information and resend bids or open invoices. Charlie recently told his colleague, “The ability to manage an appointment from cradle to grave makes FieldLocate worth the investment. You’ll make your money back, I promise.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Charlie Howe, Owner
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