Lincoln Smith, a director at Custom Heat Ltd, sat down to discuss why Commusoft is essential for running their heating and plumbing business.
Custom Heat is a family-run business that started with Lincoln’s parents in 1980 and has been operating for the past 40 years in and around Rugby, UK. Since implementing Commusoft in 2016, the Custom Heat team has grown from 60 in 2020, to over 100 in 2023!
How Was Your Business Run Before Commusoft?
“We had a paper-based system that we’d had for many years. The system was not internet based, so you couldn’t download a mobile app. We had engineers that would call in on a Friday afternoon to ask if they could pick another job up, or we’d have a customer that would all in at 3 o’clock on a Friday afternoon and say ‘We’ve got no hot water, can you come fix the boiler?’. So we’d call the engineer and say we’ve got another job. He’d then jot it down on a sticky label or something in his van – or probably not write it down at all. He’d drive there, do the job – but then we’d never get paid.
“We were growing as a business, our customer-base was growing, the demand for our services was growing, so we needed a system that could cope with the increase in jobs.”
What Was Your Biggest Challenge Before Using Commusoft?
“Before we used Commusoft, our invoicing was done manually. A lady in the office would produce an invoice and at the end of the week she would send all those invoices out in the post. So you could complete a job on a Tuesday – by the Thursday or Friday you’re posting the invoice – by the Monday they’ve received it – and a few days later, they’re paying it. The whole process could be a week or more.”
How Has Using Commusoft Helped You Improve This?
“Now, you click a button – and send an invoice! In fact, the engineers do it from site. Not only do invoices not get missed, but the engineer can go to a boiler service, complete the work, and click a button – all within a second. The office staff doesn’t have to do any of it.”
How Has Commusoft Transformed Your Operations?
“We now have customers call our office, who are ready to handle the call and can book the appointment into a live diary. If it’s a call-out for that day, which happens very often, it will appear in real time in the engineer’s diary. The engineer can then travel to that job and carry out the work. If they need a part, they communicate easily back with the office – just click to select who to communicate with. Once they hit complete, it lets the office know they need those parts. The engineer can then invoice and it will automatically send off the after-care email asking for a review. It’s all made very engineer friendly and very easy to use. The communication between the office and engineer is instant.”
Would You Recommend Commusoft to Other Tradespeople?
“The way that Commusoft tracks every part of every single job – you will not lose anything – it gives you complete confidence in the whole system. Complete confidence to grow. Complete confidence to push on with your business. There is no way that we could run our business efficiently and effectively, presenting ourselves the way we do with our customers, with our reminders the night before, with our text messages that say ‘we’re on our way’… we just simply could not run our business without Commusoft, it would be impossible.“