Florida Pool Company Dives Into Remote “Go Live” Platform Transfer
Sabrina Lesperance was both excited and anxious about “Go Live Day.” The manager of Clear Tech Pools had prepped for weeks for the first time her company would boot up the ServiceTitan platform.
Normally, Go Live happens with a member of the ServiceTitan staff onsite. For reasons related to the coronavirus pandemic, however, the process had to be rolled out a little differently for Clear Tech, which was among the first companies do a totally-remote Go Live.
And with 125 field technicians, the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based company also was one of the largest. Implementing a software system that integrates every segment of the business, from call booking and dispatch, to marketing and sales presentation, to invoicing, batch billing and real-time data retrieval? That’s a huge undertaking under the best circumstances.
Spoiler alert: The rollout had a happy ending. Lesperance reports that Clear Tech Pools’ Go Live process was a total success.
Here’s an inside look at how a company that didn’t want to wait out the pandemic was able to immediately start reaping the benefits of ServiceTitan’s sales, inventory and communications processes.
Do your homework
Clear Tech wisely put Lesperance in charge of picking a company-wide software platform. She’s worked in nearly every department at the pool company and knows the workflow and specific needs of each one.
She started at Clear Tech in data entry, then moved into the pool cleaning department and into repairs. She never did construction, but did work in accounting and in the back office.
“I saw how everything intermingles,” she says. “And I also saw the needs for each specific department—and that helped me make a decision on what software to move forward with, and why.”
She looked at several companies before choosing ServiceTitan. “There was one pool service software that didn't have inventory reporting at all,” Lesperance says. “Another couldn’t do mass invoicing. We have about 3,000 invoices we have to generate monthly. ServiceTitan excelled at everything we needed.”
It’s possible to Go Live remotely
Clear Tech had planned to have trainers onsite for its Go Live. Then the coronavirus crisis happened.
“At first, we were nervous about going live, even with a team here,” Lesperance says. “Of course, we understood why they couldn’t come. But at that point we didn't want to lose the momentum that we’d built up because we were also working on training, including for 125 technicians out in the field.”
A new implementation plan was put into effect. Slack’s business communication platform played a big role. Lesperance says that instead of doing two training days, hours of training were spread over the course of a week.
“We formed groups of 10 to 15 techs,” she says. “And for two hours they were on mobile training sessions. Actually, I feel like that process went a lot better remotely. We were able to use smaller groups of techs rather than taking our whole fleet off the road for a day, which can cost a lot of money.”
Of course, Lesperance would have preferred to have a trainer on site. “But for the most part, our team got it,” she says. “Our techs killed it out on the field. They were awesome with the app, and they kept everything moving for us. In the office, it took about a week to adjust. But we’re cruising now!”
Pro Tip 1: Make lists
Whatever the size of your company—and Clear Tech has more than 200 employees—Lesperance says it’s a good idea to have each department make a list of standard operating procedures.
“What helped us a lot was that we prepared for this for a while,” she says. “Right when we knew we were going to transfer systems, and we found the system, we had each department write up SOPs for the way they currently do things.”
Lesperance says Clear Tech went into the changeover knowing each department's day-to-day jobs, what their needs were, and what they wanted from a new system.
“It helped us to configure, sort of tie into, what we needed it to be,” she says. “That helped us create workflows. It helped us mimic workflows and make them better.”
Pro Tip 2: Have a project manager
“One of my biggest recommendations is having a project manager for this—someone from inside your company,” Lesperance says. “Make sure the project manager is trained and understands the system—and not leaving all the initial training up to ServiceTitan.”
“ServiceTitan will show your company how they do it,” Lesperance says. “They understand their product. Someone inside your company understands your day-to-day activities.”
The combination of those viewpoints optimizes how the software is customized for your company’s unique situation.
“That’s critical to have from the beginning,” Lesperance says.
Pro Tip 3: Do supplemental training
Just as a company should have a project manager from within the company for onboarding, Lesperance says an in-house employee should also be put in charge of doing supplemental training.
“This training should be done by the project manager, or whoever’s implementing this on the company side,” she says. “For my company, we were able to tweak specific things for different departments. I now know how ServiceTitan works, and of course, how Clear Tech works. So, I can continue making changes, continue bettering our workflows.”
You definitely have to integrate ServiceTitan into how it will work best for you, Lesperance says.
“It’s a great product,” she adds. “It was the best choice. And the help they gave us—and everything they did allow us to do this remotely—was awesome.”
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