Mark Newton, Freelance IT Writer for PC Pro and Cloud Pro, offers an independent view on whether the Powered Now software solution could improve your business.
There are now many types of software available to help tradesmen better manage their businesses and the claims made by the manufacturers of these programs often make impressive reading. Looking through the quotes of existing customers of Powered Now – the invoicing, estimating and scheduling software solution for small/medium businesses – I couldn’t fail to notice one from a customer who claimed the product had “saved his marriage”. It should be noted, however, that this doesn’t form part of the support contract!
The product has been developed specifically to help not only the SME but also the larger companies in the various industries who may have several tradesmen working for them, either full time or contracted. The British-based company’s focus on the needs of its customers is one of the keys to its success, coupled with a strong emphasis on training and technical support.
No internet? No problem
There is a tendency now to write software that runs ‘in the Cloud’, making updates easier and providing the software house with a constant revenue stream. Whilst Powered Now does utilise the Cloud for storing and distribution of data, the company also realises that many of its customers will be using the program on-site in locations where there may not be broadband or mobile coverage.
As such, Powered Now differentiates itself from competitors by the fact it doesn’t require an internet connection to work. The program and the data are stored locally on the Android or Apple mobile device, and as soon as these devices connect to the internet (when the owner returns home at the end of the day, for example) they’ll synchronise their data and everything is updated.
Users can create ‘Projects’ which contain quotes, invoices, payments and credits, allowing you to keep an accurate log of your chargeable work and the payments received. You’re also able to take payments from your customer on-site via a variety of methods.
A particularly neat touch is that items such as quotes, invoices and receipts can be sent by BOTH email and SMS text, ensuring nothing gets caught in the SPAM filter and one less excuse for customers to avoid paying you!
Another beneﬁt comes from that fact that the software reduces typing by remembering key words and phrases that your business uses over time. Entering a new customer’s address is made easy by the full postcode look-up facility, although this does require an internet connection.
It’s important to remember that the Powered Now offering is not an accounts package like SAGE. Instead it acts more like an additional sales book or wallet whilst also keeping track of the purchases that you make for your business.
Powered Now is available on a subscription basis and comes in different packages to suit your needs. The basic version of the software provides users with forum-based support only, whereas the ‘Business’ option is suitable for most small businesses. Finally, if your business involves managing teams of tradesmen then the full ‘Pro’ version will handle this as well as full CIS (Construction Industry Scheme for Tax) support, approved by HMRC.