What we're working on this week
As usual, this stuff may take a few weeks to filter down into the production servers so you may not be playing with it until then, but I like to explain what we’re working on, to keep us excited and keep you apprised of upcoming stuff. If you want to give FieldMotion a try, plese ask for a demo.
The main features we’re working on this week:
- Letting your customers pay their invoices through PayPal
- Adding stock to sub-tables in forms
- Purchase Orders
- Imports overhaul
Some of our clients have expressed an interest in being able to send out invoices right from the field worker software and have the customers pay them as soon as possible. Maybe even before the worker leaves the location of the job. Or, we could add it into the OnComplete logic, so the workflow management system automatically sends out a PayPal invoice upon completion of certain kinds of jobs. For example, if you’re using FieldMotion as pest control software and you’re out on a simple elimination job, you may want to invoice before leaving the premise. other job types, you may want to tweak before signing off on – maybe there’s stuff like mileage or discounts to work out.
We shuddered at the thought of storing credit card details anywhere at all on our system, so that idea was totally vetoed. PayPal, though, works for everyone – if your customer prefers to pay through credit card, PayPal allows you to do so. One of our juniors is currently working on his personal copy of the CRM to make all of this happen. Once that’s working, we’ll then expand the scope out so it can be done from the app as well.
Up until now, when stock was used on the job, it was marked off against the job as a whole. But some clients prefer to be able to point at a sub-part of the job’s form and say “it was used there”. To do that, we’re adding stock to sub-tables.
It sounds easier than it is! Doing the app part may just take a few hours, but I also need to make sure it’s editable on the CRM, that it goes neatly into reports, than it updates stock values correctly, and that it is easy to use. Simple workflow software is hard to write. This may take days. We’ve had this in mind for months, but each time I wanted to get started on it, something else more pressing would rear its ugly head. But, we’re finally getting it done now.
The Purchase Orders project is taking a while to do, but I have a reliable and thorough developer working on it so I know when it’s done, it will be done well. Checking on the issue tracker, I see she’s currently working on the final big part (recording and distributing Goods In). The other issues left open are minor and really just a matter of tidying up. This looks promising.
On the Imports overhaul – I’ve finished the FTP-based customer import to the point that the client it was for is happy with it, and it’s working so well that we’re considering using it ourselves for all our own imports. I’ll talk to the head of implementation today about giving that a trial.
My plan is to have all our various threads come together into a completed tapestry before the end of the year. I think we’re on track. We should be able to spend December and November just cleaning up minor issues and bugs. A good year.