The following article appeared in Tow Professional Magazine Volume 5 Issue 7, 2016 pages 46-49:
5 Questions You Should Always Ask Before Buying a Towing Software
As a towing company, it’s important to have every advantage available in this very competitive industry. We’ve seen a lot of advancements in the towing industry over the years—just look at the tow truck for example. Can you imagine trying to do a heavy duty tow with the 1916 tow truck invented by Ernest Holmes instead of today’s heavy duty wreckers? While you have upgraded your trucks over the years have you updated your business?
We know that towing software has helped many towing companies but will it help yours?
What problems could it help you solve? What do you want to improve?
Here are some questions you should ask:
- How much time do you spend managing paperwork and collecting payments?
- Are you overwhelmed managing your fleet, dispatching, employees and clients?
- What procedures do you use to be compliant and protect your business?
There never seems to be enough time in the tow life—24/7/365 is no exaggeration. Once you’ve asked yourself the questions above and you find you’re spending more time in those areas than you want, towing software might be the solution. But how can you know which one is right for your business?
Here are some questions you should be asking in your towing software research:
- What are you “hiring” the software to do?
- What is it going to take to implement and adopt the software?
- As your business grows, can the software “grow” with you?
- If you run into technical issues, what support options do you have?
- What is your ROI (return on investment)?
Towing software companies have been around for over 20 years, but in the last 5 years several new companies have popped up. One that has recently grabbed our attention is Omadi. In our last issue they had an ad with a toilet bowl spread across two pages with the tagline “The only time going paperless is a bad thing. Give us a call and we’ll help get your Sh*t together.” (see ad below) That’s quite a bold statement from a relatively new comer to the market. So we decided to put them to the test and see how they hold up to our 5 questions.
1. What are you “hiring” the software to do?
When considering which software is right for your operation, you should treat it like hiring an employee. When hiring someone, you have a specific job in mind that the candidate is going to fill. It should be the same with your software. Ask yourself, “What is your business currently struggling with” and “could software be a solution.”
After scanning over Omadi.com, it is easy to see who they are capable of servicing: motor clubs, police towing, shop towing and private property impound to name a few. Their features include: cloud-based software, mobile app, drag & drop dispatching, integrated GPS, fleet management & user tracking, alerts & notifications, digital dashboards, photo management, client portal, custom reports & forms, billing & invoicing, payroll & commissions, e-signature capturing and powerful integrations.
For example, if your company struggles with managing paperwork, you would want a system like Omadi that can offer a Digital Tow Ticket that takes you paperless.
2. What is it going to take to implement and adopt the software?
All business management software will require some sort of implementation process. Essentially you are allowing your software to organize the 3 P’s: Pricing, People (employees & clientele) and Processes. Also ask, does the software help to get employee adoption or buy in?
To answer this question we went to Capterra (an online service dedicated to helping you find the right software) to see what clients have said about adopting Omadi.
Josh Wayne, a Dispatcher, said, “After about 3 days into our Omadi launch, I realized how much smoother things were running. Doing everything once! I used to have to release cars on the physical ticket, then release it out of the computer, then fax down a full release sheet to the main office. Using Omadi does this all in the one step. Things like that are what this software is all about!
3. As your business grows, can the software “grow” with you?
This is SUCH an important question to ask. You’re short on time enough—having to switch to a new software service to keep up with your company is not a road block you want to face.
Omadi has three plans to fit any budget: Essential is $99 a month if billed annually or $129 if billed monthly, and Team is $199 if billed annually and $249 if billed monthly. Their Omadi Professional plan is a per user rate with a minimum of 10 users and offers the most customization. Both the Essential and the Team plans offer unlimited users and calls allowing you to scale your business as you work your way towards the Professional plan (see http://Omadi.com/pricing).
Omadi is by far the greatest thing that has ever happened for us and will most likely be the greatest innovation and milestone that the current generation of towers will ever experience. Omadi is dedicated to providing the best product and services available…. and I can attest to the fact that our team has awarded them gold stars in every department. We are fortunate enough to have 35 of the best towing professionals the industry has to offer on our team… and we are now blessed to have Omadi backing up our every move. Whether you own, operate or manage a towing company, you owe it to yourself and your team to take the time to understand exactly what Omadi can do for you.Brad Fleming
4. If you run into technical issues, what support options do you have?
No software is perfect. If a vendor says there software is perfect, run! So it’s not a matter of if issues come, but when, and what support do you have when something goes wrong.
When it comes to support, you won’t get a more honest opinion than reviews. Here’s what customers have said in the Apple App Store:
An Omadi customer from California said, “Our towing company has been in business for over 37 years and has always struggled with technology. Omadi offers a solution far above what any other towing/dispatch software provides (and we’ve tried many). We are in CA and have some of the most strict regulations and Omadi has found a solution to every problem. They understand the industry and they are there at every step to help build and sharpen your company into a paperless masterpiece.”
Another user said, “Omadi’s customer service is bar none! They even flew a rep out just to ensure that the experience they are trying to provide, is what we are getting…[They] actually listen when there is an issue!”
We also wanted to keep Omadi on their toes so we called 801-800-8250 (the number listed on their site) to see how hard it was to get help with a support issue. In less than 20 seconds we were on the phone with Justin Feaster, Omadi Senior Account Manager. He told us that Omadi is continually adding to their support team to ensure the best possible experience for each of their customers. They make it a top priority to resolve customer concerns asap.
5. What is your ROI (return on investment)?
Far more important than the cost of anything is the ROI. If you pay “X” you are expecting to get 2, 3, or 4X+ to make it worthwhile. This question is a little harder to fully know and understand for your business until you are actually using the product. You can do two things: 1. Run a hypothetical cost analysis including potentially cutting down on office staff and 2. See how others have saved using the software.
As for Omadi, we went back to Capterra:
“30 years of running every type of call around the Capital Beltway… thank you Omadi! You have made my life so much easier. I find myself being more efficient… I can honestly say… my paycheck has improved ever since we got Omadi. It’s really quite simple… Get Omadi = Tow More Cars.” – Darin Bolt, Tow Truck Operator
Brad Fleming, the Manager of fast growing towing operation in DC area said, “When entering into a contract with Omadi…. don’t worry about what it costs. I’m as serious as a heart attack… I have run the math every which way possible… once you are up and running on the system you will increase your revenue well past the amount that you spend.”
Omadi held up very well against all 5 of our questions. At the end of the day, it’s up to you. We challenge you to ask yourself these questions. Is it time for your business to consider a towing software? Or how is your current software living up to what it was hired to do? Bottom line, ask the tough questions, get some live demos and put the softwares to the test.