Service Business Industries Served by Thoughtful Systems

A Brief History of the Development of our Employee Scheduling, Job Scheduling, Accounts Receivable and Payroll Software:

We began designing scheduling and service dispatch software for some specific industries over 27 years ago, when our founder was working as an independent software development consultant. One of our first applications was developed for a video store. We created software to track options allocations for senior executives of a large public company and also designed a program to track sales and changes of sales at 70 rehabilitation centers scattered across the United States.

One project involved designing software for a window cleaning company in Long Island, New York. The owner had been using a custom package, but wanted to move forward with better-designed software. We realized no one else was creating software for cleaning, janitorial and window cleaning businesses, so we began marketing the program we created to cleaning businesses nationwide.

Since that time, we have re-engineered the software several times; each time adding new features in response to the demands of users; not because the original software didn’t perform. It was a DOS-based program, written in Clipper, and was used at one time by over 500 companies in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. We are sometimes still surprised to hear from some of our original users, who are still happily using their old DOS programs. This software continues to run just like the Energizer bunny, whirring away and providing all the management tasks these businesses need. I have sometimes questioned these users, asking them why they don’t upgrade to the new Windows-based version (we are currently on the 10th version for Windows) and they assure me they love their old DOS program. So, I say, if that’s what they like, then good for them!

Interestingly, one of our original Cleaning Manager clients (the first version of our service dispatch software) loved the software so much, they began selling it on our behalf. A couple of years later they developed their own solution, which they market to this day. We welcome all competition, because it helps make users and potential users more aware of the benefits of using business software. When we first began marketing our software solutions, in the early days of the PC, many business owners shied away from software and computers, finding them either “too scary” or not wanting to get involved in technology. With the benefit of the 20-20 vision of history, we now see that any business must use software intelligently to function well, save costs and position themselves for growth.

To date we have developed service business management software for a wide and diverse variety of industries — including HVAC, window and carpet cleaners, maid services (residential cleaning software), commercial cleaning, pet walking, home health care, computer maintenance, TV repair, septic tank cleaners and many more. In fact, any service business needing to maintain comprehensive information regarding their leads and contacts, detailed employee information, job schedules, payroll and accounts receivable information can use our software. We get new inquiries every day, from people wanting user-friendly, feature-rich software to manage their business. If it’s an industry we have never served before, we learn about any special needs and work with clients in the new field to understand their needs. If it involves employee scheduling or job scheduling in general, then we can generally provide a solution.

We have our own philosophy developed by our founder Murray Gordon, which informs our work with clients and our organizational structure. We call this the Value of Values approach . This paper was originally presented at the Symposium for the ISPSO (International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations) in Boston, Massachusetts in June 2002. Essentially, this paper outlines a philosophical approach inspired by the philosopher Emanuel Levinas, which is also known as “Ethics as First Philosophy”. We have expanded Levinas’ approach into the world of business. We believe in a general honouring of the other. This involves an attempt to honor the other — the other as client as well as the other as co-worker, because it is these “others” who provide the value of any business venture. A business may need to have certain assets and equipment and employees may need to have certain training and qualifications. What makes one business shine and excel in providing the service it offers to its clients is the extent to which it seeks to understand its clients and provide them with what they need, at a reasonable rate. We all need to maintain and/or have access to the basics we need for living and adequate resources in order to maintain and sustain a business operation providing the excellent services we aim to provide.

We continue to get requests, regularly, from business owners and managers in new industries who want to take advantage of the great benefits to be gained from using well-deigned and powerful workforce management software — that gives all-around power in its job scheduling, employee information management, CRM and accounting features, to name a few.