Looking forward to this discussion.
Is your issue about documenting initial installation details, or ongoing service / changes completed on site?
Do you just need a repository where you can put in details about a given site? Do you need something that can also be edited by your technicians using browser / mobile device to keep changes up to date on the customer profile?
Would project management software (Asana, Wrike), or something like Evernote for business be suitable for you?
IPVMU Certified | 08/18/15 02:58pm
We use ZOHO to track everything from leads to customer profiles, they have integration with serveral accounting programs and lots of great tools. They also have remote desktop support so you can login to customers computers for demos and service.
Try using Manage Engine module from ZOHO. Admin and user friendly tool.
Have a look at simPRO, great at keeping track of assets, also quotes, projects and service work
I've used Salesforce in the past. It did 90% of what I wanted, and I learned to live without the rest.
We use Saleslogix, which is now Infor. It works as a CRM, but not very well at all for support ticketing nor as an inventory system. Whatever you look at, ask about integration with other products that do what you need done.
And at the very least the installers should be documenting where everything went, what they are addressed and what the passwords are, and if nowhere else to put the info, then somewhere in a shared folder in document files. And enforce it. That is a policy issue that no system will help if they don't collect the information.
All of the options above are good ones. There are many. All have strengths and a few weaknesses (or a few things you can live without).
You can get yourself a large external hardrive and just create folders for jobs. Store all of your job data there. You can create folders within folders for easier management.
Another option is on-line storage. You can get a ton of storage now for just a few dollars per month from a number of very good sources: Microsoft, Google, Zoho, Host Daddy and many others. The biggest thing you need is storage. Lots of it.
Just think it through. Once you start storing files, you will be amazed at how quickly they build up. You will not want to move them from one vendor to another often and the vendors know that. For years we hosted our own data. Now, the server is older, the software is no longer supported, etc, etc. We have chosen to use an off-site storage facility. They run the server, they provide the IT, and the increase in bandwidth is phenominal. We do use SSL, and some additional site security measures.
If we had to provide a new server and software it would cost us a minimum of 15K, and it would begin to age the minute we drive it off the lot. For just a few dollars/month, we get unlimited storage, increased bandwidth and new software every time we turn on our PC's not to mention access from anywhere we have wifi, 24 x 7. I calculated that with our monthy cost per employee, it would take several years to pay out 15K. Then we would be stuck with another old server and software. It was easy math.
As for the files you are talking about, records of installs, drawings, notes, all of that is stored permanently in a folder per site/per client. We use a simple interface to store and retrieve the records for now. A simple file storage webpage(s) will do until you decide how you want to manage it. There are a great many options available to you for that too, and they will only get better.