Who Has Your Back in an IT Crisis?

Tips for choosing the best tech support company to support your portable sanitation business
Who Has Your Back in an IT Crisis?

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Technology has changed every aspect of the portable restroom industry over the last decade. Orders used to be handwritten. Typewriters were used on a daily basis. Routes were done using hard copy maps.

Now, there are software systems that handle everything from taking orders to billing and routing. Orders come in via email. Every driver has a cellphone. Paper is slowly becoming a thing of the past.

This fast-paced environment means that when things go wrong with your technology, it can cripple your business.

Now more than ever, you need a strong IT person or company to back your business. Finding a company that is the right fit for you can take some time and be overwhelming. IT repairs can be similar to car repairs: often, it all sounds like Greek, and you are confident these services will cost you a lot of money.   

Every business will need different support, but the core needs are the same for almost every company in our industry. 

Response time is the most important. Time is money. And when your computers are down and your staff can’t work, money is flying out the windows. Our industry starts early in the morning, and you need an IT company that can show up at 7 a.m. and get all of your computers back up and running before most of the day is lost. When interviewing companies, ask about their average response time. You should also ask for customer references and Google each company to read online reviews. 

Knowledge of networks and software is crucial as well. The “network” consists of all of the office computers, servers, printers, etc. that connect together so data can be shared by everyone in the office. Software knowledge extends to QuickBooks, industry-specific billing systems, or basic Microsoft Office. Some IT professionals are only good at one of these, and you need a company that can handle both. This may seem like a no-brainer, but take the time to ask questions that are specific to your network and the way your company runs. This can help make sure these potential vendors have the knowledge to help you.

Also, don’t diminish the value of how the representatives talk to you and your staff when making your decision. Recently, we switched vendors and I contacted a couple local companies to discuss our needs. When it came time to make a decision, I had ruled out one company because the salesperson they sent to our office was abrasive and hard to talk to. I went back to them for a second quote about a month later, and the second technician I spoke to was wonderful. He could easily explain problems and solutions, and he was knowledgeable and incredibly friendly. Because of that great experience with him, I switched to that company in the end. 

No vendor relationship is ever set in stone. You can always choose someone new if you are dissatisfied with the service you are being given. But with something as crucial as IT, you need to protect yourself and your business. Switching isn’t easy and can take a long time. Interview enough companies and technicians that you feel you are making the best decision for your situation. 

About the author: Alexandra Townsend is co-owner of A Royal Flush, based in Philadelphia.


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