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BEWARE OF WINTAC!

Our HVAC company has used Wintac for well over 10 years afer the owner of the business finally made the change from an old and out-dated database system. Overall the system operates "okay" considering it does allow for integration of all service work orders, invoices and accounting (granted the cost is outrageous and thus makes the issues we experience all the more frustrating). However, one of the most vital features a strong database system will support is the ability to pull accurate reports based on predetermined parameters. Is that not why we pay so much for such software? Efficiency and profitability is essential to any business and it sure has not been a great experience with Wintac for us. Technology has come so far yet Wintac simply seems like a dinosaur compared to other products on the market now.
Here are my key problems with Wintac:
1) The patches to fix Wintac errors are not sent as promised, resulting in loss of money & productivity when staff must spend additional hours on manual database management due to software errors. (Wait! Didn't we just pay tons of money for a database system to work properly?!)
2) One must pay additional money for tech support which is only required due to Wintac's software faults.
3) The features for marketing to the contacts in the database are not truly operational. Wintac boasts that they can help market to our customer base with special reporting parameters and features to tailor our marketing to specific customers. Does this really work? NOPE, not even close.
Case in point: The 2015 upgrade came with the option to pull a report which "Excludes customers without email addresses" however, this feature is not operational. The list produced includes literally every single customer contact. Staff then has to then spend significant time cleaning the exported list to allow for the same report which we paid to have as part of the upgrade. Another example of how the 2015 update is scarily falling short: the marketing parameter questions need to be updated as time goes on to reflect current information. Can you safely update the questions or add lines so the existing records aren't adversely affected? NOPE! If you set up the marketing questions early on in your business and then over let's say 10 years you need to add more marketing questions... you're stuck. Changing the existing questions will mess up the existing customer marketing tabs and you can only have 20 questions, period.
How is it that in today's tech savvy world that Wintac is so behind the curve? They claim to offer solutions but it seems like a pit of quicksand: If you opt in, grow your business and have thousands of records you are forced to suck it up like we have. Granted, in the coming years I am strongly considering making the switch to a more progressive database system that is a fraction of the cost and truly comes with all the features offered and free tech support for those who pay for the software. Bottom line: Wintac is a dinosaur dressed up in falsehoods so buyers beware!

Comments

  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,983
    Years ago when I was looking around for software to do everything I needed, it was around 28K, plus recurring fees/updates, and tech support. Plus more fees if you needed anything modified.
    I ended up finding/learning/building/using FileMaker. Made my own, perfectly customizable, under $600. I sync it with QB via a plug-in ($400) Granted it took a lot of time, but I worked on it when I had down time, and it was fun (for me).
    I can use the database on my iPhone or iPad and have all the info I need on the job. And you can either get FileMaker Server & a dedicated server for the database, or use one of the many inexpensive hosting companies for multiple users, synching data, and off site back ups/storage.
    There is plenty of free templates, training and help online from user forums. There are also developers you can hire to get you set up and going.

    I track everything. It's especially helpful on service calls to see past work performed, and combustion numbers.
    I can make all my own reports, any way I want to see the data.

    Just a note on your post.
    You're not going to get 'fraction of the cost' and 'free tech support'. No one does that anymore.
    Instead its a monthly subscription and you can buy tech support options.
    steve
    CLamb
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,054
    I used to use WINTAC but hated it. We switched to JOBBER and love it.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • mikeg2015
    mikeg2015 Member Posts: 1,187
    What’s holding us back is we’re just a shop with 3 service techs including the owner, 1 senior installer and one installer apprentice. So with 5 people, with most systems we pay the same as 10. They don’t scale very well to users. But I’ll look closer at Jobber.

    What we need is a database ot connect all customer information from cradle to grave on equipment at a glance, some inventory control... mainly parts pricing including installation price. Nice to have and the largest time saver would quick installation estimates where all the equipment pricing is loaded and you just add other materials and hours.

    Short term, I’m wondering if I could just use a well made spreadsheet for the same function. Currently, it’s a lot of manual calculating. Work tickets are all paper so they get misplaced, take time to fill out, and time to fill in customer information.
  • mikeg2015
    mikeg2015 Member Posts: 1,187
    I just took a look at Jobber. Looks like it does everything I want and not too expensive. WOuld just need to create spreadsheets with all our parts and equipment pricing information and import them.

    I assume you can export, update pricing and reimport each year when pricing for equipment changes. It would pay for itself in saving time quoting alone. Plus you could quote new systems in 5 minutes right at the customers house.

    Younger generation would really like the online service request feature and quote approval I think.

    It’s all about spending more time doing service, less time on the phone and paperwork, and frees up more face time to sell and explain things. Why not create a quote while you have a captive audience that’s writing a $400 check for a furnace repair. Automotive service has done that for decades.
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,396
    Housecall Pro has worked well for us.
  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 1,073
    I started using Mpengo and it seems to work for us.
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons