All New Features at a Glance
Clients can now leave a tip when they pay for services with their credit cards. Allocation of tips to sitters can be done automatically (pro-rata) or it is possible to allocate tips to sitters manually.
In release 5.7 we announced revolutionary new time recording functionality that utilised GPS check-in data to create a time sheet. For the first time this function provides data to support hourly pay for employees and also helps provide evidence of compliance with the minimum wage.
Due to the feedback we received we have added two new functions in release 5.8;
"Shift Check-out / in" A new "shift check-in / out" function enables sitters to "check out" of a shift (stop the clock) and then "check back in ti the next shift" (restarting the clock). This function is used to exclude periods of time that are unpaid such as lunchtimes or extended breaks in between visits.
An option to ignore journey time to the first visit and from the last visit. Most states / countries do not require the "journey time to the first job" or the "journey time from the last job" (classed as journey time to and from work) to form part of paid work. This new option will exclude this time from any resulting calculations.
Time blocks are used to help set the expectations of a "service delivery window" at the time of ordering. If you have a "side arrangement" with one or more clients to provide a "tighter" service delivery window from any of your standard offerings then you might need to edit a time block and change it from the standard offering.
In release 5.8, you can now change a time block at the point of scheduling to any required value, even if the time block scheduled is not part of the standard list available at the time of booking.
A new option enables you to copy all outgoing emails to your company email address.
This function provides evidence that any given email was delivered to your email providers SMTP gateway.
It also enables you to retain (and retrieve) an exact copy of emails sent to your clients.
There are three new extremely useful updates to the GPS monitor system;
Email Notification for Late Check-in. There is now an option to receive an email notification when a check-in is late (as well as an on-screen report).
Late Check-in notifications now Support Time Blocks; Late check-in notifications can now be triggered by the end of a specified time block if the service item uses time blocks (prior to this release a late check-in notification would only be triggered by time).
New "Not registered at Client Location" notification. This notification triggers when a sitter checks-in AND checks-out again at a location that is not within a reasonable distance of the clients address. This notification is helps identify sitters who are not carrying out their visit duties but trying to fool the system into showing that they are.
The Pet Sitter Plus key management system was originally designed for businesses whose sitters have primary responsibility for making updates to the key management system. However some pet sitting businesses prefer to centralise the key management function such that control of keys is managed by a centralised administrator. To better support this type of model, we have introduced the following functionality in release 5.8.
Bulk re-assignment of keys. An option to select more than one key such that batches of keys t,can be reassigned to another sitter in one action by a centralised admin function.
Key re-assignment lock down (for sitters). An option to remove the key re-assignment functionality from the sitter mobile and sitter desktop interfaces meaning that only a central administrators can re-assign keys.
Admin "Required Keys" list. A new report in the DIARY that identifies all scheduled jobs whereby the sitter does not possess the required key (meaning that one needs to be allocated). Using this report it is now easier for a centralised admin function to re-allocate keys to the sitters who need them.
Show Un-issued Keys. A new option to show all keys that have not yet been issued to a sitter.
It is now possible to identify services that are about to end using the “Last service only" option in the diary and schedule views.
Using this option it is now possible to;
a)Identify services that are about to end.
b)Write to staff about services that are about to end, reminding them that certain actions need to be taken.
In many larger pet sitting businesses, employed administrative and scheduling staff are given access to fewer functions in Pet Sitter Plus than their more senior colleagues or the business owner.
In release 5.8 it is now possible to lock users out of the part of the program that creates and adjusts admin user rights which (effectively) creates a junior administrator role in Pet Sitter Plus. Such users ARE ABLE to create login information for pet sitters (who themselves have limited access) but ARE NOT ABLE to create login information for administrative users or adjust the access rights for administrative users.
When a sitter gets a raise, it is often a requirement to re-calculate their compensation for all services that have already been scheduled (to the new rate).
While in previous releases this was possible, it had to be done “order by order” and this was time consuming.
In release 5.8 it is now possible to re-calculate compensation for one or more sitters between any date range in a single action using a new “Reset Compensation” function in the schedule.
In release 5.8 we have included a couple of nice enhancements to the repeat services function;
1. The “Days” column (meaning days scheduled) and the “Time” column (meaning time or time block) have been added to the repeat services report. This makes it easier to know if you have selected the correct options before you run your repeat services.
2. There is a new function to “View Inactive Schedules” which identifies all clients that have a repeat service attached that has been made inactive.
Due to changes to the PCI compliance rules (the rules which govern security of online credit card transactions) we have made some changes to the code that integrates Stripe with Pet Sitter Plus.
The most visible evidence of these changes (as far as you and your customers are concerned) is the layout of the card details entry screen.
The new layout is more compact and no longer requires an address to be added.
In release 5.8, the “Unable to Retrieve Location” error will no longer be displayed on the sitters phone. Instead, the phone will record the time of the check-in without any location information.
When this happens,
a) the words “(no location)” in brackets are shown next to the check-in / check-out time in the STAFF ACTIVITY report and
b) in the client portal, if your system is configured to show GPS data, the words “unknown” is shown next to the check-in / check-out time in the schedule interface.
We hope you enjoy this release. It is packed with some amazing features for example;
An innovative tip processing system that will help you to improve the income of your sitters. Read More >
A fantastic new "shift management" system making the new time recording system in Pet Sitter Plus a uniquely flexible product. Read More >
A great new way to schedule with flexible editable time blocks. Read More >
Three fabulous additions to GPS monitor with the ability to receive emails when a check-in is late. We have also extended the late check-in notification to function with time blocks as well as time. Read More >
The key management system has received a makeover with four fabulous improvements to functionality. Read More >
Its also now possible to receive a copy of all outgoing email correspondence. Read More >
Big changes are ahead in 2018!
"This release (5.8) is something of a milestone because it represents the last major update to Pet Sitter Plus before everything changes in 2018".
Whats coming next I hear you say?
Waiting in the wings for 2018 is release version 6.0 which we have been working on since September 2016. So breaking a bit with tradition, we would like to tell you a little bit about what is coming in 2018.
For some time now, you've been asking us about APPs and mobile functionality. You've been telling us that you want all PSP functionality to be available on the mobile and you also want PSP to become an APP.....and we've been listening.
In 2018 we will be launching a series of new releases aimed at delivering not just a great new client and pet sitter experience, but also a new responsive interface for administrators that will deliver all PSP functionality right to the mobile (as standard).
Once all aspects of Pet Sitter Plus are delivered in a responsive interface, everything will have a brand new look and feel and everything will be on the mobile and we can then focus in releasing APP's for all types of users (Admins, Sitters, Clients) along with a host of new functionality such as full walk tracking, improved client communications, text integration, QuickBooks integration, unattended billing and more.
So we hope very much that you enjoy the fabulous new features of release 5.8 but we are also excited to be sharing with you a very brief glimpse of what is coming in 2018.