(Story Originally published on PCT Magazine. For more information, email [email protected] or visit lycensed.com.)
Tracking the licenses, expirations, testing and renewals of every service category for every technician in your company; knowing the specific requirements and expirations for each; and filling out the many and varied forms to keep your staff validly licensed can be a labor-intensive (and monotonous) challenge. And that challenge is significantly increased if you operate a multi-state business and are dealing with various rules, requirements and reciprocities.
Such challenges inspired the Plunkett’s Pest Control technical team to develop Lycensed, a software program that takes over tracking and notification to ensure PMPs are always currently licensed.
“It is a shared problem that everyone in the industry faces,” said Plunkett’s Project Manager Dylan O’Donnell at an off-site demo of the product at the 2018 PestWorld conference. And the problem can become disastrous if a license inadvertently expires. Say, for example, a technician who is doing a termite job gets audited; if his or her license isn’t current, you could be facing a significant fine – not to mention the loss of that technician until all the hoops have been jumped to get that license back in effect.
“To address the problem, we wanted a single platform that would manage all state licenses and be intelligent about certification types, categories, etc.,” said Software Developer Andy Selvig. “We wanted to create a single repository for all the information.”
Lycensed is a spin-off of Plunkett’s Pest Control’s proprietary enterprise system software, Clypboard, which controls the client, technician and office technology experiences across all facets of the company’s business. The company chose to spin off Lycensed into an industry-available endeavor because, O’Donnell said, "it provides a comprehensive solution from which the entire industry can benefit."
The program currently supports 26 states and 46 certification types, but is continuously expanding with a target of supporting all 50 states. The system’s application program interface (API) enables third-party interface, so data from a pest control company’s current system or spreadsheet can be imported.
Once migration is complete, data loaded for each technician’s current license and certification status, and any company specifications configured, the system takes over. When a license/certificate is coming up for renewal, the technician is automatically notified through email with the steps needed for renewal detailed (e.g., “Register for pre-license training course.”). As steps are completed, the system moves down the chain, updating and providing further management or administrative notifications. (If steps are not completed in a timely fashion, further notification also is automated.)
Not only does this enable a single administrative person to keep an eye on all licensing, “it gives access to all the information at their fingertips,” Selvig said. Through secure log-in, authorized persons can view a chronological timeline of all certifications, grouped by missing, pending, completed, etc.; see images of the actual certificates/licenses; annotate form fields to automatically fill; look up technicians’ licenses; or search the database for other information.
Taking the program a step beyond licenses and certificates, Lycensed also can track labels and SDSs, automatically combing manufacturer websites to pull in the most current versions for each. “We wanted to address licensing, but a similar problem was label management,” said Software Developer Sean O’Donnell. Currently the system includes 6,500 chemicals and 15,000 documents, he said. The system also includes a “tokenized” mobile-friendly page, enabling technicians to access their certificates, labels, etc., without having to log-in. Both the license and label/SDS features also have customer-facing web pages that can be added to the pest control company website to give clients easy access to these documents.
The primary goal of Lycensed is to handle ongoing, recurring tasks that are hard to manage, Dylan O’Donnell said. “Lycensed is the one source of truth – continuously checking all the sites.” The cost is $3 per technician per month, with a minimum of 10 technicians. For more information, email [email protected] or visit lycensed.com. – Lisa Lupo