SmartTrade Blog

What is happening at SmartTrade

SmartTrade Blog

News and views from the SmartTrade crew.

Software Products and Updates

News and views about SmartTrade Job management office software and mobile applications.

Ransomware - now the biggest cybersecurity threat! Make sure you have a solid backup strategy!!!
smartsafe logo

In previous newsletters we warned SmartTrade’s customers about ransomware hackers who infect the computer’s operating system with malware that locks the owner out from their files. The hackers then demand a hefty payment to unlock the system, often in bitcoins that are virtually impossible to trace.

Ransomware is constantly evolving making it increasingly difficult to protect against, some 2900 new ransomware modifications were reported between January and March of this year. Recently seen ransomware such as Petya not only lock down the files but also completely remove access to the hard drives and operating systems, basically imposing full system encryption. The ransomware may sit inactive for weeks before activating, that way it also infects all the backup copies.

Unfortunately, several more of our customers have been infected.

Currently the two most prevalent ransomware malware are CBT-Locker and Teslacrypt. The CBT-Locker screen message looks like this.

What can you do to minimise the risk of being infected by ransomware?

The obvious front-line protection strategy is up-to-date anti-virus protection. Because malware is built to circumvent anti-virus protection you also need an effective backup solution. It’s also very important to train your staff not to open email attachments unless they are totally confident about the source!

One of the mistakes some small business owners make is to do their backups to a different drive on their computer system, this gives you absolutely zero protection if ransomware locks you out of your system! It’s also of zero use if your computer is stolen or a fire or other catastrophe totally destroys the computer and/or hard drives. To be absolutely safe you need to store your backups on a completely different system in a different place, in the old day’s regular backups (retentions) were copied to disks or tapes and removed offsite.

These days if you don’t want the hassle of having to do backups yourself there’s plenty of “cloud” backup services available, a quick internet search will throw up a bunch of them.

SmartTrade offers our SmartSafe backup service, the entry level service costing $ 10 plus GST per month will meet the needs of most SmartTrade users. We’ve just negotiated a deal with the 3rd party hosting service which means the following enhancements to the SmartSafe service:

  • We’ve doubled the data cap at each price point. The new SmartSafe options are:
  • rates
  • Retentions increase from 7 days to 30 days.

Posted by on in Software Products and Updates

SmartForms are becoming increasingly popular!

SmartTrade users are increasingly seeing the benefit from moving from paper to electronic SmartForms. To date we have developed more than 400 individual forms for our more than 1,000 SmartTrade Mobile users, plus we are increasingly being asked to build complex SmartForms, some over 10 x A4 page equivalent length. Some of the factors driving this are:

SmartForms are much more efficient than paper forms, they offer "smarts" that aren't possible with paper forms.

Field service businesses often ended up with a cupboard full of multiple copy paper form books, every
      time the form is changed another batch of form books is printed, they pile up;

Then there’s the ubiquitous form book in the corner of the plant room and the need to find somewhere
      to store the completed paper forms offsite;

There’s no checks to make sure the form is fully complete each and every time, hand writing can be
      hard to decipher;

If a copy of a paper form results needs to be sent to the customer, or compliance work has to be
      certified, this has to be done manually;

Attaching photos to paper form results is a manual process;

SmartForms do away with the need for printed form books, storing the results in the cloud means
     there’s no paper to be filed away;

SmartForms can be made mandatory at several levels, the job can’t be started and/or finished unless
     the form is completed;

SmartForms can have calculations built in, enter the data and the result is automatically generated;

If an asset fails an inspection a work order (SmartTrade Ultimate feature) note can be raised from
     the SmartForm and sent back to the office;

Voice recognition technology available on modern smart devices means notes can be added with
     a minimum of typing, everything is legible and it can even spell check;

SmartForm results can be emailed to the customer as a PDF, the customer can also be setup to see
     and download the form results from the cloud. If a compliance certificate needs to be sent to the
     customer the SmartForms results PDF can be customised to include the certification;

When filling out a SmartForm photos can be taken using the smart device camera and stored in the
     “Pictures” tab, when the PDF form result is printed out the photos (including captions) relating to the
      particular SmartForm occurrence are automatically displayed at the bottom.

SmartForms are a great way to manage the increasingly prescriptive health and safety rules businesses are having to deal with. For example:

A health & safety form can be made mandatory so the job can’t be started on SmartTrade Mobile
     until the form is completed and signed off;

Site risks can be photographed and attached to the job so there’s a record of the risk, the form and
     photo can also be emailed to the client for their information;

If an action is needed to eliminate the risk a work order (SmartTrade Ultimate feature) can be generated
     from the form, including description and photographs.

SmartForms open up many other possibilities. For example our Customer Satisfaction Survey form enables your field staff to survey your customers on the quality of your service, on the job when the jobs been done!

If it’s a great result you know you have a happy customer who’s likely to give you referrals;

If it’s not such a great result you can take immediate action to mitigate any negative outcomes ~
     it’s the unhappy customers you don’t know about who will cause your business reputation the most

We’ve added the Customer Satisfaction Survey form to the free SmartForms on Mobile. If you want to use this form please get back to us and we will add your company logo to it, again at no cost. If you have any suggestions as to how the form could be improved don’t hesitate to tell us!

Selecting the right Smart Device for SmartForms

SmartTrade users considering going down the SmartForms path need to consider the smart devices they equip their field staff with:

As a general rule simple forms can be managed on smart phones;

Businesses planning to use complex forms should seriously consider giving their field techs tablets to
     ensure they have sufficient screen real estate to adequately display the form;

The tablet should preferably be phone capable to avoid the need to hotspot it with a smartphone in
      locations where WiFi isn’t available to the user.

Most modern smart devices will work well, you don’t necessarily need to buy the most expensive device on the market.



You can download SmartForms from the cloud to SmartTrade Mobile while on the job. BUT – to do this you need to have internet connectivity! If you are going to be working somewhere there isn’t internet connectivity you need to make sure you download the SmartForms to your device beforehand! Just like using jobs on SmartTrade Mobile offline!


Make sure your field techs aren’t overloading their smart devices with non-work apps! We sometimes get beaten up because SmartForms results (and jobs) aren’t getting uploaded or returned quickly enough, or on occasions not at all. Our techs often find the smart device is overloaded with other apps, we have seen as many as fifteen non-work apps open on a single device including multiple games and video streaming. There’s a limit to the available processing power and storage on any smart device, once we clear the apps the problem usually magically disappears!

For more information about SmartForms please contact us.

NZ: 0800 327 943

AUS: 1800 350 495

Email: [email protected]

Support for SmartTrade v5 Office/Mobile expired on 31 December 2015!

A friendly reminder to the 5% of SmartTrade users who still haven’t upgraded to the current version of SmartTrade that official support for SmartTrade v5 ended at the end of last year. This means support for all prior versions of SmartTrade has now ended.
While we will do our best to keep you up and running we can’t guarantee that the earlier software versions will continue to be compatible with the latest hardware and operating systems.
Upgrading to the current SmartTrade v6 is free, as is the training we give you to bring you up to speed with the new software.
To find out more about how to upgrade to SmartTrade v6 please contact our support team.
Phone Au 1800 350 495, NZ 0800 327 943
New functionality list for mobile and version 6 users.

Listed below you will find a new set of functions and features now available to all those using SmartTrade Mobile and SmartTrade Version 6.

V6 essential and ultimate
  • Sub Jobs. Now you have the ability to create sub-jobs . They are a complete stand-alone job, but can share the same job number plus a unique identifier for each sub-job. To create a sub-job, edit the job and click Other action => Create sub-job

  • Ability to unaccept a quote. This will allow you to change the quote before accepting it again, or accept a different quote. 

  • Job Pictures. Photo capture for Jobs.

  • Ability to Create new Quote jobs on your device, or dispatch existing Quote jobs to your device that either have or don’t have an accepted quote. The Add Job page on mobile asks if you want to add a Quote job or a Charge-up job.

  • Ability to Add/ Edit / Delete Costing line items for a Quote job.

  • Ability to Create a new Quote on mobile.

  • Ability to Find Clients that are not currently on your mobile device and download them to your device. This would then allow you to add a new job for the client and/or view all details for the client including notes and customisable fields.  If a client is downloaded to your mobile device, ALL the sites for the client will be downloaded. Each client has an action to allow you to no longer keep the client on your mobile device, e.g. if you only downloaded it temporarily to view some details for it.

All forms linked to a job, or linked to an asset which is linked to a job can have any or all of the following flags. These flags are maintained in the office. Forms that are not applicable will not be sent to the mobile devices. The flags are:
  • Form is mandatory

  • Form will pop-up when the job is opened on the mobile device

  • Form is not applicable for this job.

There have been many more additions to this list however these are the ones we felt were most anticipated. 
Read more about the full list of recent features and upgrades please click here.

Posted by on in Software Products and Updates

In recent times we have added the following features/functionalities to SmartTrade.

SmartTrade Mobile

Kitsets are now available on SmartTrade Mobile making it possible for SmartTrade Mobile users to utilise this timesaving functionality in the field.

Occupants can now be synced on SmartTrade Mobile.


SmartForms are attached to jobs in SmartTrade Ultimate or Essential in the office. The jobs are then dispatched to SmartTrade Mobile users in the field who fill out and upload the forms to the cloud.
SmartTrade customers must be running version 6.1.19 of either SmartTrade Essential or Ultimate to be able to use SmartForms.

{modal|width=640|height=505|title=Argus Fire Protection Case study}Watch this video case study with Argus Fire Protection using SmartForms {/modal}

Google Calendar integration

This feature enables SmartTrade users to dispatch appointments from the SmartTrade schedule to the Google Calendar schedule on smart devices, great for sending appointments to your staff on their smart phones. It is not yet possible to sync appointments from the smart device’s Google Calendar back to the SmartTrade schedule.

Read more about the Google Calendar integration

SMS Messaging – available with SmartTrade Essential and Ultimate

We have now made SMS texting a standard feature of SmartTrade Essential and Ultimate. In earlier versions of SmartTrade Office SMS was licenced as an add-on module.

SMS users will still need to purchase SMS credits.