SmartTrade Blog

What is happening at SmartTrade

SmartTrade Blog

News and views from the SmartTrade crew.

SmartTrade Techs

SmartTrade Techs

Super User has not set their biography yet

Posted by on in News and Announcements

Voice Recognition Dictation into SmartTrade Mobile 
Dictate text into SmartTrade Mobile using the voice recognition feature on your smart device!

Most modern smart devices enable the user to dictate text using voice recognition.

Voice recognition dictation works with SmartTrade Mobile so give it a try, a little practice and you will be a wiz!

SmartTrade users will be amazed how much time can be saved dictating notes rather than having to type them in, it even autocorrects possible spelling mistakes! Voice recognition can even be used for entering numbers which is particularly useful when entering data into SmartForms.


  1. Not all smart devices are the same so you will need to check out your device’s capabilities!
  2. Using the smart device’s native voice recognition service will consume data if your device is connected through the cellular network! For more information about how this works see below.

Voice Recognition – how to use it

11   On Android Devices(shown on a Samsung
  Galaxy  S5)

  Using the native functionality:

  1. Tap in the field you want to insert text into [1]
  2. Tap on the microphone icon [2]
  3. Start dictating.
  4. Tap on the microphone icon to stop the dictation [2]
  5. Edit the message if needed.

 To download an offline app:

  1. Go to “Language and Input” in the Settings.
  2. Tap on "Download offline speech recognition" under the "Voice Search".
  3. Choose the language pack you want your Android device to recognize.
  4. Download the pack and start using the offline voice recognition functionality.
qwwq   On Apple Devices - shown on an iPhone 5s
  Using the native functionality:
  1. Make sure Siri is enabled - Settings > General > Siri
  2. Tap in the field you want to insert text into to open the keyboard [1]
  3. Tap on the microphone icon [2]
  4. Start dictating, the text won’t appear yet
  5. Tap on Done, both work, to stop the dictation [3]
  6. The text will appear in the text field [4]
  7. Edit the message using the keyboard if need be.

   To download the offline app –
   available on iPhone 6
 and later devices!

  1. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard
  2. Scroll down to Dictation. If you own a supported device that is set to the right language, you should be able to download the offline dictation files from here. This will take a couple of minutes and take up some space on your device, which is why they recommend enabling it only if needed, and the available device storage space allows for it!


Voice Recognition - data use

  1. 1. Using the device’s native voice recognition will use data if your device is connected through the cellular network, the data is sent to the cloud to be processed and returned to the device. You will need 3G connectivity or higher.
  2. 2. Wi-Fi usually gives you better results and means data isn’t being consumed on your phone account, data on your internet account is still being used.
  3. 3. You can download voice recognition apps so the voice to text processing is done offline thereby avoiding using online data. Instructions on how to do this are shown below. The app will take up space on your smart device and may affect performance.

Voice Recognition – tips (from the Apple website)

Talk into the microphone: You don’t need to speak very loudly; but you should keep your smart device close to your mouth, especially if you’re outdoors. On an iPhone are two microphones at the bottom, but only a single microphone on iPads, located at the top of the device. It’s not easy to speak directly into the iPad mic while looking at the screen. Speak into the tiny hole at the top of your tablet.

You’ll find dictation in noisy environments works much better with an iPhone, because it’s easier to speak close to the microphone. The iPhone also has a noise-cancelling mic, which filters out background noises. You might find that the Apple earbuds that come with an iPhone—which have an inline mic—offer better speech recognition, as do third-party headphones with mics, as long as you hold them fairly close to your mouth. The problem is Apple didn’t give the iPhone 7 an air phone jack.

Dictate when connected to Wi-Fi: Dictation to an iOS device requires that your voice be sent to a server, where it is recognized and transcribed, and then sent back to your iOS device. For this reason, dictating to an iOS device works best when you’re using Wi-Fi; it also works well with a 3G connection; but anything slower is hit or miss, in my experience.

Speak clearly: You don’t need to speak especially slowly, but speaking too quickly will lead to errors. The general idea is to talk like a newscaster: Enunciate, but don’t exaggerate.

Don’t say too much: Your voice has to be sent to a remote server, so keep your dictation segments under 30 seconds. (Longer than that might be too much for a 3G connection.)

Speak punctuation and symbols: To include punctuation in your dictation, you need to say “comma,” “period,” “hyphen,” and so on. Watch out for language differences. For instance, if you’re using British English, you need to say “full stop” instead of “period.”

You can say “new line” to dictate a return character, and “new paragraph” to add two returns. You say “apostrophe” for a possessive noun, such as “Jerry Garcia apostrophe S guitar,” for Jerry Garcia’s guitar.

You’ll also say things like “dollar sign,” “euro sign,” and “pound sterling sign” to get type the corresponding symbols.

When you want to capitalize a word, say “cap.” If you’re sending a message to someone about a movie preference, for example, you might say “I’d like to watch cap lord of the cap rings.”

Take advantage of autocorrect: While you can’t correct mistakes in iOS dictation by voice, you will occasionally see words that iOS thinks might be incorrect. They appear with dotted blue lines underneath them. Tap an underlined word or phrase, and you’ll see one or more options you can choose from.

Add emoticons: Do you want to type smileys? It’s easier to dictate them than to switch to the number keyboard. Just say “smiley,” “winky,” or “frowny,” for :-) , ;-) , or :-( .

Proof read what you dictate: While some errors will be obvious, and other misinterpretations may have blue dotted lines highlighting them, there will be typos—or, more correctly, speech-o’s.

As you get used to dictating into your iPhone or iPad, you’ll figure out the right cadence and volume to get the most precise recognition. If you need to type a lot on an iOS device, try using dictation. Whether you use it for text messages or emails, it may save you a lot of time.

If you want a more comprehensive beginners guide to voice recognition dictation have a look at this article.

Spell Checking on SmartTrade Essential and Ultimate


tinySpell - a free spell checker that works with SmartTrade Essential and Ultimate

We sometimes get asked why SmartTrade Essential and Ultimate, our office based software solutions, don’t incorporate a spell checker. The reason is there are a many free online spell checkers that do a better job than we could do with our own spell checker.

Our favourite free online spell checker is tinySpell, you can get it at

It’s easy to install and use so if you need a spell checker give it a try. If you want more information on tinySpell, an online search will throw up plenty of reviews.

Posted by on in SmartTrade in the Community

SmartTrade recommends Habitat for Humanity as a charity worth supporting.

SmartTrade supports Habitat for Humanity, we also recommend Habitat for Humanity to SmartTrade users as being a very worthy charity they might also consider supporting.

Habitat for Humanity is an international charity that builds simple decent and affordable housing for the poor. Homes are built using voluntary labour, in partnership with the family that will one day own the home. The family that will own and occupy the home contributes 500 hours of “sweat equity” into building the house.

Habitat for Humanity with its house building focus is an excellent choice of charity to support for SmartTrade and the many trade related businesses who use our software.

Some ways your business can support Habitat for Humanity

  • Volunteer for one of their local builds
  • Donate materials and goods
  • Volunteer to build abroad
  • Support visiting overseas teams
  • Sponsor a home build

For more information about how you might engage with Habitat for Humanity please visit one of their websites:


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]

Posted by on in News and Announcements

We’ve just released a software upgrade – here’s the new stuff in SmartTrade!

SmartTrade Mobile - in the Field

Invoicing on SmartTrade Mobile is now available!

Mobile users will now be able to:

Create an invoice on the job from the Job Sheet tab;

Confirm invoices;

Preview the invoice;

Get a signature on the invoice (optional); and

Email the invoice to the customer.

In the last release we added:

Quoting on the job; and

Downloading a SmartForm from the cloud to SmartTrade Mobile.

The feature additions allow you to undertake a comprehensive job workflow on SmartTrade Mobile:

Create a new customer and site;

Create a new job;

Create a quote and email it to the customer;

Accept a quote;

Complete the job including:

Add materials, including MyData kitsets;

Download a SmartForm, complete the form, email a PDF copy to the customer;

Attach photos to the job or SmartForm;

Update assets (Assets is a SmartTrade Ultimate feature);

Raise order numbers;

Complete and return timesheets; and

Create an invoice, preview it, get the customer’s signature and email the invoice to the customer.

Free “customer satisfaction survey” SmartForm!

Customer Satisfaction Survey form – this SmartForm is available at no cost, you can find more
           information in the article about SmartForms. 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 how
           the form could be improved don’t hesitate to tell us!

Click here to open the latest version of the "Guide to working with SmartTrade Mobile"

SmartTrade Essential & Ultimate - in the Office

SmartTrade Discovery

You can now self-audit which SmartTrade features and functionalities you are using to make sure you
          aren’t missing out on stuff your business could benefit from.


Find out more about SmartTrade Discovery.

Customisable fields

New field type "URL".


Edit an approved timesheet and automatically set to unapproved.


Allow adding and editing of dispatched initial Job notes.


New "Search for... Sub-jobs" option available while editing jobs;

Create sub-job - four new tick box options:


Click here to open the "A short guide to Sub-Jobs"

Posted by on in News and Announcements

To finish on a bit of humour

David Cameron, Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin all die and go to Hell. As they arrive at the gates of Hell they spy a golden phone and ask the Devil what the phone is for. The Devil tells them it is for calling back to Earth.

Obama asks to call the US and talks for an hour. When he is finished the Devil informs him that the standard Hell to Earth call charge is 1 million US dollars per hour, so Obama writes a cheque for 1 million USD.

Putin calls Russia and talks for two hours. When he is finished the Devil informs him that the standard call charge for two hours is 2 million US dollars, which converts to 100 million rubles, so Putin writes a cheque for 100 million rubles.

Finally, David Cameron gets his turn and talks to the UK for 4 hours. When he is finished the Devil informs him that the standard call charge is 12p.

Obama and Putin go ballistic and demand to know the why Cameron got to call the UK virtually free when it cost them 1 million US dollars an hour?

The Devil smiles and replies:

"After BREXIT the UK went to hell, it's now a local call to the UK!"


Doug Smith is on his deathbed and knows the end is near.

His nurse, his wife, his daughter and two sons are with him.

So, he says to them:

"Bernie, I want you to take the Mayfair houses."

"Sybil, you take the apartments over in the east end."

"Jamie, I want you to take the offices over in the City Centre."

"Sarah, my dear wife, please take all the residential buildings on the banks of the river."

The nurse is just blown away by all this and, as Doug slips away she says, "Mrs Smith, your husband must have been such a hard-working man to have accumulated all this property."

Sarah replies, "Property? .... The asshole had a paper run."