iON Pool Care vs Pool Brain

Pool Service Software Comparison

 

Pool Company Software Comparison - Ion vs Pool Brain

A detailed feature comparison of two pool company software platforms
Pool Brain and iON Pool Care

Pool companies with 1 to 2 technicians want and need very different things than a company managing their field techs from a central location. Pool Brain was designed to meet the needs of these larger pool companies and smaller companies who want to grow fast. Pool Brain's founder owned a pool company in Phoenix, AZ with 30+ trucks on the road and saw the need for major changes to how things were done. The first version was built in 2017 from the ground up to fix the shortcomings that all software had for running medium to large pool businesses due to the unique nature of the pool industry. He was able to use his company as a test bed to prove the value of the software and that the unique concepts and features worked as intended. 

THE BOTTOM LINE:
Pool Brain was built by pool industry experts to solve the needs of pool companies at scale. Pool Brain has the advanced all in one features you need to grow your business or run a medium to large pool company.

Take a look at the feature comparison below and you'll see why leading pool companies choose Pool Brain.

See something that you don't think is accurate? Please let us know. We want this to be an honest, accurate and fair comparison.

Scheduling

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Optimize Routes
Auto-optimize driving order on web and mobile app with one tap
web only
Real Time Progress Indicators
Statuses on map and route card update in real-time as techs complete route stops & jobs
One-time & Permanent Moves
Easily cover the unexpected with drag & drop or a couple clicks
Drag & Drop Map Markers
Drag/drop map markers directly from map to any route to change schedule
Show Nearest Routed Properties
Displays the nearest ( X ) routed properties to any other property (know where to schedule a newly activated property in seconds)
proximity by customer
Routes Keep Their Saved Order
Properties stay put on routes when techs are terminated or reassigned so you don't have to rebuild them. Remove or assign a tech on any route with a couple clicks.
Filter Clean Auto-Scheduling 
Filter clean jobs are auto-created based on any schedule and template you choose. Last cleaned date is auto-updated when job is completed.
jobs are auto-created
Salt Cell Clean Auto-Scheduling
Salt Cell clean jobs are auto-created based on any schedule and template you choose. Last cleaned date is auto-updated when job is completed.
Multiple Visits Per Week 
Ability to schedule a customer for multiple days per week with one-click
Every ( X ) Weeks 
Set any custom route schedule frequency for any number of weeks
Multi-Day Scheduling View 
1 day, 2 day or 5 day (week) view

1 day & 5 day only
Advanced View Filtering
Filter routes/jobs shown by any combination of technician, job type (route stop, one time job, filter clean, salt cell clean) and job status (not started, in progress, no access, completed, closed)

 

Quotes (estimates)

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Send Quotes To Customers Via Web 
Create & send quotes via web dashboard
Send Quotes To Customers Via Mobile App 
Create & send quotes via mobile app
Add Pictures To Quotes
One click or tap to add pictures to any quote line item
Add Custom Labels To Quotes
Add labels to any line item with a click (recommended, optional, required, important, etc)
Customer Can Approve Quote Directly 
Customers can approve or deny quotes with a click directly on the quote that was sent
Quotes Become Jobs Automatically 
Once a quote is approved, a job will be created automatically to perform the work
Notification Controls 
Auto-send details to any email address(es) when customer approves or denies a quote
Know When Customer Views Quote
Indicator shows when customer has viewed a quote with date/time info

 

Jobs (work orders)

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Job Templates 
Save specific job settings to templates so you can create common job types easily
Jobs & Route Stops Categorized Separately
One time Jobs & Route Stops (maintenance work) are clearly marked and categorized throughout web and app
Time Windows 
Customizable time windows can be selected on jobs so technician knows when to arrive
Duration Is Automatically Updated 
Based on services added to the job. If the duration for service A is 1 hr and service B is 2.5 hr, then the job duration auto updates to 3.5 hr.
Jobs Become Invoices Automatically 
Invoice is automatically created when job is closed if any products/services exist on the job
Guided Workflows
Log Chemical Reading & Dosing Info
Chemical reading and dosing data can be recorded on both one time jobs and route stops (maintenance work)
Automatic Chemical Dosing
If technician enters readings, dosing amounts are auto-calculated and filled in (can be changed if desired)

 

Billing

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Built In Billing
Quickbooks Online / 3rd party program not required to perform any billing actions
Create Invoices
Invoices can be automatically or manually created inside the program
Create Payments
Payments can be automatically or manually created inside the program (check, cash, credit card, ACH)
Process Refunds
Set Prices By Service Level / Type
With two clicks (service level & type), workflow and pricing is automatically setup for any customer based on your settings but can be changed for any custom situation 
Flat Rate Billing (in advance or arrears)
Charge a single flat rate each month for maintenance services
Per Visit Billing (in advance or arrears)
Charge an amount each month based on the number of route stops actually performed (arrears) or number of route stops scheduled (in advance)
Charge Extra For Chemicals
Option to automatically include additional charges for chemicals used 
"Pay Now" Option On Invoices
Customers can pay any invoice you send with a click & enter credit card or ACH details
Auto-Create Monthly Invoices
Automatically create all your monthly invoices for route stops with no manual work required
Auto-Charge Credit Card / ACH 
Automatically charge the payment method on file and if payment is successful, a paid invoice receipt will be sent. Automatic retries if card is declined.
Retry Auto-Charge after Decline
Automatically attempt to charge the same payment method for a set number of days if auto-payment is declined
Auto-Email Invoices / Invoice Receipts
Customers receive monthly invoices automatically after they are auto-created and auto-paid. If auto-pay is not active or declines, customers will receive an invoice instead.
Know When Customer Views Invoice
Indicator shows when customer has viewed an invoice with date/time info
Recurring Discounts 
Create start up specials, customer referral credits, easy pro-rating or any other discount to be automatically added to monthly invoices for a preset number of months
Auto-Apply Payments / Acct Credits to Next Invoice
Option to auto-apply any existing payment or credit balance to the next created invoice(s) for a customer
Control Tax Rates 
Create tax names/rates and set default for company and customer property level
Set Billing Terms Per Customer
Different terms (time until invoice is past due) can be changed for each customer
QuickBooks Online Invoice Syncing 
Invoices are synced between the two programs
auto-sync (2 way) auto-sync (2 way)
Quickbooks Online Payments/Refunds Syncing
Payments and refunds are synced between the two programs
auto-sync (2 way) auto-sync (2 way)

 

Products & Services

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Products 
Create and manage products to be added to quotes, jobs and invoices
Services
Create and manage services to be added to quotes, jobs and invoices
Bundles
Create bundles to group multiple products and services together with 1 click (option to hide individual prices and only display a flat rate for the bundle)
Categories
Create categories to organize products, services & bundles however you like
Sub-Categories
Create subcategories to organize products, services & bundles within multiple tiers
Quickbooks Online Import for Products/Services
Existing products and services in QBO can be imported into the program
Quickbooks Online Syncing for Products/Services
When products and services are created or edited in the program, they sync to QBO and vice versa
auto-sync (2 way) auto-sync (2 way)
Quickbooks Online Import for Categories
Existing categories and subcategories in QBO can be imported into the program
Quickbooks Online Syncing for Categories
When categories and subcategories are created  or edited in the program, they sync to QBO and vice versa
auto-sync (2 way) auto-sync (2 way)

 

Customers

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Import Customers via Quickbooks Online
Customer Details
Notes, contacts, gate code, access info and dog info can be stored and managed
Multiple Addresses
Create multiple property addresses belonging to the same customer
Proof of Service Emails 
Customizable emails are automatically sent when a route stop is completed (if enabled)
Configure Proof of Service Emails Per Customer
Proof of service emails can be turned off or have the recipient changed for single customers or different properties belonging to the same customer
Send Emails From Your Own Domain
Send emails from your own email address / website domain with DKIM setup instead of from a generic email like notify@poolbrain.com
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Automatic Swim Wait Message
System auto-includes a custom "wait to swim" message in proof of service email if any chemicals you specify are used on a route stop
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Customer Feedback 
Customers can leave 1 tap feedback in proof of service emails or customer portal
Customer Portal 
Customers can login to view their past job and route stop details on demand
Customer Statuses 
View customers by status category  (active-routed, active-no route, inactive, and leads) Status is automatically assigned and tracked

Quickbooks Online Syncing 
Sync changes made to customer info (after initial import)

auto-sync (2 way) auto-sync (2 way)

 

Multiple Bodies of Water

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Custom Names
Choose a custom name for each body of water
Custom Colors
Choose a custom color for each body of water for easy reference
Track Gallons
Save gallons/volume for specific bodies of water
Categorize by Type
Choose a body of water type such as "pool, spa, fountain, etc"
Manage Equipment
Track and manage equipment settings by body of water
Manage Workflows
Create separate workflows per body of water for technician to complete in mobile app
Individual Pricing 
Option to set price charged to customer by body of water (separate line items on invoice)
Track Chemical Usage
Chemical usage can be viewed on graphs and reports based on specific body of water
Track Chemical Cost
Chemicals usage and cost can be tracked by individual body of water
Track Technician Pay
Auto-calculate and track technician pay amounts by body of water
Labels on Web
Bodies of water are clearly labeled and color coded throughout the web dashboard for alerts, reports, jobs/route stop lists and more
 
Labels in Mobile App
Properties with multiple bodies are marked on main jobs list in app so techs know at a glance
 
Tabbed Interface
Bodies of water are displayed and accessed via 1 click tab interface for easy management

 

Equipment Tracking

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Equipment Tracking
Save equipment details for any body of water using app or web
Equipment Notes
Save equipment notes using app or web
Equipment Pictures
Save equipment photos using app or web
Equipment Types
Select & track equipment "Types" such as cartridge, DE, Sand, Variable Speed, Single Speed, etc
Equipment Icons Bar
At a glance icons display the specific equipment for any body of water/property
Auto-Update Workflows
Job/Route Stop workflows change automatically based on the equipment selected for a body of water

 

Alerts & Issue Reporting

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Alerts Dashboard
When alerts and issue reports are generated, they appear in an organized to do list based on priority level and date/time so your team always knows what to work on next. Office staff can review and dismiss the alerts solo or as a team.
Customizable Alerts
System triggers alerts automatically based on your settings. Customize which alerts you want to see and when. Use the default alerts or create your own. You can trigger them based on service level or equipment type and choose individual priority levels.
Categorized Issue Reports 
Technicians can report issues to the office from the field using preset categories (water level low, algae, system down, no power, no access, weather, repair needed, etc). Choose if notes are required, photos are required or both.
Chemical Alerts
Get alerted if any chemical is out of range (too high or low) by any amount you set
Flow / PSI Alerts
PSI at zero (pump down),  PSI too high (clogging filter, deadhead, etc), PSI trending down (clogging impeller or other issue)
Time Alerts
Not enough time on site, too much time on site & late start
Cost and Leak Alerts
Chem cost too high on single visit, salt trending down / CYA trending down (leaking confirmation as they do not break down or evaporate)
Context At A Glance 
Alerts have unique icons and color codes so you know the story at a glance. They also have numbers above them to show how many visits in a row the alert has triggered.
Alert / Issue Report Emails 
Alerts can be emailed to one or more team members (optional) based on your settings for that alert

 

Service Levels

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Service Levels
Create default settings based on tiers of service (e.g. Full Service, Chems Only, Hot Tub Service, VIP, etc). Select a service level for any body of water to update workflow items, required chem readings, billing price & tech pay settings with a single click. Greatly reduces office staff training, errors and time spent.
checklists & pricing only
Billing Price
Automatically turn on/off the "charge for chems" toggle based on service level and type selected. Automatically set what the monthly or per visit price should be
Technician Pay
Automatically set technician pay based on service level and type selected (system also checks the role assigned to technician so you can pay techs different rates if you wish)
Guided Workflows
Automatically set which items/actions are required by default on any body of water. What happens, when it happens, how often it happens, whether a photo is required, if/when it should be stopped, you name it.
Before & After Picture Requirements
Automatically set whether before and after pics are required/not required based on service level selected. (before pics are required at beginning of job so before pics are REALLY before pics)
Custom Chem Reading Requirements & Frequency
Automatically set which chemical readings are required to be entered in the app and how often (For example.... you could require chlorine, ph alkalinity every visit but CYA every 6 visit and Phosphates ever 12 visits)
Backwashing Requirements
Automatically set how often sand/DE filters should be backwashed based on service level (always customizable for each body of water)
Filter Clean Requirements
Automatically set how often cartridge/DE filters should be cleaned by tech on a route stop based on service level (if you charge extra or have different techs do this, you can have additional jobs created automatically instead with pre-filled settings)
Salt Cell Clean Requirements
Automatically set how often salt cells should be cleaned by tech on a route stop based on service level (if you charge extra or have different techs do this, you can have additional jobs created automatically instead with pre-filled settings)
Pump Priming Requirements (PSI logging)
Automatically set whether tech is required to prime pump & record PSI as one of the last things they do before they leave the property based on service level. This gives consistent PSI readings and automatic office alerts if a pump is down, priming poorly or has an impeller that is clogging.
Alerts
Set alerts to only trigger when actions are taken on specific service levels. For example, a "Not Enough Time On Site" alert that triggers if tech spent less than 15 minutes for a "Complete Care" service level and one that triggers if the tech spent less than 5 minutes on a "Chems Only" service level.

 

Technicians

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Effortless Setup
Enter tech's name / phone number and you're done. Tech is created and automatically texted a link to download app. They connect it just by entering their phone number the first time they use it.
Issue Reports 
When a technician needs to report something to the office, it can be done directly from the app with notes and photos
Guided Workflows 
Tasks can't be skipped, forgotten or cheated and training is drastically reduced. Correct actions are performed at the correct times no matter which technician services a property.
Technician Pay 
Auto-calculate "per pool" technician payroll. Set different pay levels for different techs, properties, bodies of water, service levels and types.
Technician Commissions 
Automatically track job commission pay and sales commission pay from quote to job to invoice.
Technician Scorecards
Customer feedback, stats, chem use/costs, pay and trends are tracked & displayed for each tech
Technician Photos
Add a picture of the tech to display in job lists, route map/route cards, proof of service email and more
Hide Customer Phone Numbers
Choose which technicians can see customer phone numbers in app

 

Mobile App

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Native App For iOS (iPhone) & Android
App Works With No Cell Signal 
App designed so techs can complete work under any signal conditions
No User Names Or Passwords
App is linked to the tech after entering their phone number once. Prevents login credentials from being compromised, setup is fast & app works without signal in all cases
Unlimited Photos
Take unlimited photos on any job/route stop
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Create & Send Quotes
Create and send quotes directly from the app. Include title, line items, labels, photos and more
Issue Reports 
When a technician needs to report something to the office, it can be done directly from the app with notes and photos
View All Jobs & Route Stops On Map
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Optimize Driving Order
1 tap auto-optimization to rearrange order of stops for the day
Prevent Technician From Changing Order
If desired, 1 click will lockout a technician from being able to change the route order in app
Save Chemical Readings
Save Chemical Dosings
Chemical Reading / Dosing History Graph
View chem reading & dosing history on a graph for each body of water for any date range you want
Chemical Auto-Dosing
After readings are entered, chemical dosing amounts are auto-filled into the proper fields
Dosing Entries Can't Be Forgotten or Skipped
Technician can see at a glance if they have or haven't confirmed dosing amounts yet. App won't let them complete the job without either recording which chems were used or confirming no chems were used that visit (1 tap).
Guided Workflows 
Correct actions are always performed at the correct times no matter which technician services the property. Training time/cost, customer complaints, canceled accounts and bad reviews are drastically reduced.
Checklist Items Can't Be Skipped, Forgotten or Cheated
If tech skips/forgets a required item, app forces them to complete the item or send a message to the office on why they can't complete it. Option to require tech to take a new photo proving item was completed. 
Technician Must Start Job To Complete Work
When tech arrives at a property, they must start the job/route stop before they are able to complete any work. This ensures start and finish times are always accurate. (If tech can't access property, they can mark it as "no access" in one tap)
Gallonage Calculator 
Built in calculator guides tech on which measurements to enter and then auto-calculates and saves gallonage to the account

 

Reports

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Company Activity Dashboard 
Overview of jobs, quotes, invoices, payments, chemical costs/use, active customers, properties serviced, technician pay and route profit breakdown stats with drill down to manageable lists and Excel reports
Customer Report
Jobs Report
Quotes Report
Invoice Report
Payment Report
Technician Pay - Per Route Stop Report
Technician Pay - Commission Report  (Jobs & Sales)
Technician Time Report
Chemical Usage & Costs Report ?
Chemical Pricing Report ?
Route Profit Breakdown 
See properties that are profitable, low profit and losing money. Average profit per property, profit $, profit %, invoiced amount, chem spend, and technician pay associated with each property.
Interactive Graphs & Charts
Enables your team to identify cause and effect at a glance and navigate easily
Job Activity Logs
Shows time stamped activity for all actions taken in mobile app by technician for all jobs & route stops with supporting pics and notes
User Activity Logs
See timestamped activity for actions taken by users in web dashboard

 

Getting Started, Support & Experience

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Free Onboarding & Customer Support
Startup Trial Or Special 30 day free trial 30 day free trial
Price Comparison Based on 3 technicians and 2 office/admin users
use pricing calculator
$127 / mo
(active tech pricing)
$79 / mo
(active user pricing)
Product Updates & Releases (Last 2 years)
New features and improvements that give you more time, more money and less stress
view update history
10 major releases ?
Combined Pool Company Management Experience (number of years)
Based on full time employees that have owned or managed a pool company
55+ years ?

 

If you've outgrown iON Pool Care, it's time to switch to Pool Brain

Pool Brain is a modern "all in one" solution built by industry experts to give you more time, more money and less stress. Schedule a demo today and see how it's done.