Field Service Software and Its Impact on Team Efficiency
Commercial Contractors Late to Adopting Digital Tools
As a commercial contracting business owner, you know that providing excellent service is the key to building long-term success. But what does excellent service mean in practice? For starters, it means having an up-to-date system for managing schedules, work orders, and invoices so that your field and back office teams have the right tools to do their jobs. It also means capturing, structuring, and visualizing data (and data-driven insights) to help your leadership team make better and faster decisions that can help you optimize performance.
That’s where field service management software comes in.
In the field service industry, digital maturity is low. Many companies still use a combination of paper-based communications, spreadsheets, telephone, and email when handling field and accounting activities. Small to medium-sized plumbing, electrical, and mechanical businesses face pressure to grow despite lacking resources to help.
The Cost of Not Utilizing Field Service Software
- Inefficient workflows. If your field service team doesn’t have a thorough understanding of how to utilize their tools, then everything about their process will be inefficient: from scheduling appointments, updating previous work history, and communicating back and forth with the office. This leads me to my next point…
- Lost productivity & wasted resources. The time spent on these inefficient processes could instead be spent actually servicing clients’ equipment —which is what landed them on your schedule in the first place!
- Communication issues. When you have to deal with multiple platforms to manage phone calls, emails, and texts between the field and office there are bound to be communication issues. This can mean lost opportunities for field technicians to perform preventive maintenance on customers’ equipment and missed opportunities for the back office staff to communicate status updates efficiently.
- Lost opportunities to quote and invoice while on site. Field technicians are the frontline salespeople of your company. When they’re out in the field serving customers, they have plenty of opportunities to invoice and upsell additional products. When a technician is busy chasing down job data, those sales opportunities are lost forever.
- Invoice tracking and payment problems can also result from a lack of visibility into what work was done and when it was completed, making it difficult for field contractors to submit invoices accurately and efficiently. The solution: Make sure your field techs have the right tools to do their jobs. The first step is to provide them with a mobile tool that provides job information in real-time. This allows technicians to access the system from anywhere in the field, so they can enter data and perform other tasks without having to return back to the office to hand in their service report.
- Inability to manage time effectively. It’s said that time is money, and it’s true—especially when you’re running a business. Being able to accurately track the time your field technicians spend on each job can help you better manage their workloads. This also allows you to easily identify the areas where productivity is lagging and take steps to address those issues before they become too costly.
How Field Service Management Software Helps Commercial Contractors Grow
SaaS-based field service management software helps commercial contractors grow in a variety of ways.
- It allows you to better manage your field tech by providing them with a mobile platform they can use to record their work and communicate with the office team. It also gives you as the owner access to real-time data, which allows you to make more informed decisions about the direction of your business.
- Schedule your field team more efficiently. Tools like Operix allow you to match the right technician to the right job, based on location, skillset, and productivity performance.
- Generate reports that show the performance of your technicians and use the data to improve profitability by raising rates or reducing hours spent on certain tasks.
- Invoice customers more accurately and quickly to better improve your cash flow. Use Operix to create a custom invoice template that includes all of the relevant details about each job, like hours, worked and materials used – along with customer signature and notes and photos. Then, simply send customers an email with a link to their invoice.
- Create work orders with templates you’ve created beforehand; these documents are crucial for ensuring that all work is done safely and properly.
- Integrate into QuickBooks or Sage for advanced accounting insights and deep analytics about your business.
Many companies would not be able to keep track of their customer’s needs and requests without a system in place to do so. If your business is growing quickly, or you are struggling to stay ahead of daily tasks—a common challenge for many small businesses—it is time to look at how a field service platform could help improve your commercial contracting business.
- Field service management software can help you streamline your business processes, which will in turn save you time and money. For example, if you have to enter the same information into multiple systems, the software will drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to do so.
- You won’t have to worry about double data entry anymore. As jobs come up or issues arise, all information from the field or office will be entered into the system automatically—eliminating any chance for error as well as saving precious seconds throughout each job.
- Your team’s performance will improve because everyone is better organized: Customers, more than ever, want reliable service from their commercial contractors. With field service management software in place, your employees are able to deliver excellent customer experiences the first time around. That means no confusion about who did what or where. It also means that repeat customers don’t have any trouble getting through when calling back after receiving great support from a contractor previously working with them on another project.
The Final Word