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In our latest guest blog, Stephen Goodall from our partner simPRO, discusses using software to achieve best practice in field services management, post COVID-19.
The initial adjustment period for businesses impacted by the global pandemic is finally passing.
While there will still be new challenges to face for the building services industry, there is also potential for business growth with movement in infrastructure investment and steady demand for these services as a result.
Job management software, like simPRO, enables businesses to access information from anywhere and at any time. Trades servicing the built environment in Ireland could really benefit from software as they prepare for the future. And as business owners are now looking for what they can do to get ready as we move out of the pandemic, having a software solution in place will help in continuing to deliver exceptional customer service.
Your field service business has lots of moving parts. From managing assets to scheduling and dispatching field staff, managing your workflows efficiently is the key to keeping customers happy and growing your business.
Manual data entry and using spreadsheets wastes valuable time better spent completing jobs (and getting paid faster)! Relying on tedious phone calls between field and office staff for schedule changes and job updates can cost you money and create miscommunication resulting in frustrated customers.
Let’s take a look at some best practices and how software can help you meet them.
1. Simplify scheduling and easily track job costs and progress
Job management workflows are crucial to your business but shouldn’t take valuable time out of your day. Being able to easily schedule and dispatch staff as well as their equipment and resources on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, is key to success. Further, keeping track of costs including labour hours, contractors and equipment will help you create professional quotes faster and stay ahead of the competition. And, with accurate job progress tracking you can easily keep your staff up-to-date as well as enhance customer service.
2. Manage project phases, track project budgets and organise invoicing and billing
If you’re ready to take on bigger projects, there’s nothing more important than being able to keep your project on time and on budget. Managing project phases can be made easier with visibility of actuals vs. estimates, forecasts, dependencies and expectations at each stage. Further, being able to see cost to complete, work in progress and profit vs. loss in one place will ensure each phase of work stays on budget. Integrating your accounting and operations software will also help keep complicated billing and finances accurate.
3. Test assets in the field, plan maintenance and set up recurring invoicing
Making your maintenance process comprehensive yet streamlined seems difficult, however, you can achieve this by testing and recording asset status in the field with real-time communication back to your office. This also helps you streamline your preventative maintenance. With up-to-date records you can easily determine in advance which customer assets need to be tested, which service level needs to be performed and what equipment will be required.
Setting up recurring invoices for regular maintenance work is also key. Using templates and scheduling alerts to invoice the customer at regular intervals will ensure you’ll be able to keep your cash flowing.
Meeting best practices in your field service business doesn’t have to be a challenge. Software like simPRO can help you achieve all of this to stay on track and grow post COVID-19.
Stephen Goodall, simPRO Business Development Manager
Based in Belfast, Stephen is passionate about helping local field service businesses find a solution to their challenges so they can achieve success.