THE INITIAL adjustment period for businesses impacted by the global pandemic is passing. While there will still be new challenges for the field service industry to combat, there’s also the potential for business growth with movement in infrastructure investment and steady demand for these services as a direct result.
Job management software enables businesses to access information from anywhere and at any time. Trade contracting professionals in the fire and security industry can really benefit from such software as they prepare for the future. As we look to the future with COVID restrictions easing, businesses that have a software solution in place will find it easier to continue delivering exceptional customer service.
A field service business has lots of ‘moving parts’. From managing assets to scheduling and dispatching staff, managing workflows efficiently is the key to keeping customers happy and growing the company.
Manual data entry and using spreadsheets wastes valuable time that would be better spent completing jobs (with the end result of faster payment). Relying on telephone calls between field and office staff for schedule changes and job updates can cost money and lead to miscommunication resulting in frustrated customers.
Best Practice: How software can help
Simplify scheduling and easily track job costs and progress
Job management workflows are crucial for fire and security businesses, but also shouldn’t take valuable time out of the 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 those for labour hours, contractors and equipment – will help in creating professional quotes on a faster basis such that the company can stay ahead of the competition. With accurate job progress tracking, staff can be kept up-to-date and customer service enhanced.
Manage project phases, track project budgets and organise invoicing and billing
If the company is ready to take on bigger projects, there’s nothing more important than being able to keep projects running to time and on budget. Managing project phases can be made easier with the visibility of actuals versus estimates, forecasts, dependencies and expectations at each stage.
In addition, being able to see the cost to complete, work in progress and profit versus loss in one place will ensure that each phase of work stays on budget. Integration of accounting and operations software will also help to keep what can be complicated billing and finances on an accurate footing.
Test assets in the field, plan maintenance and set up recurring invoicing
Making any maintenance process comprehensive yet streamlined might seem to be a daunting task. However, this task can be achieved by testing and recording asset status in the field with real-time communication back to the office. This also helps in streamlining preventative maintenance. With up-to-date records, the business 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 that cashflow is maintained.
Management in the cloud
Meeting Best Practice targets in a field service business within the fire or security sectors doesn’t have to be a challenge. Cloud-based job management software solutions developed by simPRO for service, project and maintenance contractors can help.
*Further information is available online at www.simprogroup.com