If there is anything 2020 has taught us, it’s that nothing is certain. For a business to be able to adapt in today’s world, it needs to recognize the true value of versatility. According to the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), setting yourself up to be adaptable in a rapidly changing business world is the key to thriving long-term.
In taking your service business to the next level, it is important to ensure the digital tools you’re using enable you to adapt quickly to change and improve your productivity. In fact, the most successful working environments are those that understand the strong correlation between productivity, and profitability. At the end of the day, when your employees, mobile teams and dispatchers are more productive, the result translates to more opportunities won and an increase in profitability.
The secret sauce
The secret to increasing your level of productivity is to automate redundant tasks and activities. Business automation tools are designed to reduce human error by managing workflows every step of the way. A good example is that improved business processes that eliminate inefficiencies can help businesses deliver more services to more customers. When less time is required to perform certain tasks or complete service requests, not only can you spend the extra hours on converting new opportunities into deals, but operational and labor costs decrease over time.
Field service management software solutions are tailored to make businesses more productive all around. Information can be accessed through any device and managed in one unified place – in the Cloud. By automating business processes and essentially bridging the gap between the office and the field with software, you’re driving your organization to be as efficient as it can be.
How service companies grow
The strategies helping small service companies grow in today’s economy are no secret, really. However, it is important to remember that they all stem from making a business more productive. Field service software is proven to help small field companies save time, cut down costs, make more informed business decisions and outshine their competition.
1. They save time
There are a multitude of ways to save time by using software to streamline business processes. For one, field service companies are increasing the effectiveness of their technicians with a mobile app. The old ways of working that involved filling out paper forms that were often lost or misplaced, were holding them back. Work history was never properly tracked and filling out extensive work order reports were anything but effortless. With a mobile application, technicians have the liberty of capturing critical data using their handheld devices while out in the field, even in very remote locations. They can easily upload jobsite images, view relevant equipment needs and get the work completed faster, with no internet connection required.
When it comes down to it, the quicker the job is done, the faster your business gets paid. Customers that receive their invoice immediately are more inclined to pay it off on time. And, a small business that gets their money back for the work that was just completed will always have enough cash flow to cover their expenses.
2. They cut down costs
Visibility into operations and spending is a huge benefit. Analytics that can be viewed in real-time provide valuable insight to upper management on the area of the business that needs improvement. Discovering that technicians are spending too much money on fuel for example, can allow management to implement features such as route optimization to better plan itineraries based on distance, traffic conditions and customer preferences, among others.
Being able to track time
Accurate time tracking can actually decrease spending. It is essential to small businesses that want to know how much their mobile team is working and which areas of the business need more resources. This feature is particularly important for field service companies with technicians constantly on the road or at different work sites. When a company tracks work time more accurately, managers get a precise picture of entire field operations and can better forecast the number of hours needed for future jobs or projects. With Praxedo, dispatchers can use the activity report functionality to monitor their field techs working time without having to keep track with cumbersome, redundant manual entry.
Also, providing a rough estimate of hours worked is very different from logging exact information on a job. Not only can you bill customers more accurately with field service software, but your company also earns what it deserves for the time that was put in by your technician.
3. They make more informed business decisions
Dispatchers can always use more visibility into the whereabouts of technicians and the status of work orders for better decision making. Viewing all field activities in one place allows the dispatchers to make better decisions when it comes to scheduling. For example, if a last-minute change were to arise in the overall plan, dispatchers can utilize intuitive drag and drop features to allocate jobs to other technicians.
Praxedo’s cockpit dashboard enables operations managers to pro-actively track service indicators and take appropriate actions as needed. Having a set of KPIs available in real-time allows for better responses to problems that may affect service quality. The specific parameters your business cares about such as the sum of work orders with missed appointments for example, or the number of emergency work orders can be pre-configured directly into the cockpit.
Field service management software will also provide guidance into the discovery of bottlenecks within the organization. Identifying issues within your own business process with useful dashboards makes it a lot easier to find the solution. Uncovering the issue limiting your business’ output, will in fact reveal ways to sell more services by either adding or modifying resources of a particular job.
4. They outshine the competition
The best way to outshine the competition is to make a lasting impression on your customers. Digitization has become a game-changer in this area. Not only are less mistakes made, technicians who present themselves at customer sites prepared and on time appear more professional too.
A big advantage of saving money that business owners don’t always consider right away is that you can charge customers less, which will give you major leverage against the competition. Today’s potential clients are smart and do extensive research before they buy. Competitive pricing will make all the difference in helping you gain more opportunities.