4 Reasons Your Company Needs to Go Paperless
Originally published: 10.01.14 by Marjorie Adams
Field service management software saves time and puts resources back into your business
The HVACR company promised us the first appointment of the day, between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Given that we live in Austin, he couldn’t arrive soon enough. The 95-degree temperatures were stifling my home office, and our air conditioner simply wasn’t keeping up.
I was already sweating by the time the technician finally arrived at 9:45 a.m. He couldn’t get there any sooner because he neeed to go into the office that morning to get his route for the day and clock in.
It turns out, his company hadn’t taken the leap to a paperless system that makes better use of a technician’s time, provides better customer service and ultimately saves money. If they had, he would have rung my doorbell closer to 8 a.m. than 10 a.m.
Field service management software allows companies to go paperless. If your company already has a system in place, some of the more updated software programs can, for example, keep track — in real-time — of the jobs technicians are facing.
Over the years, I’ve worked with HVACR companies to integrate their field service software. Here are some of the benefits we’ve seen:
The main reasons for implementing a field service tool are efficiency and productivity. The system automatically schedules, routes and dispatches technicians, saving time for all involved. No longer is scheduling simply about a technician’s availability.
The workday can now be calculated on availability, proximity between appointments and even the expertise of the technician based on the needs of the client.
Double entry is a drag. Instead, most field service management software integrates with your accounting software so when the technician creates an invoice, it’s automatically created in the accounting software as well. This way, you’ll always have an accurate picture of your books and spend less time on double entry.
Get Paid Fast
Who wouldn’t want to get paid faster? Most field service software allows the technician to quote, invoice and accept credit card payments in real-time, allowing you to get paid right away for the work your company does. There’s less paper invoices, billing and depositing of checks.
Improved Customer Service
The biggest customer complaint HVACR service companies face is the response window. Customers have to wait at home for the technician and many companies don’t even call to let customers know they’re next in line.
With field management service software, customers receive quicker response and notification when the technician is on the way. Technicians also have the client history at their fingertips, so there is quicker diagnostic work done with improved results.
Happier clients means more word-of-mouth referrals and increased business for your company.
When deciding on which field service management software to purchase, think about your goals. Many companies want a seamless integration with their accounting package to improve the accuracy and timeliness of their books. Some simply want improved efficiency so they aren’t relying on emails, texts and voicemails to communicate with technicians, while others want a package with strong scheduling capabilities.
Make sure you know your objectives and find a solution that meets those goals.
For an HVACR company, field service management software can change everything: how you interact with customers and how schedules are made and communicated; essentially, the operations and the culture of a business.
Here are two main tips for implementation:
- Get the right players involved. Accounting and operations definitely need to be involved in planning and implementing the new system. You’ll need a representative from dispatch and perhaps a technician as part of the project team.
- Clean up your customer file. It’s garbage in/garbage out. Most tools allow you to upload your current customer list, either through your accounting system or from an Excel file. To ensure seamless integration, these files must be pristine. Little things like less than 10-digits for a phone number can create errors and slow down implementation.
The decision to go paperless, or in some cases, deal with far less paper, should not be taken lightly. Done properly, it can save you time and put resources back into your business.
Although field service management software is not a magic bullet in running an HVACR business, it is a powerful tool that pays for itself in the efficiency and productivity benefits.