Managing operations in the field is one of the most complex cogs in the wheel of professional services. There are so many variables to take into consideration, and until recently, all of those details had to be logged, monitored, tracked and controlled by human labor. And because human error is inevitable, any service organization is susceptible to a number of issues – miscommunication, work delays, missing details – leaving that organization with an all-around sense of disorganization. If you own or manage a professional service company in any field, you understand the need for everything to function smoothly, and if one kink occurs, it could mean disaster all the way around, resulting in losing clients, losing employees and losing money. No one wants that!
Enter service management software – gone are the days where everything has to be handled manually. You can now utilize a software program built specifically for the service industry. Keep track of everything you need to run your business electronically, removing the need for all of the paper – hand-written work orders, calendars, spreadsheets, etc. If you’re familiar with this type of software, you already know how invaluable it is in helping you run your business in today’s technological age. But if you haven’t yet used this type of software for managing your services in the field, you may be missing out. Handling all of your day-to-day administrative duties is important, but if your service management software isn’t designed to help you, your employees or your clients in the field, you should look for a different product.
All the Bells and Whistles
In the case of managing services in the field, your business management software should offer these 6 crucial functions:
1. Real-time job tracking and scheduling – How much time and money could you save if you were able to track the jobs your employees are scheduled for at any time, with real-time updates and options? We’re betting on a lot. Being able to manage each job while your people are in the field, or while you’re in the field, opens you up for more business and can ease some of the stress of having to be in your office to schedule a job or track your employees as they clock in or clock out of a job.
2. Work order management – Oh, work orders…you love them and hate them all at the same time. But if you were able to manage every work order that comes in from your personal smart device whenever you needed to, you may not hate them so much. With this type of field service software, you can sync your work orders with inventory needs, handle the invoicing in hand and make sure your calendar is organized.
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3. Customer communication – Your customers are great, but they can be needy sometimes. And if they can’t communicate those needs to you, they may not be your customer for long. Usually, field service software utilizes a type of customer portal, where your clients can be in touch with you and you can message them back. Having the ability to handle customer issues as needed may not seem that appealing, but being able to pursue and resolve conflict wherever you are is a huge advantage, which your customers will appreciate and keep them loyal.
4. Improved reporting functionality – If you can’t see the details of your finances, your profitability margins or your budget, then the number of clients you have won’t matter – you will always be on the losing side of your business. With the right management software, you have access to advanced reporting features, which can help you keep tabs on all the details while working in the field, in your office or even at home. You can integrate with your financial software, like Quickbooks, so that everything is in order and organized.
5. Estimating and invoicing – Work orders are the lifeblood of your business, but if you can’t offer a quick, targeted estimate or prepare and provide a detailed invoice as needed, you may never move past the order part to actually doing the work. With field service software, you have access to all of the information required to handle estimates and invoices, and you can sync with a wireless printer or email the appropriate documentation to your customers easily.
6. Inventory management – You need to know your inventory backwards and forwards, but you’re not always available to view every product or know which product is used for each job. All of that information, and much more, is housed in service management software, so it goes wherever you go. You can list every product used, how often and where, what each item costs you and even which suppliers provide each product. Your cart or your closet may not be the most organized place, but you’ll always know what you have and when you need to reorder.
Working in the Field First
For any professional service company, being in the field can be a necessary evil, but with field service management software, you can take the sting out of the labor. Regardless of which market you find yourself in, if you’re interested in managing services well, it’s time to find a real partner. Janitorial Manager is the partner for you. Our software was specifically built with your business in mind – we can help any size company thrive and grow by keeping them organized and in-the-know at all times. Contact us today for a free demo and see how we can help you, no matter where you are!