I run a small but very successful plumbing and heating business, with three full-time engineers plus an occasional contract worker during busy periods, and a part-time book-keeper in the office. My problem was that I had serious difficulties managing my time and that of my staff. The only way I could fix it is to free up the seemingly endless hours I spend on paperwork.
I knew the answer was to get engineers’ diaries, customer records, invoicing and other processes onto a computer using a field service management solution. Here's how my business has changed since I took the plunge:
1. I can easily handle admin tasks.
I'm now on top of my admin, and no longer buried under paperwork.
2. My time management has improved.
I wanted to spend less time managing my engineers. Before I invested in job management software for plumbers, they had to come into the office to pick up their “to-do” lists, which I had to sort out personally. With job management software they see their diaries on their mobiles and go straight out to their appointments.
3. My engineers have improved their time management on site.
The engineers themselves don’t have to waste so much time calling up customers and asking for details—everything is in their service histories, which are also available on the mobile app.
4. I get job reports more quickly.
We no longer have to wait for paper-based job reports to come in at the end of the day. Everything is ready automatically, because the office is in sync with the guys out in the field.
5. I generate more jobs—and more profits.
This also means my engineers can spend more time attending to customers and they can take on more jobs—which means more chargeable hours, bringing more profit.
6. I invoice on time and have increased my cashflow.
My invoicing is more accurate and more timely—which means better cash flow and no more cases of customers querying what we charge.
7. I automatically send service reminders to clients.
We were finally able to get on top of sending out service reminders because it's all automated. That gives us a more professional image with the customers and it allows me to plan work more effectively—so there are fewer periods that are either too busy or too flat.
8. I have time to think about expanding my business.
I'm now less concerned about taking on more than we can handle. By freeing up time that was previously spent on paperwork, I can now focus on what I am good at and think about expanding the business. If I decide to hire another full-time engineer it will be for a good reason, not just because I can’t cope!
In fact, the more I think about it, the more I keep telling myself, 'I really can’t run my business without job management software.'
How about you?
Who is this post about? It could be anyone in the field service industry. This post was compiled from typical stories we hear from our plumbing and heating customers. If you face the problems this business faced, maybe it’s time to consider whether it makes sense to keep running your business without job management software for plumbers.
We're convinced you'll decide to do what your competitors are already doing: Implementing a solution that's built for purpose, eliminates paperwork, and puts your office fully in sync with your field engineers.
Afterwards, yours will be a fitter, leaner, and more agile field service business—and as a bonus, you will be able to spend more time with your family.