Mobile Apps vs Digital Jobsheets: What’s the Preference for Paperless Job Management?

Rhys Pattimore
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There’s no doubt that job management is a big part of your business, but does it have to take up lots of time to book jobs and organise your engineer’s schedules?

Without the right tool, you might be more weighed down than you realise...

While individual digital tools that help with general needs can still be useful, like using Google Calendars to mange your own daily diary, using a jumble of tech tools to manage everything else will only cause chaos. That's why an all-in-one software solution is essential, particularly when you can use it in app form, too.

When it comes to scheduling jobs, a dedicated app is a must-have. Using an app over paper (or even alternative job sheet software), means you can create jobs in mere moments, track and organise jobs with ease, and send real-time updates to customers at the click of a button.

Just using any old solution to obtain these benefits could be more damaging for your services though, so join us as we take a look at the reasons you should want to use a mobile app, rather than digital alternatives to secure them for your field service business.

Why you should use a mobile app to manage your jobs

If you haven’t already, going paperless with your jobsheet management is a necessary step you need to take. Perhaps you already feel you have? Whether that means using Excel, Google Sheets, or some other sort of tool. The truth, though, is that may not be 

If you’ve stuck to using paper, I imagine you’re starting to find it to be a bit of a pain. Whether it’s the time (and money) spent on printing, the waste, the slower admin processing: it’s all a hassle you could no doubt do without!

For many field service businesses in 2020, at least for the administrative side of things, your offices will have largely moved into working remotely, but your engineers will still be moving between multiple locations. To limit the disruption, it will help to have a solution that’s mobile accessible and encourages safe practices, as well as efficient job management.

Fortunately, you can benefit from a better way to manage this essential but often time-consuming task, all whilst taking steps to create a more sustainable business.

When we talk about sustainability, we don’t just mean focusing on the environmental impact of a paperless solution (though it’s a big benefit) it also relates to the productivity and processes that you have in place in your business. In this case, the most sustainable choice means making use of software and getting the most out of your hardware, too.

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Tips for Training Engineers on How to Use Mobile Software: A Decision Checklist!

Mobile apps are designed to be user-friendly, especially when out in the field, often more so than individual solutions that may be digital, but perhaps better designed for use on a computer. 

It makes sense, then, to have a solution that lets you keep a close eye on the jobs you have coming in (perhaps because you're using an online booking portal), so you can keep them ticking over and enable everyone to function as a cohesive team.

Now that we’ve established mobile apps are more time-efficient and sustainable, let’s have a look at 4 specific reasons why your jobsheet process can benefit from them: 

4 reasons mobile jobsheet management software is amazing!

Let’s take a look at 4 key reasons you’ll want to keep in mind as you investigate the solutions that are available to you.

Mobile jobsheet management isn’t just essential, it can be downright amazing:

  • Manage your jobs from the device you’re most comfortable with

Mobile job management really is the quickest way to do it. No matter if you’re working from home, on the road, or in the office, a mobile management system doesn’t require you to carry around stacks of paper, an entire computer: not when it’s available on mobile phone or tablet.

People may be comfortable using paper, but when you have to contend with scrawled hand-writing, sheets that can be easy to lose, and the extra time it take to scan or manually do your data entry, it’s easy to see why an app can be the smarter choice.

  • Keep a detailed track of employees' timesheets based on their mobile working

Staying on top of each engineer, their schedule, and what jobs they’ve completed

can be a real chore if you’ve not set-up digitally, which makes your data more prone to errors. Smart job management software can eliminate the time-consuming task.

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  • Track every individual job, including about costs, time-on-site and travel time

Insightful information helps you and your team plan ahead, so it makes sense to focus on digital jobsheets that are accessible to everyone, update in real-time and also have lots of precise, useful data attached to them (like work history, type of appliance, etc.). 

By being accessible on any device, you can investigate customer information in more detail than if you relied on paper alone, especially if your jobsheet management software is connected to your customer database. Investigating customer history to check out previous info that better informs an engineer about a job, all in a few clicks, will be of great help.

  • Benefit from Printable PDFs 

Now, I know we said go paperless, but there are times when a print-out is necessary (or even preferred). Obviously, that’s up to you, and fortunately, while a digital solution significantly reduces the need to print, they can also facilitate making printing easy; all whilst keeping you on-track to maintain your sustainable focus. This helps you reduce waste and means you’re not limited to just one inefficient way of working.

A timely observation

At the time of writing (May 2020) we’ve been on lockdown due to the coronavirus and like many others, I’ve found myself working from home. Recently, we had an engineer attend to take care of the annual service for the boiler in my flat.

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Whilst this normally wouldn’t be an unusual experience, the circumstances that my housemates and I found ourselves in - and as I’m sure your engineers will be well aware too - can feel a little more...abnormal. 

In my case though, it was an absolute doddle. Why?

Because the engineer was using the right tools! And not just do the boiler assessment, but he was using a mobile app, which reduced on-site admin time and enabled him to record and send all the essential information needed, straight back to the office.

While we followed social-distancing rules to the letter, the rest of the service was a breeze, and when it came to sign-off and for the engineer to fill out the job details, I observed him making use of his phone and tablet device to upload data to an app and sign-off everything, all without needing to fiddle with sheets of paper, ask to borrow a pen, and save time from having to deliver details back to the office. Job done!

This sort of job management should be standard for engineers (whether or not there's a global pandemic) and, indeed, for those who have used software, it’s the expectation!

Would you go back to using a type-writer when a touchpad or keyboard works even faster? It’s the same for using a job management app vs digital jobsheets: the former is simply the better way to work.

The Takeaway

Using job management software is all about removing the physical roadblocks that prevent your business from functioning at both a faster and steadier pace. It makes sense that you should want to use the best solution to get the job done and it may well be the case you're only a few steps away from going completely paperless.

Streamlining your job management is undoubtedly the best way forward, particularly as you aim to make the workload of your engineers and office staff a priority. That's true now more than ever, it’s a necessity to streamline these solutions so that you can run your business more easily, especially if you still need to work remotely.

To gain an advantage with automation, you can learn more about how Commusoft can help you, particularly when it comes to scheduling your jobs and appointments and using comprehensive software and user-friendly applications. 

If that all sounds like a great reason to start your paperless journey, you’ll no doubt be interested to learn more about what going truly paperless can do for your business, click here to check out the Commusoft paperless saving's calculator, and download your guide to getting started with automate scheduling, below.

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