What’s in your current tech stack?
Over the past 10 years the field service industry has seen a boom in technologies aimed at streamlining daily operations. Adopting new pieces of software has since become key to running a large and successful field service business and solving everyday problems in the office and the field.
Office managers and admin teams use accounting software to invoice and track cash flow, stock management software to oversee stock levels and order job-specific materials, and mobile apps to schedule field staff and communicate job-specific information. On top of this, teams in the field are utilising technology to help cost and quote jobs, submit health and safety compliance, communicate effectively with customers using email and SMS automation, and much more.
As new technologies have gradually been adopted however, many businesses are noting a common issue: The different pieces of software in their tech stack do not integrate with one another, resulting in too much time spent on double data entry and a lack of reporting capabilities.
If this sounds familiar, it may be time to update your tech stack to ensure all the software and apps your business is using integrate with one another.
What should you look for when identifying the best tech stack for your field service business?
Is it cloud-based?
Working on the cloud is an imperative part of running a commercial business in 2021. Being able to access data from anywhere at any time allows field staff to update the office with real-time job information, ensuring the productivity and profitability of a job can be tracked at all stages of the process.
Does it integrate with your accounting partner?
This one is a deal-breaker. If the tech you’re using to track timesheets and travel times, manage stock levels, raise POs and quote jobs does not integrate with your accounting software how will you ensure your invoicing is accurate and you’re reporting on all accrued costs?
Does it integrate with your key suppliers?
Managing stock levels and ordering job-specific materials requires time and resources. When it comes to choosing a piece of software to streamline the process it’s advisable to choose one that both allows you to order stock as part of a specific job and syncs with your key suppliers catalogues. This integration with key suppliers not only saves time, but will ensure you have up-to-date pricing for more accurate estimating.
Does the mobile app act as more than a timesheet?
For bigger businesses in particular, having your field staff head into the office daily to collect and submit paperwork wastes precious time.
To ensure field staff are maximising their billable hours businesses need to choose the best mobile app for their workflow. When picking a mobile app it is important that it can assist with the scheduling and dispatching of field staff, as well as tracking their progress in the field. But more than that, it’s key to choose an app that acts as a medium for field staff to upload job notes and photos, submit compliance forms and quote from the field.
Are you able to automate your customer communications?
In order to automate customer communications your SMS or automated email service needs to be able to pull data from both your scheduling system (to update customers about your expected arrival times), and your accounting system (to send and chase up unpaid invoices).
If these systems don’t integrate with one another this could lead to wasted time spent on double data entry.
Can you report on productivity and profitability?
As well as the additional administrative time caused by non-integrated technologies, another limitation you may encounter is the shortfall in your reporting abilities. By ensuring all the technologies you’re using talk to one another you’re also ensuring you can report on all aspects of your business in real-time.
This is invaluable as reporting not only allows you to track the productivity and profitability of jobs, but also enables you to highlight areas of improvement and potential cost savings.
It is safe to say that more and more technologies will continue to emerge in the field service industry. When it comes to assessing whether your business needs to add these to your tech stack however, the most important thing to consider is whether it fully integrates with your entire technology ecosystem. Only when your tech stack is integrated will you reach peak efficiency, grow your business and grow your profits.
Streamline your tech stack with cloud-based job management software, simPRO. This end-to-end system provides solutions for every field service workflow, including service, project and maintenance jobs, and integrates with key accounting software and suppliers. simPRO can help businesses of all sizes streamline their processes and increase visibility, ultimately increasing profitability.
Interested in aligning your tech stack with simPRO? Contact us today.