Expanding into project work and taking on bigger jobs doesn't require the hefty price tag of brand new software.
If you're using software to handle your business, you could already have much of the project functionality you're looking for, at your fingertips.
So, before you go grabbing the next big thing to manage your new project opportunities, here's how the systems you're already using could help.
Strategy and Planning
Assets and Staff
It's important to know what team members, machinery and other inventory are available to meet the demand of a project. In job management software, the scheduling and dispatch feature is your strongest asset.
From a single, online location that can be accessed 24/7, project managers can review the availability of staff and inventory. They can plan out in advance how work will be divided, who will take on what jobs, and so on.
Budgets and Cost
Most software being used by businesses to manage their processes and workflows will already offer some features available for setting strict budgets and structure for cost.
simPRO, for instance, has cost centres. These can be used to manage cost for different stages in a project.
As an example, one cost centre may be used to manage the costs for the 'Fit Off', another for the 'Rough In', one for 'Commissioning', and so on.
Each cost centre can have a customised budget that can be locked in by a project manager during planning. These separate the operational cost of each stage of a project for better financial management and reporting.
Task management functionality is often included in the design of software for the service and maintenance sector. So, when taking on new projects or bigger jobs, most project businesses can use their pre-existing systems to plan project work and assignments in detail.
Gantt chart functionality is also being introduced by a number of software providers in this sector. This means businesses may already have the tools required to start setting and monitoring timelines for tasks, jobs, project stages, etc.
Using pre-existing systems also makes measuring progress and understanding job status much easier. Having all related information in a single system makes review quick and simple.
Cost and Resources Used
Successful projects require effective monitoring of cost and resources used.
Comprehensive business management software, will likely already have structures dedicated to overseeing project cost and resources used.
simPRO, as an example, offers a number of features to help users review and compare important costs and resource data, and adjust budgets accordingly.
Some of these include:
- Project Overview dashboard
- Breakdown Table
- Costs to Complete report
- Job Productivity report
- Labour Productivity report
- Required vs Actual Materials Used table
Strategy, planning and monitoring are three critical factors of project work. However, do not forget how valuable pre-existing systems can be when getting a team on the job.
Job management software already has a range of tools to streamline and optimise the workflows for projects, like:
- User-friendly quoting and invoicing features for faster communication and effective payment processes.
- Add-ons like mobile apps for tablet and smartphones to efficiently record job and site information, and get it back to the office immediately.
- Image attachments to digital forms, as well as job or site data for detailed and informative records.
- Digitised forms, like safety reports and risk assessments, to speed up the completion process when on the job, and make record-keeping easier.