5 ways field service management can help you stay competitive

5 ways field service management can help you stay competitive

You’ve likely used the same manual processes to manage your installers for years. Sure, it can be a bit tedious, but you’re comfortable with the system. You know there are better options available, but you’re hesitant to implement an updated field service management system into your workflow. You’ve convinced yourself there’s too much of a learning curve and time investment involved, and decided you’re content to keep working as you are. 

The problem is, if you’re not leveraging field service management software and the many tools it offers, you’re falling behind. In today’s service environment, there’s an expectation for modern technology that offers features like real-time updates on projects for your installers and easy access to all the information needed to successfully complete those projects.  

By automating tasks, modern field service management software provides efficiencies that manual processes just can’t, efficiencies that save your small installer business money, slash resource costs and even reduce the number of people you need to keep on the payroll. Everyone’s job simply becomes easier, and that’s worth the investment right there. 

If you choose not to add contractor software, it could cost you big. Here are five reasons you need to keep up with technology, and a look at the benefits you’ll reap once you streamline your processes with an updated project management system. 

1. Falling behind the competition. 

As you spend time manually entering information into your system, your competitors are automating tasks, such as scheduling, with field service management software. They spend far less time figuring out who to send where; their software tells them which contractors have the right skillset for the job and then creates routes to help them quickly get from install to install. Contractors can easily pull up their schedule on their phone, with some software even offering integrations into Google Maps. They spend less time traveling and more time working, which is good for the contractors, the company and the customers. 

The competitors using field service management software also have the edge when it comes to communicating with customers. At the beginning of the day, their office managers simply pull up a list that outlines which customers they need to follow up with, maybe to schedule or reschedule an install, and then enables them to quickly make a connection. How long does that take using your current system? 

If you aren’t automating tasks like scheduling and communication, you’ll struggle to keep up with the companies that do. Now is the time to grow, adapt and improve. If you don’t, you’ll be left behind. 

2. Level of service not meeting expectations. 

With an outdated manual project management system, you’re probably able to keep up with a predictable workload, though even that may be a challenge. But how do you handle the changes that come in throughout the day? What if a customer cancels and you need to alter an installer’s schedule at the last minute, or a new job comes in that you need to find someone to take? These type of last minute changes likely leave everyone scrambling and feeling stressed, but they don’t have to. 

Let’s say a new request comes in and the customer is really hoping to have someone out that afternoon. Project management software allows you to quickly look through the schedule to find an available technician. Maybe someone finished a job early and is in the area. Instead of waiting around for the next job, this contractor can add another project to the day’s workload. That not only brings more money in, it leads to happy customers who don’t have to wait to get their installs done.

Unexpected changes happen. Updated software solutions allow you to quickly adapt and accommodate those changes, with little interference to projects—saving time and reducing stress. 

3. Trouble attracting young talent. 

As an installation company, skilled labor is your most valued asset. But young, talented contractors want to work with companies that are leveraging the latest technology. The same can be said for your office staff. If you’re still handling project management manually, young job-seekers may pass your business up for another that’s a little more tech savvy. 

So, what does the younger generation expect? They want to work with a project management system that automatically plans their day, complete with the fastest route to each job and Google Map views of the job sites. Easy access to all the pertinent information about their projects is also high on the must-have list, as is easy communication via text messaging with both customers and the office. You can’t offer any of that with an outdated or manual system. 

Using out of date processes could be keeping you from bringing on the talent you need to be successful. Investing in a field service project management system will help attract the type of contractors and employees you want working for you.   

4. Customer service not as good as it could be. 

Just like the contractors, customers want easy access to information about their install. They don’t want to have to call the office and wait as someone shuffles through paperwork to find answers. These days, customers expect to have constant communication and information at their fingertips.  

Field service management software allows you to easily provide that level of service. Automated communications begin after the very first interaction and continue until the project is complete. Through modern software, customers have access to a simple online project view for real-time status updates. They can ask questions and receive answers through the software. Texting the day of the install and throughout the project is also available, making communication that much easier. 

These types of features provide a whole new level of convenience for customers, and it’s a level they’re coming to expect. If you don’t offer it, you’ll start to lose customers to your competitors that do. 

5. Inability to scale with growth. 

Of course you want to grow, but if you’re using outdated or manual solutions to manage projects, the more you grow the more you’ll struggle. Investing in technology will help you meet higher demand and still maintain the same level of performance and service your customers have come to expect. You’ll be able to deliver a consistent customer experience no matter how busy you get. 

Keep in mind that as you transition from a small business to a larger one, your employees are transitioning from laborers to managers—and that’s not an easy shift. Field service management software allows you to automate business processes, making this transition much smoother. These types of software can provide employees with a big picture view at a glance, making it possible to oversee jobs in real time and know exactly where installers are at any point in the day.  

Through the software, you also can easily run reports that show performance, trends, closing percentage by salesperson and past due accounts, all information that’s critical to track for your growing business. 

Outdated systems limit your potential for growth. Field service management software makes it easier to scale, while allowing you to provide a higher level of performance and service as you do. 

Don’t fall behind the times 

Business must compete to survive. Leveraging field service management software like Cilio CiO will automate tasks, boosting efficiencies while also saving time and money, giving you an edge. Don’t fall behind the times—keep up with them. Learn more about CiO and how Cilio’s team will hold your hand through the implementation process at https://www.ciliocio.com/