We recently came across a 3 in 1 company who are into a fast-growing field service domain offering value-added services across general construction, plumbing, and electrical verticals. It is set across Southern California and North Texas, U.S. The company has seen the field service industry mature over the last 15 years.
There are over 20+ technicians with 5+ back-office personnel to knit together the entire business workflow. Besides that, the company is pivoting rapidly towards expanding their verticals, adding more techs to the troop, and multiplying the revenue. They are broadly into offering repairs and remodels that are tailored to their customers’ needs.
Something that strongly holds the company and the customers together is their impeccable customer service. Understanding the urgency property owners face for fast repairs and restorations, the team of techs and admin are available 7 days a week!
Lastly, their services are backed by a national network of qualified contractors so a problem can be solved with utmost ease.
Even after being in the business for more than a decade, they seamlessly handled voluminous records over pen and paper while still maintaining a steady growth rate. Assuming they would require electrical contractor software, electrician scheduling software, plumbing invoice software for the many verticals they cater to, the revelation was a bit shocking to us.
They say a pen and a paper did the trick- it was the key to their cost-effectiveness. Not to forget the 2 go-to-softwares; T-Sheets and Sage 101 for scheduling and accounting, respectively.
But the question was- for how long?
The field service company at this point started consistently booming in all areas of its business. It was aimed to emerge as a market leader and set the benchmarks for others to follow.
For them to steer the business towards new heights, it yearned for a toss and a shift. How?
- First, it became imperative for them to manage their technicians’ workload. This included grouping them based on similar jobs, and scheduling jobs well in advance even if no tech was available at the moment.
- Second, eagerness to collect data-driven reports to have a closer look at their revenue streams and get a closer look at the performance management. It had to be based on several dimensions like job type, technician, vertical and so on.
- Third, they required major help with invoicing and estimating on the field. A long-term solution to eliminate the manual process of sending out invoices and estimates altogether.
Anything more than that came as a “good-to-have-feature” and a piled-up benefit for them.
Long story short, they needed a 360-degree smart SaaS solution to discover, track, schedule, and monitor their field service growing business from every angle.
For a business rapidly scaling, planning for the future is essential. Although growth in any way and form is an achievement, it does raise some worries about how to keep up and not lose any of it!
To give you a complete run-down on how exactly SmartServ addressed the concerns of the very company with three varied verticals, we have listed everything down below!
The list here talks about:-
i) What major issues the business were currently facing with their current process?
ii) Why did they come to SmartServ for help?
iii) What all elements made them confident enough to give our software a shot?
What did the customer say- “Everything happens on T-sheets. We regularly tell our guys where to go and then for invoicing they’re doing paper invoicing, taking pictures and sending that at the end of the jobs. If we get pictures from their cell phones at that job and turn in with that invoice using general construction or plumbing invoice software”.
The SmartServ Scheduleror call it an GC, plumbing or electrician scheduling software-it puts your business on an auto-pilot mode. The scheduler board gives you a one shot glance to check the progress of your technicians from the back office.
With this, visualising your technicians’ entire workflow for a day, week or even a month becomes super easy! You also get to keep a track while they are on-the-field, doing their job. Every colour you see on the board represents the status of the job they are currently at.
For example- you will be able to tell when a technician changes their status from driving, working on site to even canceling the job. Get updated real time, receive notifications and pings from the field, from your technicians. And vice versa happens for your technicians too wherein you allot them a job or move their appointments to some other day.
2. Grouping Technicians
What did the customer say? “Can jobs be broken down into departments? We have 4 different departments. Are the technicians able to move to the next job without completing the previous one? I want it to be like a hard stop for them where they have to complete it first, get the signature from the customer and get the invoicing done first before being able to move to the next job?”
Solution We Offered
Ability to create a group of technicians based on their specialization, domain, and expertise. One can allot as many technicians in a group in any way possible without any restrictions. All the freedom lies with you how you want to arrange them as well.
SmartServ platform offers you two ways that you can do this:-
i) You can choose your field technicians to view all the jobs allotted to them in one go.
ii) You can choose them to view other jobs only when they are through with the current one.
The entire grouping of the technicians on the scheduler board is flexible and automated as per how you want it for your business. It is up to you who you want to restrict from viewing all the jobs and who you would not.
3. Unassigned Jobs
What did the customer say- “No yeah we all this was actually one thing I had in my mind was where the unassigned jobs go because, yes, we get to that point where we’ll have calls and then pending availability and or location of the technician will need to you know strategize who’s going where”.
Solution We Offered
The unassigned section on the scheduler board tackles this scenario with absolute ease. For the times when you get a job but are not really sure who to assign and when to assign , the unassigned section comes into the picture.
All that one needs to do is whenever any of your technicians’ schedule opens up, simply drag the job from the unassigned section and drop it in front of their names. That’s how easy it is to schedule a job straight out of the unassigned section.
In no time, your technicians on the field will get an instant notification or ping on their mobile devices or ipad’s about the same!
4. Analytics & Reports
What did the customer say- “But we are pretty curious on how this thing goes with invoicing and pulling some analytics, see data, how much service we are doing on which sites, who are our big players.”
Solution We Offered
You get your hands on a full-fledged dashboard that helps you track every ins and outs of your business in terms of revenue and profits. Not only that, but you can track all your missed revenues as well. For instance- If at any point you raise an estimate but could not convert it into an invoice, the data is there for you to view! Thanks to the plumbing invoice software built within SmartServ.
You also get to look and analyze your revenue with a graphical view based for any day. Reports that tell you which customers owe you how much. We also help you track revenue by location, job type, work code, technician for you to focus on where to put more of your energies etc.
Move the dial and find out which technician is performing better than the rest or even by groups. Use multiple options to bifurcate these reports. Even though we have 25 in-built granular reports for you to choose from, you can still custom create one that you want the most.
Not only this, export them directly from the software to your mobile device or system for anytime reference.
5. Offline Mode
What did the customer say- Yeah we work in some buildings where there is very difficult to connect.m The area itself will have it so as soon as they emerge from the parking garage it’ll sink over yeah I mean I definitely think that’s a very useful tool for our guys in the field.
Solution We Offered
With offline mode, it no longer matters if you’re in a network area or not. Even if your technicians work in a low to no network area there will be no information lost. Reason being, SmartServ saves all the data and syncs it to the cloud. So you can continue taking notes and pictures, upload them on the platform and can refer to them without any worries.
6. Invoicing & Estimates
What did the customer say- “But one of the biggest flaws we’ve been running into comes down to something like some of the plumbing invoice software or electrical invoicing software won’t do digital invoicing on the spot, to the client, as well as getting more modernized as far as the invoicing goes. tell our guys where to go and then for invoicing they’re doing paper invoicing, taking pictures and sending that at the end of the jobs.” So we are like doing all of our invoices through paper and coming back to us via email, really trying to modernize on those guards.
Solution We Offered
No more toting around piles of paper. No more forgetting important information at the office. When your technicians complete a particular job on the site, raising electronic estimates and invoices right on the field becomes a bliss.
All they have to do is use their tablet or smartphone to generate, send and share estimates and invoices right on the spot.
But in this case, the company wanted technicians to send invoices through the back-office first. And post that, the back-office/admin would approve and share the electronic invoice over the email with the customers.
This states that you, as an owner, get to decide who could get the liberty to have full and partial access to the complete features of the software. Here, it was raising and sharing invoices from the field. The same is possible with any features that restrict or keep them open-ended for your techs to use freely.
We knew we were dealing with a giant company. It’s hard to stop business for an hour and make every employee take a test on the new software. Customers rely on you and expect you to show up as-needed. The engine must not stop. That’s why they are taking a slow approach before fully integrating the software into the company.
They’re taking their time with the training. The training for this software is broken into two phases: getting everyone in the back office to be familiar with the software, and then training the field technicians on how to use the field app.
The Bottom Line
After several one-on-one training sessions, the company has expressed their appreciation towards the way we have laid out customer bifurcation based on job types, techs to extract valuable data to measure their success rates across different verticals. This has helped them to find out tech as well as customer behaviour.
Besides, they also spoke highly about the live tracking feature of their techs and how it has made their real-time communication much easier.
The scheduler board they fee is more interactive and easy to use with no complications. A simple drag-and-drop action helps them organize everything in minutes! It helps them to prevent double bookings, use the unassigned job section to a great extent as well as reschedule appointments easily. The color coding to depict what stage their techs are on was a plus!
It’s just about time when they actually start using the software. But when they do, we are certain everything is going to be crystal clear!