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Tackling Operational Inefficiencies with FSM Software

This article has been reviewed by Billy Stevens for accuracy.

Home service businesses, such as residential plumbing and HVAC contractors, frequently look for innovative solutions to increase operational efficiency. When field service companies streamline workflows and processes, the results are heightened productivity, better customer service, and the potential for greater profitability. One of the most effective solutions to boosting performance, and one many in the industry already leverage, is field service management software.

As contractors balance the many expenses needed to run a successful business, some may be hesitant to invest in another technology like FSM software. While FSM software does involve some upfront costs, many contractors find that the efficiency it generates promotes long-term cost savings that far exceed the initial investment. Discover the benefits of field service management software for reducing operational inefficiency.

Workflow Optimization

In the context of residential plumbing and HVAC contractors, a common challenge is maintaining oversight and communication of teams working in different locations. While dispatchers and other admin staff work from the office, field service technicians are at various homes in the area, fulfilling service requests.

FSM software enables contractors to better manage workflows by providing greater supervision of field operations. For instance, through real-time GPS tracking, dispatchers gain visibility into the job status of a tech, such as their current location and the last project they completed. With this information, dispatchers can assist techs when challenges arise by helping them attain the resources and expertise from nearby field workers they need to get the job done. It also allows them to update homeowners on estimated arrival times, augmenting the customer experience.

Improved Scheduling

Beyond simply providing more awareness of field service operations, FSM software also augments scheduling and dispatching processes. Many software solutions enable dispatchers to assign tasks based on factors that impact service delivery, such as a tech’s availability, proximity, and skillset.

Once a dispatcher has determined the right tech for the job, FSM software enables them to send push notifications to techs, which techs receive via the mobile app version. The result is improved response times, more instances of first-time fix rates, and a boost in customer satisfaction.

Inventory Management

Many contractors utilize separate management systems for handling inventory, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. While it’s possible to use additional software for inventory management, discrepancies are more likely to occur, creating a host of operational inefficiencies like billing problems and shrinkage.

FSM software with inventory management capabilities is advantageous because it allows contractors to understand which parts are most often needed for jobs to maximize resource allocation. Contractors can identify which parts to keep well-stocked and can receive alerts to reorder parts when stock is low. What’s more, when contractors ensure a sufficient supply of parts, the chances that a problem is fixed the first time increases.

Eliminating Paper Records

A key problem with manual processes for field service management is paper records. Paper poses numerous risks, from damage due to poor storage conditions to theft. Additionally, paper is inefficient — it may take a while for paperwork to reach the office, and once it does, admin staff will need to manually input customer information and other data into management systems. The job is likely to be long finished by the time this process is complete. Another concern with paper records is that they often increase the likelihood of customer disputes, which diminish experience and can affect retention.

Using FSM software, field service teams can process data digitally, and store this information in a secure, central location where all parties can access it. It also reduces the tedious, repetitive tasks of paper entry, freeing up time for office staff to devote to more productive work.

Enforcing Compliance

Like other businesses, field service organizations have unique industry standards which with they must comply. When audits are in order, having well-organized data is essential. Field service software not only enables better data and asset management for these audits but also updates contractors on frequent updates made with industry regulations. All these components contribute to greater compliance, providing peace of mind.

Customer Relationship Management

Just like with inventory management, field service businesses typically have separate CRM software for managing customer relationships. FSM software removes the need for additional CRM software, as all customer data, such as service history and past interactions, is housed in the FSM system. Customer service teams glean all the information they need make data-driven decisions and meet and exceed customer expectations.

It’s not just admin staff that benefit from the customer relationship management component of FSM software. While on-site providing services for homeowners, techs can access pertinent customer data to better meet their needs.

Financial Reporting

In addition to eliminating the problems of paper reporting, the digitization of FSM software provides deeper insights into financial data, such as the cost of downtime, warranties, travel time, and other factors that all inform total operational costs. Contractors can integrate accounting software with FSM software to ensure more accurate data is leveraged for financial reporting.

Informed Decision-Making

Effective decision-making is at the heart of any business objective, including improving efficiency. Since FSM software stores such a wide selection of data, it’s an ideal resource for developing metrics to measure success and progress with goals. Armed with this information, contractors, along with admin staff and field workers, can make more strategic decisions that encourage higher productivity, customer satisfaction, and profit.

Increase Efficiency With FSM Software From Sera

Residential contractors searching for FSM tools to boost operational efficiency need look no further than field service management software. Sera offers FSM software based on four pillars integral to promoting efficiency, and our solution is designed to respond to the specific needs of small-to-medium-sized plumbing, HVAC, and electrical contractors. Our software automates scheduling and dispatching, enables techs to create multiple quotes at job sites, and provides several other functions that all support your bottom line.

Contact us today for a 15-minute discovery call and learn more about our software, or inquire about a 45-minute demo.

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