How to choose job management software (+ free checklist)
28 August 2023
Tired of spreadsheets or inadequate systems? Here’s how to choose the right job management software for your business.
If you’re running a field service company, you’ve likely experienced the headaches of managing operations with spreadsheets or inadequate systems – the disconnected data, lack of visibility, and manual processes that eat up time.
You know it’s time to move to dedicated tech, but how do you choose the right job management software for your business from the many options out there?
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the key factors to consider as you evaluate field service software, including:
- Depth of features – Does it handle all your workflow needs in one integrated platform? Does it have a mobile app?
- Ease of use – Is the system intuitive and easy to implement company-wide?
- Scalability – Can it grow with your business and changing needs over time?
- Supplier reputation – Do they offer stellar support and have experience with businesses like yours?
- Data security – What steps do they take to protect your company and customer data?
By carefully assessing solutions against criteria like these, you can feel confident you are choosing the best software for your needs. Investing the time upfront will pay off with software that streamlines operations, delights customers, and sets your business up for success.
Let’s get into it.👇
CHOOSING THE BEST JOB MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
If you’ve decided to move to job management software how do you make sure you’re choosing the best option for your needs?
📝 Here are some of the key features that should make their way onto your list.
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
- All-in-one solution with the right features
- Ease-of-use (even for those less tech-savvy)
- Advantages beyond job management
- Strong supplier and partnership relationship
- Ability to scale and integrate with your business
- Mobile access for field engineers
To help you assess each one, we’ve pulled together some key questions to consider when weighing up solutions and suppliers.
#1. WHAT DO YOU NEED YOUR JOB MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE TO DO?
Some job management software providers offer basic job scheduling features. Others specialise more in customer quoting and invoicing. And some focus specifically on job tracking capabilities.
If you’re lucky, you’ll find an option that can handle scheduling, billing, and job tracking seamlessly within one platform. That’s why having a clear idea of which features are an absolute ‘must-have’ for your business can make the selection process much easier.
For example, if efficient routing and scheduling are critical, ensure the software has robust route optimisation tools. If providing quotes and invoices is key, you’ll need a system with accounting integrations and billing capabilities.
Ideally, the software will cover all critical functional areas in one seamless system:
- Job quoting and invoicing
- Job tracking
- Accounting system integration (e.g Xero, Sage)
- GPS/mapping features
This merged view saves time switching between different systems. The right all-in-one platform also automates manual processes like creating job cards and generating certificates customers need.
Think carefully and build your key criteria list. The software should seamlessly support your most important workflows.
(BigChange allows you to control every job and get paid sooner all in one user-friendly platform)
#2. WHO WILL BE USING IT?
A key reason for choosing job management software is to make everyone’s life easier. So it’s crucial to think about your team and how ‘tech savvy’ they are during your selection process.
Ideally, you’ll want an intuitive solution that matches the skill set of all users – from the not-so-tech-savvy to the super-tech-savvy.
Avoid software that seems overly complex or confusing at first glance. Choose platforms with modern, user-friendly interfaces. User-friendly designs also make adoption smoother.
Similarly, look for providers that have robust training resources and help documentation. Ongoing support for questions is also vital for getting users up to speed.
For maximum benefit, the system should empower both engineers and back-office teams to access and update job information from anywhere. Engineers should be able to update progress, flag issues, reorder parts, or add expenses from their mobile device.
Also consider which teams beyond engineers could benefit from the software – sales, inventory, accounting, etc. Ensure your choice provides relevant functionality for all.
Choosing user-friendly software with thorough training resources ensures your whole team gets value. This drives user adoption and impact on operations.
(BigChange’s scheduling assistant considers real-time location, equipment requirements, skills, and job constraints before optimising routes.)
#3. DOES IT HAVE ADVANTAGES BEYOND JOB MANAGEMENT?
Getting budget approval likely requires highlighting ROI beyond just scheduling. So look for solutions that provide an integrated set of capabilities:
- Mobile app: Allow field teams to access full system capabilities from any device (more on this later)
- Customer portal: Let clients book, track, and pay for jobs online
- Automated job scheduling: Optimised scheduling saves time and turbocharges efficiency
- Real-time tracking: Live map view of field engineer, vehicle, and equipment locations and job status
- CRM: Full customer and equipment history in one place
- Quoting/Invoicing: Generate polished quotes and invoices integrated with accounting
- Business insights: Dashboards and reports to identify areas for improvement
- Workflow automation: Streamlines processes and prevent missed steps
- Inventory integration: Helps track vehicle and part usage
- Customer communication: Automated reminders, text alerts, etc.
The more an all-in-one system can handle, the greater the benefits beyond basic scheduling. This expanded functionality improves the customer experience while connecting field and office work.
Make sure you carefully evaluate the end-to-end capabilities on your shortlist. And look for solutions that increase organisation-wide coordination, efficiency, and insight.
(With BigChange you can give customers control with a user-friendly online portal to request, book, and manage appointments.)
#4. DOES THE SUPPLIER MATCH UP TO THE SOLUTION?
When you choose a job management solution, remember you’re not buying just a solution, but investing in a supplier as well. The right supplier can turn into a fruitful business partnership.
So when evaluating solutions, consider these key points about the vendor themselves:
- Implementation experience: Does the supplier have a strong track record and history of implementing job management software – what’s their history and heritage? Look for years in business, number of customers, and client retention rates.
- Strong reputation: Are they able to provide evidence of satisfied customers, with testimonials and case studies? And what results have they achieved?
- Ongoing support: What training and support will you receive, what’s their customer service like, and what back-up is available? Is there 24/7 client support?
- Security credentials: What credentials do they have around security? Do they comply with standards like ISO 27001 or offer robust access controls? This protects your data.
- Commitment to customers: Do they get feedback from customers and stay connected to customers via events, user groups etc.? And do they regularly meet customers through shop floor days?
The ideal provider should feel like an extension of your team, not just a vendor. So ensure they have the technical expertise but also the customer-centric culture vital for long-term success.
Vetting suppliers thoroughly gives confidence they can support you through each step of your software journey – from implementation to expansion.
(At BigChange, we know you work hard for your customers and may be working outside typical hours, so we provide 24/7 customer support.)
#5. DOES THE SOLUTION HAVE THE CAPACITY TO SCALE WITH YOU?
As your field service management business grows, your software needs to grow too. So ensure the system you choose has ample capacity to scale and expand over time.
Here’s an idea of what to look out for:
- Growing workloads: Can the solution easily handle more jobs, field staff, and data as you scale? Is pricing structured to make growth affordable?
- Adding users: With role-based permissions, new employees can get set up quickly without added license fees.
- Ongoing enhancements: Is the provider regularly enhancing features and capabilities in each new release?
- Quick implementation: With the right solution, you can get started in days – no complex rollout needed.
- Flexible solutions: Ideally, the software is flexible enough to start small but build as your business expands into new markets or offerings.
Choose a forward-thinking provider focused on continuous improvement. Seek out cloud-based platforms that simplify scaling vs outdated on-premise systems. The right software adapts over time, providing the foundation to achieve your growth objectives today and well into the future.
(BigChange effortlessly integrates with other business systems like Xero and Sage)
#6. DO THEY ENSURE A SMOOTH ONBOARDING?
Selecting the right software is an important first step, but successful implementation is key to driving adoption and return on investment.
Assess the provider’s onboarding process and resources:
- Deployment options: Cloud-based solutions allow for the fastest launch. Be wary of on-premises versions which require a lot of IT involvement.
- Implementation approach: Find out about their implementation approach. Do they offer bespoke implementation? For example, sometimes phased rollouts by region or user group are less disruptive.
- Training: Look for virtual or in-person sessions to help onboard users. Video tutorials and knowledge bases are also helpful.
- Support: Having onboarding support and 24/7 customer support smooths bumps in the transition.
- Change management: The provider should have best practices for getting buy-in from your team and guiding the adoption process.
Don’t underestimate the importance of training and support in driving software success. With the right partner providing robust onboarding resources, you really can hit the ground running.🏃♂️
(With over 60% of all calls resolved immediately, BigChange are proud to offer world class customer service with a 70+ Net Promoter Score.)
#7. IS THERE MOBILE ACCESS TO EMPOWER FIELD TEAMS?
Most field service operations happen out in the field, so your software needs to be accessible and fully functional wherever field staff are located.
Key mobile capabilities to look for include:
- Mobile apps for both Android and iOS. This provides access from any device.
- Offline functionality allows completion of work even without connectivity. Syncing occurs when back online.
- Mobile scheduling adjustments by engineers to handle last minute job changes or delays.
- Capturing signatures, photos, etc. improves onsite documentation and accuracy.
- Parts/inventory lookups from the vehicle speeds access to needed items.
- Maps and turn-by-turn directions get field staff to the job site efficiently.
- Email/text capabilities enable communication with the office and customers from the field.
- Time tracking allows verification of work hours and drive times.
With a full-featured mobile experience, field teams can handle their entire workflow without paperwork, phone calls, or laptops. This allows them to focus on the customer and be more productive.
(With BigChange’s mobile workforce app in the palm of your hands, your field teams can easily review method statements, carry out risk assessments, and complete safety checks.)
#8. CAN YOU CUSTOMISE TO YOUR NEEDS?
As a final key point, while evaluating options, consider the ability to customise and extend the software’s capabilities over time.
Here are some of the things you might want to customise:
- Custom fields, templates, and forms to capture unique data points
- Branded portals and invoices match your look and feel
- Modifiable workflows which can be aligned to your processes
- Configurable role-based access permissions
And here are the key things to consider with integrations:
- Look for common integrations like accounting, payments, marketing, analytics – for example, Xero, Sage, What3Words, and VOIP integrations
- Ensure real-time sync to avoid duplicate data entry between systems
- Options may also exist for other third-party apps or bespoke systems
The right software should adapt to your business needs, not the other way around. So look for platforms built on modern platforms. Prioritise solutions with the flexibility to tailor workflows, integrations, and experiences – now and in the future.
(With BigChange you can increase margins with custom-pricing models with customer-specific price lists and rating tables to ensure your pricing is profitable on every job.)
CHOOSE THE BEST JOB MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
Implementing job management software can lead to life-changing benefits – saved time, improved productivity and efficiency, and reduced costs. But you only realise these rewards if you choose the right solution for your needs.
So carefully evaluate all options against your criteria covering capabilities, ease of use, provider reputation, and more. When narrowing down your options, be sure to read customer reviews and compare features and benefits.
By investing time upfront in finding the best platform, you set your field service operation up for long-term success. The payoff will be streamlined operations, delighted customers, and a scalable foundation for growth.
Next steps to choosing the best job management software:
- Download our buyer’s guide checklist as a reference
- Schedule demos to see software capabilities firsthand
- Speak with other businesses to get their experience to help shortlist options
- Sign up for trials of top choices to test usability
- With the right software, you really can transform the way you work. We hope this guide provided a starting point to make that possible.
WHEN IN DOUBT, SCHEDULE A DEMO
If you’re ready to put BigChange on your shortlist, why not book a one-on-one demo today? Our team will show you how to win more work, take control of your operations, and deliver the best customer experiences.
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