How to slash errors with job management software
16 October 2023
In the fast-paced world of trade industries, efficiency and precision really matter. But it’s a balancing act, because speed also matters and working fast makes it more likely that mistakes can happen. Simple errors, like incorrect job details, missed appointments or incomplete repairs can lead to unhappy customers, wasted time and reduced profits.
So with margins already tight, what’s the answer?
Well the good news is that introducing job managment software into your business can make a huge difference. But before we dive into what solutions it offers, let’s look at some of the common problems in more detail 👇.
#1 Poor communications 🗣
Let’s be honest, for all trade companies, your main focus is on getting the job finished and done well first time. Whilst that that makes sense, it can also mean that communications – especially between the office and road teams – can break down. When you add in a sea of calls and emails and an avalanche of paper documents, this can mean disaster.
The result: delays, confusion and costly mistakes.
#2 Scheduling conflicts 📅
We all know that coordinating tasks, personnel, and equipment can be a logistical nightmare. Moving a single job can can cause a domino effect, knocking out entire routes and job schedules 🤯.
Worse still, last minute changes to carefully-planned routes can make them less cost-effective, wiping out your profit margin. If you schedule manually, you may not even realise this until after you have invoiced the jobs!
The result: overlapping jobs, missed deadlines and unhappy customers.
#3 Bad data 👿
Whilst logic suggests that the more information you have, the better, unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Relying on paper-based records or outdated spreadsheets can result in data conflicts and errors. This is true even if you have software systems in place, as there are often compatibility issues between different types.
This can result in disagreement between departments and makes reliable financial information harder to come by. Additionally, the more manual inputting there is of data, the more likely it is that errors will occur.
The result: financial losses, regulatory compliance issues, and customer complaints.
#4 Cashflow problems 💸
We all have experience of this one, regardless of the size of business. The busier you are carrying out jobs, the more paperwork you produce. If you are handling this manually, there is often a lengthy lag between finished work and invoicing. This can mean irregular cashflow and in worst case scenarios, failing to invoice altogether.
Then there are losses because of problems around parts used during jobs but missed off invoices. There are mismatches between supplier payment terms and the payment terms of your customers. And then there are the unexpected extra costs, like a ULEZ charge that only arrives after you’ve invoiced the customer…
The result: uneven cashflow, financial losses, and in extreme cases, insolvency.
Now that we’ve looked into the challenges, let’s look at some solutions. Here are five key benefits of job management software for reducing errors:
#1 Eliminate Manual Data Entry ✅
In paper-based processes, separate sections of your business often manually enter the same data at different times. This repetitive manual processing inevitably leads to typos, incorrect information and lost data. So what’s the answer?
Job management software centralises information on the cloud, so users only need to add information once. Schedulers input job details and job sheets and then send them directly to an engineer.
Whilst carrying out the job, engineers use the mobile app on their tablets to actively capture information on digital job sheets. This information is immediately available to the whole business, flowing seamlessly from road team to invoicing with no rekeying needed.
Not only is your admin slashed but so are the chance of manual errors.
#2 Improve Real-Time Communication 📱
Lack of communication between the office, field technicians, and customers is another major source of errors.
Without real-time updates on job status, changes, and issues, information gaps occur. This leads to mistakes and confusion for all parties involved.
If you use all-in-one job management software, it solves these problems and offers hidden bonuses. For example, it allows instant messaging between your road and office teams through a job management app. This lets you send emergency jobs through to the nearest engineer in super-quick time.
It will also automatically send real-time updates to customers. That means no more calls asking for an expected arrival time of an engineer and you can even cutomise your messages.
Everyone is always on the same page, preventing errors.
#3 Optimise Scheduling 🗓️
Inefficient scheduling based on outdated information leads to mistakes. This can range from double-bookings, resources without the right skill set for a job and delays between appointments.
Job management software updates your information in real time, streamlining your business. When assigning jobs, you can view a driver’s exact location, their current job and their availability.
The best type of job management systems, will also include assistance with scheduling. It won’t just help you find available workers but will plan the most efficient and affordable routes at the same time.
#4 Accurate Customer Details 📋
Sending technicians without full customer info can lead to late arrival, wrong equipment, and fewer first time fixes.
But an integrated, cloud based CRM within job management software centralises all customer details in one place. It means that even new builds are easy to find with in-built tech such as GPS and what3words.
Technicians have instant access to full account history and specifics for each job. This can include everything from entry codes to quirks of specific machines. All of this adds up to better customer service and higher first time fix rates.
#5 Equip Teams with the Right Tools 🔧
If your field crews don’t have the right tools, equipment and documentation, things will obviously go wrong.
A job management system lets schedulers automatically add specific equipment to a job type. That means that your engineers know exactly what they need for each job. Not only that, but they can see exactly where each item is, whether that’s at a warehouse or on their van.
The mobile app also means that engineers can easily access any customer-specific docs. That makes compliance easier to achieve with risk assessments and site safety info safely stored on the cloud.
Bonus: 3 top tips on getting the most out of your job managment software 💡
BigChange Director Paul Witter offers his 3 top tips on making your software error free.
Look for software that lets you create templates for everything from quotes to invoices. That way, you’re unlikely to miss out any information and everything looks professional.
If you haven’t used alerts before, you’re in for a treat. You can use them as automated reminders right across your job management system. I use them for reminders about low stock levels, preventing stock shortages, overdue invoices and late jobs. No more missed invoices!
Clever use of automation within the system slashes your admin and reduces errors. For example, set up automatic invoice creation using details from job cards. Just create a customised invoice template that automatically adds the financials, reducing the chance of mistakes.
If you’d like to find out lots of other great ways that BigChange can help your company, why not talk to one of our team
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