Maximising The ROI From Your Gas Engineer Software

George Dibb
August 7, 2023

Managing operations efficiently is critical for plumbing and heating companies to stay competitive and profitable. A key tool that can help streamline processes and improve productivity is gas engineer software. Solutions like BigChange provide capabilities like scheduling, dispatching, customer management, invoicing, and more. 

While software offers many advantages, simply purchasing it is not enough to maximize your return on investment (ROI). Getting the most value also requires an investment of time and effort to properly implement, learn, and use the software across your business. 

The goal of this article is to provide tips on how to get the biggest ROI from gas engineer software through the right tech, proper setup, integration, and ongoing usage. 

Let’s get into it. 👇

Step 1: Choose the right software for your business needs 

Maximising the investment from your software starts with choosing the right tech that best aligns with your business needs. Think about your size today and how much you’d like to scale, specific feature needs, integration requirements, and budget when researching options.  

For smaller companies that are happy where they are, then a basic cloud-based solution may provide sufficient functionality at an affordable price point. But if you have ambitions to scale or are a medium-sized plumbing and heating businesses you will benefit from more robust platforms with additional capabilities like custom reporting and mobile apps. 

Prioritise software capabilities that will automate or simplify your biggest pain points around scheduling, dispatching, and field workforce management. The right solution, like BigChange, should seamlessly handle your current needs and volume, with room to scale.

💡The bottom line: Choosing gas engineer software aligned to your specific business needs will maximise the value delivered for your investment. Also assess requirements to integrate with accounting software, inventory systems, or other business platforms. API connectivity can streamline data flows between systems. (More on this later).

(BigChange offers an easier and more productive way to manage your plumbing and heating business.)

Step 2: Invest in training 

Once you’ve chosen the right software, set time aside to train your staff on fully using the tools. Without adequate training, you probably won’t maximise adoption and ROI. So think about how you can plan a training program that covers core features but also explores advanced functionality like custom reports, workflow automation, and mobile access. 

Make sure field workers are comfortable with mobile apps for job management. You might find that you get resistance from some people whenever you introduce new tech, so it's important to plan for how you will handle this to ensure adoption. Plus, allow ample time for staff to get hands-on experience with real-life jobs. 

💡Top tip: Identify power users who grasp the software quickly and can help coach others. 

Plus, when new features are added, ensure staff understand how to make the most of them. Well-trained staff are far more likely to fully use the software, follow best practices, and take advantage of the full capabilities. Plus, consider what help and training options are available from the provider when you’re choosing the right tool. 

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Step 4: Integrate with other tools 

To make the most of your chosen software, integrate your gas engineer software with complementary systems like accounting, inventory, and other business platforms. This type of integration eliminates duplicative manual data entry, which saves time and reduces errors.

If you use accounting software like Xero or Sage, check for pre-built connectors from your gas engineer software vendor. Connecting the systems provides a seamless flow of customer, job and invoicing details. This makes sure you only key information into your chosen tool once. 

Likewise, some software will integrate inventory management tools so parts usage on jobs automatically adjusts stock levels. Engineers can also view inventory levels when on-site to know what is available.

Explore connectors for marketing, customer service and other systems as well. The more data flows automatically between integrated platforms, the less time wasted on manual data entry.

Top tip: Carefully evaluate your complete tech stack and identify where integrating systems will drive the most value. Integrating gas engineer software with surrounding business systems maximises its impact on operations through tight data flows. 

Accounting integrations with JobWatch

Step 5: Leverage BI reporting 

Good reporting functionality in gas engineer software provides invaluable visibility into operational performance. Take full advantage by using built-in reports and customising them to your key business needs. 

For example, can you set up reports that show inefficiencies in areas like job duration, travel time, overtime, and unfinished jobs. This might highlight causes of delays like unclear job instructions, missing parts or insufficient skills.

You can even inform business decisions by monitoring metrics like utilisation rate, overtime vs regular hours, and profitability by customer or service type. Trend analysis can identify issues and opportunities. You could also demonstrate ROI by comparing software-enabled metrics like jobs per engineer, invoicing costs, and time to invoice vs. manual processes. 

Top tip: Share reports with the team. And work together to come up with the KPIs most important to your business such as first-time fix rate, on-time arrival, and customer satisfaction. Then tweak reports to provide ongoing tracking and alerts. Using robust reporting gives you visibility to continuously refine processes and engineer performance. The insights gathered help maximise the value from your gas engineer software investment. 

Step 6: Keep up with updates

The best gas engineer software vendors frequently release upgraded versions and new features. So make sure you keep your software up-to-date to take full advantage of the latest capabilities that can save time and money.

If there’s a big update, plan testing and deployment of major version upgrades into your schedule. Minor updates may be applied immediately. Then, educate staff on relevant new capabilities through training and support materials. Adoption of new features may require process changes for maximum benefit.
Top tip: Have regular check-ins or subscribe to customer newsletters with your software provider to review the roadmap and discuss how new updates might apply to you. Staying current enables you to capitalise on emerging technologies like route optimisers. New capabilities can also support business growth and scalability. A little time invested in keeping updated can pay off big time.

Step 7: Get support when needed

Even with excellent software and training, questions will arise from time to time. So don’t hesitate to use customer support resources whenever needed to resolve questions quickly.  

Thoroughly review self-help documentation and knowledge-base articles to find answers to common issues. Or submit support tickets for complex questions. 

With BigChange you also have access to 24/7 RoadCrew who will provide round-the-clock support for your whole team. Each customer has a dedicated customer success manager who has oversight of their account and they are on hand to help with technical questions from your management, office team or mobile workers.

Or you could ask your Customer Success account manager about best practices for your unique business needs. We also recommend attending webinars or online training events for further learning. 
Top tip: Set up remote sessions so support staff can review issues in real-time and walk you through solutions. Quick assistance avoids frustration. Speedy answers from knowledgeable reps allow you to resolve hiccups faster and maximise your use of the software. (With BigChange you often get tips beyond just the specific problem.) Support services ensure you can get the most from your gas engineer software, both at onboarding level and on an ongoing basis. Use them freely as a resource.

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Get the most from your gas engineer software

The right software can provide gas engineering companies with huge advantages, including optimised scheduling, improved engineer productivity, and automatic invoicing. However, to maximise the return on investment, you need to invest in the right tech, set it up for your needs, keep learning, and fully utilise the tools across your business.

While this takes a bit of time and effort, the long-term benefits are well worth it in terms of bottom-line savings, improved customer satisfaction, and competitive advantage. 

By implementing gas engineer software strategically and comprehensively, plumbing and heating companies can transform their operations to achieve new levels of efficiency and productivity.

Find out more about how BigChange can make you unstoppable today.

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