The best job tracking features for productivity and efficiency
25 September 2023
Each year, field service businesses lose hundreds of thousands due to poor job tracking and scheduling. Think missed deadlines, annoyed customers, and stressed-out engineers. With today’s profit margins razor-thin, these setbacks can spell the difference between a business scaling up or spiralling down.
That’s where job tracking technology enters the scene. With its robust capabilities in scheduling, dispatching, tracking, and reporting, this tech is more than just a nice-to-have. It’s a game-changer, enabling businesses to monitor financial performance in real-time and pivot operations on the fly.
In this blog, we’ll unpack the essential features to look for in job tracking software, so you can ramp up both efficiency and productivity.
#1 job tracking feature: Real-time job tracking
Real-time job tracking provides an immediate window into work progress. That’s why we’ve started with this one – and the reason most businesses switch to job tracking software.
No longer can you afford to wait for end-of-day reports. You want to know how jobs are progressing while they’re happening and get instant updates when jobs are completed.
It’s this instantaneous bit that’s a real pull for field services. Plus, it saves huge amounts of time that was wasted in meetings and repeating admin. Everyone in the business can see *instantly* what’s been done and what’s in the pipeline.
The right tech provides features like geolocation – so you can see where your field engineers are at any time. This means you can update customers, plan in emergency jobs, new quotes and more. You can even set up territories so that the costs of toll roads, ULEZ, etc. are included in billing costs – so that you don’t end up out of pocket or with decimated job margins.
💡Top tip: Look out for tech that has vehicle tracking features so that you can automate more processes, from smart route scheduling to cost calculation. More on this to come 👇
#2 job tracking feature: Job scheduling and dispatch
The art of smart job allocation is sending the right engineer, first time. Not only is this more efficient and supports hitting SLAs, but it’s also a much better customer experience and creates a professional business impression.
So, with job scheduling and dispatch features, the right tech will take into account the geographical location, and also the current workload, skill set, customer preferences, and more. It means you can reduce travel times, fuel consumption, and engineers’ labour, plus do all this with minimal human intervention.
Without this feature, manually scheduling all these requirements can be a big admin task, open to error, and just a tad too slow. Whereas, with it, you can auto-assign jobs in just a few clicks.
💡Top tip: Choose user-friendly software that enables drag-and-drop scheduling and real-time notifications, minimising human error and speeding up job allocation.
#3 job tracking feature: Automated notifications and alerts
Let’s be honest: Regularly updating everyone on job statuses is essential but a huge drain on time. This is where automated notifications come in. You can send reminders for upcoming jobs, ping notifications for changes, and keep engineers on track.
Plus, with the right software, you can even tailor job schedules and notifications so that high-priority and time-sensitive jobs are highlighted.
💡Top tip: Look out for tech that offers automated customer notifications alongside job alerts, keeping both your engineers and customers in the loop in real-time.
#4 Job tracking feature: CRM and customer portal
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and customer portals aren’t just beneficial; they’re indispensable. Here’s how they contribute to both customer experience and operational efficiency:
- Streamlined operations: All job history and customer information is in one place, saving engineers endless time hunting key information to complete jobs quickly – and updating office teams.
- Better customer service: Along with the ETAs we’ve just mentioned, having a customer portal allows customers to access documents they need and rebook appointments – without needing to contact your office teams. It’s much more convenient for them and is an expectation in today’s digital age.
- Improved first-time fix rates: With comprehensive job history and customer information at their fingertips, engineers are more likely to resolve issues on their first visit. This is crucial for maintaining lean operations.
Ultimately, a robust CRM system and an intuitive customer portal minimise delays and improve your overall efficiency. They make life easier for your engineers, your office teams, and most importantly, your customers.
💡Top tip: Prioritise solutions with a robust CRM and customer portal to centralise job history and customer information, streamlining operations and elevating customer experience.
#5 Job tracking feature: Mobile accessibility and dedicated apps
Mobile accessibility is vital for engineers working in the field. It enables them to manage job sheets, view customer information, and more, all from their device. And a dedicated mobile app takes this a notch higher.
It offers advantages like instant job sheets the moment a job is allocated. Engineers can also remotely access a library of customer-specific documents, such as site maps and risk assessments.
So, why does a mobile app matter? When an engineer completes a job and the customer signs off, this status update is immediate. It shows as ‘completed’ back at the office, gets automatically emailed to the customer, and becomes visible in the customer portal. With these features, everyone stays aligned and invoicing can be triggered without delay.
💡Top tip: Keep an eye out for solutions that offer offline syncing. This ensures that even without a stable internet connection, work can continue, and everything syncs up perfectly when connectivity is restored.
#6 job tracking feature: Inventory management
Inventory management might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think about job tracking, but its importance is undeniable.
Imagine the scenario: an engineer is ready to complete a job, only to find they’re missing a critical part. This halts progress and leads to avoidable delays. Having real-time inventory data can show where the nearest stockist is, or even if a nearby colleague has the part in their van.
Efficient inventory management also removes bottlenecks in your workflow. By ensuring that engineers have what they need, you keep jobs moving steadily towards completion. And, as we all know, a finished job is a billable job.
💡Top tip: If inventory management hasn’t been on your radar, it’s time to give it the attention it deserves. Having this feature not only streamlines your operations but also provides an uninterrupted path to invoicing, benefitting both your team and your bottom line.
Unlock your business’s full potential with smart job tracking
It’s easy to see how these top job tracking features and capabilities can shape up field service management. Everything from dispatching through to invoicing is made so much quicker and easier – all contributing to lean operations and the ability to increase profit margins.
As we said at the beginning, poor job tracking can be a financial pitfall you simply can’t afford. With the features we’ve outlined, you’re equipped to make informed decisions that directly impact your growth and financial stability.
Of course, these results will come down to choosing the right job tracking software. The right software will allow you to tailor specific job requirements to your business so that everyone can benefit from the tech.
Ready to take your next step? Check out our full job tracking tech features here. Or, dive straight in and book a call for a bespoke demo.
With BigChange, you’re not just buying software. You’re investing in a more profitable future. And that’s why we’re the trusted provider for hundreds of field service businesses. Check out a few case studies here.
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