Does your business really need Field Management Service (FMS) software?
It’s common for many business owners to question whether or not it’s worth it to upgrade their old systems to new ones.
Cost is always a factor, and you have to account for the learning curve and adjustment time with any new system. And maybe as far as you can tell your business is running fine without it.
So is it worth it? Short answer: Yes.
Businesses that switch to FMS software tend to improve their overall productivity, get paid faster, and increase revenues. And, there are plenty of other reasons why upgrading to FMS software will help your business grow.
Here’s what you need to know…
1. Solve Scheduling Problems
Scheduling is one of the biggest problems faced by technicians and dispatchers, and many companies struggle with scheduling challenges as they grow.
More appointments means more time spent in the field and more time navigating between locations causing customers to sometimes get lost in the fray. It can be difficult to manually track where your technicians are going to be and when.
And, what do you do if there’s a schedule change and you can’t reach your technician? Some locations may be out of cell phone range, or your technicians may be busy with a customer and miss a schedule change, wasting unnecessary time.
FMS software neutralizes these issues by offering electronic scheduling that can alert technicians in the field, regardless of location. (In fact, our mobile app notifications work offline, too).
Most FSM software also lets you optimize appointment bookings so technicians can plan the best route between jobs and notify customers if they’ll be early or late.
If scheduling issues are preventing you from adding more technicians or expanding your clientele, consider the upgrade an investment for future growth.
2. Reduce Accounting Errors
Cash flow is the life of your business, but using spreadsheet or pen-and-paper methods to track jobs and income can lead to accounting errors. The more your business grows, the more complicated your books will get.
Manual accounting methods can also make tracking potential money-wasting habits difficult.
Auditing errors and boxes full of paper can also be a hassle during tax time and cost you money. These types of errors can prevent you from seeing areas of potential growth because you’re swamped trying to fix all the mistakes.
FMS software can help simplify the process so you can focus on other things. You can also automate your billing process, print and mail invoices, email payment reminders to customers, and backup files so they don’t go missing.
3. Improve Timekeeping
Aside from scheduling, time keeping can also be difficult to track. But as they say, time is money, and if you are wasting time doing tasks that could easily be automated, you’re losing money.
Technicians tend to be impacted the most by poor time keeping, as broken equipment, diagnostic issues, onsite complications, customer complaints, multiple visits, and even bad traffic can cause time loss.
They’re also required to keep timesheets, but may forget to keep track throughout the day or make calculation errors at the end of the day when they’re worn out. They also may not be able to accurately track just how much time is spent doing what task.
This could mean that you have little to no sense of which areas of your workflow are costing you the most time and money. Maybe your technicians are spending too much time repairing equipment and not enough time in the field working.
FSM software will help technicians manage their timesheets as they go and provide a better breakdown of individual tasks so your payroll is clear and concise.
Cloud-based FSM software also lets technicians enter notes while they’re on the job so they don’t have to waste hours catching up later, which is not only saves additional payroll time, it also prevents notes from being incomplete or forgotten about altogether.
4. Quickly Access Reports
Reporting is another important element to every field service business, but especially for those in pest control or other industries that require chemical reporting, or for those who handle food on a regular basis.
Improper chemical and material reporting can quickly sideline your business, so it’s important that you’re able to do this quickly and effectively. Since reporting happens so often, you may find that manual reporting costs you additional, unnecessary time as well.
But FMS software can help automate the process, help you identify issues, and keep track of reports both filed and unfiled.
Our software, for example, will set up chemical reports that include important elements like EPA numbers, active ingredients, and dilution rates, and you can even automatically generate state required usage reports for New York and California – all at the click of a button.
If reporting is a big concern for your business and you’ve struggled with automating the process in the past, FMS software can help.
5. Improve Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is also a big indicator of whether or not a company will grow. Issues with scheduling, accounting, timekeeping, and reporting can all cause customer satisfaction rates to drop.
If you’re noticing that customers are complaining about things like late arrivals, incomplete repairs, rushed jobs, or billing issues, you may have a breakdown in your workflow.
The good news is that FMS software can easily fix these problems. Electronic scheduling can help manage workflows and keep technicians running on time as well as send notifications to customers (and customers who know when their technician will arrive tend to have higher levels of satisfaction).
Technicians can also access past notes and chemical usage from the last visit so customers receive the same quality service every time.
FMS software can also provide customers with their own portals where they can easily access invoices to make payments and check payment history. Technicians and employees can also access contacts, email, and phone numbers quickly to respond to calls as well as see notes and files attached to their accounts.
If you’re worried about customer satisfaction, consider upgrading to an automated solution.
Small businesses will generally experience the biggest benefits of switching to FMS software. Not only will automation help improve workflows and keep things running smoothly, but it will also provide insight into areas of your business that could be improved.
If you’re still running off of spreadsheets and pen-and-paper methods, now is the perfect time to upgrade. You will find that the job because a lot easier when you have help. And most importantly, your happy customers will thank you.