“Chaotic and demanding”
This is perhaps the best description of an average day in field service management. Anyone familiar with the industry knows how hectic it can be to manage the work orders, assign technicians, schedule and dispatch teams, monitor job progress, generate reports, keep track of invoices, and a thousand other things that go into one single day of work. The more your business expands, the heavier the burden becomes. Naturally, organizing and streamlining processes become absolutely essential in this field. But when you are managing things manually, the task becomes even more cumbersome.
This does not necessarily mean that small businesses don’t have to face this problem. Rather, things could be more challenging if you are just starting out and have a long way to go before you know the tricks of the trade. Given your limited resources and experience, it is crucial that you plan and execute strategies in a way that gives you the best results. Now, if you are stuck with an ocean of paperwork—forms to be filled in, estimates to be calculated, invoices to be sent out, customer information to be organized—there is no way you can monitor your technicians or focus on more important tasks at hand, like marketing campaigns, customer support, or simply developing future strategies for growth.
This is the reason field service companies everywhere, no matter how big or small, are ditching traditional paper-based methods and choosing paperless business solutions instead.
For service businesses, in particular, paperless business solutions have been a paradigm shift. It has radically transformed the traditional ways of doing business, enabling organizations to streamline and standardize their processes with zero hassle. At the same time, field service management software solutions have become the most efficient tool to enhance efficiency, productivity, and profitability in today’s world. No wonder its popularity is skyrocketing around the globe.
But the current market is overflowing with options. Choosing the right business software could be even more challenging than managing a business itself. It is not only your hard-earned money that is at stake. Your business’s performance also depends on it. So, how do you make the decision?
No need to worry though! In this article, you will find the most important aspects you should look for when choosing the right paperless business solution.
No prize for guessing this one!
The value of your field management software lies in what it does for your business, and that is determined by the range of features it has to offer. So, before you look for anything else, check out what features the software offers and how extensive it is. Some of the common features that it must offer include scheduling and dispatching, estimates, GPS tracking, billing and invoicing, reports and analysis, dashboard, calendar views, integrated mobile app, among others.
But before you do this, make sure you have properly analyzed and identified your specific business needs. Even if the software solution promises a vast range of features, they mean nothing if they don’t serve your purpose.
2. User Experience
Many people get carried away by the range of features these cutting-edge software solutions offer and make a hasty decision. But this could be a fatal mistake for your business.
Remember, the more features it contains, the more complex its user interface could be. It makes no sense if you cannot operate the tool seamlessly, for it would demean the whole effort of simplifying and organizing your processes. Moreover, if the learning curve is too steep, you will waste more time and resources training your employees to use the software than it will save you in time and money.
Therefore, make ease of use a point while making your decision. Choose a software solution that offers a great UI/UX and has a minimal learning curve.
3. User Support
Adopting a new technology is daunting enough, but the peril does not end there. There are very few things more frustrating than waiting for someone to explain why your expensive tool is not functioning properly or how to resume operations as usual after an update.
Many software solutions impress their customers with their pre-purchase efforts but fail to satisfy with proper support. So, make sure the option you are choosing has a history of satisfactory customer assistance, even after onboarding and especially for troubleshooting.
4. Third-Party Integration
Most paperless business solutions are designed to provide one-stop automation support. But there are still some things that you need to carry on with in your day-to-day processes. For example, accounting software or CRM software. Imagine how smooth and efficient your job will become if your software supports QuickBooks integration. This way, you can easily perform your backend tasks, like work order management and invoice generation from one single platform.
To continue with the efficiency and seamlessness of your operations, therefore, make sure your business software supports third-party integrations.
Most people may not realize this while choosing a business solution for their organization, but customization could play a vital role in efficiency. Every business has different needs and there is no one size that fits all. True, there are options that offer an extensive range of features and functionalities, but you need to remember that your goal is to grow your business. Eventually, your technological needs will evolve as well. However, if you need to switch and pay for more tools to accommodate the changes, it makes no sense to choose it in the first place.
The solution to this problem is customization. See whether the software you are choosing is agile and flexible enough to cater to your expanding business needs. If it has room to accommodate growth and complex processes, this is the best investment you can make for your business. Otherwise, it is just going to be a smart choice in terms of ROI.