By Rick Agajanian
Adaptation is critical for businesses looking to thrive no matter what industry they’re operating in. Learning to take advantage of the latest tools has always been key to success, and that’s true now more than ever, as technology continues to impact the way we do business. For contractors, this means that field service technology is no longer optional if they want to compete in the modern market.
Field service technology solutions are tools. But just buying a tool doesn’t get anything done; buying a hammer when you need a saw won’t benefit you in the long run. It’s got to be the right tool for that job, and the person using it must know what to do with it.
Many times, business owners will sign up for the first brand that shows up in an online search, go through a couple of hours of preliminary training with their team, and end up using a fraction of what they’re paying for. They might see some small improvements in workflow and productivity, but the major gains in efficiency they were promised are nowhere to be seen.
Ultimately, money is being wasted on features that are not being used. In some cases, team members might face new frustrations and inefficiencies introduced by hasty implementation, lack of training or lackluster support.
Selecting a new technology solution for your company is a big deal, and contributes to immense benefits for a company. It’s worth taking time in advance so you’re confident you’re making the right choice. It’s also worth taking time for proper training and full implementation in order to get the results you’re looking for and to get the most out of your investment.
Pick the Right Software Solution
It can sometimes be tempting to pick the biggest name or the platform with the flashiest features. As a first step, it’s critical to know your business and what your company needs from its field service software. This way, you can pay for what you know you need, instead of fancy functions you don’t need.
It’s also important to consult your technicians and identify how a field service solution can help them. Ask them about their preferences; they’ll be using the product every day, and choosing a solution that makes their jobs easier removes a huge barrier that often stands in the way of full adoption and implementation.
Some software platforms are suitable for large companies with multiple locations; others focus on supporting small growing businesses. Because of this, it’s important to identify providers that specialize in helping contractors who provide the services you offer.
This first step is a deep dive into your operations. Identify what works and what doesn’t, and diligently search for a reliable provider suited for how your business runs on a day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month basis. A reputable all-in-one system will include a range of features that can be toggled on or off, depending on the needs of each organization.
Commit Your Team
With a haphazard implementation, you’re likely to end up with haphazard workflows—and haphazard results. If you’re investing in a sophisticated software solution, it pays to be all in. In the end, a patchwork approach that combines mobile field service software with spreadsheets or unintegrated accounting software may not be any more efficient than manual workflows, and it may introduce new inefficiencies that eat into your revenue.
Disconnected systems can also create opportunities for human error to be compounded. With multiple team members switching back and forth between several mobile and desktop applications, the risk of major mistakes or oversight increases. With the right solution, you will not only experience greater efficiencies when it comes to your processes, but also within your teams as well.
Set Up for Ongoing Success
Find the right solution, configure it for your team and flip the switch. That’s only the beginning of the successful implementation of a technology solution.
You and your team will be working with this software for months and years to come, so partner with a provider who guarantees continuing support. That means more than just a 1-800 number. Techs and office teams should have convenient, dependable access to a dedicated support team so they can pass the benefits of your new solution on to your customers.
The right commercial software sets your contracting business up for success. Finding the right fit for your company isn’t as easy as clicking a search button, but the effort invested in selecting the best solution for your needs can pay off in the long run. Full implementation, team confidence and trusted support paired with powerful service technology solutions position you and your company for fast improvements in efficiency, productivity and customer experience across the board and set the stage for growth.
Rick Agajanian leads the strategic direction of Workwave's product portfolio as chief product officer. Rick is focused on creating great user experiences and leveraging the power of SaaS software to improve operational efficiency for Workwave's clients.