Managing a successful HVAC construction service operation isn’t easy. But with the right software features in hand, you can make it a core profit center for your organization. Mobile and back-office enterprise technologies are infiltrating nearly every industry these days. Industries with mobile workforces, like HVAC installation and ductwork fabrication businesses, especially benefit from advancements in mobile applications, since they allow workers different locations to stay connected and informed.
As the construction industry recovers from the deep recession of a few years ago, HVAC construction contractors need to keep up with the demand for new unit installations and efficient maintenance programs. Adopting the latest technology and advancements in mobile is one way to make your service team more productive. It’s no new news that mobility and software advancements have had huge implications for today’s field service workforce and have helped HVAC contractors provide better, more reliable service.
But not all workforce management software options are created equal. Here are the top nine qualities to look out for and how they’ll help you make the most of your operations.
1. Easy-to-use visual scheduling
Leading service-management systems have advanced scheduling capabilities that display technician location, status and skill-set information. Drag-and-drop assignment capabilities are easy for dispatchers to use and make adjustments. With top scheduling software, dispatchers and field techs can communicate through automated alerts sent when HVAC market technicians update their status or when they receive a new or updated assignment from the scheduler.
2. Cross-platform mobile technician applications
Leading software firms open their customers to the flexibility of cross-platform apps so they can run on whatever device they choose, and even implement a bring-your-own-device policy. Cross-platform mobile applications support improved technician, inspector, and other field worker productivity via completely electronic ability to access and record work on Apple, Android or Windows mobile devices.
3. Parts/inventory and asset management
While mobile and scheduling apps give technicians and dispatchers better tools for communication on the front end of field service, many systems with good reviews don’t manage the back end, failing to track important business processes such as service contracts or service agreements, inventory and spare parts management and equipment assets.
4. Native applications that work offline
Native applications take full advantage of device and operating system advancements, while offering background functionality and disconnected work support. Native apps are also preferred by most smartphone users today. In a recent survey, Bite Interactive said that “Two in every three iPhone and Android owners say it is important that the apps they download are native applications that can better make full use of all their smartphone’s capabilities.”
5. Service reporting of real-time data
To measure performance and customer satisfaction, businesses need a way to collect and analyze data. Some workforce management systems have the ability to collect, configure and display information for customers and executives. Providing targeted, limited data access to these and other key groups can extend the utility of your system and the reach of your business.
Cloud-based software is becoming increasingly popular for businesses, especially those that require their system to do more than just a few basic tasks. With software in “the cloud,” rather than build your infrastructure one hardware server at a time, you can leverage a pool of resources to maximize efficiency and decrease operating costs for the lowest possible total cost of ownership.
7. Seamless information flow from mobile to back office
The best workforce management systems have integrated mobile and back office functionality, which allows office workers to send and automated alerts and instructions to field workers through mobile. Once they’re on the jobsite, service techs can collect information and hours and save to the back-office for immediate reporting and analysis.
8. System compatibility
The best mobile workforce software companies understand that you have other business needs and you need your workforce management app to integrate to your existing enterprise software systems. Decide whether an app provider is right for you by determining their software’s ability to integrate with other systems and work with other software partners.
9. Inspection capabilities
Nearly every HVAC construction or sheet metal works contractor needs to perform inspections of some sort. Whether that’s quality assurance, safety or something else, leading workforce management systems have robust mobile inspection capabilities that allow field inspectors to perform checks quickly and efficiently. And the biggest advantage of systems with mobile inspections? No paper or data re-entry.
When you’re investigating new software for your HVAC market contracting business, increased efforts in the evaluation process is a worthwhile investment in the future performance of your firm. By making sure your software is one of the best, you can start leveraging strong best-of-breed service functionality right away in order to provide the level of service customers today expect.
This article was supplied by MSI. MSI is a field service management software provider and creator of enterprise field service application, Service Pro. Contact the company by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone, (262) 241-7800.