As a software and services provider to the building service contractor, we regularly participate in lengthy conversations with industry leaders about the most challenging aspects of running their businesses. The need for technology as an automated management tool is clear and the benefits are significant, regardless of company size.
While software helps save time and money, as well as decreasing mistakes and improving efficiency, we do still hear common objections to implementing software. Those range from a lack of time to find and implement the right solutions, to having too small a staff to see a quick return on investment and that their staff has a lack of technical expertise and won’t be on board with using the software. And of course, cost is always a factor.
The reality is that cloud and mobile applications are low overhead technologies which operate at a much lower cost than you may realize. Costs per user can average just a few dollars a day, while a tablet can be purchased for under $150.00, making cloud software at the subscription level both affordable and sustainable on any budget. Especially when you consider the time savings and depth of information it provides.
Implementing software for use into your business will allow for:
Transparency with your Customer
Your customers want to know the work you’ve been contracted to do is getting done. You perform inspections, put the data into spreadsheets and email it to the customer but often there is a disconnect. If your customers want to be a part of the process, your manager is running in and out of buildings with a clipboard trying to get verification and signatures. Paperwork gets lost, scattered across the office, or left at home.
Technology helps accumulate and package all the relevant information tools you need so it can be delivered to your customers through easy to read charts, graphs and tables. Your customers can gauge your performance, make requests and provide feedback along the way, which strengthens your relationship with them.
KPI data is getting more useful and customers are expecting it. Making sure you have all the data and inputting it into Excel to create charts and graphs is time consuming. Let technology automate this for you.
This type of service delivery tracking is the wave of the future. It is invaluable to your customers and your relationships with them. Embracing the opportunity to be transparent of your strengths and weaknesses will only fortify those relationships.
Empower your Staff
It’s hard for your supervisors to manage a constantly revolving staff when they are traveling between multiple locations and not always there to directly oversee work completion. Mobile apps can deliver work orders, inspection deficiency corrections, track time and attendance, and trace the movement of equipment and supplies. Instant notifications can be sent directly to mobile devices for any outstanding work orders that have yet to be completed.
Customized inspection templates can be assigned to each of your buildings so you know the areas that need to be inspected are being checked by your supervisors and the results of those inspections are being tracked over time. This data can then easily be sent to your customers so they know how your company is performing and to your employees so they know how they are performing.
Gain Insight into Profitability
Margins are tight and can often be difficult to manage. With software, you can easily create pricing classes and assign the correct employee to a job based on pay rate. You can also be able to calculate an estimated labor cost over the life of a contract.
Additionally, all your jobs can be loaded with equipment, supply and miscellaneous costs to give you an overall idea of how much a job is costing you. You can easily add a mark-up percent to derive a contract price for your customers, then filter the data to see how profitable you are over all your contracts. You can also see aggregate costs by expense type and even which sales people are achieving the highest margins.
Fast and Reliable Information
As technology becomes an extension of your workforce it will become easier to use while providing you with the most relevant information. An integrated system that handles a full quote to invoice process, while not easy to find, is more likely to be used by your staff rather than needing to access two, three or even four separate systems; one for time keeping, one for work orders, another for inspections, and this doesn’t include your email and accounting systems.
An all in one system will provide you with information from all departments in your company. You’ll be able to access information from your sales department and see who your top sellers are, from your management staff and make sure that they are making the building visits that they’re supposed to be doing, and from your field staff to make sure they’re completing the work orders assigned to them.
In addition to all mentioned above, differentiation in a crowded market is your greatest return on this worthy investment. Stay focused on your project goals. The result is a smart, cutting edge set of tools in which to run your business more effectively, efficiently and drastically improve service delivery. Consider taking the first steps in planning the future success of your organization for today and tomorrow.
Thank you for reading. Please share with your colleagues who might find this of interest. Authored by Accelerator CC, providers of cloud-based commercial cleaning software that helps you profitably manage contracts, bids, operations, sales, and staff while providing advanced on-site inspection and quality assurance to your customers. One of the fastest-growing SaaS platforms on the market, Accelerator CC delivers an advanced level of automation, remote/field connectivity and built-in best practices that specifically target the needs of commercial cleaning organizations and their customers. To see a demo of Accelerator CC, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 610.849.5039.