trades EOFY


15th July, 2019

How job management software can help your tradie business

Whether you’re working as a solo tradie or have a small team of other people with you in your business, job management software can help you gain hours each week normally taken up by handling paperwork and other administrative tasks, writes Kellie Byrnes.

Anyone who operates a fields-based business gets inundated with administration, especially when managing a high volume of quicker, smaller jobs like service call-outs and other short repairs or maintenance tasks.

You have to find a way to organise and deal with things such as communicating with customers, quoting and scheduling jobs, documenting work done on the day, creating invoices, taking payments, and potentially even dealing with manufacturers and other suppliers.

For many tradies, the amount of administration they have to deal with on many jobs is way bigger than the size of the task itself, or the income it brings in.

Things are further compounded by the fact that you and/or your team are also on the go all day every day, and not in the office much.

This makes life much harder as you have to try to handle paperwork while you’re in the car, on-site at jobs, or after hours.

It hurts productivity, efficiency, the level of customer service you can provide, all-important cash flow, and your lifestyle, to boot.

There is a way to make life easier, though, for you and your mobile workforce.

It pays to start utilising job-management software that’s designed specifically for tradespeople, cloud-based, and provides an easy way to systemise tasks and communicate with clients and other members of your team.

There are multiple products on the market these days, each with various features and price points.

Choose the right one for you, and you’ll soon be running a more effective trades business, and dealing with less stress.

Here are some of the reasons why you need to start using this type of software solution today.

Manage jobs easily

To save time and ensure each task you and your team complete goes well, use job-management software to streamline processes.

The tech keeps everything in one place, including your quotes, customer contact details, time and materials numbers, information from site inspections and progress reports, invoices, and more.

A good, local solution that integrates effectively with MYOB and provides a wide variety of features is ServiceM8.

This software was designed by tradies for tradies and has been proven to do its job well for tradespeople in all types of specialties.

By shaving minutes off every aspect of a job with this kind of tech, you’ll soon save many hours per week.

Use this time to then better market your business or handle financial and accounting tasks, or achieve a better work/life balance.

On-the-go job management

A job-management tool is crucial for mobile workers as it makes it simple for everyone who needs access to job information to get it off-site and on.

The tech ensures all details are accessible anywhere, anytime, via devices such as mobiles, laptops, tablets, and desktop computers.

All updates can be set up to filter into programs automatically. So, for instance, if your admin staff back in the office get a request from a client to come later in the day, tradies out on the road will be alerted ASAP.

READ: How to choose the right mobile POS software for your trades business

In turn, decisions and queries don’t have to be funnelled through you at every point.

This reduces delays and headaches and gives customers a better experience.

Better document control

Even the shortest, simplest jobs wind up generating a lot of documentation.

To keep all this tracked and organised, and ensure notes don’t get lost in a van, on a job site, or in a filing cabinet, use job-management technology.

By taking advantage of a single, digital system that’s accessed on the go and accessible to anyone in your team, you’ll rest easy knowing all documents are stored safely in one spot.

This list of documents might include job specifications, quotes, updates, and photos, to name just a few.

Save money

Cash flow is always a big pain for tradies. It’s particularly the case when you’re dealing with jobs of varying sizes and all manner of materials and timeframes.

Job-management software is helpful when it comes to tracking key costs such as labour and materials, and improving the visibility of these so you can measure the profitability of each job. After all, you want to be sure you actually make money each time.

RESOURCE: Your guide to cash flow management

You also want to continually look for ways to improve profitability, which only happens when you can see the information you need at the drop of a hat.

Cash flow also comes into play when ensuring employee time is adequately tracked and charged to clients.

Plus, it’s wise to measure employee productivity and put KPIs (key performance indicators) in place for workers to try to achieve. This will lead to more jobs finished in the same amount of time.

While new technology always has a little bit of a learning curve to discover how to use it properly, once you start incorporating job-management software into your business, you’ll wish you had started using it sooner.