Are Manual Work Orders Slowing Down Your HVAC Business?
Traditional Workflows Are Holding You Back
Like many other businesses in the trades, HVAC companies are usually run by expert tradespeople who have tons of experience in the field. However, in the office, they tend to rely on traditional methods. These traditional workflows might have made sense in the 70s, but today, they're holding your company back from potential profit. Consider what goes into your standard work order, and imagine if you could shave hours off of the process, so you could get right to work.Your first visit to the client's site usually results in a quote, likely scribbled on paper. Once the job is approved, you secure payment and review the quote again to determine exactly what materials are needed and procure them. Once that's done, you have to review your staff's availability to figure out who can handle the job. Then you draft instructions for them and put them to work. This process can take days or weeks; but it could be done in hours.
HVAC Software Provides Specific HVAC Solutions
Using cloud-based HVAC software, you can automate many of the steps we just described. Much of the time wasted in the traditional workflow is between tasks. For example, passing information from a quote to a purchase order for materials takes time. With software designed to provide HVAC solutions, you can get that done in minutes.Digitizing your data eliminates the paper trail and allows for data to flow seamlessly from one process to the next. Your quotes become actions very quickly. It only requires some brief setup and configuration. Once your software is personalized for your business, you'll wonder how you lived without it.
Digital Quotes Close Deals Faster
Instead of writing down paper quotes, the software allows you to make a digital quote while you're on site. You don't even need to bring a special device. Just use your phone or a tablet while you walk around the facility and add work or materials as needed. Once you're done with your evaluation, you'll have a finished quote that you can send directly to the client's email.When you configure your software, you'll input the expected costs associated with specific jobs, plus any additional amount you need to charge to turn a profit. Those amounts are fed automatically into the quote system so that your customer gets an accurate quote instantly, and you know exactly how much you will make off the job. This makes your quotes more transparent for customers, which makes them more likely to sign off and close the deal.
Connect Your Quotes to Your Inventory
The beauty of digital HVAC management tools is that they link items together, so that quote you just took can now be turned into a purchase order for materials. Based on the information you input while quoting, the system will tell you exactly what you should order. You can also make manual adjustments to the list as needed.If you already have your inventory synced up in the system, you'll see what you have in stock and what you need to order. You can decide whether to purchase new materials or use existing ones. Each job is saved in the system, so you'll never accidentally take materials from another job. By managing your inventory this way, you expedite procurement and can start working faster. More jobs done equals more money at the end of the year.
Automate Scheduling and Dispatch
Within a matter of hours, your quote has already called for the materials you'll need to get the job done. However, you still need to figure out who will work on it. Fortunately, your software will answer that question for you in minutes. You simply define the working hours for that particular job, and the software will look at your team's availability to determine who needs to be there. It can even automatically assign people if you prefer.You have to add your employees or contractors and their availability for this feature to work. It only takes a few minutes per person. The system automatically checks for conflicts with other jobs, so no one will ever be double booked. Whoever gets assigned will get instructions and information about the job straight from the initial quote. Employees check in with the same software to let you know they're actively working.
Improve Your Customer Service
It's rare for a job to go off without a hitch. How you respond to problems and setbacks will have a major impact on your company's perception. With digital software, you'll be notified if there are issues. For example, if someone doesn't show up to work, you'll get a notification as soon as they're late so that you can find a replacement. If materials come up short, the system can create an urgent purchase order to keep things moving.The best HVAC programs include customer management tools so that you can follow up with your customers and get their feedback. You can even program reminders to reach out to clients for repeat business or upsells. Maybe a year or two after installing that new air conditioning unit, you could offer to do some duct cleaning. With software, you'll never forget to make that call that could lead to easy money.
Access Your Business From Anywhere
One of the biggest advantages of going digital is that your whole business is in your pocket at all times. Your phone, laptop, office PC, or any other device with internet access can access your company's information. You don't need to commute to the office or back up files to bring with you when you head out of town. The cloud makes everything accessible everywhere. Contact ServiceBox to schedule a meeting with us and learn more about how our HVAC software suite can make your business run better.