1. Managing Schedules
Whether you have two employees or twenty, it's vital to manage each employee's schedule as efficiently as possible. Plumbing businesses with multiple work orders may struggle to juggle the job demand if there are too few plumbers, or if only plumbers with certain expertise can complete specific orders. When there is trouble with schedule management, both the customer and the business suffer.
The Solution: Plumber Scheduling Software
Plumber scheduling software is the best solution to manage multiple schedules. Software that has been developed specifically for organizing employee schedules, coordinating job orders, and dispatching plumbers for urgent work orders is the key to boosting the overall productivity of a plumbing business. The most effective plumber scheduling software will include a drag-and-drop calendar and at-a-glance features that make it much easier for admin staff to manage schedules.
2. Payments and Invoicing
Invoicing can be a major headache for some plumbing businesses. Depending on how a business operates, the invoicing and payment process can be slow, which can make it hard to manage the accounting side of the business. If invoices are lost in the mail or invoices are inaccurate, that's essentially money flushing down the drain. Ineffective payment processing can slow down the entire business.
The Solution: Automated Invoicing Software
Instead of sending out invoices manually, partially automated invoicing software can convert completed work orders into invoices that can be sent directly to the customer electronically. Not only does this software simplify the invoicing process and make it easier to keep track of accounting, but this software can also cross-reference employee timesheets for more accurate compensation.
3. Customer Retention
Most plumbing businesses rely on customer retention. If a business is spending a lot of money on targeting new customers, but not spending as much effort on maintaining its current client base, it can be hard for the business to thrive. Customer retention is particularly important for plumbers who want to have long-term contracts with other businesses, such as office buildings, multifamily residences, and contractors.
The Solution: Customer Management Software
For ultimate customer retention, customer management software is essential. CMS software allows businesses to store important client information, including contract details and requests for regularly scheduled work orders. When this software is used effectively, it helps businesses build trust with clients, anticipate client needs, and tailor client services.
4. Field Support
Supporting plumbers in the field is often overlooked. However, field support is necessary for plumbing businesses that want to manage time well. When field support is poor, plumbers do not have the resources to provide the best service to customers, and that can eventually negatively impact the reputation of the plumbing business.
The Solution: GPS Tracking and Mobile Software
To provide effective field support to plumbers, plumbing businesses can utilize mobile software with GPS tracking. There are a few advantages to using mobile software that is designed with cloud-based connectivity. For one thing, cloud-based mobile apps can allow plumbers to add detailed notes to work orders, add additional information to invoices, and manage their inventory remotely.
Mobile software is also important for GPS tracking. Scheduling software with dispatch capabilities works best when the software can reference the GPS coordinates of individual employees, which allows admins to find field technicians who are in the closest proximity to an urgent work order. During times when plumbing needs are urgent, such as with frozen pipes during the winter, GPS tracking can be the key to keeping a business competitive and productive.
5. Competitive Job Costing
One key to attracting new clients is providing accurate quotes and job cost estimates. When job costing is inaccurate or too expensive, customers may flock to a competitor that offers cheaper prices. While plumbing businesses obviously don't want to provide premium service for pennies, it's still important to keep quotes competitive and predictable so customers can build trust in the business.
The Solution: Professional Quoting Software
For accurate and competitive quotes, it's essential to use the most updated professional quoting software possible. Accurate quotes will rely on gathering details about the work order request and comparing costs to the industry standard for similar jobs to provide the most competitive rate. When this software is partially automated, confirmed quotes can be transformed into work orders that can be scheduled immediately.
6. Inventory Tracking
Plumbers tend to go through a high volume of inventory to complete job orders. Whether it's pipes or other tools, plumbers in the field should have quick access to the equipment necessary to complete each job order. More importantly, a plumbing business with a poorly stocked inventory warehouse will have difficulty completing work orders on time, which can reduce customer satisfaction and retention.
The Solution: Inventory Management Software
Keeping track of inventory manually is an extremely time-consuming process. However, inventory management software can partially automate this task by allowing software to track the serial number assigned to unique parts and equipment. From there, the software can automatically track the location of each part, including parts that are in the field with technicians and parts that are used to complete work order requests.
Inventory management software can also alert businesses when equipment is running low. This gives businesses enough time to order more inventory so that business productivity is not stalled while plumbers are waiting for certain parts.
Successful plumbing businesses use every resource and tool in the toolbox to optimize business management. Software can be an essential part of keeping a business competitive, especially software for scheduling and dispatching. To test out a free demo of the best service software for plumbers, contact Service Box today.