To get the most out of your HVAC field service software, you need to be asking the right questions about it. For any HVAC business who is about to embark on a journey down the field service software rabbit hole, it’s important to have all your goals in mind before looking. Here are some of the questions you should be asking when looking to purchase an HVAC scheduling and dispatch software.
Can I take it for a test drive?
It can be very difficult to take an HVAC field service software for a real test drive. That’s because it’s a complete end-to-end system that has to be integrated with your CRM, ERP and accounting software. As well, your technicians need training on the field service mobile app. And your dispatchers need to know what new tools their HVAC scheduling and dispatch software have. It’s an entire system to understand, so actually getting a sample product is difficult to do.
However, you can go through your business scenarios and decide what your business needs are. At the very least, see how a typical day-to-day activity will be completed. The most obvious starting point is how a work order is created, scheduled, dispatched, completed and turned into an invoice. That’s the bread and butter of most HVAC businesses, so it’s important to test drive that part of the process. You don’t need to get your hands on the wheel in order to know how your business scenarios will play out.
How will this handle my service needs?
Once you know your processes, you can start to see how HVAC field service software can handle them. If more than 50 percent of your revenue comes from delivering services, then you’ll want to understand how services are priced, how time, parts and expenses are collected, and how customer invoices are generated. Also, if you handle preventative maintenance contracts, you will want to know how your HVAC field service software will handle your ability to renew contracts, automate work orders from them, and make it easier to sell.
For your dispatchers, HVAC scheduling and dispatch software will change their process in how they dispatch technicians. So, you need to consider the requirements you have to get your technicians to the job site. Does that include turn-by-turn directions on field service mobile apps? Do you want a system to optimize routes so that technicians are completing the work orders without extra driving time? All of these are important service needs you should be expecting your HVAC field service software to handle for you.
How will HVAC field service software handle projects
Installations of HVAC systems are a large undertaking that requires multiple technicians, parts to be ordered and tasks to be scheduled. For some HVAC businesses, they stay away from project work because it’s beyond their scope. They don’t have enough technicians to dedicate to their break/fix and contract work, or don’t want to invest in a project department. With HVAC field service software, however, projects become manageable with a system that is connected to your service department. Utilize the same technicians for break/fix work and pull them off jobs when needed to help complete projects.
Installations are a great way to earn a customer’s trust and then sign them to a preventative maintenance contract. With margins being thin on installation work, having an HVAC field service software that can handle all aspects of service makes it easy to offer lifecycle protection on the units you sell and install for your customers.
How long will it take to train my people?
A very important question to ask is how long it will take to get everyone comfortable with using an HVAC scheduling and dispatch software. Older technicians may shy away from going completely mobile. That’s because they are used to the old system of doing things, mainly with paper-based work orders. Putting a phone in their hand and telling them to enter time and parts and complete checklists could be a struggle.
So, combat training time by keeping your technicians in the loop the entire way. By making them part of the selection process, it won’t be such a shock when you’re ready to go live with a field service mobile app in the field. Concurrently, dispatchers will have their hands on their new HVAC scheduling and dispatch tools, ready to optimize routes and schedule work orders with full clarity into schedules. If an HVAC field service software is too difficult to learn, it may turn your technicians off and have them wanting to go back to their old processes.
Is the HVAC field service software flexible?
Being flexible is the key to growth in the field service industry. The more flexible you are, the more services you can offer. It’s no different with your HVAC field service software. It needs to be able to handle all types of services and processes that make your business run. It also should be able to integrate other important programs into your HVAC scheduling and dispatch software that you use to be successful. Integrations with ERP, CRM, and accounting services are a must. As well, tax systems, subcontractor management systems and sales programs can also be connected.
Having flexibility in your HVAC field service software means it can be customized to fit your needs. A software with only one direction of functionality may not fit your processes and ideas for how it should work for you. So, ensure the HVAC field service software you select is working for you, not against you.
Ask Questions About HVAC Field Service Software
The most important thing to note is, you need to be asking questions. Dive deep into your own processes and see exactly how you want your business to work. With HVAC scheduling and dispatch tools, you have the ability to shape your business of the future. But to do so, you need to ask the right questions of yourself and your HVAC field service software provided, today.