Wouldn’t you want to get paid faster by your customers for the work that you complete? One of the challenges in field service management is getting invoices to the customer. There is a lot of work to do in order to get to that stage. Firstly, and perhaps the most obvious, you need to finish the work. Secondly, you need to get the work order back to the office. Finally, someone has to process it into an invoice and get it to the customer.
That may seem like a pretty straight forward process, but there can be many bumps along the way. Repairs may not be completed on the first visit, work orders may not be turned back in on time and processing manually can take time. It can quickly spiral out of control and it all ends with one result – you don’t get paid on time. For a solution, however, field service businesses have turned to some form of field service management software. And more importantly, mobile field service apps to help get work completed faster, which means invoices also get completed faster.
Equipping technicians with mobile solutions has paid off in many different areas. But at the end of it all, it’s getting invoices paid faster. That improves customer service levels and your cashflow. Here are ways mobile field service apps are helping to get invoices paid faster through their functionality.
Work faster with mobile field service apps
In order to get paid faster, you need to work faster. That’s not easily accomplished if your technicians are stuck with a paper trail that will keep them completing work orders and checklists in their truck, long after the appointment has already been completed. It also has to do with getting technicians the information they need faster so they can complete repairs faster. From the mobile field service app, technicians can access all work order information in the field service management software. This knowledge will help them come to repair solutions faster and get the service call completed. The mobile app can also help with turn-by-turn directions to get technicians to the job site. Improve first-time fix rates with mobile field service apps, which allows you to invoice after the first visit.
Collect valuable information
To invoice a customer, you need some critical information from the technician. You can’t invoice a customer if you don’t have the facts.
- How long did the service call take?
- What parts were used?
- Were there any additional expenses?
- Did the call go over regular schedule hours or was it on a weekend?
These questions are important because they will determine the final invoice. For labor hours, rates can change depending on if your business has special rates for overtime hours, on-call service or weekend work. And you need to know when preparing the invoice how much time was logged and at what rate to charge the customer at.
With the mobile field service apps, technicians can record their travel, labor and break times for accurate billing. It takes the guesswork out of invoicing, as the technician can check-in and out of the job site, which gives an exact timestamp for how much time they worked. If they used parts or need to add expenses, they can add those figures through their mobile field service apps. And that will directly send to the field service management software for an accurate account of the facts and figures of the service call.
Get it back to the office
One of the challenges faced when using paper-based work orders is returning them to the office. Some technicians return them after each service call. Others return them after completing the day’s work. While others can go days or even weeks before they send in their work orders. You can’t have invoices paid faster if you can’t get the work order information back just as fast to turn into an invoice. Not to mention the processing time that has to be completed by someone for each invoice. And information could be missing, handwriting can be hard to read, or work orders simply lost. How can you charge for that?
With mobile field service apps, your technicians are connected to the field service management software. When they close a work order, the information is immediately sent back to the head office to be processed. The technician might not even be off the job site and the work order is already being turned into an invoice. And for those who work in remote areas with limited and zero internet access, as soon as a connection is reestablished, that work order information is sent to the field service management software. Don’t rely on your technicians to make sure every T is crossed, and I dotted. With mobile field service apps, missed information won’t allow for the work order to be closed out. Get everything you need the minute it’s available and start the invoicing process fast.
Field service automation and integrations take care of the rest
The work order has been closed on the mobile field service app. The technician has provided all the labor hours, parts and expenses and collected a customer signature. It’s time to invoice. With field service management software, invoicing is automated with integrations with an accounting system, such as QuickBooks, NetSuite, Microsoft GP and Intacct. With workflow controls, back-office staff can generate invoices instantly with a click of a button. That’s because your labor rates, parts and expense costs are all built into your accounting and field service system. Those two hours of special hour work your technician completed? They are accounted for at the rate you previously set.
With integrations to accounting systems, taxes are applied, invoices created and can be sent directly to your customer. Sometimes, well before your technician leaves the job site. To get invoices sent faster, you need an integration to your accounting system. They need to speak the same language and work together. Without this integration, you would have to duplicate the entries from your field service management software into your accounting software, which slows down the process.
Invoicing at a faster speed
To invoice faster, you have to think of each step of the process and make each step faster as well. How will your technicians input information? How will they get that information back to you? What happens to that information and work order once it’s closed? How will the accounting software react? The answer is, by giving your technicians mobile field service apps. And then using field service management software with automation to get invoices out the door faster. Customers will appreciate faster invoices, and you’ll close the gap on invoicing times, keep your cashflow solid.