The HVAC industry isn’t made up of only large service companies with hundreds of technicians and massive service departments. Small, local shops service communities all across the world. These small-medium businesses have their own unique challenges, but they also share the same problems as larger HVAC organizations.
In fact, their problems may be escalated because they don’t have the same number of technicians. They work with smaller workforces, fewer resources, and limited inventories. Regardless, they still need to meet increasing customer demands, be efficient in their service delivery, and get to job sites on time and with the right technician for the job.
By 2020, 80 percent of US small-medium businesses will be using cloud-based field service software for the same reasons their larger, enterprise HVAC organizations are:
- Mobile field service technology
- Integrations to ERP, CRM and accounting systems
- Analytical and reporting tools
- Preventative maintenance contract managers
- Collaboration tools
HVAC field service software is a commitment that enterprises are making, and small-medium HVAC companies should be as well. The glaring benefits are helping SMB field service businesses compete with even the largest service providers.
HVAC Software Makes SMB More Responsive to Opportunities
Up against enterprise level field service organizations, SMB HVAC companies need to take every opportunity they get and turn it into a positive. To do so, they need to be more responsive when opportunities present themselves. Customers in an emergency will look for who is available immediately in a crisis. If the call comes through, effective HVAC field service software will ensure they can get someone there quickly and earn a potential new long-term customer.
To do that, companies need to be able to route their limited workforce to the emergency call. It needs to be added to their schedule and other service calls moved or reassigned to different technicians. HVAC software and resource routing tools can assist small medium businesses by:
- Seeing where each technician is and finding the nearest resource to the emergency call
- See which technicians’ route will take them closest to the service call
- Adjust the technician’s schedule and route to include the new service call
- Assign other service calls to different technicians and have their routes optimized
When these calls come in, dispatchers can load their resource routing map and get a large-scale view of their technicians. With pinpoint accuracy, they can see where technicians and all their service calls are located and make scheduling adjustments with real-time data from the field.
HVAC Software Makes Employees More Engaged
Small-medium businesses have smaller workforces, which means less people to communicate with compared to their larger counterparts. But even with less people, communication in the field can be a challenge. Dispatchers have to call or text technicians to explain details, and technicians have to call for instructions or help.
No matter the size of the service department, communication is key to successful service delivery. Just as enterprise corporations are handling communication, so too can the SMB HVAC organizations.
With field service mobile apps and mobile field service software, dispatchers can directly communicate work orders to technicians without having to make that call. No more paper-based work orders, checklists, or inspection procedures, as they are all on the mobile app. And additional information, such as manuals, brochures and help desk information can be sent to the technician when they need it.
In the field, technicians now have access to the service history of their organization. It may not be as deep as a larger company, but it matters to frequent customers, as their equipment will be logged in the system. Technicians can be more engaged with their customers, their equipment, and dispatchers through the field service mobile app. This will:
- Cut down travel time to the head office to get paper-based work orders
- Speed up service, as technicians can be sent or have access to service history and manuals
- Allow technicians to leave notes for each other to better collaborate on projects
Collaboration is more important than ever, especially if SMB HVAC companies are starting to use subcontractors to extend their workforce. Subcontractors can add additional skillsets to an HVAC organization, assist in installations, and help a company when work orders are overflowing. With mobile apps, they can add and leave notes for other technicians to keep a line of communication open.
Keep Them Doing What They Do Best
Small-medium businesses are generally very good at one specific thing. HVAC companies are great at delivering service, and HVAC software makes it so that they can take that excellent service to the next level. For smaller companies, taking on more service calls is the only way to grow more revenue. They could charge more, but prices have to stay aligned with the larger competitors. So that is why many SMB organizations are turning to HVAC field service software to grow their business without growing their expenses.
With schedule optimization, contract automation, and field service mobile apps, SMB service teams can continue to do what they do best, just more often. Technicians will spend less time idling, completing administration work, and searching for answers, and more time actually working or on the road to new calls. That’s how revenue is grown for any small-medium business. For every new call a technician can take in a day, the more revenue the business will generate.
HVAC Software Design for the SMB HVAC Industry
HVAC field service software just isn’t for the enterprise level service organizations in the HVAC industry—it’s for everyone, including small-medium businesses. It’s at the SMB level that scheduling optimization, resource routing, and better communication will lead to many new opportunities. And it’s those opportunities that will lead to more revenue generation, faster service and, most important, happier customers.