An emergency call comes in to dispatch and all of your technicians are busy. You can’t pull them off their jobs, as those customers are all under contract. This repair is pretty routine and shouldn’t take more than an hour, but you still want that customer’s business, as you may get them under contract later on. And, you don’t want to be known as the company that turns business away. It’s time to consider hiring a subcontractor. If you’re already using subcontractor management software, this won’t be an issue. However, if you haven’t yet started using any kind of field service software, you might be turning away business.
In today’s field service industries where margins are already thin, turning away business is a recipe for disaster. Not only are you losing out on opportunities to gain new customers and possibly upsell them to preventative maintenance contracts, but you’re also losing out on extra revenue. Recurring revenue is great for the bottom line, but extra revenue through emergency calls will definitely help grow your business.
But without some form of subcontractor management software, it’s going to be difficult to hire one. It’ll also be difficult to get them to the job, ensure they meet your standards when representing your business, and pay them on time. Let’s look at the five advantages of subcontractor management software and how it will help you stop turning away business.
If you need a subcontractor, you need to find one first. There are third-party vendor portals to use, such as Service Channel and WorkMarket. There you can submit work orders and wait for subcontractors to send back bids and quotes. But that access isn’t very automated and requires duplicate data-entry to build the work order in your field service software and again in the third-party channel. With subcontractor management software, it’s all completed in one portal. You never leave your field service software and can still push work orders to these portals and accept bids and quotes. The subcontractor can live in their portal and you live in yours. Through the integration, information is shared, and connections are made to open you up to a whole new world of talented and skilled subcontractors.
Import Subs Into Subcontractor Management Software
You found your subcontractor. Their quote is reasonable, they have the qualifications and can get to the customer quickly. So the job is done, right? Well, you have to gather their information because, eventually, they are going to want to be paid. Onboarding is part of the subcontractor process and is how you schedule, dispatch, and eventually pay your workers. You need an easy-to-use system to house their information for this process. With subcontractor management software, onboarding includes the subcontractor’s rates, so you know exactly how much you are being charged. Once you have on-boarded them, they are now part of your system, giving you a database of subcontractors to use.
One of the best parts of using subcontractor management software is that you can use them like you would your in-house technicians. Dispatchers will be able to search for an available technician using a skillset search and your subcontractor will be included. They are dispatched just like any of your full-time employees would be. They complete work orders the same way, and you have access to their progress like you would with any other technician. It allows you to get organized properly and ensure the right person, with the right skill set, in the right location, is sent to the job site, regardless if they are your own technicians or a subcontractor.
Give Subcontractors Access
If you’re going to treat subcontractors like your in-house technicians in your field service software, you should treat them the same in the field. Considering they are representing your business, treating them as such will only ensure they are working to your standards. So, give them access to the same field service mobile app your in-house technicians use. Push work orders to them in the field through the mobile app and have them complete their tasks without needing a paper-based work order.
For more standards control, utilize checklists to keep the subcontractor on task, working to your standards. When they are finished, have customers sign off on the work order and immediately have it turned into an invoice upon review. You can even go as far as to give access to past service history in your subcontractor management software. That way, they can see any past issues and possibly find a faster solution.
Pay the Subcontractor Their Money
At the end of the job, not only do you want the customer to pay you, the subcontractor wants to be paid. The great thing is, everything we talked about already works to ensure subcontractors get paid on time. And if your subcontractor management software is integrated with an accounting system like QuickBooks, NetSuite, or Microsoft GP, you can turn those work orders not only into invoices for the customer but payment vouchers for the subcontractor. That’s because you already collected their rates when onboarding. Review the work order and, if it’s complete and acceptable, push it forward and have a payment voucher created. Don’t leave your subcontractors hanging for payment. Grow your reputation of being subcontractor-friendly by using integrated field service software to get them paid fast.
Subcontractor Management Software Has Its Advantages
Don’t be the company that has to turn away business because your technicians are busy. Be the company that uses subcontractors to facilitate the extra work you have coming in. Remember, if you’re a busy company, you’re doing something right. Don’t let your customers down and use skilled subcontractors to get the work completed today. Grow your business into new territories or new types of service with an entire world of skilled and certified subcontractors. Onboard them, give them access and pay them quickly, making them a part of your entire field service team.