The air conditioning industry is highly competitive. With over 17,000 HVAC businesses across Australia, business owners and managers are facing pressure to maintain profitability, despite the downturn in the economy as a result of Covid-19.
But what options exist to do this?
One thing we’re talking to businesses a lot about at the moment is digitization. Businesses are taking the time over Covid-19 lockdowns to review every process in their business – and one recurring theme is that they believe the biggest operational gains can often be made by removing paper from their day to day air conditioning job management. The desire is that by being more operationally efficient, that they will have more time to build a stronger business, remove unnecessary costs, and have a healthier bottom line.
But how exactly does going paperless power operational gains? Here are the top 4 ways.
Going mobile makes jobs sheets paperless
Being able to push out jobs via an app to your technicians and service engineers means that they can quickly access their schedule and receive alerts as the schedule changes. The app details where the next job is, when it’s booked for, what’s the best route is to get there as well as what the technical expectations are. All available in the app, all up to date and on-demand.
With all this info to hand, technicians can easily capture job completion data as they go too – via signatures in the app and photos. More on how this brings additional efficiencies below.
Apps also allow businesses to reduce their non-billable hours. As activities like daily job briefings take a HUGE amount of time. And they are no longer needed as technicians and service engineers can see exactly what is required each day. Our customer, Swyft Energy, has installers lining up to join them due to their very low unbillable hours approach to running their business.
Smart job scheduling for a no-paper approach to dispatching
One of the joys of working in the air conditioning industry is that it’s an industry with a recurring revenue stream. But if you’re not set up properly to manage recurring and preventative maintenance work, it makes your dispatchers job super challenging. And with it, the risk of non-delivery is increased if business processes aren’t where they should be. Quite simply managing recurring maintenance and ad hoc jobs using tools like paper, whiteboards, and diary reminders doesn’t cut the mustard.
Real-time scheduling for ad hoc jobs and smart automated scheduling for recurring jobs will save your dispatcher hours of time. Imagine when you win a contract to undertake preventative maintenance on an apartment block with 20 AC units. Being able to book this once with smart rules like service every three months and every two months if the temperature stays above 40 for more than 14 days in a row.
Streamlined communication to reduce phone calls
A dispatcher can spend a lot of time each day on the phone – fielding calls from existing customers asking when the technician will arrive or changing their appointment time, as well as calls from technicians to clarify jobs, locations, requirements, and so on. Being able to automate any communications smartly gives business a step up (and frees up dispatchers’ time).
Automated communications include things like appointment confirmation emails, emails and texts sent on the day estimating the time the technician will be onsite and in-app alerts sent to the technician highlighting any changes to their day.
Reduced job completion to invoice time
Getting through the work is great – but if it takes weeks (or even months) to invoice for jobs once complete, this can be a disaster for your cashflow. Depending on your invoicing engine, off the shelf integrations between job management software and your accounting package, can have invoices triggered to be sent within hours of a job finishing. And this can include photos of the work completed. Automating this simplifies the accounts receivable process and frees up time for back-office staff. This gives you cash faster – so it can work harder for your business.
Businesses that have adapted to a paperless job sheet process are now already ahead. The efficiency gains that dispatchers, technicians, and service engineers make when using vWork to power this process are improving their businesses – reducing costs, increasing efficiency, and improving profitability.
Get in touch for a bespoke demo to see what vWork could do for your business today.