Managing a plumbing business, like managing construction firms and projects, is so much more than understanding and having the trade skills. To keep the company afloat and thriving, you must get more return on investment (ROI).
When you commit your business funds to a particular component or addition, your goal should ultimately be to earn more money than what you put in. Look at it this way: hiring a new plumber would entail putting out more money, not just for their salary but other associated costs (like benefits), as well. But it will all be worth it if they rake in more business and money.
When talking about ROI in today’s age, one of the best investments to have is software. In skill trade like plumbing, the software is probably the last thing contractors think of. It may even be a challenge to quantify how plumbing contractor software gives you a return on investment.
But if you take time to consider it, plumbing software has a plethora of benefits to your business, such as improving your inventory management system, accounting, and scheduling. To help you decide whether to invest in software or not, read this article that outlines its advantages.
The Balance In Plumbing Business
As a plumbing contractor, you will face challenges every day, finding the right balance of quality service and revenue generation for the business. That’s where management software comes in.
Without it, it will be challenging to find that balance because of the disorganization in the company. You might provide excellent services to your customers but lack the skill and data to maximize revenue.
On the other hand, you could be generating revenue that more than decent but comprising service quality and customer satisfaction. If things are really bad, both aspects of your business are down.
Essentially, management software will help you stay organized and help you with inventory management, document management, and scheduling. With that, you can stay on top of both elements of your plumbing business– quality service and revenue generation.
What Happens If You Don’t Use A Plumbing Software
1. Scheduling issues
Manually scheduling in construction and plumbing is a cause for two significant issues, scheduling conflicts and lack of scheduling adherence. Because of human error, the chances of risks due to manual mistakes are higher than when using management programs. You could be double booking your plumbers or writing them down for the wrong job. Also, to no fault of their own, your employees will find it difficult to follow their schedules because they don’t have access to it in the field.
Consequently, your business will not look so good. This is because scheduling problems will lead to your company’s inability to deliver on time, letting you lose out on revenue and customers. If this becomes a trend in your company, your loyal customers will have no choice but to look for other plumbers. Before you know it, you have no clients left to help keep your business afloat.
Other than scheduling plumbing technicians, the lack of proper management software can cause problems scheduling and managing equipment. Manually scheduling equipment is just as cumbersome as scheduling your people. If they don’t have the right tools and equipment for the job, delays will decrease profitability and customer satisfaction.
2. Communication issues
Communication is integral in any work setting. In the plumbing field, clear and direct communication is needed to ensure that the job is done quickly and done right. Unfortunately, miscommunication (or lack thereof) is common in companies that don’t use a software solution.
Plumbing technicians rely on you or your office staff to feed them the information. And because they cannot access that on the field, it wastes time and resources and eats away potential revenue for each job.
More than that, by not accessing the information on the spot, they may forget the details and cause confusion. With the wrong information (or lack of it), they will incorrectly do the job or work outside the scope of the service contract. Returning for repeat visits will ensue, which will negatively impact the first-time fix rate.
3. Difficulty tracking documents
One of the biggest troubles that can happen onsite without management software is the mess of papers. Plumbing companies will have to riffle through pages and scour folders and filing cabinets to find the needed information.
This results in wasted time (and paper), project and communication delays with customers. The delays can lower customer satisfaction and might lead to the company losing out on repeat business.
Benefits Of Using Plumbing Software
1. Easy financial and document management
One of the biggest problems software-less plumbing companies go through is the mess of papers. One of the biggest reasons to use software for plumbers is the lack of a paper trail.
Heavily relying on paper records puts your company at risk for record loss or damage. Simple things like illegible penmanship can also make things challenging for the accounting team to look through records and make calculations efficiently.
But if you use cloud-based software, you can quickly and safely store important documents. You won’t have to worry about losing all the data if it’s backed up.
With the virtual file directory, it will be easy to sort the files by time or project and access them with minimal effort. This boost in efficiency will save you a lot of time and money daily.
2. Organized logistics and time management
As your plumbing business grows, so do the challenges of monitoring your plumbing technicians. The difficulty in ensuring efficiency and quality control from your team can become a significant issue for your business. Luckily, plumbing and construction crew management can be done more fluidly when integrating management software. Here are some reasons it can further accountability.
- Daily reports
Because you’re using virtual forms instead of paper ones, you can quickly get information on how your onsite teams are doing. This makes making daily reports more accessible and more accurate. Subsequently, you can easily compare the baseline of a project to the current progress for your improvement and use those records if a legal situation ensues.
- Dispatch and scheduling
Good plumbing software has two essential features: dispatch scheduling and job scheduling. The job scheduling feature allows users to access information and prevent confusion and delays easily. It also makes sure that everyone is in the loop and on the same page about the project.
The dispatch scheduling features optimize worker schedules by letting service managers track the plumbing technicians. Managers can then schedule the right technician for the right job (based on their skills and availability), thus improving technician utilization.
Moreover, scheduling is not limited to your workers. It’s a vital task to make sure that all the resources are arranged to optimize profit. This includes equipment, general projects, and other people involved (e.g., vendors and suppliers). Furthermore, when you keep a record of old schedules, you can accurately estimate how long projects might take.
- Monitoring and tracking
Once scheduled and dispatched, the next important thing to do is to track. Some of the worst things to happen on a project are to lose contact with a technician or lose a piece of equipment.
These could entail or cause other problems. Losing contact with a worker could mean they’re in harm’s way or that they could be doing a job incorrectly. Losing equipment could cost you time and money looking for it or a replacement.
However, when using plumbing software, it will be easier to monitor all resources and know where everything and everyone is at all times.
3. Fast and clear communication
As said, communication is a vital element onsite. Without proper and clear communication, a project site could turn into a chaotic mess riddled with issues caused by miscommunication. Things would progress more smoothly and quickly if you and your team had a direct and accessible line of communication.
This is where plumbing software comes in. Both parties can ask questions, answer them, send and receive important documents, and add notes to update the information for a given job. With a software solution, you and your team can be virtually connected.
4. Helps calculate bids
Correctly bidding is essential to become a profitable plumbing business. On top of having the skills to see which are the best jobs to bid on, you must have plenty of crucial information and calculations from previous jobs to make an estimate.
A plumbing software solution is a beneficial tool to do just that. To figure out how correct you’ve been in the past, look at bid history and actual costs. Then, use the calculations on factors such as labor and equipment to find out precisely how much you can afford to bid while being profitable.
In the plumbing industry, a lot of the business gets done on the field. So, it’s important that the plumbing software you invest in is mobile-friendly to allow portability. This gives you and your team the ability to access all these features even if neither of you is in the office.
Just because you can easily access information anywhere doesn’t mean anyone can. You can tighten security to ensure that company documents stay within the company. You can set permissions to grant the right people access to the right information.
If you are a plumbing contractor looking for effective construction scheduling software, use Pro Crew Schedule’s Plumbing Contractor Software. Sign up today and get a free 30-day trial with all its features and no strings attached. Request a demo today!