Job sheet software is designed to help communication between company owners and their field employees, as well as subcontractors working in different locations.
The software is often cloud-based, so data is accessible by multiple parties, through mobile apps and desktops. Team members can post immediately when they have updates, eliminating the need for multiple phone calls and unnecessary meetings. Managers can see how their jobs are progressing in real-time, and can manage staff members and subcontractors effectively.
The software allows signatures from operatives or customers to be recorded, and images (such as before and after) to be uploaded. It saves paperwork from having to be completed on-site. Jobs can be authorised quickly - and invoices sent out straight away.
Ideal for Drainage Companies
Organisations across many different industries have embraced job sheet software to help manage their day-to-day work. Electrical contractors, plumbers and maintenance professionals have been early adopters, and drainage companies are now starting to sign up, as they face similar challenges with communication and administration.
Electronic job sheets are helping the most forward-looking companies increase capacity and efficiency, helping them differentiate their service from their competitors. They are especially good at encouraging and supporting growth for companies that are expanding, but almost any drainage company can benefit from them.
Job sheets can be completed in the field and submitted without having to be passed back to the office first. Time is saved allocating jobs, chasing incomplete work sheets, sending invoices and receiving payments, leaving managers and employees free to concentrate on what they do best, rather than getting bogged down in paperwork.
There is less reliance on email or phone calls. It’s easy to send jobs to employees and sub-contractors, and receive job requests from customers. The system can be customised with features such as messaging to help you get in touch more quickly. It can improve relationships, teamwork and performance.
Contractors and engineers can update their job status on site using a mobile phone. They can complete check sheets, fill in extra job details and even attach photos of the work or client signatures for approving completed work. They can even log their hours and overtime. All the relevant parties can see the real-time status of a job at a glance, wherever they are. And job sheet management software often includes GPS, enabling the tracking of company vehicles.
Managing cashflow is key for any company. Job sheet software links jobs to invoices, so they can be raised and sent out as soon as a job is complete - ensuring information is fresh in everybody’s mind and reducing the risk of dispute. Monitoring and chasing outstanding invoices is also easier. View at a glance any overdue amounts, set simple reminders to chase these, and even send follow-ups to customers. The system will even bring up a message when creating new jobs to alert you to a customer who hasn’t paid. You can also export your invoice information to other accounting software such as Xero and Sage.
Often the little things that you do have the most impact. Communicating through job management software and sending electronic invoices through a dedicated system is professional and efficient, giving customers confidence in your company.
Seven Steps to Choosing Job Sheet Software
1. Drainage Software specification
Think about your current processes as well as what your ideal state is. Can the software be tailored to fit your business or do you have to change your business to fit the software? This is an opportunity to improve and streamline your processes rather than simply replicating an existing bureaucratic process into a new system.
Consider the challenges that your company is facing and how the software can help. Work out where communication is failing so you choose the features you need. A common mistake is to choose over-specified or over-complex software, which can mean employees find it hard to get used to, engineers find excuses to avoid using it and new employees take longer to train.
Think about how you expect your business to change over time. Make sure the software you choose can adapt to these changes, and that you know the cost implications.
2. Software integration
Consider how the software interacts with your existing software and operating systems. Some apps allow you to export and import data to other software but will this still work if that other software is updated? Lots of time can be wasted copying the same information between different systems and submitting the same information to different departments. Check whether your software will be updated regularly and what support is in place if integrations break down.
3. Technical support
On-going support is essential. If you are paying monthly or annually, this will usually include support, but check if it is provided by telephone, email or by raising a ticket – it needs to be timely. Make sure you see the terms and conditions before committing to the package.
4. Software security and safety
Software should have all the necessary security features and up-to-date anti-virus systems. It’s your responsibility to protect your clients’ data, so ensure the proper controls and access limits are in place.
Cloud-based data storage systems are often most effective as the companies that own and build them monitor their systems 24 hours a day. System providers should also have adequate backup facilities in place so that information can be retrieved and rebuilt if the worst happens.
5. The cost of job sheet software
Job sheet software can be very affordable, especially when you consider the cost of not automating and streamlining your processes. Often a monthly or annual subscription covers both the initial implementation and ongoing IT support. Check whether updates and new features are included.
Free software such as Google Calendar, Dropbox and WhatsApp can be used as an alternative to job management software, especially for smaller companies. The risk is that information can get fragmented across different apps and you are unlikely to get the support, flexibility and updates available with more dedicated software, so it can often end up costing more in the long run.
6. Bespoke Software
Bespoke software is an alternative solution to off-the-shelf. It can be designed to meet unique specifications but can be much more expensive. It can also be difficult to get the requirements exactly right, which can lead to additional costs later.
Good job management software should be simple and easy to set up, but it’s worth considering some kind of on-boarding to help with implementation. At the very least this sets a date which everyone can get behind for the switch over.
Once you are up and running, you will need some time to switch over and get used to the new system. This could include some form of dual running or periodic help, support and training.
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