Field Service Management

5 Ways A Service Industry Business Owner Can Save Money and Time

By: Sam Darwish
Running a successful service business is complex and demanding. At the bare minimum, running a business is a two-pronged objective for business owners: to satisfy customer needs and make a profit. When these two objectives are in sync, a business runs smoothly with minimal input from the owner. Customers are satisfied, the business yields profit, and the workforce gets paid. This equation's complexity arises in how today's businesses can leverage the latest technologies to outdo their competition. In a world of fierce competition, you're either leading the charge of utilizing the latest technology, or you're falling behind. The good news is that 'leading the charge' means you wield many benefits like saving time and money. Let's dive into some ways your business can lead the charge.   

1. Invest In A Good Field Service Management Software

Plumbing, HVAC, electrical engineering, and construction, among other field service businesses, are the people's unsung superheroes. Their services are often called upon during moments of distress for their clients.   It's crucial for a company to provide these services on time and be prepared to solve problems. Smart business owners invest in a field service management system that makes running their business efficient and straightforward.    FSM software makes it easy to manage orders, vehicle fleets, schedules, collect a payment, and more. A full-featured field service management tool has three core benefits to a service business:  

a. Reduces costs by streamlining workflow and accounting

Service business owners require the time and space to address their teams' concerns in the field. After all, that is where the business is, not the office. An FSM software eliminates the need for an office full of accountants and frees up other employees to focus on tasks within their scope.   Many service businesses get trapped in outdated systems that are expensive to continue using despite the apparent benefits. Modern field service systems automate and manage activities that are often time-consuming or require hired help.  

b. Increases efficiency company-wide

A modern FSM system is key to company-wide efficiency. With features like on-site contactless payment and mobile asset tracking paired with convenient integration tools, a boost in efficiency is guaranteed. With its advanced scheduling tools, your FSM platform will help eliminate inefficiencies that affect workflow and communication between your employees and customers.  

c. Boosts customer satisfaction

The modern-day consumer expects to have services on demand. While the typical electrician or plumber can't compete with on-demand service provided by companies like Netflix or Hulu, they can take a step ahead of their competition by utilizing FSM software features. An FSM software's fleet tracking management tool will help identify which fleet vehicle should be assigned to each job based on various factors such as location and expected job completion time to ensure your customers receive fast and accurate service.  

2. Cut Extraneous Expenses, Not Employees

When your business is having difficulty paying the bills and customers are scarce, a business owner must make difficult decisions. However, firing employees should never be the go-to solution when cash isn't flowing. Here are a few things you can do as a business owner should you find yourself in this situation.  

a. Stop paying for equipment not used

You know that rack of supplies that you've unintentionally stocked up on? Yeah, stop paying for that every month and take advantage of your current supply.   

b. Be honest with your employees

Before you go on a firing spree, talk to your workforce regarding your financial position. If the staff receives perks and benefits, suggest removing them first before resorting to layoffs. Employee turnover has permanent adverse effects on a service business. If you have a cohesive team, it should not be too difficult for them to compromise to achieve long-term job security.  

c. Eliminate Discretionary Spending

So, your company had plans to get a new coffee machine, rebrand the vehicles, or advertise more? If you are cash-strapped, the last thing you want to do is spend money.   

3. Take Your Business To The Cloud

Before you ask the question, the answer is yes. Every business needs to have a cloud presence to utilize today's technology fully. The cloud has become the hottest marketplace for all kinds of services. It is an open secret that turning to the cloud is a sure way to enjoy affordable professional services built by brilliant minds with advanced tools.   Why are these services necessary? Because they save time, money and provide the flexibility that is essential for a business in 2021. You don't need to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in expensive equipment to run your service company. All your business and staff data can be processed, stored, and accessed on the cloud in real-time.   Business owners considering service management platforms should also be keen to see how well it integrates with cloud services. When a system integrates with other services online, a business will benefit in two main ways, including:  

a. Flexibility of service

Ever since the pandemic, every business, regardless of service size or nature, was forced to consider working from home. Companies that had flexible cloud services found it easier and cheaper to adapt to the new requirements.  

b. Scalability

The traditional ways of collecting and managing business data get more complicated with time. Eventually, mistakes happen, papers get lost, Excel files are corrupted, and data is lost. A business that fails to adapt to the times will not grow as it should, stagnating and wasting time. Cloud service providers offer packaged services to accommodate businesses of all sizes and different needs.  

4. Go Green, Conserve the Planet

It may sound like a cliché, but a company that goes green will save a lot more than money: it will also be playing its role in conserving the planet. Service companies that interact directly with customers can use the green movement to improve their image and get more business.   How can your business go green? Here are five examples of things you can do.  

a. Buy fewer paper products

Service companies who do business the traditional way are notorious for using paper products. A simple way to save the trees is by adopting an FSM system like we previously discussed. Go green and increase efficiency! A double win!  

b. Keep utility costs low

Utility costs eat into a business' profits. The larger the business, the higher the utility expenses. You can cut these expenses in many different ways - from switching to energy-efficient LED bulbs in the office to buying electric vehicles.  

c. Telecommuting system

Does your company already have a cloud network for staff? If it does, then setting up a telecommuting system is a sure way to go green. A system that allows staff to meet virtually and enable screen and file-sharing will be just as effective as having staff in the office. However, for a company that provides service, transportation logistics must be in place for field staff.

5. Be Available Everywhere

Your business should not just have an online presence with a static website; an online presence means activity! With a little investment and some plugins, you can make it easy for the customers to get the information they need at any time.  It would be perilous to ignore the importance of social media too. As an entrepreneur, what your customers say on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms should concern you. These platforms offer powerful tools to follow up with customer issues, answer questions, and spread word of mouth.  

Final Thoughts

Your time-saving tactics and money-saving secrets are what define you as a business owner. As you research and experiment with different ways to make your business more successful, consider these five steps. If you truly want to take your business to the next level, get in touch with us here at Service Demand today.      

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