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3 Tips to selecting software for HVAC and Field Services

3 Tips on how to select and make the rolling out of a new software solution for your field service business a less painful or scary experience.

Why would it be scary, should you expect it to be scary?  

Well, say you spend two months rolling out the new software solution and you find yourself frustrated at the end of it!

  • You don’t feel like it’s fitting in with your business
  • You’ve got a lot of pushback from all your staff
  • You’re getting complaints
  • Issues are appearing

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You ask yourself  ‘How did I get in to that situation?’.  What broke down? Other people have rolled out software and it is working for them – so Why is it not working for you?

So, there are a few things which can go wrong. Typically, the problems can range as follows:

  • you have software but that software doesn’t come with the support 
  • your workflows/processes arent aligned
  • the people to deliver the outcome that the software promises are not there
  • your staff aren’t trained and fending for themselves in the field

The software can also not be a good fit to your business.

  • It can too complicated for the job you’re trying to get it to do, or equally,
  • it can be too simple for the job you’re trying to get it to do

Sometimes you actually need flexibility in the software to get it to fit in with your processes.

Here, at FieldInsight, we spent 10 years building/refining our software, we’ve worked with 30 different industries, specifically with HVAC which is heating and ventilation/refrigeration because we found that to be a highly complex industry and we want to solve problems for them in particular. 

We thought, if we nail that end-to-end solution then we’ll be able to help those businesses succeed. 

Balance of Simplicty & Flexibility

You want to get a good software fit, a balance between simplicity and flexibility, and the missing ingredients, which has taken us as a business, I guess, a while to work out ourselves, is our great implementation approach (see our Getting the Right Start with Job Management software) that differs from ones where people haven’t been onboarded.

Going it alone works some of the time – most of our customers are smart cookies but in the long run we have found if you dont support the customer through this journey they dont get the FULL potential out of the software and they find themselves stagnating as a buisness and find themselves right back at the start – trying to find a software solution….wasted time, money and effort!

Software automation is supposed to help with your business – not hinder it!

A HVAC services business will touch 12 pieces of paper to deliver one job, a simple job for a customer, including:

  • proof of purchase,
  • warranties, 
  • invoices from supplier,
  • purchase orders,
  • invoice to the customer,
  • quote to the customer,
  • service report to the customer,
  • JSA, JSRA, SWMS documents,
  • customer signatures,
  • photos,
  • work documentation,
  • plans……

There is a huge amount of paperwork and complexity which goes with HVAC. Which, frankly, doesn’t exist for someone working in the corporate world.

So, you might be a small HVAC business thinking ‘this is pretty straightforward’, well, that’s because you’re pretty amazing. But that’s why you think that’s pretty straightforward because software helps you do that and takes away a lot of the human element/mistakes.

It provides some automation for some of those steps, and consistency in how it it is done across the team. Consistency comes from systems and processe PLUS successful implementations.

How do you achieve success?

You get success by picking a good software solution. But more importantly, to be honest, more importantly is asking the question ‘Are the right people there to help you?’ 

And one of my bugbears in the job management/scheduling software industry is this ‘throwing over the fence the support and training to another company’.

……I love Microsoft, they moved the world forward with software. They did some great things. Actually, I respect Microsoft for what they introduced into the world.
And Google, I respect for what they’ve done in the world……

But I love Apple, because Apple have actually brought together the software, the hardware, and the systems/support they provide. That level of excellence and customer experience you get comes from the marriage of all of those things working in harmony.

The Point of it All – Our 3 Tips

  1. You get the software right
    – chose wisely as this has both a financial and human impact (time)
  2. You get the people to support that software
    – the software provider as well as from within your team 
  3. You get systems to support those people
    – know how your business is run and ensure it is consistent

That’s where the magic happens. The magic happens when you bring all those things together.

 

Our Purpose/Promise

To deliver successful outcomes to our customers by bringing together the People, the Software, and the Systems in to our 3 Pillar Approach.  

We do this well.

And I’m always here, the team is in this for the longterm.  This is not a build, tick and flick business – this is our business. This is a family business.

We love what we do, we love our customers, we love our software, and we’re loving our systems, and the people we get to work with every day.