Why is it so important?
Preventative maintenance and cashflow go hand in hand. HVAC preventative maintenance contracts for HVAC contractors can support a steady income/cash flow and keep the team busy throughout the year. Keeping up to date with maintenance schedules will make it easier to keep a stable number of technicians on your team and improve your relationships with your equipment suppliers and most of all keep your customers equipment in TOP SHAPE reduces costs for them in the long run.
Preventative maintenance and field service software can additionally contribute to reducing warranty issues for equipment/assets maintained for customers. Preventative maintenance is a great option for customers in the long term to replacing faulty equipment. This also helps the manufacturers in reducing wear and tear on equipment that saves money in replacements.
This can help you stay front of customer’s mind to encourage repeat work and give you glowing recommendations which is a ninja marketing technique.
What can go wrong?
When preventative maintenance gets out of control you will find that customers will call with complaints, equipment will break down unexpectedly and surprise costs will pop up out of nowhere.
A key problem with taking on preventative maintenance contracts is the headache it can cause for your scheduling and team allocation/management. Scheduling all those commitments can be overwhelming and missed commitments can easily happen. What asset does this job relate to, when was I last there, what did we do last time we were here, what maintenance step are we up to (12 months, 18 months etc). The same as you expect your car servicing to be managed based on the age, use (mileage) your customers also expect you are keeping the asset/equipment in line with industry standards.
Consider what it would mean if your HVAC business had preventative maintenance contracts running smoothly? Imagine if you could have regular work coming in that keeps the team busy, resulting in regular cash flow, happier suppliers and happier customers.
1. It’s the air our customer’s breathe
Think back to last spring when you installed an air-conditioning unit for a customer. It worked great in the summer, went dormant during winter and it comes around to summer again and it’s hotter than usual. Your customer has been using it day and night and suddenly the unit breaks down. Your customer is furious because your technicians are too busy and can’t come out for another week. Sound familiar?
When a bad situation boils over, it can be easy to see in retrospect how it could have been prevented. Well don’t go any further, we are going to give you that crystal ball - it all comes down to sophisticated preventive maintenance scheduling.
HVAC systems gradually degrade over time, especially if they haven’t been used for a period of months (the off season). When you construct a HVAC business plan, you need to factor in your customer’s needs and expectations and a big part of this is a preventative maintenance schedule for the equipment.
You don’t want those phone calls from unhappy customers, especially if you know you could have avoided the situation. It's really important to make sure you maintain a happy customer base as it can determine your future work. If you get your preventative maintenance systems in place and automation running smoothly your chance of repeat work and customer recommendations increases dramatically.
2. It supports our suppliers with less warranty issues.
Simply put, when you keep up to date with preventative maintenance on equipment you have less warranty issues because you can catch the fault before it becomes a problem. Additionally, your suppliers will be happier as you won’t need to be constantly ordering new parts for a unit that wasn’t maintained properly.
You want your technicians to have the right tools they need on the job and a great way to ensure that nothing is missed on a service or install job, is to create a HVAC inspection checklist. Having your technician on site with a list of what they need to do for the preventative service check up can contribute to avoiding warranty issues that might sneak up.
Getting those breakdown calls because maintenance hasn’t been done can not only leave you short on technicians but also parts. This ties into having a good HVAC inventory system where you can see clearly what parts, tools and equipment you might have in store and what parts you need to order in.
If you can sign your customers up to preventive maintenance contracts for their equipment, not only will it smooth out your cash flow, you will find that the condition of the assets you service will be maintained. Reduce breakdowns and unnecessary warranty issues that can be a conflict point for your suppliers.
3. It can save a lot of money on energy bills
Not only can preventative maintenance prevent unexpected HVAC unit failures, it can also boost efficiency for your customer. As the efficiency of the unit goes down and energy consumption goes up, it can become a sleeping giant in costs for customers. Neglecting the preventative maintenance of an asset can cause the unit to work harder than necessary. This can cause long term damage to the unit as well as increase electricity consumption.
Save your customers the stress of getting a huge unexpected electricity bill because their HVAC unit has been overworking to keep their family comfortable. If you can explain to customers the price of not getting the asset maintained, you can save them excessive bills in the long term. Having good communication with your customers can also build trust and expand your credibility to bring in more service work.
4. Keeps you front of mind
Whether you are an existing business or looking to start your HVAC business, there are huge benefits to being the first name that comes to mind when a customer thinks about HVAC. Doing preventative maintenance and regularly being on a customer’s site you will be at the front of mind when it comes to additional service work or even recommending you to friends.
You don’t want to get into the situation where you are doing the install work but then another company is coming in to do the service work. Locking this valuable service work in as part of the installation through automation of reminders / follow-ups means you wont miss out of these additional revenue opportunities.
If you can save your customers money and you work in a timely manner, you are actually reducing the cost of ownership for the customer and ensuring the efficiency of all equipment is maximised. It’s a win-win for you and your customers when preventative measures are incorporated into regular maintenance.
5. It helps you manage ebb & flow of cashflow
A great tip for HVAC businesses is to incorporate automation in to your day-to-day operations to maximise efficiency. Some great ways to automate your workflow is through the use of apps and software to assist with repetitive tasks that can slip the mind.
A common occurrence in HVAC companies is the highs and lows of work due to seasonality. When you have a hot summer or a really cold winter, HVAC products are getting a big workout, going from no use in the off-seasons to being used everyday. When this happens you will find that you go from having no work to having too much work and perhaps not enough technicians to keep up with it. By incorporating HVAC preventative measures you can reduce this large ebb and flow of work to create a more manageable job schedule.
If you schedule your technicians to do that maintenance work in the off periods, you leave yourself more time to do the more urgent work in the busy periods. If you balance out your workflow, you will create a consistent flow of cash throughout the year. By scheduling ahead and leveraging automation you will know what contracts are up for expiry or what equipment needs servicing. When you can schedule ahead and book in work to prevent damage, you can reduce your own stress, knowing you have plenty of work ahead. Basically it will make life easier for you and your technicians as well as having happy customers.
What would End to end job management mean for your HVAC business?
With an end-to-end job management software like FieldInsight, you can incorporate preventative maintenance scheduling in to your business with ease. FieldInsight’s automated software is designed to optimise your workflow and allow you to have higher visibility over the moving parts. If you are struggling with preventative maintenance or you don’t know where to start, FieldInsight can provide a helping hand to boost your productivity.