How FieldElite helps Plumbers

While most people think that running a plumbing business is a very easy job, things are a bit different on the ground. The job goes beyond the dropping by a client’s home and fixing a few pipes. In addition to the actual plumbing work, a plumbing business also involves managing quotes, invoicing customers, dispatching field service workers, and accounting, among others. Undertaking all these operations manually is extremely demanding. Besides the tedious work that it is, you’re likely to end up with a ton of errors. 

However, you can overcome these challenges by employing technology. The use of field service management software allows you to automate tasks. Consequently, you no longer have to deal with paperwork, delayed responses to customer requests, or double assignment of tasks.

If you’re wondering which field service management software to use, FieldElite is your best bet. FieldElite is feature-rich, and it gives you way more than the simple automation of the daily operations of your plumbing business.  

Below are some of the top benefits you’ll reap by using FieldElite to run your plumbing venture.  

Convenient Scheduling

Scheduling is an important aspect of the plumbing industry. Just like other field techs, plumbers would require tasks to be dispatched on time, which is only made possible by proper scheduling. With FieldElite, managers can easily schedule single and recurring tasks for the right plumber in a matter of seconds. 

On the other hand, plumbers can also view the available jobs and job information in the FieldElite easy to use App that’s available for Android, and confirm scheduled jobs. They can also accept these jobs using their smartphones and respond to service requests instantly.

Apart from getting the scheduled tasks, the FieldElite scheduling and dispatch feature is integrated with GPS functionality so that plumbers can get information on where to go next, and the optimal route to take from their mobile phones. 

The scheduling and dispatch feature also gives plumbers the information on the specific tools required for the job to allow them to get the tools in between appointments and schedules. 

Central Data Storage

Just like other field service industries, plumbing also involves big data. Handling data manually would mean more errors for your plumbing business, which will only impact negatively on your business. To eliminate such errors, go paperless with FieldElite. 

You can view everything from one place with FieldElite?s dashboard feature, including information about your plumbers and the scheduled tasks. On the other hand, your plumbers can access job details and the pending tasks from a central place. 

Plumbers can also get service requests from customers on the FieldElite mobile app from wherever they are. All the requests are stored in a central place, making the response to customer requests easier. The end result is satisfied customers, opening doors for return orders. 

In case of an update, all plumbers receive notifications at the same time and, where necessary, respond promptly to the requests. They can update the office instantly with job status changes from a central place. 

Convenient Reporting

Reporting is part of the tasks that plumbers have to do after completing the assigned job. As a manager, you expect your plumbers to keep you updated on the status of each assignment. Reporting on paper is time-consuming, and that’s why you need the services of FieldElite. 

With FieldElite reporting feature, sending over completed job reports is only a few clicks away. Plumbers can generate reports on the mobile app and keep the office staff updated on the status of the job. Using FieldElite, you can capture customer signatures and add attachments to the job status and send them instantly using the mobile app available on Android. 

Since they can do instant reporting via the mobile app, the plumbers can proceed to attend to new service requests as soon as they’re done without having to first come back to the office to submit their reports. 

Effective Communication

Timely communication is very essential if you’re working with field technicians. Since you’ll not always be with them in the field, it’s always important to establish a proper communication channel to ensure information reaches your plumbers in time. Here, you can get much more with FieldElite, including communication automation to remind customers of appointments.

With FieldElite field service management software, plumbers receive notifications through the mobile app. The notifications can be for anything from new task requests, requests for alterations, emergencies, and more. On the other hand, office-based staff gets to access the reports once the plumber completes their given task. 

That means the plumbers in the field and the office-based team gets communication instantly, enabling them to see and manage their workloads. For this reason, plumbers can complete multiple tasks within a short time, thus improving their overall productivity.

Scalability

The biggest question for most entrepreneurs when they want to buy management software is scalability. Businesses grow and incorporate new activities that would also require to be managed from a centralised system. Where that’s not possible, the business would have to move all their information from one system to a more robust one. 

With FieldElite, however, you’re safe. It works perfectly well for startups as well as large-sized plumbing businesses. It allows you to focus on the areas that your organisation covers now, but also lets you add new areas as you introduce them into your business. Moreover, FieldElite is also receiving regular updates to that bring it up-to-speed with new technologies and new ways of doing things, meaning that your business will be in a position to take advantage of the latest and more productive features. 

From the benefits mentioned above, it’s quite clear that your plumbing industry greatly needs the services of a field service management software. Your plumbers too need easier time working on their assigned tasks, adding to the reasons why you need to integrate FieldElite in your plumbing business.

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IT Transformation Defined

Businesses depend on IT to effectively manage business processes and to provide products and services to clients. As IT technologies advance, it is crucial that businesses update their hardware to remain competitive. But businesses should do more than simply upgrade their servers and should really strive to effect IT transformation.

What is IT Transformation?

IT transformation is the ongoing process of changing the way that a company uses IT to better align it with current business goals. Through the IT transformation process, businesses try to determine whether they are meeting mission-critical benchmarks through the incorporation of new IT technologies for corporate transformation.

For example, if one of the current business concerns is whether the company can improve customer service, the IT system will need to evolve in such a way that improves customer service in a measurable way.

Successfully Aligning the Technology to Business Goals

In order to successfully align the IT system with business goals, it is important to understand the newly integrated technologies to understand how they can change business processes. If a new feature is intended to make the server more secure, the management should know exactly how the feature will improve the security of the server and whether the new implementation is redundant.

Once the business objectives have been identified, IT transformation is carried out by changing both the software and hardware used by the company. An example would be the growing trend of server migration to the cloud. Cloud computing is the growing trend of making files and data accessible from anywhere. If an organisation believes that it can improve productivity through a server cloud migration, it will need a way to test this.

The IT Transformation Process

Given that IT transformation is directly related to the core business, the IT transformation process must begin by identifying which aspects of the company must be changed. Then, the company must determine?IT services that could potentially be integrated into the business in a way that will help the company achieve benchmarks. After the key decision-makers understand the IT network well enough to effectively implement it, the company must efficiently manage the transformation process. Then, after the IT has been integrated, the company must have a system in place to measure business transformation in a numerical way.

For example, when assessing customer satisfaction, one effective strategy would be to distribute customer satisfaction surveys that ask customers to rate their experiences on a scale of one to ten. The company can then measure the results of the customer satisfaction survey to determine whether the new IT implementations are accomplishing their intended goals.

If the expected benchmarks are not being met, the next step in the IT transformation process is to determine if there is a specific reason for that. Is there a way that the feature can be better integrated to achieve desired business objectives? Are there other features that can help the company better achieve its goals?

Upgrading a network can be an expensive process and it is important to identify early on which options are the most likely to benefit the company’s bottom line.

Field service and improved visibility

A manager is someone who has control over a company. They are given the responsibility of overseeing what the company does and making important decisions. The manager is the most important person in the empire and needs to be in the know at all times. Not what happened a day ago but in real-time and from any place.

Information is necessary for this to happen. It needs to be concise, brief and straightforward. Ideally, access to job status, location information, customer information, notifications and location information should be on the palms of their hands.

To sum it all up, there should be fluid communication among personnel in the field. Information should be accessed easily from one place as it flows to another to maintain steady two-way communication. This is possible with automation meaning that no amount of data will be left unseen or unused because of paperwork that was never handed over or looked into, reducing the chance of misinformation or missing information to a minimum.

Ways improved visibility will help your business through Field Service

Organisations using field services will agree that improved visibility has more business benefits and the real question is what aspect needs improving rather than discussing the benefits.

Real-time visibility

Managers need to be in the know from anywhere at any time. The manager needs information about the company. The need not to be physically present to have an idea of what’s going on. They should know everything at all times, from what was planned for the day to real-time events.

All this information should be easily accessed from one central point and should contain everything about the company and other relevant information.

Extending the back office into the field

This two-way communication is virtually irreplaceable. At any time, the information should flow among technicians in the field and those in the back office. This will help to have a better idea of how to manage the workload and come up with solutions to some work-related issues.

Everyone in the team should be informed and be up to speed about real-time events. Keeping everyone updated improves visibility because they can make updates and decisions based on the kind of information they get.

No more lost paperwork

Managing paper trail can be quite a hassle for organisations. With tons of workload, there can be many delays meaning that some information might be missed or forgotten. People might also choose not to turn up for work for days on end and can affect how much info is processed. Some work can be left undone, and work not invoiced.

When organisations use field service management services, information is fed only once and everything else is done automatically. Say goodbye to lags or relying on last month?s data. Work will move faster because people will have more time to focus on important things rather than chasing an endless paper trail.

Business intelligence

Field service management technology will let you know what is being done in the field and with such an abundance of data, will make sound decisions for the business.

Every decision is hinged on cold facts. Information needs to be easily accessed and filtered into the right categories so that sound business decisions are made from the collected data.

Growing revenue

The abundance of real-time information and improved visibility can determine whether a business will grow or not. Each piece of information can show trends that are critical for any business to improve. Trends show how each sector is doing and sheds more light into specific areas that need a total overhaul. This may include improving customer service, products on retail or hiring more technicians.

Without information, a company is one step closer to going out of business. Every action should be geared to increase the revenue and this starts by making the right choices.

Visibility when working offline

Working offline is an issue that can affect visibility. Sometimes agents will need to work in areas that have little network coverage or are deep down working in tunnels or are around heavy machines and turbines. Field service solutions are built for the mobile environment and for workers who may find themselves in non-connected areas so that they can still use their device while offline. This makes sure that there is no loss of information while working in-field

Time-saving

Certainly, business is constrained to its environments and if the demand changes it should prove to be flexible enough to adjust to changes as they happen. Field service solutions operations like schedule need to update instantly. Once activities start rolling, nothing should create lags in the schedule so that operations flow seamlessly at all time.

Field workers can then make updates and document changes easily on the job site directly on their device by using responsive site menus, drastically saving time while feeding data and complete orders.

Improved customer service

It is not a clich? to say that the customer is always right. With real-time information, both field service and back-office technicians can improve customer relations and satisfaction. With a unified system of sharing information like the ERPs and CRMs, the field officer can know more about specific clients, their history and other data to know more about what should be done in current and future orders. This means that better decisions will be made for each customer.

How improved visibility benefits different parts of the organisation

Improved visibility in all areas of the business makes information more accessible. Here are some of the benefits that various sects of a business can get from improved visibility.

? The business owner
The manager owns the company and can access all information with just a single tap. A lot of data can be used to analyse the health of the venture. This includes revenue, inventory, customer surveys, employee hours, invoices and customer data.
Profitability is increased by putting more emphasis on customer satisfaction and improving the quality of end products and services.

? The service manager
The service manager can see what is going on in the field in real-time, and look into measures that can improve the productivity of staff members in various departments.
And with workflow automation, time-saving is at the maximum because there is less paperwork consequently improving scheduling and job completion rates.

? Service administrator/ dispatcher
For the team in the office, they can assign tasks faster. Scheduling is automatically done and updated in real-time. It eliminates the need for paperwork and leaves more time to be productive on other errands.

? The field technician
Improved visibility for a field worker means that they can do their best in any task. They can share or get critical information about orders and customers. This drastically improves job completion rates and customer satisfaction.

? HR
Live information can be used to track certain orders, the time it takes to complete orders, and the number of staff required in the organisation. Such data can be used in HR to reduce payroll errors and erroneous overtime costs.

? Finance
Field service management software can also benefit the finance team by automation of invoices. A work order can be tracked from start to the end and invoiced immediately to retain faster payments. Relevant data can be used to track revenue and expenditures, and costs.

Real-time visibility gives a company many solutions to manage the workload. In the end, visibility is also useful in increasing revenue and a smooth transition of information for the company.

Without Desktop Virtualisation, you can’t attain True Business Continuity

Even if you’ve invested on virtualisation, off-site backup, redundancy, data replication, and other related technologies, I?m willing to bet your BC/DR program still lacks an important ingredient. I bet you’ve forgotten about your end users and their desktops.

Picture this. A major disaster strikes your city and brings your entire main site down. No problem. You’ve got all your data backed up on another site. You just need to connect to it and voila! you’ll be back up and running in no time.

Really?

Do you have PCs ready for your employees to use? Do those machines already have the necessary applications for working on your data? If you still have to install them, then that’s going to take a lot of precious time. When your users get a hold of those machines, will they be facing exactly the same interface that they’ve been used to?

If not, more time will be wasted as they try to familiarise themselves. By the time you’re able to declare ?business as usual?, you’ll have lost customer confidence (or even customers themselves), missed business opportunities, and dropped potential earnings.

That’s not going to happen with desktop virtualisation.

The beauty of?virtualisation

Virtualisation in general is a vital component in modern Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery strategies. For instance, by creating multiple copies of virtualised disks and implementing disk redundancy, your operations can continue even if a disk breaks down. Better yet, if you put copies on separate physical servers, then you can likewise continue even if a physical server breaks down.

You can take an even greater step by placing copies of those disks on an entirely separate geographical location so that if a disaster brings your entire main site down, you can still gain access to your data from the other site.

Because you’re essentially just dealing with files and not physical hardware, virtualisation makes the implementation of redundancy less costly, less tedious, greener, and more effective.

But virtualisation, when used for BC/DR, is mostly focused on the server side. As we’ve pointed out earlier in the article, server side BC/DR efforts are not enough. A significant share of business operations are also dependent on the client side.

Desktop virtualisation (DV) is very similar to server virtualisation. It comes with nearly the same kind of benefits too. That means, a virtualised desktop can be copied just like ordinary files. If you have a copy of a desktop, then you can easily use that if the active copy is destroyed.

In fact, if the PC on which the desktop is running becomes incapacitated, you can simply move to another machine, stream or install a copy of the virtualised desktop there, and get back into the action right away. If all your PCs are incapacitated after a disaster, rapid provisioning of your desktops will keep customers and stakeholders from waiting.

In addition to that, DV will enable your user interface to look like the one you had on your previous PC. This particular feature is actually very important to end users. You see, users normally have their own way of organising things on their desktops. The moment you put them in front of a desktop not their own, even if it has the same OS and the same set of applications, they?ll feel disoriented and won’t be able to perform optimally.

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