How Using the Right Dispatch Software Fuels Growth (for Commercial Contractors)
Feb. 19, 2021
A few years ago, dispatch consisted of crackly radios and lots of paper. Then mobile phones came along, but they didn’t have a large impact in the construction industry until mobile dispatch software caught up.
While many small contractors can still get by on manual dispatching, the landscape has changed so much that it will be impossible to grow without modern dispatch technology. Spreadsheets, whiteboards, and emails are no match for a centralized dispatch software platform where technicians can receive assignments on the go, access work orders, and more.
Advanced dispatch software like BuildOps comes as part of a fully integrated field service management platform, which means a seamless flow of information from field to office and back. Using a simple phone app, technicians in the field have a direct connection to the office in real time, all the time.
Right off the bat, it’s easy to see how much potential this technology has for the modern commercial contractor. To say that it will fuel growth for contractors is putting it modestly.
Take a moment to consider the following ways a dispatch software platform can help spur unprecedented growth.
1. Efficient Job Scheduling & Personnel Management
Smart scheduling is a dispatcher’s dream. Getting the right crew to the right job on time becomes possible when real-time information about the location of crews, availability of equipment, and the skills/certifications of each crew is available to the dispatcher at a glance.
Dispatchers can easily pair crews with the most relevant jobs and ensure the right equipment and supplies are on hand. For construction sites, this is especially important where projects need to be planned and prepared beforehand.
Techs also receive notifications of any changes straight to their mobile devices, effortlessly keeping them on top of their job assignments. Those requesting leave or days off can do so easily, allowing dispatchers to plan efficiently for current manpower needs as well as handle emergencies way more efficiently.
Some platforms can even go so far as to automate a lot of this scheduling, especially when it comes to managing long-term service agreements. The result is a leaner, more efficient team that can handle more projects and calls.
2. Communication & Access to Maintenance Information
Modern dispatching software goes hand in hand with work order software. Sometimes these are integrated, but it’s even easier if they’re both part of a single robust platform. Regardless, with this connection in place, when technicians get assigned to a site, they have immediate access to critical information, such as:
- The type of equipment installed
- Maintenance schedules, both past and present
- Equipment and supplies required
- Information on the customer/client
- Any photos or videos captured on site
- Forms completed and other associated documents
Technicians arrive at the site fully prepared to offer top-notch services.
Compliance also becomes much easier because documents such as permits or licenses are transmitted digitally. BuildOps even offers custom forms, allowing contractors to create and attach forms to jobs (e.g., COVID-19 safety forms, refrigerant tracking forms, etc.), requiring techs to complete them in order to finish a job. Fieldwork thus becomes truly paperless.
3. Real-Time Progress Reports For Quality Control
Real-time visibility into the field plays a starring role in quality control. As technicians go through their workflows on the job, service managers and supervisors can review them to ensure nothing’s been missed.
This kind of visibility also makes it easy to review and approve requests for resources on the go, saving both field and office staff a lot of time.
At the end of the day, not only are you able to monitor techs’ work for quality control, you’re also inherently left with some valuable training material you can pull any time.
This kind of technology isn’t designed to turn managers into babysitters of any kind. It’s simply an efficient approach to ensuring clients always get the level of service you want to stake your reputation on.
4. Real-Time Data For Performance Improvement
Speaking of training, there’s another major benefit to leveraging dispatch technology: data. Software worth its salt measures all kinds of data points — for each technician, customer, project, call, and the organization at large.
For example, intuitive reporting can make it easy to monitor key metrics like:
- Time taken for maintenance and repair calls
- Leads generated/pull-through work
- Average ticket amount
- Budget vs. dollars spent
- Most profitable techs and customers
- Time to customer
And plenty more, especially if the reporting is highly customizable. There are obvious short-term wins here, but they’re even bigger in the long term as you can identify trends and adjust to improve your business’s entire trajectory.
This same data is also invaluable when creating maintenance schedules, new project estimates, hiring, etc. It enables truly data-backed decision-making for the future to enhance growth and profitability.
5. Expand Capacity
When dispatch is handled efficiently (and in some ways, automatically), it opens up new channels for contractors to expand their businesses. It enables them to take on more projects, hire more teams, expand lines of business, and put their energy towards other initiatives, like training, marketing, or optimizing other internal processes.
Such a pattern of growth could not be possible without highly efficient, organized, and structured systems of management. Having the right dispatch system is only one step to growing a successful contracting company.
Even for smaller operations, dispatch software tools save a lot of time and resources in every project. Waste, like unnecessary travel time or supplies, is minimized, allowing teams to perform more and better work within the same time frames.
6. Flexibility & Agility
Often overlooked is the dispatch software’s benefit of flexibility. If your platform is cloud-based (these days, that should be the norm), field teams can use whatever mobile devices they already keep in their pockets since all the data is centrally stored and accessible regardless.
More importantly, it means that any tasks or service calls can be handled by any qualified technician. You’re no longer reliant on the same specific techs being available for the same customers. All information associated with customers, projects, assets, etc. is shareable and accessible across everyone on the team, at all times.
This is the kind of agility that helps contractors survive adverse and unpredictable situations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Clients receive consistently high-quality service no matter the obstacles
7. Top-Notch Customer Experience
And finally, the cherry on top of a robust and reliable dispatching software is one that also streamlines invoicing and billing, closing the loop on all those jobs. Rather than messing with a bunch of physical papers in an uphill battle to get paid, the software facilitates digital sending, signing, and not letting anything fall through the cracks.
For both customer and contractor, not having to wait days or weeks for invoices to be sent or paid makes a huge difference.
BuildOps: An Integrated Dispatch Software Solution for the Modern Contractor
When we designed and built BuildOps, we were determined to be the ultimate all-in-one solution for commercial contractors. BuildOps streamlines all your operations under one roof, offering one powerful platform to serve every part of your business, from first dispatch to final invoice, service to projects, and everything in between.
Book your free BuildOps demo now to experience a new dawn of dispatch for commercial contractors.