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Step-by-Step: Implementing Field Service Software

Apr. 20, 2021

implementing field service software

As a contractor, implementing field service software is one of the single most productive and profitable things you can do for your business, but the implementation itself can be intimidating. A lot of technology providers will promise to be with you every step of the way… until you sign that dotted line, and then, sorry pal, you’re on your own. As you’ll see, we pride ourselves on taking a different approach at BuildOps.

 We hear about previous onboarding nightmares from new customers every day — it’s no wonder people are hesitant to make these changes to their businesses.  So we set out to flip the typical onboarding process on its head, turning implementation into something we hang our hat on, NOT merely an afterthought. In this post, we’ll highlight some of the most important benefits of implementing field service software in the first place, as well as what the process looks like here at BuildOps.

 

The Benefits of Field Service Software

Change, no matter how seamless, has a tendency to be uncomfortable at first. That said, if the juice is worth the squeeze, and everyone involved sees the potential on the other side, it’ll be a lot easier to manage that change.  

That’s why it’s important to have buy-in from across your team and understand the reason for the change. If everyone sees the benefit they personally stand to gain (and a good software investment should benefit every part of your business), they’re more likely to use the new software to its fullest extent and advocate for it from the ground up.

Before we get into the how of our implementation process, let’s take a look at some of the major benefits our customers are usually looking forward to most. 

  • Increased Revenue — Technicians that use the BuildOps mobile app are able to surface sales opportunities automatically. They’re also able to speed up the quoting process significantly. The result? A higher conversion rate and a 4-15% increase in revenue per job. A company that typically brings in $100k per month would see, on average, $1,575 more revenue per month. (And that’s without factoring in any additional cost savings!)
  • Decreased Call-Backs — The cost of a call-back varies, but usually averages around $400 every time it has to happen — not including the damage done to the customer relationship (and potential for them to move onto your competitor that gets it right the first time). BuildOps has a number of features that work in tandem to decrease contractors’ call-back rates by up to 60%, from truck stock inventory, to smart dispatching, to gated workflows and custom forms that keep techs accountable and on task
  • Back Office Savings — The field is “where the money’s made,” but let’s not forget about all the work that goes on behind the scenes to make that revenue possible. It’s the folks in the office that are responsible for filling in the blanks left by field techs just trying to get through their jobs. They’re the ones dealing with data entry and reporting, the deciphering and human error that goes with it, and being the main punching bag for unhappy customers. .It’s a lot of work that takes up a lot of time, especially when being done manually or with outdated technology. Implement the right platform that automates much of that work, and you’re looking at saving your office staff about 3 hours a day. What could your team be doing with 15 more hours in their week?
  • Field Efficiency — The office staff aren’t the only ones that will benefit from time savings. BuildOps’s offline capabilities work from anywhere, including any job your techs are on. With the workflow streamlining tools in the software, technicians save an average of 7 minutes per job. Over time, that means more jobs completed, more satisfied customers, and more money earned. It also eliminates a major frustration point for field techs.

 

Field Service Software Implementation Phases

Once everyone’s on board, the T’s crossed and I’s dotted,, it’s implementation go-time. Understanding how the process works will make the transition as smooth as possible. This is something your provider should be crystal clear about when setting expectations with you and your team. Again, a little discomfort is normal, but there’s no reason a technology upgrade should entirely uproot your operations. 

BuildOps implementation consists of four main phases, with a fifth for ongoing support that’s with you as long as you’re with us. Not everyone does their onboarding this way — in fact, most solution providers don’t. Let’s walk through the phases and show you how our approach is better. 

Discovery

“One size fits all” works for some things, but software implementation is not one of them. We get that in order for you to receive the most benefit from the platform, the implementation process must be tailored to your specific company and its unique needs. 

That’s why our first step is deep-diving into the way your business operates — what happens daily, weekly, long-term; what’s working, what’s causing bottlenecks, and where there’s opportunity to streamline. We’ll take steps to understand your team’s regular workflows, the various roles each member of your staff has, and how they would benefit from field service software. Then, we’ll use that information to customize the platform to your needs, build out the workflows, and prepare the training processes for your team.

During this process, we’ll also meet with your finance and operations teams to ensure total transparency and complete communication. No department left behind.

Configuration

The BuildOps platform contains a range of features that can be toggled on or off and set up in a way that meets the needs of different organizations with different ways of doing things. .After arming ourselves with detailed knowledge about how your business works, we’ll be able to determine exactly how those features should be configured  in order for you to see the most benefit from the software. 

A lot of people in general (not just contractors) want to try software before they buy it. They want to be handed a login that they can use to “play around” and figure things out before deciding if it’s going to work for them. In theory, this seems like a good way to test the waters, but in practice, it almost always ends up as a total bust. 

Confusion over how to operate new software, especially one that’s designed to be specially configured to your business and workflows, is often a major obstacle in the transition to that software. This configuration step is vital in avoiding that and getting your team started off on the right foot. Just like any new tool, you’re not going to get the most out of it unless you really understand how to use it.

That’s also why, unlike most of our competitors, we take the time to make sure everyone on your team understands how to use the software before letting you loose. Everyone learns in different ways and at different speeds, and that’s something we keep front in center throughout every step of the onboarding process.

Validation & Go-Live

By this time, we’ve worked with everyone on your staff to get them comfortable with the new platform and processes that go with it. The validation stage is where we confirm that everything we’ve been doing and configuring works the way you want it to! We go through the entire platform top to bottom, starting from first call coming in. 

Sometimes customers find something in this stage that they want to change or add something they forgot, so make those adjustments. Once everyone is satisfied, we lock in the official go-live date. Go-live typically takes place on a Thursday after using the first half of the week for a comprehensive validation. We make it a point to stay close to you through the end of the week to ensure successful operations. Which brings us to… 

Success

After working with the onboarding team that you’ve gotten to know and trust, providers will typically hand you off to someone totally different on the success team once you’re up and running. Again, we do things differently here.

At BuildOps, customer success is a key part of the implementation itself, so you’ll actually continue working with the same people who got you set up in the first place. For a couple weeks after go-live, you’ll get daily check-ins to help clear up any problems or sticking points your team encounters as they get used to the new system. After that, we’ll drop down to twice weekly check-ins until we are sure your transition has gone smoothly. From then, and for as long as you’re a customer, your success manager will check in regularly as needed.

Support

And of course your ongoing success doesn’t stop there. Despite our proactive nature, there may be times where you run into a question or roadblock that simply doesn’t coincide with our scheduled check-ins. 

That said, you need to know that your provider is going to be there to support their product. Should your technicians need help while out in the field, they’ll be able to connect with someone they’ve already worked with during training. We have a variety of ways to keep in touch, so you and your team are never left hanging when you need it the most. 

If you’re ready to bring the benefits of field service software to your company, contact us today. We’ll be glad to discuss the specifics of how our software and its implementation can improve your productivity and profitability.

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