We love to talk to our customers, particularly mechanical and HVAC service contractors. Not only are they very interesting people, they give us insight into what makes their business work and more importantly for us, how we have helped change their business processes for the better. A few weeks ago one of our customers told us a story about how they were unexpectedly able to identify, and measure, a significant increase in margins directly attributed to improving their operations through the BuiltSpace ‘quote from the curb’ capability’.
Customer calls are the life’s blood of a service contractors’ business. Building owners call with an issue; technicians are dispatched to diagnose and fix the problem; and building owners are invoiced for the work. Unfortunately for most contractors, the invoicing process is often taken for granted and when it is, the results can directly and significantly impact margins. Ironically, many service providers are leaving money on the table because of the inefficiencies in the very process they use to collect cash.
Here is the issue – after the work is done, technicians fill out a service form or input the information in a mobile device and then jump back in their truck to be off to the next job. Time is literally money for these front line technicians and getting from job to job on time is their primary responsibility. What about those invoices?
Best case scenario – at the end of the day the contractor turns in a stack of papers to the office – left to sit for weeks, until someone can process them – wreaking havoc on receivables and cash flow. Worst case? Under these conditions invoices get lost or so delayed they are disputed, leaving work that was performed uncompensated – money left on the table.
So how do you prevent leaving money on the table? Integrating mobile service, asset level data and customer interaction with business processes is a start. Technicians empowered to complete routine service calls by sending invoices directly to the customer for approval from ‘the curb’. Being able to access asset level service data through a laptop or a mobile device as proof of service eliminates lengthy disputes around services performed. Giving customers transparency through access to service history at the asset level as well as data rich invoices that can be managed and paid quickly increases competitive advantage and cash flow.
Simply put, paper based processes and technology that do not facilitate customer collaboration are the biggest reasons money gets left on the table. Digitizing process through web based applications like BuiltSpace help eliminate the money on the table problem by facilitating collaboration and data access on a level that enterprise systems, BIM and most mobile applications are incapable of providing. Contact us to find out how we can help your organization stop leaving money on the table.
Kevin Allen, BuiltSpace, Inc