Today's business climate is more competitive than ever, and you need to take advantage of every technology to keep your company on top. It's one thing to want increased productivity, efficiency, and profits but identifying areas and implementing strategies for improvement is challenging. One area of attention that has consistently given results is in the state of the organization's communication.
Paper is Killing Your Productivity
Businesses that use representatives who operate in the field, independent of the office, face additional hurdles. These companies face not only the issue of poor interoffice communications but also interaction with employees outside of the building.
Field teams often use paper and pen to track client data such as job descriptions, price quotes, and service deadlines. The representative then needs to re-enter the information into a computer system duplicating their effort and losing productivity. This process can lead to lost data, repeat entries, poor customer service, and lost revenues. This manager needs a software that connects their teams to the office.
Let's take the example of an inspector at a Water/Mud operating company. This inspector and his team performs 20,000 inspections every year. During every one of them, their inspector writes down the name of the client, the time he arrived and left, the type of inspection he realized and each action he performed on site. If he does 7 inspections a day, he then turns 7 sheets of paper to his manager every evening. When his manager receives each paper from each inspector, he needs to type all this information into a computer system or a software the company chose to handle their customers. This means that the manager spends every day re-entering data from the field team. This is not only counter-productive, it is also bound to create friction on many levels: some forms will get lost, others will be indecipherable, and customers are entered a second times into the system, leaving room for spelling and other errors.
Inspectors and their managers waste hours trying to figure out what happened and what was the next step. At times, the team even has to go back to the customer’s location and start the entire inspection over. It would not only hurt their productivity but also generate high volumes of paper needing to be stored. The team of inspectors could spend weekends filing papers, and if anybody called, they had to dig through multiple boxes or go into their archives. It is a nightmare.
Until they went paperless.
The Game Changer: A Software for the Service Industry
A software for the Service Industry such as a specialized Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software enables a company to manage and integrate every essential parts of their business helping them to become more productive, efficient, and profitable. ERP software allows organizations to integrate crucial areas like purchasing, sales, customer service, planning, but also field reps.
Read Also: What is an ERP Software?
Using a software to go paperless across the entire company from the office to the field is a game changer for our inspectors. They can now use a mobile or tablet directly from the field to perform their entire inspection. Forget the paper, every inspector is now seamlessly connected to the office and every information entered is saved electronically and accessible by the managers in real-time.
When performing an inspection, the inspectors can now pull the customer profile and enter the information relative to the task performed. No more duplicate entries, no more data errors, and no more hours wasted re-entering basic data.
The manager has access to every action performed and can shift his role from a data-entry position to true managerial post. He now has more time to review his team's performance and steer the wheel in the right direction. How long do inspectors spend at a customer on average? How much do they spend on average for each type of inspection? Which inspection is the most profitable and why? The answer to all these questions and many more are now at the tips of his/her fingers.
With this new paperless system in place, managers can instantly share the right information to the right person or search for archives within minutes, instead of hours. It generates thousands of hours of time savings every year.
ABIS works with MUD/Water district companies. We have heard from some inspectors: “if you look at our growth during the past 5 years, we should have already hired somebody; but hiring has been leveling off because of the unforeseen hours saved by ABIS.”