There is always room for improvement when running your own business. Inefficiencies and unnecessary redundancies in an electrical contracting business lead to productivity losses that might seem minor on their own, but add up with time. Think about the last time the office lost a document—an invoice, contract, receipt, or note scribbled on a piece of paper. How long did it take to find or reproduce? Seemingly small inefficiencies can cost up to 30 percent of your company’s revenue each year, according to Business Efficiency for Dummies. One of the simplest ways to identify and prevent inefficiencies is with 360e’s simple-to-use field management software that instantly creates reports to provide you the data you need.
Common Inefficiencies in an Electrical Contracting Business
A task is inefficient when it takes more time or money to complete than necessary. This is directly related to time and financial costs, as well as the quality of employee performance. Inefficiencies can include:
- Workers performing duties that are outside their core job function: These duties often are administrative and involve updating spreadsheets, filling out forms, and performing customer relationship management (CRM) activities. Some administrative tasks are inevitable. For these situations, the use of field management software makes these duties faster and simpler.
- Inefficient communication methods: Email is one of the greatest time consumers in any field. Other things that take time include looking up phone numbers and email addresses, as well as waiting for return calls. 360e simplifies, organizes, and improves communication. Tap on an email or phone number within the program to effortlessly make a call or send a message, rather than spending your time rummaging through a list of contacts. Instantly send and receive messages from workers, or create reminder alerts to boost productivity.
- Double entry: An example of double entry is when a field worker fills out an invoice or service request form that he or someone else must later enter into a computer. Not only do double entries consume time, they increase the risk of human error. Software designed for electricians require information to only be entered one time! The software then applies the information to other related documents for that customer.
- Manual time tracking: Filling out a time card and adding the hours worked takes time. It takes several minutes for employees to do the calculations. Someone else then has to take the time to make sure the math is correct for payroll or billing purposes. 360e decreases these redundancies by allowing employees to clock in and out with an app that works on any device that connects to the internet. The software does the math, which prevents errors and saves time. In addition, 360e’s digital time stamping capabilities eliminate confusion regarding time spent at a job site.
- CRM: CRM is a multi-faceted aspect of any operation that involves taking notes, tracking different activities (e.g., inventory shipments or building permits), lead conversions, and project statuses. 360e automates CRM activities, such dialing, logging activities, updating invoices and service requests, and scheduling follow-up tasks.
- Paper filing systems: Paper documents take up space and are can easily be misplaced. Oftentimes, employees take more time looking for a document than reading it. After logging activities related to the client’s account, a worker must then re-file the paperwork. 360e allows you to store records virtually—from scanned documents to digital photos or any new information on an account. The information that you save becomes available to field workers in real time, so they immediately see the big picture and details wherever they are.
When you use 360e to its full potential, it eliminates many of the issues that cause workers to be unproductive and your company inefficient. Forgotten work requests, inaccurate estimates, a lack of pre-planning, unknown project statuses, missed change orders, and poor communication don’t have to be a part of running your business. Fifty percent of contractors have yet to streamline their business processes through CRM software. Implementing 360e in your business will help you gain a competitive advantage that will make a positive difference on your customers and bottom line.