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The past 18 months have made it clear: Digital solutions are a necessity, and companies that are not investing in software will find themselves trailing behind their competition.
However, recognizing the benefits of a software application can be challenging. Investing in a software system is a commitment, but it does not need to be intimidating. Plumbing and heating companies especially should consider implementing sales and operations software. The following three reasons can help business owners understand why software is critical for their HVAC business.
For some, however, using software as opposed to a traditional manual sales process will be unfamiliar territory.
While implementing software takes time, most businesses find that the long-term benefits are worthwhile. For example, if a business is using a proposal platform, its salespeople can efficiently generate professional proposals. Not only does this save them the time of writing proposals by hand, it also helps reduce omissions and allows companies to implement a structured, consistent pricing strategy.
In addition, if the chosen software offers management tools, operations managers can quickly edit the costs and margins of any product directly from the application.
Software is also helpful for companies looking to boost their desired profit margins. Oftentimes, contractors are unaware of their actual profit margins, but still assume they are profitable. Business owners who implement software that allows them to set and accurately track profit margins can price jobs more accurately, rather than just using generic “cookbook pricing.”
This will aid them in seeing which products sell the best, as well as allow them to quote the most accurate prices to homeowners, boosting profits.
By automating processes such as these, plumbing and heating businesses will save valuable time. In turn, business owners may find they are better equipped to expand the business, take care of their clients and boost profits.
Platforms that enhance communication between various teams are best for reducing mistakes and increasing profits.
For example, installers who have access to photos, videos and instructions in real time are less likely to make mistakes than those following an unstructured process or referring to hand-written notes. When a team has access to each customers’ job history and proper installation documentation, it will be better prepared for the project and the number of call backs is reduced, keeping clients happy and boosting referrals.
With a well-connected team, mistakes are reduced, sales are increased, customer happiness is increased, and employee satisfaction is higher.
Reporting tools are especially helpful in this regard. If a business is doing well, but is not tracking its sales practices, it can be difficult to pinpoint where exactly it is succeeding.
With data tracking implemented, however, business leaders can see exactly which areas are thriving, and which need attention. This gives owners a better handle on company strategy and prepares them to effectively speak about the company’s strengths to new leads.
Understanding a company’s business cycle is also helpful for internal strategy. Companies with access to sales data are better equipped to build out their current sales process or create a new structured process. When employees are all following the same processes, it is simpler to track progress and make changes where necessary.
Plumbing and heating business owners struggling on whether to implement a sales software should assess their long-term goals. These benefits showcase that investing in software will help them achieve those goals and grow their businesses.
Nathan Petersen is the software department manager at Opportunity Manager, a software solutions for the home services industries. Petersen has nearly 20 years of experience in software management and development and has been with Opportunity Manager since 2002.