Staying on top of multiple job orders can be a constant struggle for growing Australian businesses. While managing jobs through spreadsheets may seem simple at first, it becomes increasingly inefficient as your company takes on more projects. Without a fully digitised system, your business can easily get lost in paperwork and make costly mistakes. This guide explores why your business needs reliable job management software.
What is job management software?
Job management, also known as field services management is a systematic approach to business operations and encompasses all job or work cycle activities. Job management software (also known as JMS) is a solution designed to help businesses plan, schedule, and complete a wide variety of jobs. The software stores and processes work orders, employee profiles, weekly rosters, financial data, and other crucial information on a central cloud database. When companies receive client requests, job management software makes it easy to create work orders and assign tasks to the most qualified people. Field staff can then review the work order and report their progress through the software. The resulting reports enable companies to monitor their team’s performance and identify opportunities to improve workflows.
What is the difference between job management and project management?
Job management pertains to managing individual and team workflow and workload – whether within the scope of a project or related to organisational operations. In contrast, project management applies knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to meet project requirements.
Who needs job management software?
Job management software is suited for organisations that need to meet job or project deadlines and deliverables. Job management software is particularly valuable to the following industries:
- Construction companies
- Plumbing, electrical and HVAC contractors
- Solar, landscaping and pest control services
- Facilities and property maintenance
- Engineering firms
- Kitchen and bathroom installers
- Architecture and design
- Field service businesses
Why do you need job management software?
Job management software is a smart solution to help your business plan, organise, and allocate resources for managing jobs. If your business finds it challenging to keep track of jobs or keeps missing deadlines, then job management software can help your business be more efficient, productive and organised.
What are the key benefits of job management software?
Job management systems come with the necessary features you need to efficiently plan your jobs, manage resources, respond to problems, and keep stakeholders involved. The right job management systems can provide many benefits to your business, such as:
- Improved planning and scheduling
- Accurate, transparent records
- Better service delivery
- Enhanced collaboration between team members
- Simple file access and sharing
- Effective risk mitigation
- Budget management
How does job management software work?
Modern job management software runs on the cloud. The cloud refers to software and services that run on the internet, instead of locally on your computer or smart device. By utilising cloud job management software, users can access job and project quotes, invoices, expenses, job details and schedules from any device. All updates to those jobs or projects are instantly reflected across all other users who have access to the software.
The four types of job management software
Job management software comes in many forms, with some specialising in certain features more than others. We’ve compiled the most common types of job management software available for businesses today:
These bespoke solutions help professionals in certain industries like facility maintenance and home service plumbing. Some apps in this category include Dynamics 365 Field Service and Housecall Pro. WorkBuddy job management software was created specifically for the field service industry.
The focus of this category is on a particular type of workflow, which is challenging to adapt to other ways of working. This category is suited to field service businesses that may need specific technology to run their business, such as geo-tracking, on-site invoicing and payments, and electronic signature capture. A workflow specialist like WorkBuddy contains tools that automate manual processes and workflows.
These platforms offer a comprehensive suite of features that can be customised for any industry, workflow, and project. WorkBuddy is an end-to-end job management platform that provides additional features such as asset management, instant messaging, business intelligence, and accounting integrations.
The basic job management workflow
Having a well-documented job workflow process is one of the best ways to create structure on how to use a job management system for your administration team. A basic job management workflow can be seen below:
- An event triggers a job request such as a phone call or an email from a customer.
- The request gets logged into the job management system and reviewed.
- A quote is sent to the customer for approval.
- On approval, a technician is scheduled to attend to the works.
- The technician commences the job and logs their job progress using the field app.
- The job is completed and an invoice is sent.
- The payment of invoice gets reconciled between your job management software and payroll package.
7 easy steps to implementing a job management system
Software implementation projects can fail because they are over budget, overdue, misled or poorly defined. However, there are several best practices that can help prevent those failures.
1. Set the rollout objectives
Set objectives on the outcomes you want to achieve when implementing a new job management system. When setting objectives following the SMART method of specific, measurable, achievable, reliable and timely can help. An example objective could look like this:
Have everyone in the organisation, trained and using the job management system by July 2022.
2. Form your rollout team
Moving to a new way of doing things will create challenges for any business, with most challenges relating to:
- Internal staff resisting change, research has shown only 38% of people are open to going out of their comfort zone.
- Committing to the change while competing with day-to-day priorities.
- Having people available in the business to drive the change and keep the momentum going.
To try and counter these challenges, we recommend forming a small rollout team to drive the change and get buy-in. The rollout team should consist of as a minimum:
- Sponsor – Usually the owner or director of the business who is funding and pushing for the change.
- Leader/Champion – Someone in management who knows the day-to-day operations, can motivate people, communicate on the project, and pick the right individuals to complete certain tasks.
- Team members – Team members who are skilled in certain tasks such as data entry, documenting processes, training others on how to use the system. These members will most likely be frequent users of the job management system too.
3. Communicate the rollout
Communicate to everyone in the business the need for change, the benefits, the objectives of the rollout and who in the business is responsible for driving the change.
4. Breakdown and complete tasks
Break down the tasks that need to be completed as part of the rollout including who is assigned to complete the relevant task and when it is due to be completed. An example list of tasks can be seen below:
5. Do a test run of processing a job
Once all tasks are complete and the business is confident that everything is ready to launch, test your job workflow processes and see if everything works as expected.
When testing is complete and everything is working accordingly, have the relevant stakeholders sign off on the completion.
6. Train end-users
With testing complete, now is the time to start training end-users on the system. This usually includes:
- Assigning logins
- Running set procedures and workflows using the job management system
- Getting the end-user to complete specified tasks related to their role
- Having cheat sheets and knowledge base easily available for people to fall back on if they get stuck
7. Start using your job management software
Finally, go live, ensure that all remnants of your old system are not accessible to end-users to ensure that usage of the new job management system occurs.
Follow up with continual communication and monitoring of system usage.
Why you shouldn't build job management software in-house
Many businesses develop their own in-house job management platform to organise projects, schedule jobs and manage billing processes. However, technology requirements change as they grow and can quickly become outdated when new processes and employees are added. Here are five signs it might be time to move on from in-house software:
- Inability to scale with your business
- Job scheduling is slow and complex
- Lack of mobile compatibility
- Workplace compliance isn’t built into the platform
- In-house platform is incompatible with your systems
Job management software eliminates information silos between departments and unifies your processes to make your trades business more efficient. WorkBuddy can integrate with most business software you use, so your price lists, expenses, and invoices can be fed directly into accounting databases like Xero, QuickBooks, and MYOB. Your website and customer service systems can also be configured so that service requests automatically generate work orders in WorkBuddy.
Is WorkBuddy job management software suitable for my business?
Features that sound job management software should have are:
Work order creation
When companies win a job, job management software automatically creates work orders that list details like requestor information, start and finish dates, job descriptions, and material requirements.
WorkBuddy can track a work order life cycle. WorkBuddy’s work order importer can read work orders sent to a dedicated inbox and automatically create a job in its operations panel ready for review and action.
Seamless payment systems
Job management apps allow technicians to instantly generate invoices from job costs, service markups, and taxes.
WorkBuddy speeds up the payment cycle with on-field billing features that automatically track job costs and generate invoices upon job completion. Invoices display detailed information that can be signed electronically to be approved.
Financial management board
Your job management system should be able to integrate with your accounting software so that your business can monitor your company’s financial health and create actionable reports that help improve your business processes and practices.
With WorkBuddy accounting integration you can simplify your accounting processes. The system can automatically sync invoice and purchase order data and payments are logged into the company database. With a centralised dashboard, everything from profits to completion rates can be tracked so you can see which jobs are making a profit or loss. WorkBuddy business reporting also helps your business analyse financial trends, produce cash flow forecasts and predict cash shortages and surpluses to help you make informed decisions
Job tracking features allow you to track and record every detail of a job and make sure technicians follow best practices and procedures.
With WorkBuddy’s operational dashboard you can identify bottlenecks and hold people accountable. Know the status of your jobs or projects in real-time based on updates from the field. View:
- Job activities, progress or status
- Calls and customer interactions
- Job compliance procedures or protocols
- Geocoded and timestamped photos, videos, and notes
Collaboration and file sharing tools
Collaboration tools should include a few essential components from real-time job status updates, file upload and sharing and notification systems.
WorkBuddy is cloud-based for easy sharing of files. The WorkBuddy field app offers a host of collaborative features such as instant messaging and calling options, with contractor and technician portals for users to view job schedules and job progress.
Job safety and compliance
Many projects require completing a series of health and safety checks to protect workers and the public from incidents and injury. There are specific procedures for testing the safety of machinery, structures, and facilities. Projects require different licenses and certifications, and technicians must follow safe work practices.
WorkBuddy simplifies this process by prompting technicians to complete relevant pre-established procedures before starting work. Before work checks can include step-by-step site assessment guides, safe work method statements, and compliance checklists. Work-related tasks can’t be marked as complete unless technicians have met all job health and safety requirements. Read more about how WorkBuddy helps with job safety and compliance.
Simple and efficient business reporting and analysis
Modern job management systems allow your business to monitor job performance, cash flow, and other key performance metrics allowing you to make more informed decisions on efficiency and growth.
With WorkBuddy you can get in-depth with your job or project performance with Power BI integration.
- Create custom reports and dashboards.
- Get into the detail of organisation performance.
- Be informed and make the right business decisions.
When something breaks in your job management software, who will you call?
Knowing that you’re working with people who are willing and able to work with you to develop a solution to any issue is a treasure. Depending on which plan you select, WorkBuddy can offer the following levels of support:
- Online (ticket)
- Self-serve knowledgebase
- Email support
- Phone support
- Dedicated business consultant
Key takeaway: When choosing a job management system, evaluate the platform based on how it addresses your organisation’s most significant pain points. Consider your company size and the software’s scalability and ease of use.
Choosing the right job management platform is essential in helping your business minimise wasting time with manual tasks, allowing you to focus on the critical task of growing your business. WorkBuddy job management software can help by providing end-to-end job management to serve the entire job management cycle. WorkBuddy is ideal for managing any field service operation based on your business model with its highly customisable features.
Book a demo today to see whether our software is right for you.