When Australian trades businesses start, they develop their own in-house job management platform to organise projects, schedule jobs, and manage billing processes. However, their technology requirements inevitably change as they grow. In-house software that may have been helpful in the beginning may be sorely outdated by the time they’ve added new processes and employees.
If you’re not regularly updating your applications to match your company’s needs, you risk stunting your growth. That’s why it’s important to know when you’ve outgrown your in-house software so you can start looking for better alternatives. Here are five signs you no longer need your in-house software, and why WorkBuddy is the ideal solution.
Inability to scale with your business
Although rapid growth is a great direction for your company, your homegrown platform may have difficulty keeping up. Working with more contractors and tradies means your platform must be able to accommodate new users while maintaining consistent performance. This can be especially challenging if your employee count has suddenly grown from five to a hundred and you’re partnered with dozens of subcontractors and suppliers.
If your software can’t scale with growing business needs, you’ll start to see inefficiencies come out of the woodwork. For example, without dedicated on-demand user portals, tradies won’t be able to stay on top of tasks or sync up with the contractor. Additionally, the influx of user-submitted data could overwhelm your in-house platform, hindering staff from quickly retrieving important documents.
you have developers proactively updating your in-house platform, a fully supported job management system is the better option. WorkBuddy, in particular, already comes with contractor, subcontractor, and technician portals that can be scaled up depending on how many people need them. What’s more, WorkBuddy experts automatically update the software and add the features you want for a monthly subscription fee. This pay-as-you-go model is much more cost-effective than hiring in-house software developers and makes it easy to scale your operations up or down.
Job scheduling is slow and complex
As you employ more tradies, tracking everyone’s schedules through a manual in-house platform will only increase the likelihood of errors. Dispatch managers can quickly lose track of appointments, assign the wrong person to a job, and forget to account for travel time.
Fortunately, WorkBuddy’s job scheduling features help you avoid these costly mistakes. When clients make a service request, WorkBuddy instantly creates work orders and sends them to the dispatch manager for review. From there, managers can filter the job management database to search for tradies with the right skills necessary for the job. Managers also get real-time updates on their tradies’ status, availability, and even location before dispatching new work orders.
By using these intuitive features to guide the scheduling process, managers don’t need to rely on guesswork to assign jobs. Instead, they can ensure the most qualified and nearest tradies are assigned to the right job at the right time.
Lack of mobile compatibility
Many in-house job management platforms allow tradies to perform the basics, like recording invoices and checking weekly schedules. However, they often don’t consider the mobile compatibility aspect that’s vital for tradies to work on the road. As a result, tradies end up taking additional trips to the office to input data and acquire work orders from the dispatch desk.
In contrast, WorkBuddy is a cloud-based platform that can be accessed from any device with an internet connection. That means tradies don’t have to go to the dispatch desk because work orders are forwarded directly to their user portals. Tradies can also check these portals for to-do lists that outline project specifics, so they can stay organised and know which tools to bring. Additionally, WorkBuddy’s job costing capabilities allow on-site tradies to invoice clients upon job completion.
Australian workplace compliance isn’t built into the platform
Another sign your in-house software is obsolete is if it doesn’t have features to minimise workplace hazards and safety risks. This is a crucial component because tradies make up 60% of serious injury claims in Australia.
While it’s possible to tack on safety features on your software, it’s easier to use a platform that’s considered safety compliance from the start. WorkBuddy, for instance, allows managers to create forms and checklists modelled after Safe Work Method Statements to facilitate a hazard-free workplace. These checklists guide employees through relevant site assessments and outline the health and safety requirements of specific jobs. Managers can then track employee performance to ensure everyone is complying with safety guidelines.
In case of a safety issue, WorkBuddy allows users to report any incidents and hazards through the app. The insights gathered from these reports will enable managers to resolve disputes and prevent similar issues in the future.
In-house platforms are incompatible with your systems
If you’re often jumping between your job management platform, accounting systems, and other specialised software, you’re overdue for an upgrade. At a certain point in your company’s growth, you need to integrate multiple business functions into your job management platform. This way, you can streamline processes, centralise your data, and make working on the go effortless for tradies.
What’s great about WorkBuddy is that we can customise our platform and integrate it with most business software you use. Your price lists, expenses, and invoices can be fed directly into accounting databases like Xero, QuickBooks, and MYOB Online. Meanwhile, your website and customer service systems can be configured so that service requests automatically generate work orders in WorkBuddy.
Ultimately, WorkBuddy eliminates information silos between departments and unifies your processes to make your trades business more efficient. If you feel you’ve outgrown your in-house job management platform, request a free demo today to see how we can improve your business.