Job management software is vital in helping Australian trade service businesses schedule work, get paid, be productive, and stay safe. Implementing the software is a no-brainer for those who want a competitive edge, and finding the right one is a challenge in itself.
However, even more daunting than finding the right job management software is implementing one effectively. Trades businesses can face many hurdles in this area, from resistance to change to misaligned schedules to faulty data migration. Your business needs to establish a detailed rollout plan, and this comprehensive guide will help you transition your team onto new job management software.
Schedule your transition
Determining the right time to shift to the new software can heavily affect user adoption rates. For instance, if you have everyone switch to job management software during the busy season, onboarding will likely be rushed and ineffective. It’s impractical and frustrating for tradies to have to change their entire workflow, especially if they’re nearing a deadline.
The ideal time to transition to new job management software is when there’s a lull in seasonal demand. Set aside at least one or two months to conduct data migration, software testing, and user training. By the training phase, tradies should not be preoccupied with multiple jobs so they can focus on the onboarding process.
Appoint people to champion job management software
Securing buy-in for your new job management software is all about getting early adopters and managers to convince the rest of your team. Ideally, these people are great communicators who not only understand where the software fits into their processes, but can also demonstrate its benefits to everyone else.
Early adopters don’t have to be technically savvy. In fact, it may even be advantageous to have people who can showcase the simplicity of the software. Plus, they can provide additional support during the training phase to ensure people are fully on board with the new software.
Host a comprehensive discussion with your team
The worst thing you can do when introducing any significant change to your company is to give tradies no warning. Most workers are apprehensive of change, so don’t expect company-wide uptake when you suddenly implement new apps and workflows. It’s, therefore, crucial to hold a discussion with your team explaining the benefits of the new software.
While discussing potential cost savings is vital, the benefits you highlight in the discussion should be centred around your team. Demonstrate how job management software makes it easier to schedule jobs, quote and invoice clients, and stay on top of tasks. Make sure everyone knows how you evaluated different job management software and why the one you chose came out on top.
You should also be transparent in this process by answering truthfully any questions they may have. Team members will likely want to know the specific features of the software, the logistics behind the rollout, and how it will affect their current projects. By addressing these concerns early, you mitigate the general reluctance of moving to the software.
Train workers on the new software
To familiarise tradies with the new software, you must provide adequate training. First, establish standard company procedures like dispatching and site assessments with the new software. Then, you’ll have to introduce teams to different job management features to perform their daily tasks. For example, you should cover how tradies can navigate dashboards, locate their next job site, and access job-specific instructions in technician portals.
More importantly, you need to consider how you deliver the training material. Lecture-based training may be quick, but it may not help users retain information and master the software. Training through interactive demonstrations and video tutorials, however, are much more effective for walking tradies through different features and workflows. These training methods are easy to consume, which is particularly useful for tradies on the field.
You can also supplement training programmes by giving tradies small tasks to complete like creating a profile or accepting work orders. This way, you can speed up the onboarding process while teaching tradies the practical applications of the software.
Migrate your data
When moving to a new system, you’ll want to migrate any critical data from old spreadsheets and legacy software. This process starts with a complete audit of your data to see which is relevant to your operations. Examples of data to migrate to the new system include existing work orders, price books, invoices, contractor information, and tradie rosters. Take this opportunity to update your information and back up old ones so you always have historical data to refer back to.
Your job management system needs to be configured to suit your business, and that means making some necessary tweaks. For starters, you should set access restrictions so that contractors, subcontractors, and technicians are only allowed to view data relevant to their jobs. Make sure to register all technician information and qualifications so dispatch managers can assign the right person for a job. To streamline payments and bookkeeping, it’s also a good idea to integrate your job management software with your accounting platform. Of course, if any of these seem too complex, you can always ask the software provider for guidance.
Collect feedback and improve processes
Just because you’ve deployed new software doesn’t mean the job is done. Similar to introducing new policies and tools, there will most certainly be an adjustment period for your entire company. Some users may still be resistant to change or there could be underlying issues with the software.
In any case, ask for employee feedback within the first few months upon implementation. Conducting internal surveys will help you understand if further training is needed and whether new software processes should be improved. It may even give you useful suggestions on how to customise the software to fit your company’s requirements.
If you’ve experienced any difficulties throughout any of the aforementioned implementation phases, WorkBuddy is always willing to help. Call our team of professionals today to speed up the transition and get your tradies working more efficiently than ever.