How Paperless Office Can Improve Service Business Sales in 2021
Digitization has made the paperless office popular. Creating and maintaining digital records is cheaper, efficient, and secure compared to paper records. But getting the benefits of a paperless office requires a “method to madness.” When an enterprise goes paperless for the sake of it, they end up with the worst of both the paperless and paper world. Here is how a service business can derive tangible benefits and improve its sales by going paperless.
1. Reduce Operational Costs
In today’s tough economic times, success depends on delivering the best service at the lowest rates. Increasing costs only drive people to competitors. Being competitive requires reducing costs and passing on the gains to customers.
Going paperless offers several cost advantages:
- Reduce costs: The cost of paper, printing, and storage add up quickly. Operational logs, estimates, timesheets, customer data, presentations, reports, invoices, and other tasks gorge on paper. Digital records cost nothing more than the fixed investment for the computing infrastructure.
- Improve productivity: With digital records, employees create and edit documents at will. They do not have to recreate the document every time they spot a mistake or some data changes. About half of all enterprise waste comprises paper.
- Eliminate storage hassles: The cost of storing electronic records is just a fraction of the cost of storing paper documents. Physical documents come with the risk of theft, fire or termite damage, and the chances of misplacement. Cloud-based digital storage saves data in redundant servers and encrypts files for access control. Likewise, it is easy to delete electronic documents. Shredding paper documents come with additional costs and disposal issues.
A paperless office is environment-friendly as well. It reduces the cost of disposal and reduces the load on the waste disposal ecosystem.
2. Increase Flexibility
A paperless office allows a service business to make its estimates and quotes dynamic and flexible. Paper estimates and quotes are static. The marketer has to recalculate the entire estimate for even minor changes in a variable. When there is a delay in providing quotes, customers may reconsider or go elsewhere.
- A quote management app for estimates and quotes makes the process ultra-fast. The service business may configure the algorithm for various scenarios and mark-ups.
- Marketers, field agents, or even customers can enter variables such as the number of units, items that need service, or anything else.
- The estimate can be changed depending on the variable. The user can apply various permutations and combinations to arrive at an optimal quote.
- The service business can even calculate the cost-benefit analysis of multiple scenarios.
- Customers can make instant decisions and get the job done to their satisfaction.
3. Improve Enterprise Resilience
A paperless office improves flexibility and makes the service business more resilient. Carrying paper files and records is inconvenient. No one can predict when anyone would need access to any specific information in today’s fluid business situation.
- Data access for marketers and field technicians: Storing files in the cloud allows employees anywhere, anytime access. All they need is an Internet-enabled device. For example, field technicians get access to service history using their smartphones or tablets. Likewise, marketers can access customer details, including their likes and updates, all in real-time.
- Seamless work order management: The most significant impact of a paperless office is in work orders. Going paperless allows creating work orders from anywhere, even automatically. The manager may assign technicians tasks through the smartphone app. The latest information will enable them to close the deal instantly.
- Automated scheduling: In today’s IoT-enabled age, connected devices may even generate work orders automatically. When a sensor finds readings outside the recommended range, it triggers an alert. The manager assigns a work order. Hyper-automated systems create a work order directly.
- Easy to track and manage changes: It is easy to change paperless work orders. The client may change the requirements, or the field technician may change the work order after a site visit to reflect the actual situation. All connected systems get updated automatically. The timelines vary based on the technician and spare availability for the new situation. The resultant hyper-efficiency improves profits and boosts customer satisfaction, creating an upward spiral.
- Overcome the challenges posed by legacy paper-based processes: In contrast, paper-based work orders are messy, error-prone, and static. The manager waits till the end of the day, until the technician returns from the field, to communicate the work order. As a result, work gets held up or delayed. Making changes and sharing them becomes challenging. The invariable mix-up in billing leads to customer discontent. It also results in lost opportunities for up-sell and cross-sells.
4. Effective Team Management
Field operations are complex and error-prone. Any service business faces issues such as assigning an order to a technician on leave, delayed dispatching, scheduling overlaps, and more. Scheduling and dispatching usually take up the time of a full-time employee.
- Automated scheduling and dispatching: A paperless field service solution automates scheduling and dispatching. The set algorithm matches the right technician to a work order and dispatches them after ensuring availability.
- Route optimization: The automated system suggests the optimal routes to reach the worksite. Customers may track their technicians’ progress through GPS-enabled smartphones.
- Customer delight: The fast turnaround allows serving more customers. It reduces fuel expenses and eliminates overtime costs. Businesses pass on the efficiency gains to customers to become competitive.
5. Easy Customization
A paperless field service management suite gives a fillip to audits and inspections. Paperless audit and inspection forms make customization a breeze. The inspector may download the relevant form for the inspection, with no mix-ups.
ReachOut offers customizable digital forms for audits and inspections to supercharge your business.
- Digital forms: Electronic forms capture key data, including audio and video, and also digital signatures. The app generates and transmits reports to the relevant stakeholders. Customers, top management, and regulators get reports customized to their needs.
- Get rid of printed, manually prepared forms: Preparing paper forms needs painstaking and backbreaking work, invoicing several duplications and corrections. In addition, each report requires manual preparation separately. The efforts and delay make the process costly and often push it to the point of unavailability.
Case Study: ReachOut’s reporting features and digital forms enabled a backflow testing business in Idaho to save two hours of work per day. Read the case study.
6. Contactless Services
Contactless services are a premium in today’s COVID-19 pandemic times.
- Integrated solution to manage multiple activities and data: A field management suite enables automated invoice and payment collection. The platform collates the information from various sources and generates the invoice. The system tracks geofencing coordinates to estimate the time spent at work. It checks the inventory data for the spares consumed and the rate as specified in the quote. The auto-generated invoice is then delivered to the client’s email or WhatsApp instantly.
- Streamlined accounting and payroll management: Automated field service system captures the required field information for timesheets. This streamlines payroll and accounts, further improving efficiency and cutting administrative costs.
- Productive field technicians translate to satisfied customers: API integrators connect payment systems such as PayPal to the field management suite. Technicians may collect the payment before leaving the site. Fast turnaround boosts profitability, while accuracy and convenience delight customers. Delighted customers return for the next requirement and also become powerful brand advocates.
ReachOut’s integrated field service management suite
The critical driver of paperless field service operations is a field management suite.
A well-integrated field service management software like ReachOut enables seamless collaboration among technicians, office staff, and other stakeholders. The absence of such a service software leads to a petri-dish of Word documents, Excel sheets, emails, and voice clips. This leads to version conflicts, missed communications, delayed responses, and other disasters.
Going paperless by deploying ReachOut promotes professionalism among the workforce and unlocks many possibilities. It makes the field crew dynamic, enhances the customer experience, and boosts sales. Harnessed the right way, going paperless becomes a key driver of competitive advantage. Talk to an expert to learn more about ReachOut’s paperless offerings for your service business.
ReachOut: Inspection & Work Order Management Software
Do you still use paper or Excel spreadsheets to manage your service business? ReachOut is a web and mobile solution for companies to schedule, dispatch and deliver inspections, work orders, ticketing and more.