Starting a plumbing business is the easy part. The hard part is sustaining and growing it. The biggest challenge in running a plumbing business is to keep track of many clients and various orders. As the business grows, a work order system becomes indispensable for smooth operations. A work order system keeps track of tasks, in detail. It records each work order and various sub-tasks in detail, captures instructions, and covers all other specific elements associated with that work order. The system can also assign technicians to each sub-task and track them.
A plumbing business manages many clients and multiple projects, spread across different locations. A standardized work order allows the business to remain in control. It allows the business to respond promptly to orders, and keep track of the various work orders.
The business manager generating a daily activity report gets first-hand insight into the state of operations. They may make amends or perform corrective amends, to set right any trouble spots or lag.
Applying analytical tools on the work order data allows the plumbing business to take strategic and operational decisions in an informed way.
Historical records show trends for different times of the year. Businesses may plan their workforce allocation keeping such trends in mind. Insights into the type of works performed and customer demographics allow businesses to spend their promotional budgets wisely. For instance, a surge of repair orders at the start of winter could prompt a new pre-winter preventive maintenance package. The business could even stock more materials at that time. The opportunities are endless.
Data silos are the bane of enterprises in today’s digital age. A good chunk of enterprise data remains inaccessible to anyone except those who created it. An online work order system documents every work-related interaction at a single place. Business managers, supervisors, line workers, and even customers may access the system, to retrieve information. A cloud-based data repository allows easy retrieval of data anytime, anywhere. A mobile app makes the task easier and more seamless.
With the work order system capturing data, little scope exists for data-related errors. Orders no longer fall through the crack. Technicians no longer miss instructions. Bills no longer lie forgotten. An automated system sends out timely push notifications, as valuable reminders.
A work order record job-relevant interaction between the customer and the plumbing technician. When a new request comes in, the technician refers to the previous work order, for the background and context. Tapping into the details of the previous repair may indicate the dripping pipe being beyond further repair. The technician could immediately advise a replacement.
Referring to historical customer data, the technician would know the spares to take, the tools to carry, the accessibility of the leak, and other finer details. Customers benefit through professional advice and speedy execution of the work. The business benefits from efficiency improvements.
A work order system auto-generates bills based on the set parameters. Business managers often remain engrossed in getting new orders and firefighting to execute orders in time. They often forget to bill the clients on time.
The implications of delayed or missed bills go far beyond lost revenue. It distorts analytics, sends out the impression of an unprofessional concern, and renders waste resources and efforts put in to complete a task well.
The work order reports give the state of asset use. The insights indicate if the business makes optimal use of resources. Sub-optimal use of resources means indicates some underlying issues. It could also sound out the need for more marketing efforts.
The work order creates a database of customer records. This is a valuable source for repeat orders and referrals.
While a work order system delivers multiple benefits, not all systems are equal. Many systems are either too basic or very complicated. The best system captures all essential details, but yet keeps the front end simple. The best systems avoid duplicity in capturing information. Automation ensures backend processing and auto-generating essential reports.
The best system comes customized to suit the ways of the business. Superimposing a system intrudes into the work of the technician, and does more harm than good.
The basic information required for any work order system for a plumbing business is a list of materials and fixtures, the service costs, description of the work, and a checklist placing the work in different categories. The date, customer reference, the name and reference to the assigned technician, estimated time of completion, and work location constitute other essential features.
More features depend on enterprise requirements. A notes field, for instance, allow technicians to record snippets of conversations with customers. Integration with the CRM allows easy retrieval of customer information, facilitating personalized engagement. A collaboration component allows technicians to contact supervisors from the field. Avoiding another platform allows keeping all information in the work order system. This facilitates easy analytics and data integrity.
The relationship with a customer in a plumbing business is rarely one-off. An online work order system offers a digital footprint, with far-reaching benefits. The data allows for easy identification of customer nuances. Technicians and other employees make meaningful and customized engagement with customers, to build long-lasting relationships. The system enables the business to establish a data-driven culture. The benefits such as efficiency improvements and customer delight return the investment in the system in a short while.
Aarathy is a Senior Digital Marketing Analyst at ReachOut Suite. She is majorly into content marketing and focuses on getting the messaging right across a host of marketing collaterals. While not working on content, you can find her juggling SEO, social media, branding and more. She enjoys exploring new frontiers in digital marketing and the associated challenges keep her going.
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