Safety and compliance are Damocles swords around the neck of electrical contractors. An electrical installation software mitigates the risk associated with electrical installation, improves installation quality, and boosts efficiency.
The Importance of Safety and Compliance in Electrical Installation
Electrical installations are always subject to risks. Improper installations threaten life and property. For this reason, most geographies have legal and regulatory mandates covering electrical installations. Complying with such mandates reduces the risk of electrical shock, electrocution, and accidental fires. Any laxity in compliance makes the service provider responsible for the loss and liable for penalties, fines, or criminal charges.
Even if mishaps do not happen, installations that meet safety and compliance standards are more reliable. Adherence to safety protocols and compliance standards pre-empt issues and costly repairs. The systems become less prone to downtime.
What is Electrical Contractor Software and Why Is It Important?
Electrical contractor software digitizes, automates, and streamlines the day-to-day operations of electrical service providers. The suite allows contractors and other service providers to deliver quotes, plan schedules, assign and dispatch electricians to jobs, track electricians on the field, structure workflows through forms and checklists, generate reports, prepare invoices, and handle back-office administration. Service providers and managers can supervise field electricians and subcontractors’ field activities in real-time and enforce operations control.
Electrical contractor software:
- Digitizes the workflow and automates routine, repetitive tasks. Many tasks connected with electrical installation do not add value. But these tasks remain essential for compliance and reporting purposes. Automation frees up electrician tome from such non-value-adding tasks. They can focus their energies on more installations, improving their productivity.
- Improves transparency and visibility. The suite makes on-site activities, job progress, and upcoming tasks visible to stakeholders. Field agents get instant access to information and integrated views through mobile apps linked to the cloud-based suite. Robust APIs ensure a seamless connection with other enterprise systems. It ensures the free flow of data and information related to the job. Field electricians access the work order, customer contact details, and installation guides.
- Offers a single source of truth. The ready access to information spares electricians from spending valuable time searching for information. They can avoid the risk and mistakes of acting on outdated information.
How Electrical Installation Software Can Improve Safety and Compliance?
A good electrical installation software:
- Validates drawings and plans to eliminate errors and ensure the designs comply with local codes and standards. The software provides real-time compliance checks during installation and alerts electricians to issues. Timely alerts enable corrective action before the electrician completes the installation.
- Facilitates documentation and record keeping. The electrical installation stores documents in an easy-to-retrieve depository. Field electricians can refer to such documentation to do things in the proper way.
- Facilitate seamless communication and collaboration among stakeholders. Often, miscommunication and errors compromise safety and compliance. Collaboration tools with version control streamline fieldwork and pre-empt the scope for errors. Routing communication through these integrated channels improves traceability and makes retrieval of documentation easier.
The Benefits of Electrical Contractor Software
State-of-the-art electrical installation software offers several benefits to contractors ad service providers.
- High accuracy. Electrical installation software improves process accuracy and reduces the risk of errors. Automated scheduling ensures the electrician with the right skill set addresses the task. Dynamic dispatching ensures they reach their work site on time, equipped with the tools and spares needed for job execution.
- Improved safety and reduced risk of accidents. Structuring workflows using the forms and checklists ensures adherence to security policies. For instance, by mandating a checklist at the start of the shift, the work site has all the security measures to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.
- Increased compliance. Field agents may use mobile apps to run checklists, generate reports, and take electronic signatures.
- Increased efficiency and productivity. The field service suite improves employee productivity and enterprise efficiency manifold. Field electricians spend less time on the road or on paperwork and more time attending to their core tasks. They get all the information they need at their fingertips.
Must-have Features In an Electrical Contractor Software
All electrical contractor software is not equal. Some have only basic features, while others offer comprehensive features. Some others may look good superficially but may have poor UX or backend that degrades the customer experience. When you invest in electrical installation software, make sure the suite offers the following:
- Ease of use, with a neat and simple user-friendly interface. The best software comes with mobile apps that offer only the features and functionality the user needs. The software is also accessible through web browsers and available without internet connectivity.
- Customizable templates. The best software offers customizable design templates for electrical designs. Advanced software spot other value-adding features as well. For instance, 3D visualization makes explicit how different components fit together.
- Automatic calculations. Electrical installation requires a lot of calculations. Good software helps the installation crew calculate voltage drop, current flow, and circuit sizing.
- Reporting capabilities. Forms and checklists allow for structuring workflows and generating reports to fulfill compliance.
- Integration with other software. Native integrations or APIs make data transfers with other enterprise systems easy. Seamless integration with accounting software, ERP, CRM, CAD software, and project management tools improves work efficiency and speeds up things.
Best Practices for Using Electrical Contractor Software
The following best practices help users get the most out of the software.
- Proper training for users. Trained employees make fewer mistakes, are motivated, and comply with all regulations.
- Regular software updates and technical support. All software invariably unearths bugs from time to time. Regular updates patch such vulnerabilities and keeps enterprise data safe. Also, business requirements and user preferences change with time. Good providers upgrade the software regularly by adding new features and functionalities. They take user feedback and add new possibilities enabled by changing technology.
- Following industry standards and regulations. Configure the electrical installation software to comply with industry standards and regulations. The National Electrical Code (NEC) mandates design, installation, and inspection guidelines. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets workplace safety standards. There are other state and local regulations as well. Some sites may want standards set by National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).
- Proper documentation and record keeping. Use the electrical installation software to streamline documentation and record-keeping. Build APIs to link the suite with CRM, ERP, and other enterprise software. Build repositories to store service-related documents such as technical manuals. Create and organize client and business profiles in a central database for instant access at anytime. Offer electricians and support agents ready access to the information they need.
How ReachOut Helps!
ReachOut field service management suite is the best companion for electrical service providers. The robots, cloud-based suite offers several advanced value-added features and functionalities.
Once a customer raises an inquiry, the suite auto-generates a ticket. On approval of the quote, the system creates a work order and matches a technician to the job. Easy calendar views and a drag-and-drop interface make scheduling easy. Integration with maps ensures dispatch through the best routes. Service managers can track the field crew’s progress through GPS and make prompt interventions to remediate lag. A complete view of operations allows service managers to make accurate predictions and meet deadlines. The forms marketplace offers hundreds of forms curated by experts. Service providers can also upload their custom forms and hit the ground running. The service manager may structure forms and checklists for compliance with safety regulations and deliver these forms through the companion mobile apps. These forms also enable appending reports with images and collecting electronic signatures. The suite automates key steps and offers advanced options for all stages in the process. The field electricians can use the mobile app to mark work completion.
Robust APIs integrate the suite with other enterprise systems and third-party tools. Ready-made integrations exist for QuickBooks Online and Xero accounting platforms. Such integrations make it easy to generate invoices once the work is complete and collect the payment from the client. The backend tasks, such as accounts and CRM updates and payroll processing, occur automatically. These features save a ton of administrative hassles and leave your workforce free to engage in higher-value tasks.
End-to-end paperless operations, enabled by companion mobile apps, boost productivity and cut costs. The robust and secure backend ensures data safety.
If you are an electrical contractor or service provider, you miss out by ignoring ReachOut. Click here for a free trial or a comprehensive demo on leveraging this suite to improve efficiencies and gain competitive advantages. Connect with us today!
Ashmitha works with ReachOut Suite as a creative writer. She collaborates with the Digital Marketing team to deliver engaging, informative, and SEO friendly business collaterals. Being passionate about writing, Ashmitha frequently engages in blogging and creating fiction. Besides writing, Ashmitha indulges in exploring effective content marketing strategies.
More posts by Ashmitha Chatterjee