The solar industry is booming. Thanks to the interest in green energy. However, the interest and buzz have resulted in several players entering the market, making the competition cutthroat. In such a tough market, solar installation software gives contractors a distinct advantage.

Here are seven advantages delivered by FSM software for solar contractors.

1. Efficient scheduling and dispatching

Efficiency is non-negotiable in today’s competitive business environment. However, the scope for inefficiencies is plentiful in field services. Often, schedulers find it difficult to optimize the field technician’s schedule. Field technicians travel back and forth, wasting time and fuel. Or customers have to wait long.

Solar business software prevents such waste and inefficiency. Schedulers can use the software to optimize technician schedules and dispatch the right personnel to the right job sites.

The FSM software for solar contractors offers easy, integrated views of jobs assigned to field technicians. When a new work order comes in, the scheduler identifies the nearest available technician and assigns the order to them. Also, the suite co-opts databases containing technician skill sets. Schedulers can identify technicians with specific skills or expertise with ease.

The benefits include:

  • Reduced travel time, leading to improved productivity and asset utilization ratios. 
  • Better on-time arrival rates and reduced delays, coupled with a lesser customer wait time. Customer satisfaction increases.
  • Prompt task completion, leading to efficiencies. 

2. Work order management

Soft costs comprise 65% of the cost of residential PV and 57% of the total cost of commercial rooftop PV. Such high costs hurt business competitiveness. Efficient work order management reduces such costs.

Modern solar business software enables solar contractors to create, assign, and track work orders. 

Work teams can use the FSM software for solar contractors to:

  • Create new work orders when customers make a service request. An integrated ticketing system enables end-to-end tracking and follow-up of such work orders.
  • Automate routine administrative tasks to speed up work order fulfillment
  • Digitize and automate workflows to improve process efficiencies.

3. Asset and inventory management

One of the major reasons for the inefficiencies of field services is poor inventory handling. Supply chain disruptions lead to stock-out situations. Many service providers have opaque systems that do not notify disruptions. Schedulers end up assigning jobs to technicians without checking on the inventory status. Field technicians travel to the customer’s premises and return without completing the job. Or customers have to wait for an indefinite period before stock arrives. Revisits double the costs, often turning the work order into a loss for the company. The degraded customer experience due to lengthy wait times or revisits leads to loss of business. It also has spillover effects, such as poor referrals and negative reviews.

FSM software for solar contractors improves inventory management. The integrated inventory management capabilities allow for real-time tracking of solar panels, inverters, spares, and equipment needed to execute the work order. 

The service provider can:

  • Track and manage equipment and part usage. Field techs can only determine the availability of parts and equipment from their mobile app if they check in with the office team.
  • Assign work orders after ensuring the availability of parts and spares. 
  • Restock inventory depending on consumption and demand. 

These measures optimize inventory levels and pre-empt stock-out situations. 

4. Real-time visibility and communication 

Field services, which take place outside the service provider’s premises and often in far-away locations, create blind spots. Such blind spots blunt managerial effectiveness. Managers remain oblivious to the happenings in the field. Likewise, field technicians working at remote locations remain at the mercy of uncertain and unreliable communication channels.

FSM software for solar contractors offers complete visibility into field operations and enables real-time communications. 

Most FSM software comes with mobility. Mobility allows technicians to send and receive real-time alerts, generate automated messages, and create job notes. They can also access up-to-date project information through their apps.

Managers can track work progress and the location of the technician. They can investigate any lags or delays and fix issues or render assistance promptly. Integrated dashboards offer managers real-time insights into team capacity, utilization, and performance. They can drill down to the specifics, such as a technician’s arrival times, job details, and status.

Customers get an accurate ETA of technician arrival. They also receive automated messages about job status, scheduling changes, and invoices.

There is also a complete record of all communication, enabling easy irretrievability.

Communication routed through the field service app eliminates the hassles of switching between apps, email, and messaging. When field technicians and managers juggle between multiple apps, they lose some important messages, leading to internal errors.

5. Reporting and analytics

Few companies can expect to thrive without analytical insights in today’s data-driven age. FSM software for solar contractors offers ready tools to generate reports and analyze data. 

Any good solar installation software empowers field agents to capture data electronically. They can use custom forms to capture accurate data, including images and videos, and generate instant reports. Such reports offer solar contractors live

insights into operations and enable them to fulfill compliance obligations. Reports containing insights from data analytics allow them to make data-driven decisions and identify areas for improvement. For instance, managers can drill down timesheets to individual field technician levels to identify excellent performers and laggards. Such insights allow them to create benchmarks for top performers and design training programs for laggards.

6. Integration with accounting and invoicing

The best FSM software solutions integrate invoicing and accounting functionality. When the field technician completes the work at the customer premises, he can use the software to auto-generate the invoice. The back end pulls data from the work order and other databases. It collects information, such as the hours spent on the job, parts consumed, and the quoted rate. The integrated payment collection interface accepts payments. The CRM, accounts database, and timesheets all update automatically. The service provider saves a ton of clerical work and eliminates errors. The overall invoicing and accounting process becomes fast and efficient, reducing administrative overhead. Timely payment collection improves cash flow and profitability. 

7.   Cloud and mobile-based operations

The latest cloud-based FSM software for solar contractors enables anywhere, anytime access. The stakeholders may access the resources through dedicated apps or mobile browsers. Every stakeholder gets the right information and can do the needful anytime, without delay.

The best solar installation software comes with robust APIs. These APIs enable robust integration and seamless data flows with other enterprise systems.

FSM software for solar contractors optimizes work, reduces costs, and enhances customer satisfaction. A good suite makes solar contractors nimble and empowers them to scale operations. Among the various options, ReachOut FSM software for solar contractors stands out. ReachOut’s single, unified interface allows for effective issue diagnosis and prompt remediation. 

For instance, when a customer raises a work request, the support agent identifies the installation through the integrated CRM and generates the work order. The scheduler tracks the service history to identify the likely defect, check inventors, and schedule a qualified technician. Integrated maps guide the technician to the work site through the best route. Once at the work site, the technician may use the field service app to access information manuals, connect with remote experts for clarifications, or download forms and checklists to do the work as per the specifications. On completion of the work, they may auto-generate the invoice.
With ReachOut, field service management is quick, simple, and hassle-free. Request a free demo today!

Digitize your field service operations from scheduling to invoicing with ReachOut. Connect your technicians with the companion mobile app to execute jobs and reduce paperwork in the field. Try ReachOut now and give your customers the fast and quality service they deserve.

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