Electrical service software is turning indispensable for seamless operations in today’s digitalized world. But not all electrical contractor software is equal. The best electrical business software is cloud-based and can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. It is also flexible to cater to the unique business needs of different contractors. These general must-have traits apart, here are ten must-have features in electrical contracting management software.

1. Estimating and ticketing system

Generating estimates and quotes are an indispensable part of an electrical contractor’s business. Failure to generate timely and accurate work orders means loss of business. After approval of the work order, tracing the work order till completion ensures speedy work execution.

Electrical estimating software automates quote generation. Contractors need not calculate figures manually and repeat the process whenever a change occurs. With the automated software, they only have to input the variables. The backend suite does all the calculations and generates instant reports. 

Once the customer approves the quote, the electrical estimating software converts the estimate into a work order. A ticketing system ensures end-to-end traceability of the work order. The client, managers, and other relevant stakeholders can track the progression of the work order to its logical end.

2. Scheduling

Delays due to poor scheduling have a cascading effect and wreck project timelines. Electrical contracting management software makes assigning work to field electricians easy and accurate.

Electrical contractors use Gantt charts to plan and schedule projects. Manual preparation of Gantt charts and assigning technicians is time-consuming and error-prone. Scheduling is dynamic, as project timelines often change due to factors beyond anyone’s control. Also, technicians may call in sick or become unavailable for many reasons. Rescheduling jobs have a spillover impact, making scheduling a continuous, nerve-wracking exercise. 

The scheduling software for electricians organizes tasks as per the Gnatt chart. The software assigns technicians to tasks considering availability, competencies, and other relevant considerations. It also handles any changes, freeing the schedulers to do more productive tasks. 

The software integrates with the skills register and leave management software. The skills register ensures the field electrician has the requisite skills to do the job. The leave management software ensures the electrician has no approved time off before assigning work. Also, the software ensures that work takes place during work hours.

Read more: Why Field Service Businesses Cannot Ignore Scheduling and Route Optimization

3. Dispatching

Electrical service software streamlines dispatching. 

After assigning a field technician to the job, the suite supports the technicians in reaching the client’s work site. Integration with maps plots the best routes to the work site. The software considers real-time traffic and road conditions to ensure optimal dispatch. Field electricians reach their work site in the fastest possible time. 

The electrical contractor software ensures field technicians spend the least time on the road and more time on their work suites. Employee productivity, asset utilization ratio, and enterprise efficiency improve. Guiding the technicians through the shortest route also improves fuel savings, boosting profitability.

4. Integration with inventory

Electrical field jobs involve using many materials, tools, parts, and equipment. Scheduling a site visit without such materials will lead to incomplete jobs and force rescheduling. Rescheduling lengthens downtime and degrades the customer experience. It also results in inefficiencies and poor asset utilization. The higher overheads may even make the service unviable.

Integrating the electrical contracting management software with inventory syncs scheduling with spares and parts availability. Contractors schedule jobs after ensuring the availability of parts to pre-empt stock-out situations. They may also initiate stock reorder when any item goes into low stock. 

5. Notifications

Effective scheduling and dispatching require a system of notifying and reminding the stakeholders. The scheduling gains fritter away if the customer forgets the appointment and is not ready to receive the technician.

State-of-the-art electrical contractor software issues alerts and reminders to stakeholders. Field electricians get alerts on upcoming jobs or updates on schedule changes. Customers get notified of job assignments to electricians. 

6. Real-time tracking

The best electrical service software enables real-time tracking of field electricians. The mobile suite leverages the GPS of the smartphone to offer live location. Real-time tracking allows customers to track the progress of the electrician. The load on customer support also reduces, as customers will make far fewer calls to know their electrician’s whereabouts.

Managers can use the real-time tracking option to monitor work progression in real-time. They can make timely interventions to set right any lags or backlogs.

Live location tracking also automates timesheets and brings integrity and traceability to operations.

7. Collaboration

A reliable platform to connect with field technicians improves enterprise efficiency and resilience. 

ReachOut electrical business software comes with robust collaboration capabilities. Field electricians may connect with their office and get real-time information. Routing communications through the field management suite leaves a log of the communication. Electricians can go back for clarifications whenever needed. 

Field technicians sometimes get struck on some complex job with no solution. Without a direct supervisor, their only recourse is to schedule a revisit. The electrical service software enables field electricians to connect with remote technicians. They may complete the fix under remote supervision and guidance without scheduling a revisit. First-time fix ratios and asset utilization ratios improve. Customer satisfaction also gets a boost.

8. Knowledge repositories

Most electrical works face heavy regulations. Many regions have standards for installing and maintaining electrical equipment. Some local environments tweak national and state standards to suit the peculiarities of their region. Also, solar and other non-conventional energies have become popular. Service electricians need additional competencies and certifications to serve such varied electrical installations. Failure to meet such compliance can lead to costly fines and other strictures.

Electrical contractors can’t keep track of such ever-changing requirements. Field service management software provides access to such real-time regulatory information. The suite also offers access to depositories containing critical safety information, equipment service handbooks, and other essential knowledge.

Good electrical contractor software allows field technicians to access job files, product manuals, wiring plans, contract documentation, client requests, and other information to do their job well. The field service mobile apps offer such real-time data through intuitive dashboards. APIs connect the suite to these knowledge depositories and databases at the backend.

The smartphone app centralizes information and offers a single source of truth. 

9. Audits and inspections

The integrity of electrical contracting work depends on timely audits and inspections. Electrical service software ensures a structured mechanism to conduct audits and inspections. These inspections make sure field electricians complete their tasks to perfection.

The electrical service software

  • Capture data automatically to the extent possible. 
  • Restricts data input to a specific range, improving the accuracy of reports. Advanced suites even offer annotations to guide the inspectors.
  • Offer readymade forms to guide field electricians through a structured workflow. Businesses have the option to customize these forms. They may even upload stylized forms to digitize their workflows without going through a learning curve. Routing tasks through forms ensure process integrity and high-quality work execution.

The mobile suite enables electronic data capture. Field electricians or inspectors may append videos or images to forms to make reporting more powerful. They may also capture digital signatures as proof of work or audit completion.

Electrical contracting management software for audits and inspections ensures easy dissemination of reports. Businesses can also meet compliance obligations fast. Users may use electronic data to customize reports. There is also complete transparency and traceability of the work. Any authorized stakeholder may access the audit and inspection reports anytime, anywhere. 

Read more: Why do Enterprise Audits Fail? How FSM Prevents Audit Failures

10. Automated Invoicing

Many electrical contractors underestimate the importance of prompt and accurate invoicing. Errors in billing lead to loss of revenue and degrade the customer experience. Delays in billing can lead to cash flow issues and the non-realization of some invoices. Most invoice-related issues and delays are due to manual invoicing or ineffective coordination. 

Routing invoicing through electrical business software makes the process accurate, efficient, and real-time. The electrical invoice software collates information from the work order, CRM, and other databases. The integrated email client auto-dispatches the invoice to clients instantaneously. Integration of the suite with the accounts suite automates accounts and payroll. Integration with payment platforms allows the electrician to collect the payment immediately.  

ReachOut Suite electrical contractor software offers all these features and much more. Subscribing to this electrical contracting management software enable electrical contractors to streamline operations and gain competitive advantages. Connect with us now!

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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Sachin Krishna

Sachin works as a part of the digital marketing team at ReachOut Suite. He believes in a healthy and resourceful web and does his own little contributions for the purpose by creating and disseminating innovative and quality content.

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