What is Plumbing Software?
As business owners from all industries embrace new kinds of technology, stepping into the digital age is no longer a choice.
You might not want to trade your binders and chalkboards in for laptops and tablets, but that’s becoming the reality of field service providers. When you finally make the leap, you’ll find that plumbing software can help simplify nearly every aspect of your business; from scheduling to dispatching to invoicing, web-based programming will allow you and your technicians to do more in less time.
Plumbing Software Features
There are a variety of programs that focus on different aspects of plumbing services, so it’s important that you know what you’re looking for before investing in business management software. Here are a few things that you should definitely consider.
Whether it’s just you or a team of 20 field technicians, you need to be able to keep an accurate and up-to-date schedule. This is a feature you’ll find with almost every type of field service software, though some products are better suited than others for tracking multiple employees.
Most plumbers spend too much time adjusting the books after a certain project goes over budget. With plumbing estimating software, you can follow your expenses in real time so you know how a job is going and whether or not funds need to be reallocated. This makes it easier to budget and also lets you keep tabs on any subcontractors you might be working with.
Your plumbing software can track what’s being used on various jobs so that you’ll know what supplies you have and when it’s time to restock. Since all the programs are interconnected, you won’t have to worry about filling out a dozen forms every time you increase inventory.
After a long day at a job site, you and your technicians shouldn’t have to trek back to the office to complete more paperwork. Modern programs work with computers, tablets and most cell phones so everything can be done on the go. Good field service software should allow you to get your work done in the field.
Estimating and Invoicing
As you input more data and streamline your process, your software will enable you to price more accurately and fill invoices more efficiently. You’ll also be able to quickly note whether or not outstanding bills have been paid so you can better control your cash flow.
Plumbing Software Benefits
Plumbing is a competitive industry; if you aren’t able to meet your customers’ needs in a timely manner and with excellent service, it will show in your client retention. Organization is essential in this profession and there’s no better way to make sure everything is in order than with quality plumbing service software. With a quick glance at your computer or cell phone, you’ll be able to see who’s at what jobsite, how close a project is to completion and when the next work order can be handled.
This allows you to get accurate estimates and time frames to your customers, saving time and money for all parties involved.
You can also use your plumbing software to view floor plans and design photos, which can reduce the cost of labor. You’ll spend less time measuring and estimating and more time getting the work done. The right software won’t just help with administrative issues; it will allow you to provide better service as well.
Plumbing Software Providers
There are a lot of good products coming from a lot of different providers in this industry. Here are four of the most popular options.
Wintac has been in the field service game for over 25 years. The company has kept pace with the changing times, however, and offers all-in-one services that help you to fully integrate every aspect of your business. If you run a particularly small plumbing business, Wintac might offer more than you need at a price that’s a bit too high. For those in charge of larger teams, this is definitely a viable option.
Kickserv was actually developed by a former plumber. The software has a clear pricing structure to help companies of differing sizes, and you can pay on a monthly schedule or bundle into a discounted annual fee. The program offers dozens of useful tools to help with job management, employee tracking and invoicing.
The strength of this plumbing software lies in the accounting features. In addition to the standard automations for scheduling, contracting and dispatching, ServMan provides multiple payment options and various financial tracking tools that are easy to use and extremely helpful.
This product differs from many others in that it is a QuickBooks add-on with all the important features associated with more complex software. Without changing your bookkeeping procedures, you can easily incorporate scheduling, tracking, ordering and dispatching.
When Scott Spencer bought Jim Dandy Sewer and Plumbing in Seattle, it was immediately clear to him that the company needed to operate more efficiently. Countless hours were being spent transcribing and refilling paperwork in the aftermath of a completed job, and that was keeping the company from taking on more business. Since all the technicians owned smart phones, Scott decided to look for software that could integrate and coordinate. It wasn’t long before he settled on Smart Service.
With the new program, invoicing and updates could be handled at the jobsites. This cut back on administrative duties and allowed for real-time tracking across multiple projects. The Jim Dandy employees found the system to be much more user-friendly than the earlier methods and they all increased their workloads. With satisfied workers and customers, Scott was able to purchase and develop a second business that also adopted the Smart Service software.
Plumbing Software Pricing
Cost and payment method varies depending on the service you sign up for and the size of your business. Most providers base pricing on the number of users that need to be added to your system, while in some cases the monthly payment will cover unlimited users.
Before you make a purchase, see about getting a free trial – you should be able to test-drive the software before committing. When you decide on a plumbing business software provider you might have to pay an installation fee, though many providers will waive that charge if you agree to annual payments.