Upon waking up in the morning, most people instinctively reach for their mobile phone. My smartphone has become my alarm clock, my daily calendar, my cordless telephone, my personal chat room (texting), my preference for work and personal email, my entertainment device for games, music and video, and so much more! It may seem like I am too attached to my mobile phone, which I won’t deny. But I am not alone.
Our world has drastically changed in the past decade or so, which should come to you as no surprise. Our professional landscape is quickly evolving and the use of technology as an integrated part of our careers is not going away. A statistic in 2013 showed that more cell phones are sold yearly than births per year – and that number continues to climb!
Today, mobile technology continues to innovate and advance at incredible rates, and we are more connected than at any time in history. Not only smartphones, but we are also trending towards tablets, smart watches, and other forms of mobile technology to stay connected and improve our work efficiency.
As contractors, what does this mean to us? It means that there’s an increasing chance you are behind the technology adoption curve and missing out on a great opportunity to help your employees and company to be more efficient.
So why do we care about adopting technology into our business? Whether you are just starting a new company or you are a seasoned veteran with years of experience in the industry, the correct use of technology in business has helped propel companies forward into more knowledgeable and successful market positions. Technology gives you more immediate insights into your productivity, more automated processes to save valuable time, and a more comfortable work environment for the rising generations. You have more information available at your fingertips at any given time, and generally speaking, your employees will feel more involved, more engaged, and have higher job satisfaction due to the blend of technology in their personal and professional lives.
With all this in mind, here are a few opportunities you may want to consider as you begin to focus on a more mobile-centric workflow.
Employees and Customers
Your employees are likely constantly connected with their smartphone and very comfortable using technology. You can leverage their access to technology for your own business efficiency gains!
Check out this list of ways to embrace technology:
- Help your employees connect their work email to their device so that they become more responsive on the go.
- Download apps for any workflow software you currently use, such as Xactimate Mobile, job management software, or other systems.
- Help your marketing team become more productive while on the move with mobile CRM systems that help to build stronger relationships and cultivate leads.
Most of your employees today grew up with rapid technological advancements and are typically eager to use technology in their line of work – take full advantage to become increasingly more efficient!
Your customers are often just as tech savvy. Not only does technology help to establish a more professional first impression of your company, it also opens lines of communication with your customer, which is never a bad thing. Many job management systems have a Job Portal feature that allows customers to see project insights, such as information about employees that will arrive at the job site, select job notes, pictures of the work progress, a work schedule, and more. Customers want to know what is happening with their property every step of the way, and technology makes it easy.
Job Management Software
One of the greatest general benefits of using job management software is the increased gains in efficiency. Clipboards and filing cabinets are dying breeds, quickly being replaced by software and online storage solutions. Most job management solutions are web-based, providing anytime, anywhere access to contractors from any device connected to the internet. They also provide mobile apps that are tailored for use in the field, advanced scheduling, document storage, equipment tracking, work orders and signature capture, time tracking, and so much more.
Job management software systems save an incredible amount of time over traditional data capture methods, ensure more reliable data accuracy, provide deeper insight into your business profitability and productivity, and generally see increased revenue in a very short period of time. There are a few job management software solutions that are integrated with standard industry software systems, such as Xactimate or XactAnalysis. Identifying and using an integrated partner can save valuable time through data sync between the two systems. If you haven’t found a job management software partner that makes you more efficient, make it a priority today.
Regardless of what you use to manage your production schedule, make sure that it’s available for all employees to access at any given time. In the past, many contractors shared a central office calendar to keep track of job activity. This centralized “system” quickly becomes the bottleneck; employees have to gather at the office every morning to know where they will be during the day. Once out in the field, it becomes difficult to reschedule appointments, to schedule new activities or simply to refer to an existing schedule without calling into the office or accidentally double booking appointments.
Most scheduling systems allow users to view their daily tasks in real time, with full access on the go. Employees become more efficient with the ability to view and manage their schedule no matter where they are, and schedule changes have a minimal impact on workflow. Avoid the hassle of an inefficient scheduling system; an easy, connected scheduling system is vital to maximize efficiency in your company.
Implementing a mobile workflow will not only help you to stay more connected and provide quicker response to your customers, employees, and other critical contacts, but provides you more immediate access to the tools necessary to measure your company productivity, improve your marketing effectiveness, and increase efficiencies across the board. The examples shared are only a few of the immediate benefits technology can bring to your company upon implementation.
To create a more successful business in a mobile world, the first step is to embrace technology. From there, it’s simply a matter of harnessing the power that a mobile workflow provides to become a force to be reckoned with in your market.