Finding the right HVAC Business Software is challenging and narrowing down all your available options is such a daunting task. Before you begin to compile a never-ending list of solutions, you’ll want to compile a list of features that you’re looking for. If a solution does not have all the features you need or want, cross them off the list and move on.
Before you cross off the wrong solutions, here’s 10 features that software for HVAC Businesses should have:
1. MobilityTrending within the Field Service Industry is this movement to run a paperless, mobile service business. With software, mobile features for the techs out in the field allow them to access their schedules, pull up and drill down into a customer’s service history, update job statuses, get directions, convert work orders into invoices or proposals, etc. For many service businesses, mobile technology is really redefining how the entire company works and operates.
2. Customer ManagementCustomer relationship management is important as good customer management leads to good customer service and repeat business. Software with a CRM (customer relationship management) database will, among other things, allow you to be able reach the right customers with the right message, at the right time. Because CRM databases are built to help you easily track and manage all your customers, contacts, properties, job sites and service and job history, batch emailing your customers based any new or relevant information is simply and can be done in minutes.
3. Service TrackingBetter service tracking alone can help to generate more revenue. Figuring out how to stay ahead of them so you can bring in those profits is the challenge; and software is the solution. Software designed specifically for HVAC businesses will provide you with the features your business will need to track, sort and better manage all your preventative maintenance agreements. With software, you’ll be able to run a report to see which accounts are due for service and who is past due, and if you really want to be proactive, you can also set reminders to alert you before all of your customer’s service agreements are about to expire.
4. Scheduling and Dispatching ManagementWish you could schedule all those PM jobs and eliminate all that downtime right away? Well, the great thing about software is that, now you can. Business Management Software for HVAC businesses will allow you to schedule and track a job every step of the way; from the moment a call comes in to the moment the invoice goes out, software will allow you to track the jobs status and the technician assigned to the job to completion. Furthermore, software typically comes with a rich set of scheduling and dispatching features for both office users and field technicians, which makes the two-way communication much more efficient and flawless than when dispatching without it.
5. Estimating & Proposal WritingCan’t read your tech’s chicken scratch? Then it’s time to let software handle your company's estimates and proposals. Software designed specifically for HVAC businesses will help make the estimating process better, faster and easier as you’ll now be able to customize your proposals and pull in exact costs for equipment, materials and labor. This will allow you to see the profitability of the job before you even send out the quote, and whether you’re in the office or out in the field software will allow you to email that new proposal right on the spot, which limits the chances of that proposal being misplaced, misread and/or not being accepted.
6. Inventory ManagementInventory that is not managed or mismanaged ties up a lot of overhead and consumes valuable time and resources to manage manually. Dedicated inventory management systems not only help with organization, they allow you to understand your inventory activity and to see where you’re overspending. This now allows you to forecast when you need to re-order parts and supplies and the exact quantity you’ll need and you’ll be able to complete all of this within your software.
7. ReportingReporting is a feature that is often overlooked as it’s value is often underestimated. Consider being able to run a quick report on how profitable your jobs are, on who your most profitable customers are, on how much you owe your vendors, on what your cash flow looks like this week, on which vehicles are due for service, etc. Keeping your finger on the pulse of your company's day-to-day finances will help you to plan and budget for the future and maintain a healthy revenue stream.
8. IntegrationsIf your end goal is to run your HVAC business with one program then it’s important that the solution you choose supports certain integrations. Even an all-in-one solution like Wintac that has its own accounting and payroll capabilities integrates with programs like Quickbooks. Having the option to integrate with a software that’s familiar reduces the stressors of having to learn a new accounting platform and the need to repeat data entries if you were to use each solution independent of one another. Furthermore, if you’re using more than one software for your business needs, integrations significantly reduce the chances that one solution will become incompatible or obsolete with the others.
9. Sustainability & Room to GrowThe industry and your HVAC business is constantly evolving and changing and so it’s important to find a solution that can not only meet your needs now but that will evolve with you into the future and be there for you today, tomorrow, and 10 years from now. For example, you’ll need to consider how many users you need and what options are available to you if you ever need to add more.
Other important factors to consider are the reputation of the company that you will be purchasing the software from, how connected they are to their community and the industry, and how long they have been in business for. All of these things factor into how they have built their success and how that transfers over to your businesses success.
10. Technical SupportWe strongly encourage you to think about this one because when learning something new for the first time, how many times have you not had a single question? It’s normal to have questions and if you’re software provider does not offer technical support, who will answer your questions when you have one? Depending on your business and its unique needs, this feature and how your chosen provider addresses it could make or break your successfulness with being able to use the software.
In conclusion, as you begin to research and search for the best HVAC software for your business, consider the features you need today and the ones you will need in the future. In order to grow with software, it will need to still meet your needs 5 years from now.
What are the top 3 software features you’re looking for in a solution?