The service fleet dilemma in real estate & construction

Fleet service is one of Canada’s most lucrative sectors. When companies were asked to close their doors at the beginning of 2020, service companies continued to work under the banner of an essential service.

With new service projects being influenced by unique architecture, intricate designs and innovative materials, complex service projects are moving forward with costs and service demands greater than previously before faced. 

2020, however, has brought its own set of challenges to this sector. It highlighted inefficiencies that have existed for years in the area of service management, specifically in communication and costs.  

The cost of poor communication

Communication and data sharing lies at the heart of managing service crews. With an existing divide between those working in the office and those working on-site, sharing information and remaining up to date on processes, opportunities, and challenges is critical. For example, when delays occur, service managers are responsible for altering schedules and notifying teams, so that time and money aren’t wasted. Add the number of individuals involved in a service call as well, each bringing their own expertise, resources, and timelines to the table, and a fragmentation of knowledge becomes another complexity that must be addressed.

According to FMI, in the United States alone, miscommunication and poor data management account for a loss of approximately $31 billion per year. In an industry worth $1.3 trillion, the cost of rework is staggering. 

Technology solutions utilized by teams to promote collaboration and disclosure, therefore, must handle the intricacies of this sector and take into account the unique variables and situations that teams face every day. Processes and procedures can include managing work orders while in the field, managing inventory in the service vehicle, customer sign-offs on completed work right at the moment of completion, and the issuing of invoices and collection of payments upon approval. By using technologies specifically designed for these tasks, your teams can gain greater control, and communicate efficiently with customers as well as other team members and third parties when needed. 

ERP solutions designed for complex industries

Cloud-based service management ERP solutions, are designed to bring together the web of information and moving parts typically associated with service work orders and their labour force. From tracking shipments and materials, to scheduling teams and trade professionals, to monitoring service costs on a work order, information is collected, tracked and brought together into a single platform. Accessible from the field, service crews can update operations on each work order, giving remote offices real-time access to the information they need. 

From a sales perspective, cloud-based service management ERP solutions make it seamless to connect with prospects and customers and stay in contact with them throughout the sales cycle, all from an integrated CRM system. With this information at your fingertips, payroll and scheduling, quoting and confirmations, and financial setbacks can be tracked and compared to historical data as well.

Regardless of whether team members are working from home or on location, cloud-based service management ERP solutions help to fill in knowledge gaps so that everyone can remain on the same page.

Not only can you track every dollar spent, manage timelines, update teams and upload resources, but you can facilitate and keep abreast on onsite quoting, inspections and deliveries. Service technicians can easily upload information by phone or computer, relay messages to team members on staggered shifts, and provide clear information and visibility to those working offsite. If specific crews need to be dispatched, trucks rerouted, or equipment warranties verified and provided to technicians, this can be accomplished through a specifically crafted cloud-based service management ERP solution and tracked for verification and reporting purposes. Regardless of whether team members are working from home or on location, cloud-based service management ERP solutions help to fill in knowledge gaps so that everyone can remain on the same page at all times. 

We understand the challenges of ensuring your service teams remain connected in the field and add to your portfolio of work. Allow us to show you how a cloud-based service management ERP solution can assist you in managing service teams, financials, and unforeseen challenges while considering the complex nature of your industry. Speak with us today, and we will help you find a solution you can apply with confidence.  

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Author: Dan Caringi

Dan Caringi is a Partner with MNP Digital and a leader within the firm’s national Digital Solutions practice.