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Supercharging Growth and Profitability for Your HVAC Services Business

Image of Siddharth Wadehra, Head of Partnerships & Research
Siddharth Wadehra, Head of Partnerships & Research

Companies in the HVAC industry are fast looking towards technology solutions to help them improve their operations and enhance customer experience. While consistently obtaining exceptional customer service standards for HVAC companies is still desirable, most of the market leaders have already started incrementally improving their technology stack to differentiate themselves from the pack.

These companies are transforming their HVAC operations to dramatically improve service levels and the customer experience, increasing efficiency and productivity, and creating value in new ways—both for customers and for themselves. Research suggests that field organizations that transform themselves to capitalize on new technologies can generate significant gains in labor costs, productivity, and other performance metrics.

This article looks to explore how HVAC service businesses are looking towards digitalizing various parts of their operations to supercharge their growth and boost profitability.

Empowering your teams

  • Streamlined communication and collaboration- In some situations, HVAC technicians need to work together to resolve more demanding tasks. The field service management solution for field service workers enables effective communication between team members and has real-time notifications which the technicians can make use of. Task steps can be explained in detail to less-experienced technicians, allowing them to complete the work order. And, when there is a need for particular equipment on site, they are able to transfer it from another technician with one click on their mobile device.
  • Quicker invoicing- Invoicing, in some cases, could end up taking a number of days when all data are collected and computed manually. Using HVAC software, technicians can immediately send all job information captures from the field such as spent time, used parts and materials, the electronic signature of a client, and photos of job results. Additionally, the HVAC software will automatically calculate the price, taking into account warranties, special pricing conditions, and discounts.
  • Superior client service (without paperwork)- The service visit ends with client confirmation and work assessment. With the HVAC solution in place, this is simplified and paperless. Field service workers add service documentation, create completion reports, and ask the client for their digital signature. In order to facilitate better client service analysis, customers are also asked to fill in survey reports and assess the quality of tasks. With these features, you empower your technicians not only to manage the tasks but also to improve the client experience.

Operational excellence

  • Workflow standardization- By using an HVAC solution, each technician’s work is planned automatically, based on skillset and location. Each field service worker receives a notification on a smartphone or tablet, along with all required information about a work order, particular tasks, and customer location. By empowering field service operatives to access the service history, they can also diagnose the problem without unnecessary calls to colleagues. Technicians can be advised on the route they should take in order to arrive at a client’s premises on time, which is especially appreciated by customers during an urgent situation.

  • Dynamic dispatch optimization- HVAC systems rarely provide accurate visibility, and job-booking allocations seldom reflect task times. It’s not unusual to see more than a third of each day lost through late starts, early finishes, and other unproductive times. By using digital scheduling tools to seamlessly manage an efficient mix of internal workers and subcontractors, companies can be responsive to customer needs without incurring large fixed costs.

  • Robust diagnostics and easy referencing- Ideally, a diagnostic kit would cover model year, repair history, customer questionnaire, suggestions for diagnosis, detailed problem-solving manuals, and lists of parts needed. With the HVAC solution, you can provide a one-stop solution that can help field techs schedule service requests, check that they have the right parts, and understand the root causes of a breakdown. The field technicians would also have, at their disposal, a repository or a training manual which they can choose to refer to should the need arise.

  • Real-time consumables and inventory management - In a larger organization catering to a higher volume of requests, the sheer size of the installed base and range of potential repair locations makes tracking consumables and inventory management challenging. HVAC companies seeking real-time visibility of inventory and data across their network will need to invest in digital tools to keep track of inventory and analytics to support flexible allocation.
  • Vehicle tracking - Supporting a distributed field service organization requires a well-managed fleet, something companies often struggle to achieve. To unlock value, they need to harvest and integrate large sets of granular fleet data—GPS tracking, routing histories, and the like—that often go untouched because of resource constraints or the proliferation of data warehouses.

Empowering stakeholders with self-service options

  • Customers - There could be nothing more frustrating for your customers to wait over a call to connect with the service agent to get to know the status of their order. A self-service option would allow you to provide the customers with an app, which would empower them to control and manage their service appointments themselves without having to contact a customer service agent over the phone or email. It would also give them an overview of the service history and records and let them track the status of their request instantly. This is particularly useful in an enterprise scenario where the maintenance department is required to keep track of the service status of a huge number of equipment.

 

  • Partners / Suppliers- Imagine having to manage your partners and suppliers, keep a track of their contracts, their incoming orders, pending or missed payment deadlines, connect with them for issues back-and-forth over Email to often get your requests completed. All of this could easily be managed with the help of your HVAC software. The external access would ensure that the partner would also have real-time visibility of stocks and consumables to gain a better understanding of when the supplies need to be replenished.

Automate tedious & error-prone manual tasks

Jobs like data collection, ticket assignment, and updating the status and progress of every customer request can feel redundant and unproductive. Having to manually schedule service tasks to the right technicians can also hinder agent efficiency. HVAC service automation eliminates these tasks and frees up valuable time for your service teams to focus on helping the customer. HVAC software also makes allocating tasks and scheduling these tasks easier with a simple set of clicks.

HVAC software reduces the labor required for data entry and processing in a big way. When field service technicians record data on mobile devices, and still better, when data is populated on to reports automatically to the extent possible, field service technicians are freed from their clerical workload. Duplicate work is eliminated, and inaccuracies that arise when trying to decipher handwritten work orders and invoices while entering them into appropriate systems are eliminated. Qualified technicians are freed from the non-value-added time they spend on preparing invoices, filling out work orders, and providing other documentation, allowing them to focus on their core competencies.

HVAC software helps reduce duplication and errors caused when technicians prepare service reports manually and later uploaded it online at the office. The savings manifest in many fronts, including time, the cost of staff to do the same work twice, the cost of infrastructure and resources such as paper and pen, and more. Cluttering your workplace with paper sheets increases the risks of valuable data loss. Excel is also not the best way to structure and keep the information, as it does not provide real-time dispatching and analytics resulting in a total gain of 10-30 percent productivity.

 

Steer No-Code HVAC Software: A one-stop-shop for all your HVAC servicing needs

HVAC_Blog-1Technology is reinventing the HVAC service delivery strategy at a pace hard to fathom. This effect has been compounded by the ongoing pandemic where companies are forced to operate with a skeletal workforce and rely on processes, tools, and systems to serve their customers. Undoubtedly, one of the biggest factors your organization should keep in mind while exploring an HVAC solution is its ability to adapt to any business or technological changes. Not just should the proposed solution be able to integrate with the company’s existing core (even legacy systems), but should be able to future-ready with its ability to integrate with any new technology that is launched in the future.

 

The biggest advantage of a No-Code HVAC software, like Steer, is the ability of the software to match the business processes. It could be specific processes that are unique to your organization or perhaps more generic processes related to HVAC such as order management, dispatching, inventory management, vehicle tracking, scheduling -- whatever processes your organizations have, your HVAC software should allow you to be able to streamline, optimize and automate parts of it.

 

Once that’s in place you would see the customer experience being positively impacted. Not just would it result in higher loyalty and customer retention, but would also help significantly in cost reduction and better stakeholder management. The ability of the software to match the unique internal business processes is absolutely critical to the survival and growth of the field services management company.

 

Connect with one of Steer Go-Digital evangelists HERE for a demo to gain a deeper understanding of how Steer’s No-Code HVAC solution would be ideal to supercharge your growth and boost profitability.

 

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