Managing the HVAC Busy Season with Field Service Management
We’re now into the busy season for HVAC service management: the summer months. In much of the first world, the summer is pretty hot — to extremely hot in certain areas. With global temperatures rising, this trend is most likely to continue for years.
It’s undoubtedly your busy season, which is a good (more revenue) and bad (a lot of balls to constantly juggle) thing for your small business HVAC company. When you have 5-10 (or more) clients all with urgent needs around their offices or machines being properly cooled, how do you make sure you’re managing everything in the most effective way possible?
You start with a basic idea: ‘busy’ is not the same thing as ‘productive.’ Many people often confuse those two words, and/or think they are synonyms. In fact, they are closer to opposite words than the same word. ‘Busy’ implies completing a lot of tasks. That is important during HVAC management busy season, of course. There’s a lot to do, and things need to be completed.
But just because you’re completing tasks doesn’t necessarily mean you’re productive. The concept of productivity during HVAC busy season means you’re establishing and continuing good relationships with clients, building the business out, growing revenue, and making sure internal issues (e.g. technician engagement) are taken care of.
So first, understand what ‘busy’ looks like and what ‘productive’ looks like. The end result of ‘busy’ is often more work, and/or feeling like you’re running in circles. The end result of ‘productive’ is a healthier business.
How do you move from ‘busy’ to ‘productive,’ then? Especially during your summer busy season?
Most companies we’ve worked with have embraced some type of field service management software tool. The No. 1 advantage of such a tool is integration. Oftentimes this feeling or notion of being ‘super busy’ comes because you have to track down information that doesn’t necessarily belong to you. Let’s say you work in scheduling, but you need customer information for a new HVAC job to schedule and dispatch. Unfortunately, someone else owns customer information — but he or she is on vacation. (This happens often in the summer.) You need to figure out the system, dig through his or her information and files, etc. It takes time. All the while, the customer wants a resolution.
With FSM software, everything’s integrated. Essentially, all the information the business needs is stored in the same place, and is mobile-friendly. So if you go out to lunch and there’s an urgent client need and your co-worker is on vacation, you can still find the information, solve the problem, and schedule the tech. It makes life so much easier.
Here’s the rub, though: FSM tools do cost money. If you’re a small business with tight purse strings, you need to make a case to your bosses or financial decision-makers on how exactly this FSM software will benefit your company. You need “a pitch.”
We know that’s hard to design and set up, so we did some of the heavy lifting for you. We put together an eBook on making the case for FSM software, which you can download now. It has ideas about making presentations, designing arguments, and contains the types of research you need. Take a look and feel free to use it as a guide. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.