7 Essential Electrical Contractor Software Features
January 27, 2023 - FSM Software - 13 minutes
Electrical contractor software is becoming a must-have for electricians all over the world. After all, the future of the trades is digital, and paper-based systems can’t keep up anymore.
While daunting, the time to switch is now – companies with electrical contractor management software benefit from organized operations, happier employees, and higher profits!
As electrical contractor software continues to make leaps and bounds; now’s the time to weigh your options. If you’re unhappy with your current job management system, keep reading. We’ve gathered must-have features and valuable tips for how to choose the perfect contractor management solution for your business.
The best software for electricians include:
- A Mobile App for Electrical Contractors
- Electrical Contractor Service Reminders Software
- Asset Management Software for Electrical Contractors
- Electrical Contractor Parts Management Software
- Custom Forms Software for Electrical Contractors
- Electrical Contractor Invoice Software
- Accounting Software for Electrical Contractors
According to Wellington, one in four organizations use any kind of management software. The rest are working with Excel, paper, or a patchwork of tools instead of having everything on one screen. As a result, 54% of organizations lack the ability to track KPIs in real-time.
If video is more your thing, check out Jack’s tips for how to tell whether a software is right for you:
1. A Mobile App for Electrical Contractors
A reliable mobile app is essential for any electrical business. Staying connected to contractors, wherever they may be, is essential. Be sure to use a mobile app that supports both iOS and Android devices, can operate without a WiFi connection, and empowers electricians – not slows them down. A mobile app should fit into your workflows, not the other way around!
According to TradeSkills4You:
Using an app to help with electrical work may have raised a few eyebrows years ago, however electricians are now increasingly using Apps which are fast replacing bulky and cumbersome books. Apps provide answers and clarification quickly enabling the job to progress more smoothly and quickly.
Further, the most powerful mobile apps allow for live technician tracking, so both office staff and customers can stay up-to-date on contractor location. Having these features can help you reduce the time spent on each job and ensure that the end customer received the best experience possible.
If you’re ready to ditch paper: Think about your team; are they tech-savvy or do they struggle with technology? It’s important that they like and want to use the mobile app. In most situations, the anxiety stems from being put in a position where they’re not an expert. Being patient and offering them the right training will go a long way in getting them to make use of this tool.
If you’re switching from another electrical contractor software: Many mobile apps on the market have limitations. Weigh your current mobile app against others – do they have offline capabilities? What features are and aren’t accessible from your mobile app? Which ones do you actually need? Many people think the mobile app should simply be a smaller version of the desktop but the reality is that would make the app incredibly slow if not right down impossible to use. What’s more, it’s not ideal for techs to have access to admin capabilities, as that might lead to misunderstandings and disorganization.
Make sure you find a mobile app that supports, and strengthens your workflows and doesn’t hinder them.
2. Electrical Contractor Service Reminders Software
Service reminders matter. They’re an opportunity to book more repeat jobs, offer another layer of customer service, and boost your overall profits. Reliable recurring income can be a great fallback, especially in slow times.
Staying in touch with the customer can really help you establish a long-term relationship. Whether you do that by sending a newsletter, or occasional offers, it’s up to you. But the impact is much greater when it’s about servicing an existing appliance. The customer is usually more receptive to things like making sure their install stays efficient and doesn’t use up too much electricity, safety issues, or keeping the warranty seal in case of a malfunction.
Timing is everything here. Your electrical contractor software should allow you to record the date of the install, and send regular service reminders whenever it’s most relevant (yearly, monthly, every 6 months, etc.). It’s also recommended to send multiple reminders: one week before, three days, on the day itself – whenever is best for you. This helps your customers keep their appointments top-of-mind, reducing situations like no access jobs.
Automated service reminders streamline this process even further. With automation, service reminders can be sent based on unique parameters like timing, and can be sent with custom messaging, or by specific source, like email or SMS message.
A tip for moving away from paper: Keeping track of service reminders and sending them out manually is possible – but it’s certainly a major hassle, from recording calendar notifications and writing emails to sending each notification. Software can help your team quickly create and schedule these reminders to go out on their own, with zero admin hassle.
A tip for moving to a new software: If you’re using an electrical software without a service reminder feature, you’re definitely missing out. A new solution could save your admin a lot more time, and help you improve the customer experience, increasing your recurring profit.
3. Asset Management Software for Electrical Contractors
Any appliance you’ve installed is an asset your business is responsible for. Asset management, then, is all about recording and keeping an eye on the important details of every item that you’re expected to care for on behalf of your customer.
The best asset software allows electricians to note installation date, who last worked on the asset, and location on the property. Asset management that goes further, however, can let you record extra details that dig into an asset’s history, such as whether a repair was completed on the product, and even what parts were used in that particular repair. This includes the name of the appliance, its make, brand, model.
This can be quite time consuming to record manually or with an inefficient solution. The workflow is supposed to reduce asset downtime and centralize data. When someone leaves the company, or is on vacation, technicians should always have the information they need.
If you want to go digital: Digital asset tracking software should speed up your team’s reaction times. Make sure the asset management solution you choose allows your electricians to get to work straightaway, with the correct information. Avoid solutions that only record vague specifications. In that situation, you risk sending out a tech that might not be qualified for the job, which delays the whole process.
If you’re looking for a new electrical contractor software: Are you using a software that was specifically designed for electricians? What information and asset details is critical for your electrical business? Is it saving you time or just creating more hassle? These are questions you can use to help you decide if it’s time to upgrade to a better solution. Sometimes, the cost of the status quo can easily outweigh the cost of switching.
4. Electrical Contractor Parts Management Software
As you know, electricians order and install a large variety of parts. Whether it’s rolls of wiring, custom-made lighting fixtures, or electrical boxes, a digital parts management system keeps your entire team on track. Your contractors should know whether or not certain parts are in stock, and your office staff should be able to incorporate specific parts into job records, and invoices.
The best parts management systems, like Commusoft’s, offer a parts database, an option to create custom parts kits, and allows teams to record multiple prices for one part. With relevant parts data in one place, teams can accurately track expenses and performance.
Done with paper? Few aspects of managing a business can be more of a hassle than keeping track of parts. Making mistakes can be very costly, from damaging your cash flow through repeated orders you can’t cover, to running out of storage space. A software that keeps everyone aware of what’s in stock and what’s running out can go a long way in simplifying things and saving you a lot of money in the long run.
Here’s some software advice: Consider how your parts management software can further optimize operations. Can your team currently track expenses, parts in stock, and varying prices on-the-fly? Can you automate purchase orders? Make sure your parts software can handle what matters to you.
5. Custom Forms Software for Electrical Contractors
Forms. Questionnaires. Certificates. We call them by many names, but all of these are basically lists of questions that a technician fills in, whether before a job, after, or both. They might serve a formal/official purpose, such as confirming a property is safe and fit for purpose, a risk assessment, or they might simply exist in order to help the technician conform to the company’s standard of work.
Custom forms may not be an obvious feature; but it’s an important one. Custom forms software helps electricians capture important job data from the job site. This includes industry standard electrical forms, custom safety forms, bespoke employee checklists, and more.
Custom forms should be easy to create and easy to complete from the field. Further, they should be saved against unique customer records and jobs. Electricians all around the world benefit from customizable forms – make sure your team does too.
Leave paper in the past! Even the most basic digital form (like a Google Doc) is a big step-up from the paperwork nightmare that used to be filling in questionnaires. This is especially true for technicians who, frankly, have bigger fish to fry rather than rummaging for the right form, realizing they’ve run out, and, worse case scenario: having to go back to the office to pick up more! What’s more, deciphering handwriting shouldn’t be part of anyone job description!
Tired of your current software? Look for a custom forms solution that automatically time-stamps documents when they’re completed – this way you’ll be sure your electricians are filling out forms when they’re supposed to. This way, you save even more time and collect better data!
6. Electrical Contractor Invoice Software
Getting paid is essential for any business. That’s why it’s important to ensure it’s easy for your customers to compensate you for your services. When you choose an electrical contractor software with powerful invoicing features, you can spend less time chasing customers for payment, and more time doing the work that matters most to you.
Digital invoices are professional, keeps your business brand memorable, and provides a convenient way for customers to pay any time of day. Make sure your electrical contractor software includes the ability to customize line items like labor rates and parts, create different invoice types like consolidated or deposit, and integrates with accounting software like Quickbooks.
Additionally, personalization keeps you memorable. Your invoices should be branded with your company’s unique colors and logos.
If you think that takes up too much time, automated invoicing is a real time-saver. These are invoices which get sent automatically, as soon as technicians mark a job as complete. Imagine not having to worry about missing
Ready to go digital? Paper invoicing means either relying on your techs to write the invoice on the spot or on your admin writing it in the office and mailing it out. Both methods are prone to errors and lost paperwork, and lead to you not getting paid or late payments. Going digital saves you from all that!
Here’s another invoicing software tip! Does your solution have an automation option, where invoices can go out to customers as soon as you mark a job as done? Consider your current time spent on invoicing; minutes can be cut to seconds with automated invoicing.
7. Accounting Software for Electrical Contractors
No matter how great your electrical contractor software is, it won’t be able to do the job of a dedicated accounting tool. More often than not, this is the first digital solution businesses invest in; and for good reason. Whether it’s invoices, parts, or payroll, being in charge of your numbers is essential.
An accounting software that communicates with your management solution is the ideal situation. This saves you the hassle of having to do double data entry. For example, creating an invoice in your job management software should automatically create it in your accounting software, too. Otherwise, it’s twice the work!
Software integrations make your office team’s lives easier. Overall, they increase productivity, meaning your admins can accomplish more each day. Integrations also make it easier to make business decisions. Managers can be confident in their choices with data stored in one place.
Whether your business uses Quickbooks, Xero, Sage, or more, the electrical contractor software you choose should be strong enough to support these programs.
If you’re tired of paper-based operations: Take a deep look at the electrical contractor software you’re considering. Do they offer the integrations you need? It’s inefficient to use your job management and accounting system separately!
If you’re looking for a new software: Look at reviews of the software you’re looking into – what do users think about their integrations? Are they well implemented or do they seem to create more errors than they’re solving?
Jumpstart Your Future With Electrical Contractor Software!
Electrical contractor software is already a regular part of the electrical industry. Whether your business is big or small, new or old, committing to an electrical contractor software is difficult. But it doesn’t have to be a painful decision! Digitizing workflows and making our clients’ lives easier is what Commusoft does. We’re here to help electricians like you make the transition easy!
Our job management platform can do everything listed above, and so much more. Commusoft helps electricians control the growth of their businesses, impress customers, and save money in the long run. Further, we understand many electrical businesses have unique operations; our pricing plans are flexible – we offer daily, rolling, and contracted licenses.
Learn more about Commusoft’s electrical contractor software, or, book a call with our team and transform your electrical business today!