5 Key Features To Look For In Your Fire Protection Service Software
March 25, 2023 - FSM Software - 10 minutes
There’s plenty to consider when searching for a new fire protection service software. After all, the system needs to:
- Be user-friendly for the team.
- Assist in maintaining customer satisfaction.
- Help boost overall company profitability.
Originally by Ashley Tortorelli. This content has been updated with the latest and greatest advice!
That’s why we’ve gathered five essential features that every fire protection service software should include. These features are integral in running your business efficiently.
- A cloud based customer database
- Contract management with planned preventative maintenance
- A scheduling system with route optimization
- Custom forms tailored for any job
- Customized and automated invoices
Let’s dive in, and explore how fire protection service software can help your business create great experiences for both your employees and customers!
1. A cloud based customer database
Your customer database is the ultimate resource when working with clients. It needs to hold all communications, property details, pictures, quotes, and invoices. Every piece of data you need for interactions with your customers should live in your database!
It’s also important that your database is cloud based. This way, nothing ever gets misplaced or lost.
Managing records in a spreadsheet or on a system that isn’t easily accessible won’t be sustainable for your growing fire safety business. Whether you want to grow or better cope with increasing demand, it’s not going to be possible to achieve that goal if it takes minutes (or more) to sift through information.
When working with a client, whether in the office or field, it’s essential to pull up previous work orders and communications in seconds.
These records should also be searchable by multiple fields—whether that be by name, address, or job number. You can spend more time providing great customer care without worrying about locating valuable information!
And while it is important for both the office and field to use the database, it’s equally important to have security levels within the system. The fire and alarm sector holds sensitive information like passcodes to homes and buildings. Your entire team should not have access to these details.
To keep your client’s information secure, your customer database system should allow you to assign specific and security preferences to each user on the software. Let’s discuss how to balance customer agreements with a planned preventative maintenance strategy.
2. Contract management with planned preventative maintenance
Contract based work is a major source of revenue for many fire protection companies. Installing fire suppression and protection solutions is what you and all your competitors do. But focusing on customer care, through long-term appliance maintenance will win you more repeat business. This of course, requires a great deal of attention to ensure quality maintenance remains constant.
When working with clients who manage large commercial buildings, for example, it’s essential to plan out weekly and monthly inspections, and stay on top of annual testing schedules. Manually building planned preventative maintenance (PPM) schedules can be a tedious, and stressful task for admins!
It’s easy to overlook necessary maintenance when your team has to sift through multiple contracts stored in a shared drive or on paper. Not only is this a contract breach that will negatively impact your business relationship with your client, but negligence will endanger people’s lives.
Therefore, it’s important to utilize a digital system, so admins can track agreements with minimal effort. Your new fire prevention software should come with the ability to build your PPM work directly into your schedules. The best fire protection service software notifies your team when it’s time to book a service appointment. This reduces errors and missed jobs.
Stay organized with service contract management
An asset accidently left off a job sheet is a major safety concern. As you know, failing to test an appliance is a tremendous. When evaluating job management software for your fire prevention business, make sure the system allows you to log all assets associated with the contract as well. This way, team members know exactly which alarms and sprinklers to service on each visit.
Contract management helps to eliminate human error and manual work for the team. Instead of tediously searching through contracts every month, admins can direct their focus to other parts of the business like marketing and sales! Now, let’s discuss the significance of schedule and route management.
3. A scheduling system with route optimization
Managing a calendar for multiple techs can eat up a large portion of the office’s time. This is especially true when working in a large service area. You understand how flexible your schedules need to be. At a moment’s notice you need to pivot around team availability and their proximity to the job.
It wouldn’t make sense for a technician to do their first job of the day 15 minutes down the road and the next an hour away. Optimizing routes is a time consuming process.
Shifting around route options on Google Maps to see which will be the most efficient can be laborious; and all that work can be hindered when there’s a sudden call for an emergency alarm going off on the opposite side of town.
These optimized routes can automatically be found for you with the right fire protection service software. By simply entering in the work address, the system should be able to find the most efficient schedules for crews.
This eliminates up to 90% of the time spent on scheduling.
Of course, not every job requires the same skillset, and some will need more advanced team members to complete them. It can be difficult remembering offhand who is qualified for which jobs. Sending an unqualified technician will leave a bad impression on your customers. Not to mention, your team member just lost valuable time driving back and forth.
Therefore, having a fire prevention software that lets your preload information like shift patterns and skillsets is imperative when scheduling. This system decreases the amount of time technicians spend on the road (actually reducing travel costs by 15%) while ensuring the right person is always sent for the job. Next, here’s how customized forms can help you gather the data you need, straight from the job site.
4. Custom forms tailored for any job
While onsite for fire inspection jobs your technicians will need to fill out safety forms and checklists. If a tech completes 25 jobs a week, they’re carrying a lot of paperwork from job to job. The chances of misplacing something throughout the work day is high. Missing files can lead to countless problems.
It means a lot of calls back and forth between the office and field, taking up time and causing friction between your staff. Even if all the work orders make it back at the end of the week, human error can always happen. Your crew can accidentally skip a line, or have illegible handwriting. This makes it impossible to understand what was done onsite.
Another visit may be required. This means the office needs to deal with an unhappy customer, while the technician has to redo the job instead of taking on a new one.
That’s why your new fire protection field service software should give you the ability to digitize job sheets, customize them, and require mandatory fields to be filled out before closing the job!
This way nothing goes missing, there’s no time spent calling back and forth, and no unsatisfied clients.
A great job management software will allow you to build your own fire prevention forms and tailor them to the different jobs you do; whether that be commercial, residential, reactive or planned.
As you know, an alarm testing job sheet should be different from a sprinkler inspection form, that’s why each of your templates should be customizable.
Further, with this functionality, you won’t have to worry about technicians leaving the job site without completing all required tasks or forgetting to record important information. This also requires your new system to have a reliable mobile app.
Make sure the app syncs off and online, so nothing is lost even when there’s no Wi-Fi connection. This way, once technicians regain connection everything goes directly back to the office. The best mobile apps remove all the back and forth communication while ensuring the administrative team has everything they need to start invoicing. Speaking of invoicing, let’s jump into customizations and automated options!
5. Customized and automated invoices
Invoicing can be a burden if all your job sheets come back to the office at the end of the day. Every hour you don’t invoice is another hour you’re not getting paid.
Finding a fire prevention service software that simplifies and automates the process is crucial in your search. Invoicing should not be a manual or painful undertaking: your staff doesn’t have write invoices one by one!
For example, if your crew completes 20 jobs a day and it takes the office 10 minutes to invoice each job, that’s three hours spent invoicing a day.
This adds up to 15 hours a week. That’s almost two entire work days dedicated to invoicing!
This can drop to two hours per week with the right job management software. Once a work order is complete, your new system should digitally send it directly back to the office. Admins can immediately raise an invoice, and even better, the system should automatically insert information into the template!
Adopting software to assist with invoicing:
If you do weekly inspections for commercial clients, your fire prevention management software should offer flexibility on how you invoice for fire protection jobs. In some cases, sending the invoice directly after each job is burdensome to your customer. It can be too much for them to keep track and they may end up missing one.
This means a delay in your payment for the job.
To avoid this, make sure the systems you evaluate can consolidate those invoices when needed. This option enables customers to receive one invoice that breaks down all the work done for them at the end of every month. Instead of weekly increments, they can pay off the total in one go!
This will help increase your on time payments, while simultaneously increasing customer satisfaction.
Explore fire protection service software with Commusoft!
Software can make your life easier. These five capabilities will reduce your team’s workload while increasing profits!
A strong customer database improves customer satisfaction, and happy customers become loyal ones to your business. Likewise, having an easy way to manage their contracts is key to maintaining good client relationships. It’s equally important that your new fire protection service software reduces the number of tedious tasks for your team. Free up hours of their day with a strong scheduling system that automatically finds the most efficient routes!
You can ensure nothing is ever missed on the job with custom forms. This will help save time on invoicing as well, which your fire service software should make easy and flexible.
If you’re ready to start your evaluation, Commusoft is a great option. It offers all the key features you’ll need in your new fire protection software as well as other beneficial capabilities like inventory management, service level agreements, and in-depth reporting.