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The digital tools keeping tradies ahead of the curve

By Jeff He

It’s easy to wax lyrical about the transformative powers of technology and how it has changed the game for so many industries, revolutionising the way businesses operate.

None more so than the incredible impact it has had on tradies – who now view their mobile device as equally as important as the tools they use on the job. For tradies who commute from job to job each day, their device has become a tool that enables them to do more than just communicate – it has become their office. 

This may seem normal to many who operate remotely in other industries, but in the construction industry, this digital/hybrid way of working is growing, and paving the way for software as a service (SaaS) to become embedded into their everyday, shaving hours off of admin that would normally be completed behind a desk in an office. 

This evolution that moves tradies further away from the desk and office is often seen as a breath of fresh air that allows them to focus on the job in hand and not worry about allowing time for a lengthy admin-run later in the day. There are numerous benefits to embracing the digitisation of your business that go beyond simply logging timesheets. 

Seamless communications 

One of the most commonly used apps that has grown in popularity in construction, is Zoom. As widely reported in both the media and on social media, video calling software became a go-to tool for staying connected when the pandemic swept the globe. The impact on our behaviour has remained, with personal connections being made at the touch of a button. 

Zoom (and other providers) have gained traction in the industry because it enables multiple stakeholders to have a conversation about a complex job, for example, without people having to travel the country and take hours out of their day for one meeting. They can sit in their car or wherever suits, providing valuable input without sacrificing crucial face to face time with a client. 

Information at your fingertips 

The digitisation of records and data enables you to access information for jobs, materials, tools and clients in real-time. It also allows you to take action should a situation arise – and come to a conclusion swiftly. For example, some jobs require scissor lifts and they require certification. 

If a scissor lift is not up to date, it is not a legally viable tool to use and therefore, needs to be recertified before it can be used again. This can be escalated to the right people in a matter of minutes; and in some cases issues can be rectified swiftly to prevent delays on projects. 

The same can be said for seemingly small pieces of information that make up the bigger picture: where is the designated parking on site? What’s the client address? Who should I be liaising with? 

A lot of the software offered to tradies is white labelled and designed to suit the business, a bonus that further supports digital transformation within this sector. If you can customise every aspect of an app to suit the needs of your team, be it technicians or personnel, the benefits will soon add up. 

Connect sales with service

It can be argued that historically there has been a disconnect between sales and technicians, with both parties aiming for the same outcome, but taking different routes. The use of CRM software like Knack and Salesforce has helped bridge the gap between growing teams, enabling technicians to work more closely with them in real-time and not via stacks of paperwork and emails. By simplifying operations into one streamlined place, you’re immediately cutting down numerous time intensive admin, and the integrated workflow features real-time notifications that can alert all parties on the status of a job or quote. 

Furthermore, the technician has visibility of items that need to be repaired or replaced and can easily load a note or request into the system alerting the sales team who generate new quotes. This added benefit allows the client to have complete transparency and understand what needs to be addressed either immediately or in the near future – a bonus when considering the cost impact of parts and labour. 

Provide transparency for every party 

This is where the right software can add huge value to both business and client – paving the way for a seamless relationship that could result in more work, positive referrals and a process that benefits both parties. 

Depending on the software you use, or if you have customised features within your own app, recording important aspects of a job are crucial. The use of an app allows the technician to upload photos straight into a client portal, report on issues or discrepancies, share a real-time log of actions, upload receipts or documentation, send invoices and much more. 

By bringing an entire project ecosystem together in one place, both the client and the business can track every aspect of a job and include relevant people necessary to the fulfilment of a project – without having to spend days waiting for emails, scanning documents, tracking down paperwork and hoping everyone is on the same page. 

In a nutshell, digitisation and automation provide a significant commercial benefit to any business, but particularly for those traditionally reliant on lots of paperwork and moving parts – often hard to track when you’re on the tools all day. The customisation of software, tailored to meet the needs of your business is a worthwhile investment that not only increases trust between you and the client, but fosters an environment where technicians feel empowered to make decisions based on their experience and judgement. 

Vision Systems believes in simplicity and innovation, and invests in technology that enables us to provide the most efficient and effective solutions for our customers. Contact us to talk about how our tech solutions can meet your needs – 

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