As the field service industry adapts to the rise of the gig- and contractor-based business models, the use of a third-party workforce has become essential to success. Currently, 27% of all service technicians are third-party contractors, and it is expected that 40% of field service work will be performed by third-party technicians.By leveraging a third-party workforce, organizations have access to a larger pool of highly skilled technicians, workforce flexibility, expanded geographical reach, and cost savings. While utilizing a third-party workforce brings numerous benefits to OEMs and service organizations, there are certain complexities, such as managing a blended workforce, that only the best contractor management software can solve.
With so many options available, it can be difficult to distinguish between popular products and effective, scalable solutions. Taking a moment to inform your decision-making will ensure that your organization invests in a platform that does not take a one-size-fits-all approach, but intelligently solves your unique business needs. Choosing the best contractor management software is not only integral to successfully managing and dispatching your contracted workforce, but the key to keeping your organization at the cutting edge.
The Best Contractor Management Software Solves for Unique Pain Points
Not every field service organization is the same, so naturally, not every field service software is the right fit. Identifying the unique pain points that your specific organization experiences are beneficial for multiple reasons: focusing on the priorities that require extra attention, learning what questions to ask potential software vendors, and developing a deeper understanding of what type of solutions are required to solve your problems.
When assessing potential pain points, aim to identify friction within these four categories: financial, business, operational and technological. Dig into the specific processes that take place in each of these four categories and ask relevant questions:
- Are there currently processes in place that are resulting in a loss of service profitability?
- Is there unnecessary risk being assumed?
- Is there a system in place to manage both employees and contractors?
- Is time being wasted due to inefficient communication and reporting?
- What is your biggest inhibitor to successful growth moving forward?
- Are customers agitated? Why?
- Is there alignment between your current technology and your business objectives?
By identifying the most significant pain points in your organization you are better equipped to determine the best contractor management software features to meet your needs and ensure your business success.
Understanding the Best Contractor Software Features
Software features can vary dramatically across contractor management platforms, and gaining a deeper understanding of these features is integral to choosing the right solution for your business. While there are a lot of great features, only the ones that successfully solve your pain points are actually useful. Narrow down this plethora of options by asking relevant questions regarding your contractor management processes:
- Is your onboarding process integrating background checks, drug testing, certifications, and coverage?
- What project management systems are in place for selecting contractors?
- How quickly are payments being processed? Is this satisfactory?
- What logic is being used to dispatch to a contracted workforce? Is it successful?
- Is your workforce all third-party or is it a hybrid workforce?
- Is your business growing quickly? Are there processes in place to handle growth?
- What level of granularity is necessary for your internal analytics and reporting capabilities?
- Is your user experience leading to customer satisfaction?
While business pain points and processes can vary across organizations, customer satisfaction is paramount to the success of every organization in the field service industry. In fact, the 2019 JCurve Digital case study confirms that a positive emotional experience with a company renders customers six times more likely to buy, 12 times more likely to recommend the company, and 5 times more likely to forgive a mistake.
In this modern market, your contractor management software must deliver exemplary customer satisfaction to beat out your competition, indeed, 60% of organizations state that customer service is the top source of competitive differentiation. In contractor management, this means being able to quickly and flexibly leverage your resources to meet changing demands without sacrificing the safety, cost, or quality of work to satisfy your customers’ expectations. For instance, Baxi, one of the largest European manufacturers and distributors, experienced a 10% increase in customer satisfaction rates after implementing ServicePower’s Scheduling solution.
Choose Contractor Management Software that Scales with your Business
As demand fluctuates, there is an increase in pressure and complexity to quickly scale your organization to meet these needs. From selecting contractors with the most relevant skills and geographic location to booking appointments with sensitive timelines, contractor software needs to expedite these processes and ensure confidence in their completion. However, this complexity is magnified when managing a blended workforce.
Leveraging a blended workforce increases operational efficiencies and lowers the total cost of service, but most contractor management solutions are not equipped to manage the dispatch, automation, and integration that a blended workforce demands. Seeing as the future of the field service industry is trending towards a blended workforce, this is an important quality to look for in contractor management software. Applying a critical mindset is essential to weeding out the one-size-fits-all platforms and identifying contractor management software solutions that are comprehensive enough to handle the intricacies of a blended workforce.
Determine your Contractor Management Software Budget
Establishing a software budget needs to take into account the potential growth of your organization and the efficiency with which the software features solve your business pain points. Investing in a cheap software platform that your organization will soon outgrow can end up costing a lot more in the long run than investing in a scalable solution. However, depending on your organization, nailing down the exact budget for a new software platform can require buy-in from multiple stakeholders. That’s why it’s important to research the cost-saving capacity of potential platforms. For instance, a leading global appliance company was able to save $1M YoY by implementing ServicePower’s Scheduling Optimization and $40M YoY by leveraging ServicePower’s Warranty Claims best practices. While this research is an integral part of the decision-making process, there is still one critical aspect remaining.
Demo the Best Contractor Management Software
To get a better feel for the capabilities of each platform, it is valuable to follow through with a demo or free trial. This hands-on approach provides exclusive insight into the real-time capabilities of the software and highlights the user experience. Positive experiences are integral to business success and your software should provide a frictionless experience. Regardless of your industry, intelligent contractor management software has the potential to improve your user experience, and operational efficiency and increase service coverage.