For any field services business, time is money — and every minute your plumbers are spending on the road is a minute when they aren't working on a customer's project. When your plumbers spend hours stuck in traffic, it not only irritates them, but also cuts into your plumbing business’s profitability.
Scheduling jobs more efficiently and taking advantage of technology can help your plumbers spend less time driving and more time making money. Try these five suggestions to decrease your plumbers' driving time—and power up your profits.
- Use a scheduling app. Managing schedules for your plumbers on a whiteboard or computer spreadsheet can get confusing. If anything changes (and it always does), plumbers have to call in to the office—or the office has to call them—to get the update. Use an app like Lighthouse 360 so you can schedule, update and manage your plumbers' jobs on your computer or smartphone. The app updates in real time so your plumbers can quickly check their schedules anytime, anywhere, so they always know where they're supposed to go next.
- Plan efficient routes. Don't send your plumbers all over town if you don't have to. Use GPS technology to plan schedules and routes for the next day’s work ahead of time based on customer location. This not only minimizes your plumbers' time on the road, but also saves wear and tear on your business vehicles, and reduces maintenance and fuel costs.
- Keep track of your team. Is a plumbing job running over time, or did one of your plumbers finish a job earlier than expected? With Lighthouse 360, you can check progress at any time to see where plumbers are and find out the status of a job. This can help you cut time on the road by dispatching plumbers to emergencies based on who’s closest to the customer.
- Communicate quickly. Texting is the fastest way to get in touch with your plumbers — especially when they're working with noisy equipment and can't hear a phone ring. When you use Lighthouse 360, you can quickly send text messages to a plumber or crew right from the job screen. Lighthouse 360 pre-populates the text with the job details so you can just make any changes and hit send.
- Get them ready to work. Before they head out in the morning, make sure your plumbers are equipped with all the tools they may need for that day's jobs. If you use Lighthouse 360, you can keep track of your customers' history, notes special requests or materials needed for each job, and even upload photos of projects. All your plumbers have to do is check Lighthouse 360 before they hit the road. When your team is prepared, they won't have to make return trips or double back to the office to pick up tools they forgot.