Running a property maintenance business comes with a lot of challenges. The most important challenges don’t always happen on a day-to-day level, no matter how complicated the project. It’s of course important to make sure your field staff have the right equipment for each day, and the right specialists on call when needed. But what happens before, after, and behind the scenes of each successful project your business takes on?
It’s crucial that your property maintenance business has effective lines of communication between office and field operations. So, streamlining communication is important. Property maintenance companies must also have the agility to take on new demands while tackling ongoing projects. So, scheduling, time management and data management are all also essential to success. On top of all this multi-tasking, to run a successful property maintenance business, the company must also successfully execute existing work. They will be need to satisfy its client’s demands on all fronts – and in the moment.
This article explores five challenges common to property maintenance businesses. We suggest some ways in which new technology, such as field service management software like Workever, can support with solving problems.
1. Excessive Paperwork
Property maintenance companies keep a lot of records – property details, checklists, payment records, and employee records, to name a few. These records are usually paper documents and files. But there’s always a risk of misplacing or accidentally destroying these documents. Flood warnings are prevalent across the UK in recent times. But even something as mundane as an office move could pose a threat.
Many businesses us desperate tools like Microsoft Excel and Google Calendar. Property maintenance staff can keep detailed project records using a single piece of Workever software. Integrating existing documents into an admin system that’s accessible from any location is easy.
With a legacy paper system, office workers may have spent a lot of time sorting through piles of documents to find what they need. This slows down the daily pace of work and subsequently reduces the quality of service rendered to customers. Within Workever, important documents like purchase orders and quotes are stored and referenced easily. Even delivery tracking from suppliers can be integrated into a custom view, meaning office workers and fieldworkers can keep up to date with the status of a project instantly. Freeing more much needed time to focus on customer service.
Project managers who work with daily timesheets and expense forms can also use Workever to keep track of their operational processes. Submit timesheets and quotes for payment in the app with the click of the button, drastically reducing the wait time for payments, which will lead to happier staff. For office staff, field staff and customers, the benefits of switching to a paperless system will be invaluable.
2. Difficulty Managing Data
Many businesses store important data on one central machine or server, but this is an outdated way of managing data. If your business doesn’t utilise cloud services for important data, you will be left behind. Storage capacity improves with the cloud, which is multiple ‘virtual servers’, rather than one. An obvious benefit is that cloud services can help businesses scale up or manage multiple projects without the risk of lag or jitter. You can avoid issues that can come from overloading cramped servers with too much information.
Property maintenance businesses can benefit from cloud services that enable very easy job logging, management and archiving if needed. Most businesses have woken up to the fact that it’s much easier to access data when it’s stored on cloud-based, user-friendly systems; they can store large amounts of data and retrieve it from where it is securely hosted over the Internet.
Many fears around the cloud are usually based on security and disaster recovery, however, reputable apps will have safeguards in place to ensure business continuity. With a 99.9% uptime record, Workever utilises the latest technology to ensure your account is both safe and backed up. In the unlikely event that the system suffers a loss of service, everything is backed up in a separate location, which you can restore right away. Cloud services offer a safe and scalable data management solution.
Office staff may require to communicate with field agents on an ongoing project. Field staff will need a communication channel that lets them share site details with people back at the office. With property maintenance projects, the absence of effective real-time communication channels may lead to a delay in decision-making on the ground. This can, of course, affect the quality of work done onsite.
Not only can software such as Workever replace paperwork, it also provides a clear alternative to remote project management. This may have taken place via phone calls and meetings in the past. The Workever platform allows staff to update each other on the progress of work in real-time. Workers in the field can send images of the property they are inspecting back to their office. Feedback can be returned instantly. Office workers can also have automatic emails or text messages sent to field staff based on conditions, as needed.
It also supports better communication with customers. With a digital view of the entirety of the project in Workever, office staff can update customers whenever something changes on the project. Customers can also opt-in to SMS notifications that automatically notify them of updates in real-time. Workever also enables fully branded comprehensive job reports and you can offer your customers access to a branded portal where they can see all of their job information in one place. Seamless communication will enable a smoother project experience for your staff and your customers.
4. Unscheduled Maintenance
Sometimes clients will request unscheduled maintenance, especially when a previously unknown fault is detected. This may present problems for property maintenance companies. If they can’t immediately determine what the existing schedule looks like, or if there’s anyone in the field team available to take on the job.
Property maintenance companies could solve this problem with field service management software. Using Workever, office staff can have an automatic view of field staff at hand via a built-in GPS tracking tool. An office worker can view fieldworkers’ live positions on a real-time map. This enables them to find the closest fieldworker to take on an urgent job. This agile service level is one that customers will appreciate.
5. Time Management
Property maintenance businesses may want to take on more work without significantly scaling up their team and resources. One obstacle to this is time! The Workever app frees up time by making job management processes faster. The app speeds up tasks like reporting, invoicing, and payments. This enables users to raise their productivity levels within fixed periods.
These are just some of the challenges property maintenance companies face. Many businesses are turning to cloud-based technology to help them overcome difficulties around time, data and multitasking. Cloud-based tools will directly benefit the property maintenance industry, in particular.
Solutions like Workever will become a staple for the industry in the coming years, as clients demand faster and higher quality service from businesses in the property maintenance space. So, it’s worth learning more and investing in the future of your business!
Workever is a real-time management solution for Field Service & Service Management businesses. Whether you have a small mobile team of five field workers or a large enterprise with hundreds of field staff, Workever field service management software makes your job simple.
Increase productivity, reduce paperwork and save admin time with our easy to use field service software for both the office and your fieldworkers. Why not sign-up for a free trial today?