You wouldn’t be alone if you shove record-keeping to the bottom of your to-do list. It’s one of those tasks we all know should be done, but it doesn’t always seem as urgent or profitable as other work.
In truth, an organised history of job records is one of the cornerstones of a successful heating and plumbing business. Without one, it can feel like you’re constantly fighting against the tide and struggling to make ends meet.
It doesn't have to be so tedious either: going paperless with a digital history of job records makes the process simpler and more effective. Rather than endless stacks of paper, you get a bird’s eye view of your company’s work. With specialised software, record-keeping can even become an effortless byproduct of your workflow from quote to invoice.
But what is it about simple record-keeping that helps you run a less stressful and more profitable business?
Better customer relationships
There are lots of different ways to improve your customer service. Being friendly, courteous, arriving on time – these are all things everyone knows and can actively do. But what goes on behind the scenes has a huge impact as well.
For example, having access to detailed job histories can help you analyse past work and identify areas you could improve. Customers won’t necessarily be aware of this, but a better service means happier customers. This is also relevant for inventory management: if you have clear historical data, you’ll be able to keep track of items you regularly need and not have to reschedule jobs because of late deliveries and merchant ordering.
Previous customers stand to gain even more from organised records. With quick access to details of a past job, it’s much easier to stay informed of work that’s been done. This is especially helpful if you employ several engineers, as some may be working for old customers for the first time. Also, whenever a customer needs a new copy of a certificate, it’s all there for you to quickly find and send without any hassle.
A boost in profits
By far the most profitable aspect of detailed and accessible records is being able to send service reminders. Keeping track of the work you’ve done digitally makes it possible to sort job records by date. This way, you can easily see which customers will need a boiler service, for example, and capture more repeat business. Some software options can even automate this process entirely and take the stress completely off your plate.
On top of this, it becomes feasible to analyse your profit margins and identify areas in which you could cut costs or make price adjustments. You may also discover that a certain type of customer or job is much more profitable for your business. From here, you can decide to prioritise what works and make necessary adjustments to what doesn’t.
You’ll also be able to do an expense breakdown to better plan and budget your finances, and track the time spent on jobs to help with scheduling and efficiency improvements. For example, with accurate data you’ll be able to estimate how long a job takes and book an accurate time slot that gives you just enough time before the next.
As your business grows, running a business becomes much more complicated. A sole trader may be able to manage his own work, but a larger team requires more capable record-keeping. Using software, your records can be automatically saved and organised as part of your workflow, rather than a separate task. This reduces the administrative burden and allows you and your team to focus on customer work.
When it comes to tax and financial management, a digital history of job records keeps everything tidy, organised, and easily accessible. Your invoices are never too far away, job sheets are always there to go back and check, and certificates are forever handy.
With better customer relationships, bigger profit margins, and simplified paperwork, growth is an easier and more natural progression for your business.
To keep things simple
A digital history of job records definitely isn’t one of the glamorous parts of running a business, but it’s an important one. Improving your service quality isn’t just about the face-to-face interactions, but also all that goes on behind the scenes to upgrade workflows and increase efficiency. With less to stress over and extra profit squeezed out of your work, it’s much easier to run a successful business.
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