- What Is Plumbing Software?
- Choosing the Right Industry Software
- How to Use the Feature & Integration Checklist
- Features Checklist for Plumbing Software
- List of Integrations Required - A Checklist
As companies across industries embrace various forms of new technology, entering the digital era is something that can no longer be avoided.
While the transition from folders and blackboards to laptops and tablets is not one that every field service provider welcomes, it is becoming more common, and the plumbing sector is no different. When you switch to plumbing software, you'll discover that it streamlines a tonne of operations for you and your employees, from scheduling and dispatching to billing and payments.
Various field service management solutions are available to meet every plumbing company's needs. But as good as that sounds, having many features can be a hassle to work with if you are unaware of them or don't need most of them.
To ease things out, here is a comprehensive checklist you can refer to when looking for features in plumbing software. Let's get started!
What Is Plumbing Software?
Plumbing software is a kind of field service management (FSM) software that assists companies in managing their daily operations, such as tracking service requests, interacting with clients, scheduling workers, invoicing, and billing.
Managers and supervisors can better manage their workforce and allocate resources using plumbing software. Office and field workers can increase profits and customer satisfaction thanks to automated functions, real-time data, and mobile apps. Adopting plumbing software is the way to go if you want to minimize workload while maximizing productivity.
Choosing the Right Industry Software
In order to choose the right plumbing software, you must evaluate your requirement and what is important for your business at the current stage. Before we move on to the checklist, here is a concise step-by-step framework that can help you understand what features you need and what you don’t.
1. Know Your Solution
In order to choose the right plumbing software, you need to understand what software solutions are available for you. There are basically three kinds of software solutions.
FSM software: It helps organize and manage on-site resources including staff, tools, and services. It involves various operations such as creating work orders, assigning tasks, maintaining communications, and more.
No-code tools: Using no-code tools, anyone can create their own software solutions without having to learn how to code. There are a plethora of no-code solutions such as Utilize, Stacker, and Glide that serve various purposes, such as integrating third-party services or creating a website or app.
Developers: This is the process of taking help from a professional developer from platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer.com. This allows you to customize your options according to your preferences.
2. Know Your Requirements
The second step in choosing plumbing software is to be aware of your business requirements. Again, it’s important to know that a good software program for you doesn’t have to cater to a lot of features. The software you choose should include the features you need. Ask yourself:
Do you want to manage your workforce better?
Or do you want to save time doing manual tasks?
Do you want to ease the process of scheduling and dispatching?
Questions like these can help you better understand what you need for your business. Jot all these down to move on to the next step.
3. Know the Software
Once you’ve made a list of features and integrations you need, run a comparison among your preferred software to see which suits you best. But before trying it out, make sure to compare the pricing, customizability, and mobile-friendliness of the software.
4. Try the Software
Whether you decided to go with FSM software, no code tool, or a developer agency, try the platform to see if it caters to and ticks all the things that you want in your software.
How to Use the Feature & Integration Checklist
Now that we have learned the basics of choosing the right plumbing software, let’s move on to the feature & integration checklist that will help you understand your requirements better and gain clarity as to what’s important and a must-have in your software.
In order to make the most use of the checklist, you can assign values such as P1, P2, and P3 depending on their priority, where:
P1 - high priority
P2 - low priority
P3 - not needed
Features Checklist for Plumbing Software
Here is a checklist of the most important features of plumbing software you should look out for. Make sure to prioritize them and assign values to each feature and integration.
Employee Notifications- Make sure whatever plumbing software you choose has the employee notification feature that can help you track employee operations.
Capture Digital Signature- The software should include a digital signature feature for anytime signing.
Consumer Financing- It is a very important feature if you want to keep the payment options open for your consumers.
Create Custom Workflows (Customizability): It allows you to organize your workflows according to your daily operations.
Customer Management: This feature ensures you can manage all the finances, payments, and customer orders.
Customer Notifications: This allows for any updates either from your or the customer’s end.
Customer Portal: A separate portal that allows the customer to view, manage, and get an update about the project.
Email Marketing: This feature allows you to market your business online across various target audiences.
Employee Timesheet Management: This feature allows seamless time-tracking software that enables you to track real-time project progress.
GPS Tracking/Map View: With GPS tracking, you can know where the employee vehicles are at any point in time.
In-App Communication: This plumbing software feature allows employees, supervisors, and customers to communicate with each other through the app itself.
Inventory Management: It helps manage order processing, storage, and overall materials count.
Invoicing: It helps you do invoices in minutes and create estimates and invoices anywhere.
Markups: It helps you determine each service and product's exact price and percentage.
Mobile Friendly: Make sure to go for a software program that gives you mobile compatibility.
Offline Access: The plumbing software should provide offline access to data and messaging.
On-Site Assessments: This should help you manage and keep track of on-site projects.
Online Bookings: It should allow online bookings through the website, Google, or social media.
Online Requests: It allows the customer to make a request for a service online or even request a quote for the service.
Payments: Should have multiple payment gateways for every customer.
Quote Approval and Follow-Ups
Quote Creation: This should allow you to present a quote to your customer for the services they ask for.
Reports and Analytics: Keeps a track of your reports and allows you to analyze them anytime.
Payment Deposit Requests: It allows you to request payment deposits and manage recent payment activities.
Routing and Optimization: It helps you pick the optimized route, calculate average journey time, and manage schedules and client locations.
Scheduling: It is important to schedule your bookings and services online, get more work orders, and find available time slots.
Service Authorization allows anyone to access a system through a centralized policy to a multi-user system.
Recurring Jobs: It helps you manage your manual tasks and keep your staff in sync by managing their calendar, sending reminders, and sharing invoices.
List of Integrations Required - A Checklist
The term "system integration" refers to the method through which diverse computer devices and software applications can function together. Today's companies need to meet a wide range of customer demands. Therefore, cloud computing, VPN, and integrated software solutions are becoming more important to businesses, including plumbing businesses.
Here, we’ve mentioned a list of integrations you can look for in plumbing software. However, it’s up to you to decide which integration is important for you depending on the size and scalability of your business. Even if you are using any other tool, it is important to compare with the following:
1. Payment Integration
Payment integration is a set of tools and methods used to accept payments from consumers for goods and services and ease financial transactions between customers. Some of the payment integrations are Authorize.net, Paypal, Profit Rhino, Stripe, and Wordplay.
2. Accounting Tools
These tools help you manage your finance better and assist in accounting, bookkeeping, and more. Some examples include Fundbox, Quickbooks, ResponseiBid, Sage Intacct, Sage 50, and Xero.
These are used by marketers to create and promote their products and services. The term ‘tools‘ refers to strategies and resources. That all makes it possible to promote the product and bust sales. Popular tools include Broadly and Mailchimp.
Tools such as Workato and Zapier allow for the automation of manual tasks such as billing and scheduling.
5. Advertisement & Directory
These tools allow other people and target audiences to locate the business from anywhere. For example Google Local Search and Thumbtack.
6. Storage & Documentation
This provides unlimited cloud or online storage for storing your data. Popular tools - Dropbox Business, Google Drive, and Microsoft Excel.
7. Customer Insights & Analytics
This helps you analyze customer behavior based and create advertising and production techniques to improve performance and sales. Popular tools - Convert, Google Analytics, and Mixpanel.
8. Customer Reviews
Allows you to get customer feedback on your services. Popular tools - BirdEye, NiceJob, and SendJim.
9. Customer Communication
This allows you to communicate with the customer directly. Popular tools - Podium, Twilio, and Zendesk.
The term "customer relationship management" (CRM) refers to a set of integrated, data-driven applications that assist businesses to manage, monitoring, and saving data related to their clients. Popular tools - Dynamics 365, Freshdesk, Hubspot, Salesforce, Zendesk, and Zoho.
11. Team Communication
This in-built feature allows the team to connect with each other regarding orders, scheduling, or payments. Popular tools - CompanyCam, Google Workspace, Microsoft Outlook, Naturalforms, etc.
12. HR & Payroll
Payroll helps manage employees’ paychecks whereas the HR portal performs all the duties related to payroll. Popular tools - ADP Workforce now, gusto, and HCM.
This integration allows for exposure to other sites and its target audience, which helps market the business better. Popular tools - Shopify, Woo commerce, and Adobe Commerce.
With this checklist of required software features, users can study each product's features and integrations.
In the end, you should remember that a software program with many features isn’t necessarily the best for you. The software becomes more complicated and less likely to be adopted if it has functionality that individual users will never require.
If you're searching for software that meets your needs, it's important to consider a checklist of necessary features and integrations. However, it's essential to remember that software with many features might not always be the best fit for you. Such software can become overly complex and less user-friendly if it includes functions that you don't need.
Fortunately, if you have unique requirements that aren't met by existing software, you can explore Utilize, a no-code tool that enables you to create your own customized software without requiring any technical expertise. Utilize is worth considering due to its adaptability, simplicity, and potential to meet your specific needs. To see how Utilize works, you can schedule a demo today.