At some time in the future you will be adopting an electronic crew management and tracking application.
The reasons are simple and important. First, the application will reduce the administrative work required to manage payroll. Second, the application will reduce mistakes in payroll. Third, the application will provide detailed information on location and site time. And fourth, the right application will provide valuable information for the shop, your clients, government agencies, and insurance firms.
With dozens of software providers out there, the challenge to selecting the best mobile crew management system lies in defining what you want the software to do for you.
Here are three criteria to consider when implementing mobile landscape management software.
1. Information Collection
Going mobile means you’re not only reducing paper, you are improving communications with your crews via GPS, cameras and user interfaces that support Spanish and/or English speaking crews. When it comes to using the application to collect accurate information...
Is the application “browser agnostic”?
Whether you’re using an Apple, Droid, Microsoft smart device, and whether you use Chrome, Safari or Microsoft Edge, you’ll want your software to run smoothly and effectively with no hiccups. Find out if you’ll need a special device or if there are service provider limitations. The way the application collects information can add costs on top of the application fees.
How many functions or tasks are accessible and usable by the crew?
In the landscape, snow and construction field there are many tasks that are required to running a successful business including scheduling, materials management, documentation, forms, GPS tracking, issue reporting, photos, and more. The application becomes more useful as a real time service and communication platform with an expansive suite of functions.
Is the interface intuitive (simple buttons) or does it require the crew to enter data?
The easier the interface is to use, the better your crews will use it, and the more accurate the information you get will be everyday. Manually entering data and relying on English and Spanish speaking crews to manually enter data can become tedious and cumbersome both for the field and administrative teams. Software companies can eliminate this by adding simple buttons and guiding the crew to be successful in using it daily.
2. Information Integration
What if your office could replace the work of involved in data entry and data management? Administrative teams would have more time to focus on serving clients and promoting sales. Seamlessly integrating information between the crew and the other people in your company can be a key to reducing overhead and waste.
Does the application integrate with “back-end” functions like job costing, invoicing, and payroll?
If not, you are likely not changing the time required in administration because dual entry may still be required.
Is the application integrated with “front-end” sales functions like CRM and estimating?
This feature is essential to managing services and job budgets. Without it, manual data entry is required and mistakes in scheduling affecting the customer and your gross margins can be costly.
In fact, if some modules and applications don’t talk both back and forth, you may have added a complexity to your already complex business!
3. Information Application
You shouldn’t have to build elaborate Excel spreadsheets to find the information that you need to run your business. Consider the availability, immediacy and usefulness of the application in management decision making.
How much administrative work is required to produce reports?
If your team has to download data, then upload it to other applications to convert it, then create a new dashboard in Excel, and then upload it to another program to make it presentable - then there is valuable time being wasted. Having all reporting kept in one application reduces your overhead and operating costs almost instantly.
How immediate and complete is the information?
Depending on your business, you may have different requirements for when your information is available to you. If you need it in real time, at the end of each day, towards the end of week or even at month end are all considerations. Clarify if you need full job costing or partial job costing, full service reporting or partial reporting from your software.
Is the application flexible allowing customized reporting for maintenance, construction, snow etc.?
Running a multi-million dollar landscaping business means that you’ll need to meet your reporting needs internally for owners, managers and leaders. And also perhaps for customers and third party entities like payroll providers or insurance companies.
Do your “due diligence” when comparing crew mobile applications. The range of application, performance and pricing is great… and for good reason… they are not at all the same. Don’t make the mistake that so many professional contractors often make and end up changing applications multiple times. Take a hard look at what you need and what you re willing to live with and without. Then decide.
Available for Aspire clients only, the new mobile app will be available free at the iTunes App Store and Google Play in June 2018!
Click below for more details!
Quick Glance Features:
- Intuitive and easy to use interface
- Device and browser agnostic
- Multi-function performance
- Front and back end data integration
- Electronic payroll integration
- Real time and customized reporting for services and job cost
For more information on The Aspire Software Company’s new mobile application coming this June, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.