How to Choose the Right Software for Your Business

by | Nov 14, 2023 | Doing Work, Growing the Business, Management Skills, Workflow & Getting Paid

Do you know how to choose the right software for your business?

As seen in Issue 175 (October 2023) of Registered Gas Engineer.

Gas engineers looking to make their business paperwork easier can use job management software to take the hassle out of the day-to-day admin. Here, Gas Engineer Software looks at how gas engineers’ needs change throughout their careers, and how the software they use needs to change with them.

For many gas engineers, paperwork is a necessary evil. It’s time-consuming, mundane, prone to mistakes, and certainly not what pays the bills. Fortunately, there are many job management software options out there to choose from.

The difficulty is not always identifying the need for software, but about understanding which software option is the best one for them. That’s because a gas engineer’s day-to-day responsibilities can change drastically, whether they’re a sole trader, a lead engineer, or a manager in a larger company.

When you’re a sole trader

Working alone has its benefits, but it also means that 100 per cent of the admin and paperwork is your responsibility. While it needs to be done, nobody wants it eating into your workday or free time.

Unsurprisingly, customer feedback has shown us that the primary concern of a sole trader is to find ways of reducing the burden of paperwork. The most important feature for them is often digital certificate issuing and filing.

Using software, gas safety and other certificates are easily accessible and quickly completed before being signed and emailed on the spot. The ability of the software to complete invoices, quotes and estimates is also crucial as this can be a huge time sink. The software should also have automated reminders, which are a great help for following up on quotes, unpaid invoices and sending out service reminders.

When you hire your first junior engineers

Lead engineers managing a few employees will find software very helpful in tackling additional needs such as organising jobs, managing employees and nurturing a positive relationship with their clients. Lead engineers should look for a well-designed scheduling system. We’ve seen far too many engineers manage their teams through WhatsApp or a spreadsheet, when software could make their lives far easier. Software can guarantee the most effective use of employee time and can quickly let customers know your next availability.

A customer relationship management (CRM) platform that contains customer information and job histories helps to show that you care about every customer. Keep an eye out for multiple-device support so you can swap seamlessly between mobile and web and offer access to your whole team.

“We’ve seen far too many engineers manage their teams through WhatsApp or a spreadsheet when software could make their lives far easier.”

When you hire dedicated admin staff

Once you expand to a more sizable team with dedicated admin staff, management becomes much more complex.

Your team will still benefit from features like digital certificates, invoicing and scheduling, but you’ll also enjoy features that help you streamline the job management flow, identify process bottlenecks, and gain a top-down view of the business.

Managers should look for software with a built-in job calendar and job management system. Aside from the great oversight these two features provide, they prevent engineers from driving farther than necessary, jobs getting dropped or missed, and unhappy customers calling to ask where their engineer is.

On the administrative side of things, you’ll want software that can be integrated with other systems you already use (such as Xero and Sage).

Finally, a larger company will greatly benefit from customisable access rights so that engineers can only see the customer details relevant to their own jobs. It’s important to remember that not all software marketed to gas engineers is designed specifically for them.

Generally speaking, software that is made for a specific market will do a better job of providing the features listed above than the rest. Changing to a new software package can be daunting, as can choosing to use one for the first time. You and your employees should take time to familiarise yourself with the software before fully implementing it. This can be done through testing, a free trial or a live demo.

If you’re considering using software, make sure it has the following:

Gas Engineer Software is a job management software platform for heating and plumbing companies. It already helps more than 5,000 companies to schedule jobs, build quotes, send invoices, issue certificates and get paid faster – all at the click of a button.

Next steps:

If you’ve been thinking about implementing software into your workflow to save time, here’s what you can do next: