Finding the right solutions for managing fleet operations, for even the smallest company is a difficult endeavor.
This problem is especially true for small businesses operating in the field service industries, such as landscapers, plumbers and caterers.
Already juggling mobile workforces that are constantly on the go, these business owners are faced with a unique set of challenges and very little free time.
Fortunately, the sophistication found in today’s Cloud solutions make most applications fast to deploy and simple to navigate. The hard part is identifying and implementing which solutions can, in fact, jumpstart operations to improve efficiencies, productivity and cost savings.
Karen Leavitt is chief marketing officer of Fleetmatics offers a list of effective, beneficial Cloud-based solutions particularly tailored for mobile field service businesses:
Service Management Software: Business owners are tapped. Customers are impatient. Employees feel stretched. Enter smart solutions like dESCO, for organizing service businesses in the Cloud age.
Management software is now available to consolidate many of a service business’ core requirements. Scheduling, customers and financing can be managed altogether via a single solution application – helping to streamline their typically mobile operations.
The dESCO solution makes customer information readily available to better understand immediate and ongoing client needs and requirements – resulting in better customer service. Jobs, shifts and deliveries can be coordinated according to both customer and employee availability, via real-time and Web-based scheduling features – helping to make scheduling mistakes a thing of the past. Inventory intelligence further integrates client satisfaction by delivering on what is immediately available. Add to this invoice and sales management features, and these are all-in-one apps from which every field service SMB can benefit.
- GPS Vehicle Management : Most small and medium-sized field service businesses rely on a fleet of vehicles to deliver their products and services. Tracking these mobile workers and fleets is no easy task, and can easily become a financial burden for these small businesses. Vehicle and driver mismanagement can result in lost time, higher fuel costs, excessive mileage, and damaging wear and tear on trucks or other service vehicles. Without knowing the location of each vehicle in a fleet, SMB operators face significant operational challenges
Intuitive and cost-effective Cloud solutions are available to provide visibility into vehicle location, fuel usage, speed and mileage. These apps can also gather metrics and intelligence about fleets and driver behavior that help business owners adjust their mobile workforces – to reduce operating and capital costs, as well as increase revenue. Fleetmatics delivers a Cloud platform specifically targeted for SMBs looking for simple solutions to these every day pressures, while SageQuest offers a solution designed to solve the problems larger fleets encounter.
- CRM Collaboration and Communication: While Salesforce has become a household name, more lightweight and easier to utilize customer relationship management systems have become available for smaller businesses. At zero to minimal cost, these are essential tools for maintaining customer relationship and sales activities and are particularly effective for today’s mobile work environment.
Zoho CRM is a great example for small businesses. Cost-free for up to three users (and only $12 per-user-per-month for the Professional package) – the solution is capable of managing sales opportunities, leads and marketing efforts via a single Cloud environment. These solutions bundle a breadth of data at low cost to both streamline and improve sales and customer satisfaction.
Small business owners deserve to reap the rewards of what they’ve worked so hard to build. In many cases, technology can be the “missing piece” to help these companies revolutionize their operations and experience significantly increased ROI.
The Cloud delivers tremendous potential for businesses of every size. For field service SMBs specifically, these applications present affordable strategies for modernizing operations to compete and succeed in today’s mobile world. Take advantage of what’s out there – the rewards are too good to pass up.