Service contractors use work orders to bill their customers. It is common for the work orders to be done exclusively on paper. There is a major downside to using a paper-only approach: the entire process of billing a client can take weeks. Let’s look at how the billing process typically unfolds.
- A service call is made by the customer.
- Service tech completes the job and gets a signed work order.
- Service tech mails the work order to the office.
- After the office receives the work order it is processed for billing.
- After the signed work order is signed and processed, a bill is then sent to the client.
This process can take well over a week and in some cases much longer. Grinnell Mechanical Contractor, based in Burlington, MA decided to improve and speed up their billing process by implementing our mobile application, TechLinc.
TechLinc allows you to dispatch service calls directly to your field service techs on their mobile devices (IOS & Android compatible). In the field, the tech can access service history, get directions, enter a description, and even capture a digital signature. Once the techs complete the call, the customer instantly receives a signed copy of the work order via email. All of the details are now in the STRUCTURE system, ready to be reviewed by the billing department.
Mike Grinnell, president of Grinnell Mechanical Contractor led the efforts to adopt mobile technology to help improve his company’s billing. “We saw our competitors use a mobile app and knew it was time to do it,” he said. Another one of the reasons for turning to a mobile solution was accuracy. In some cases, the service tech would wait until the end of the week to fill out all of their work orders. This sometimes would lead to the service tech forgetting some important details about the job they performed. Like what equipment or materials were used or how much time they spent on the job. “I noticed that some service techs would wait until Saturday or Sunday to fill out all of their work orders. Sometimes they were forgetting the materials used and accounting for their time incorrectly.”
After TechLinc was up and running there were clear immediate benefits. Most importantly their initial goal on cutting down on the time it took to bill a client was achieved. “Right away we noticed the increased speed at which we could send out the bill. Before it would take quite some time. Service call on Monday. The slip didn’t get sent in till the following Monday. The bill would be sent out later that week. We went from taking about 12 days to bill to 2 days.”
The app allows the user to capture a digital signature and then can email out the signed work order to the office instantly. Before the work order had to be mailed in after the work was completed which could take days. Now the signed slip can be sent out and received the same day the work is done. Dramatically improving how fast a bill can be sent out to clients. The role the mobile apps played in improving the turnaround time in billing clients proves the larger role mobile apps can play in the construction industry. Reflecting on how TechLinc changed his business, Mike said “Mobile apps are taking more of a role in the construction industry. I certainly see that role increasing in the coming years.”