Software tools every Field Service company needs in 2022

Software has revolutionised the Field Service industry, providing tools to automate business processes, schedule jobs and maintenance, and generate reports. With leading software tools, Field Service companies can improve business processes and productivity, support field technicians, and ultimately improve their bottom line. In 2022, every Field Service business should invest in software tools, including these essential solutions.

Vehicle Tracking Software

With Vehicle Tracking Software, you can support your mobile workers when they’re in the field. You can view the real-time location of your employees during work hours, assist them if they’re lost, or there’s an emergency, and ensure they arrive at job sites on time. Vehicle Tracking Software makes reactive planning easier, with the option to send the nearest available worker to a job site to save time and reduce fuel consumption.

Job Management System

Reduce your admin time and paperwork using a Job Management System. You can use the online platform to schedule jobs ahead of time, track job progress, get job approval on-site, and generate job reports. Technicians can access their Job Sheets online, removing the need for paper documents, and clients can complete and sign forms online. These mobile documents will be stored on a secure cloud-based system that you and your team can access anywhere.

Asset Management Software

Field Service businesses have multiple assets that need to be managed, tracked, and maintained, and Asset Management Software is the key to simplifying these challenging tasks. With Asset Management Software, you can schedule maintenance jobs and record all the asset maintenance work performed. If your vehicles or machines need to be serviced regularly, you can schedule recurring appointments. These tasks will appear on the designated technician’s calendar every week, month, or year – as often as maintenance jobs need to be done.

Quoting System

Creating and sending Quotes can be time-consuming, but this process can be simplified with a Quoting System. When a client shares a request for your services, you can quickly generate and email them a Quote. You can use the system to keep track of Quotes that have been accepted or rejected and follow up on proposals that haven’t received a response. Once a Quote has been accepted, the document can be converted into a Job Sheet with all the information the technician needs to complete the task.

Invoicing Software

With Invoicing Software, your technicians don’t need to wait for your admin team to send an Invoice once they’ve completed a job. The software automatically generates an Invoice when a job is closed, using the expenses and other information from the Job Sheet to create the document. Once the Invoice has been emailed to the client, you can keep an eye out for payment and set up an automatic reminder if they don’t pay on time.

Inventory Management System

With an Inventory Management System, your team can track and manage your inventory items. You can reduce storage costs, maximise warehouse space, and optimise stock levels by preventing understocking and overstocking. The system can be used to track your inventory to ensure all items required for jobs are available at the correct warehouse or stored in the worker’s vehicle. With a cloud-based Inventory Management System, your team can check inventory and capture the data while in the warehouse with their mobile devices.

5 Ways Project Managers Can Improve Their Presentation Skills

It is imperative for project managers to have effective communication and presentation skills. This is because how you present your project and your ideas to decision makers create an impression of yourself and establish your credibility as a project manager early on. Regardless of the purpose of your presentation, you will know you made an excellent presentation when you’ve made an impact on your audience.

1. Be prepared. Your preparation can mean the difference between a good presentation and an excellent project presentation. Give yourself ample time to research your product or project as well as your audience and your competition. In depth knowledge will help you formulate answers and rebuttals in a way that will give value to your audience. Most importantly, knowing and understanding your audience will help you build rapport and catch their interest; making it easier for you to relate to them and vice versa.

As part of your preparation, learn how to use your tools and props to avoid awkward pauses in the middle of the presentation. Use notes with outlines of your key points to keep you from losing track of the ideas you want to convey.

2. Set proper expectations. When you give your audience an insight on what you are going to discuss, you are getting them in tune to what you wish to achieve with your presentation. The best time to do this is during your opening. You are subconsciously directing their minds not to stray to different topics but to focus on what you have to say.

3. Engage the audience and keep it interesting. Adults have short attention spans. If your audience finds your presentation uninteresting, you will soon lose their interest and ruin your chance of getting a positive outcome. If you are using PowerPoint in your presentation, use images that tell a story and keep texts in the slides to a minimum. Use bullet points and not whole sentences. Take time to pause and ask your audience a few questions every now and then, making sure you establish eye contact when you do. Walk around the podium or switch positions to avoid coming off as robotic and stiff.

4. Practice, practice, practice. Your goal is not to memorize your presentation but to muster the flow of ideas, gestures and your timing. Watching your presentation on video is one of the most effective ways of evaluating yourself. Watch for your pace, timing, facial expression, movement and body language. Watch out for areas for improvements and work on sounding more natural and less tensed. Rehearsing in front of peers will help you get a feel of what it’s like to present in front of a crowd.

5. Enjoy. Whether you are pitching to request for additional funds or are aiming to close an event organizing project, it is important to stay confident and enjoy the moment. Enjoying doesn’t necessarily mean you have to make your audience laugh with jokes and antics. It could simply mean giving your audience a positive experience by smiling and staying positive. It is important to remember that your composure is equally important to the information you are presenting. Staying positive in a stressful environment makes it easier for your audience to ease up to the idea that you’re selling them.

Use Perception to Negotiate Successfully

When you negotiate, to what degree do you think the words you use and your body language impact the perception that occurs during the negotiation?

Recently a pastor made what some people perceived to be very incendiary comments about the United States. Some considered his words to be ludicrous; it sent them reeling, while others embraced them with praise. Some assailed his words, while others thought his words were reflective of the reality they had lived. Some people made comments about his body language being threatening, while others felt uplifted by those same non verbal gestures.

Whose perception was accurate? To the degree that it’s the perception, opinions, and views of those that hold them, all of them are right.

When you negotiate with people, you have to consider their background, ethnicity, gender, and the way in which they view the world. That’s to say, you have to understand how they perceive that which is pat of their environment, their life, along with the customs and life experiences from which their opinions stem.

You can’t use the exact same tactics and strategies in every situation, with everyone in the same manner. In essence, you have to tailor your negotiations to fit the environment in which you are negotiating. Remember, people really do live in their own little worlds.

When you negotiate, always take into account the manner in which people view you and perceive their environment as a reflection of and through you. (e.g. What is she/he thinking about me? What perception I’m I projecting?) People will prejudge you, label you, and cast their perception of you, upon you, when negotiating.

As you go deeper into the negotiation, keep in mind the outlook and opinions the other person possesses of the world. Paint your expression about the items of discussion in the similar words, gestures, and circumstances that they use. In essence, speak their language. If you fail to do so, you will be sending a subtle, unspoken and hidden signal that indicates you’re not ‘like them’. If they feel, “you’re not like them”, they’ll be less likely to be like you and thus, they will like you less.

You can propose positions and/or demands in a searing manner, or have your positions perceived as such, depending upon the stance you project or take. If you comprehend, appreciate, and negotiate to the level of understanding and perception that appeases the person you’re negotiating with, you may be allowed to maintain your position. In essence, you’ll be given a pass.

It really depends upon the level of understanding you have of the person you’re negotiating with and the way you implement your level of understanding. You don’t want to appear to be ‘shaking the cup’ with dark glasses on, or pandering. You should project your point with convection and truth without being threatening, always considering how you’re being perceived. 

If you negotiate from a position of understanding and respect for the other person’s background, fears and apprehensions, you’ll move closer to achieving the goals of the negotiation. By taking into account how the other person’s perception is based on their ‘life experiences’, and implementing your negotiation strategy around that perception, your negotiation outcomes will become more successful … and everything will be right with the world.

The negotiation lessons are …

·       When negotiating, always understand the mental makeup of the person you’re negotiating with. If you match their mode of thinking and the manner by which they process information, you can negotiate with them from the same outlook they possess. By doing so, the negotiation session should go smother than might have otherwise occurred.

·       To the degree you understand your negotiation partner, you’ll have better insight into ‘what makes them tick’. If you understand that aspect of their makeup, you’ll be less likely to tick them off.

·       In a lot of cases, the more you appear to be like the person you’re negotiating with and understand the values they hold dear, the more they will like you. All things being equal, in liking you they will be more apt and willing to strive for the same conclusion to the outcome you seek.