I wanted to write this one because I don’t think enough businesses use job management systems. In many cases businesses haven’t had much help with setting it up so they aren’t using it to its full capacity, or worse, they don’t know why they need one. Whether you’re a builder, engineer or interior designer, if you work with jobs or projects, trust me, you need one.
A lot of our clients begin using our services because they need help with their administration, in particular bookkeeping. They are printing off emailed invoices to enter in their accounting program, their staff are handwriting timesheets for entering, and they manage their projects in an A4 diary that they are terrified of losing. All of this creates a lot of work, so they engage Virtual Assist.
The first thing we do is talk to them about their current system. In most cases they are happy to spend a few months making some changes to make their lives a whole lot more organised, and one of the first things we will implement is a job management system.
Why? Well here are 5 reasons to use a job management system:
1. Project management – We know first-hand how difficult managing a project is due to the number of balls in the air at any one time. Job management systems help ensure a smooth flowing project. You can manage multiple projects, schedule their track time, costs, store documents, collect images, and really take care of business. It is far more organised and professional than that old A4 diary.
2. Reporting – Reports help you make decisions for your business. One of the great things about job management systems is that they can produce a whole multitude of reports to help you make educated decisions about your business. Not sure where all your time goes? A timesheet report will answer that. How is a project tracking compared to your original schedule? A job schedule report will tell you. Did a project make a profit? A job cost report will help. Rather than gathering information from multiple sources and collating it manually (if at all), a quality job management system will tell you all you need to know in just a few clicks.
3. Time management – Your time is valuable so make sure you’re spending it on the most important things. I get it—you think that you know about how much time you spent on that job—but do you really? Can you tell me where you are spending most of your time? And how much time are your employees spending doing their tasks? Managing your time, and the time of your employees by using a job-management system will help you to understand where your hours are really being spent and highlight areas where your business is productive and perhaps more importantly, not so productive. Decisions related to your time-billing, your labour requirements, and planning will be greatly enhanced with this information at your fingertips.
4. Cost management – Without a job management system ensuring you manage your costs accurately is really hard. You have to collate multiple invoices from multiple suppliers, ensure they have billed the amount they said they would, and then invoice your customer knowing you have included everything. That’s a lot of work. Without a job management system, you had better hope you have a fancy excel spreadsheet to manage all of that because forgetting or even losing just a few receipts for purchases could end up affecting your bottom-line.
Job management systems will track all your costs for you and allow you to allocate each to a particular job. By raising a purchase order that you can send to your supplier when ordering, it allows you to receipt those items when they arrive and confirm that the pricing and amounts of goods received is correct (note some job management systems don’t allow this feature, but WorkflowMax does which is why I generally support its use). Once you’ve learned how to use a system like this you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it.
5. Eliminates paper – Becoming paperless is something I promote hard because of the amount of time it saves. All paper that comes into the Virtual Assist office is scanned, saved in our cloud storage, and unless we need to keep it for legal purposes, we then shred it. If I need to find ANYTHING, all I have to do is a quick search and voila, I’ve found it in 5 seconds flat. Can you tell me how long that would take if I had to search through a filing cabinet filled with paper? A lot longer than 5 seconds.
Finding paper and filing paper is a huge time waster in any business, so if you can file all documents relating to a job in a job management system you should 100% do so, and if your job management system doesn’t allow you to do so you need to change, because of all things, getting rid of paper will help so much.
6. Delegation – the beauty of job management systems is that you can pass the work on to another user with ease simply by adding them to your system.
Hopefully I’ve convinced you that a Job management system is a no-brainer in any business. We help businesses set up WorkflowMax mainly because it integrates with Xero and has excellent receipting abilities (as I said before many job management systems just issue purchase orders but you can’t receipt the items as they arrive on site which is SO important) but for some businesses Tradify or Fergus are much better fitted.
If you want to take the plunge with the job management system but aren’t sure which one is the right fit for your business, feel free to contact us. We’re impartial and can help you weigh your pros and cons and suggest systems based on their merits for your requirements.
Hope this has helped, do you have a favourite job management system? Which one is it and why? Comment below and let me know. If you are looking for some more helpful business tips on a regular basis, like our Facebook page. We often post items that could make your business day a bit easier.
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Until next time, keep up the good work.