The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) service sector is an $82 billion industry. As it continues to grow, there’s no shortage of software products on the market to support it.
Whether you have a one-man shop, small business or large enterprise, HVAC field service management software is critical. These systems organize technicians’ daily tasks, customer data and more and help keep appointments on schedule.
However, since there are many product options, it might be difficult to know which one is best for your business. To help, we put together this guide.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
HVAC service software is a type of field service management technology built specifically to handle the workflows and requirements of HVAC contractors. Buyers looking for HVAC dispatch software or HVAC scheduling software will typically find an integrated HVAC service software system beneficial. These systems can track almost any type of data that field technicians might need to help them work more efficiently, such as:
Since HVAC service software is intended for use in the field, most applications are accessible on mobile phones, laptops and tablets. That way, technicians can access customer details and work history, keep detailed notes, accept payments and capture photos on-site—all without having to call dispatch for information or update records when in the office.
Job schedule and status on iOS app for FieldAware
HVAC products typically support appointment scheduling, invoice creation and customer data storage. Beyond that, some systems also track HVAC equipment information, manage the business’ parts and supply inventory and facilitate customer communication.
Here’s a detailed description of this functionality:
|Scheduling and routing||Lets field managers generate service schedules and routes based on the availability of contractors and other resources.|
|Customer management||Basic customer management tools let companies store and view customer account details, payment and service history.|
|Invoicing and payments||Allows technicians to create work invoices and automate customer payments upon completion of service while on site.|
|Equipment tracking||Helps companies keep track of HVAC equipment details, such as make, model, serial number, warranty data, manufacturer and more.|
|Inventory management||Lets users maintain inventory supply by tracking what items are used and sold and restocking when levels are low.|
|Customer portal||Service customers can view available appointment windows, submit service requests, pay invoices and check expected arrival times.|
Service scheduling dashboard for ServiceTrade
Service contractors who figure out how to effectively incorporate this software into their workflows can realize many benefits, including:
Fewer scheduling errors. Software Advice found nearly 67 percent of field service customers (not HVAC-specific) would not re-hire a company if a technician was up to 60 minutes late. Clearly, it’s important to prioritize punctuality. HVAC service software’s scheduling capabilities can give dispatchers a complete view of contractor schedules, location and availability to set appointment times contractors can keep.
Scheduling and dispatch board daily view for WinTac
Reduced double data-entry. The majority of HVAC service applications are built for use in the field. Therefore, technicians can create invoices, update records, take notes, track their time and more while on the job. This is much more convenient (and accurate) than having to create hand-written records that are entered into a system back in the office.
Increased overall efficiency. Service management products for HVAC companies automate many tasks, including: work orders generation, time tracking, scheduling, invoicing and customer management. When done manually, such tasks require many hours each day, so automating them can eliminate a lot of administrative work.
The cost of field service software for HVAC contractors generally increases as the depth of functionality increases.
Products on the lower end of the cost scale typically include only the most essential functionality, such as scheduling and basic invoicing and customer management. On the higher end, products have a more robust feature set—customer portals, inventory management and GPS fleet tracking capabilities, for example.
HVAC software’s price is also dependent on the number of people who will use the product. Some vendors charge a one-time or recurring fee based on the number of users. For example, a single user is charged a license fee; then, as the number of users who will need to access the system goes up, the per-user license cost goes down.
Other vendors charge a fixed one-time or recurring fee, which stays the same whether one or 50 users access the application.
The difference in per-user versus fixed-rate pricing models is especially important for businesses with many technicians.
For some businesses, especially large enterprises, integrating HVAC service software with other business applications is important.
Common integrations include:
Accounting software. HVAC business owners who integrate their field service software with an accounting solution can save themselves from having to manually transfer invoice and billing data from one application to another.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software. Companies with sales and customer support teams often require advanced interaction tracking and multi-channel marketing automation to effectively nurture prospective and existing customers. Integration with a CRM application can lead to more insights to help those teams upsell and meet customer expectations.
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