This post outlines functionality businesses should expect from their Service and Repair Software.
I previously wrote a post on what you should expect from Wholesale Inventory Software. This week, we'll focus on the features that are important to most service & repair businesses.
By "service and repair businesses", I refer to any business that employs technicians who perform repairs or maintenance work on a recurring or scheduled basis. These businesses may be primarily wholesalers or distributors and provide these additional services as complimentary offerings, or service may be the primary business offering.
Service & Appointment Scheduling
Being able to schedule technicians for repairs or maintenance is one of the most commonly requested areas of functionality in this space. Whether the work is being performed on-site or at the client’s site, it is important to keep track of availability as well as when work has been performed. Not only should an appropriate software system allow you to keep track of these schedules, but it should also allow you to track customer details and notes in relation to these appointments throughout the system (these notes come in handy when accounting is trying to collect payment from customers).
A requirement that often goes hand in glove with appointment scheduling is automated communication. I refer specifically to the ability to automatically send reminders for previously scheduled appointments, as well as notifications about upcoming maintenance requirements. An automated communication system can save hours of unproductive administrative time, and reflects well on your company in the eyes of your customers.
Job / Project Costing
Many service and repair businesses require the ability to track both revenue and costs incurred over a long period of time and tracked on a per-job or per-project basis. A proper ERP system in this space will allow you to associate revenue and costs on a per-transaction basis to a particularly job or project. This allows for effective ad-hoc reporting to determine the profitability of a finished project (or to monitor for cost overruns).
Due to the complexity of certain repairs, detailed quoting may be required. Your software system should allow for tightly integrated quotes for both salespeople and technicians. The ability to turn quotes directly into sales orders should be a given.
In summary, ERP software for Service & Repair, at a minimum, should allow for the functionality outlined above. Other functionality such as accounting, order entry, invoicing etc. is a given for an ERP software system.