Making the decision to commit to electrical contracting business software is a major step for your company. At this point, you’ve established that you’re ready to use technology to take your operation to the next level in terms of efficiency, as well as a data-based focus. However, even if you have the right mentality, you’re only going to be as successful as the tools you choose. If you don’t have a good piece of electrical company software, you’re going to not only fail in terms of efficiency, but lose a lot of time and money in the process. So, with all this in mind, here are all the key questions you need to be answered before purchasing electrical contracting business software.
How Will Your Software Help Us Meet Our Goals?
This may sound a bit esoteric at first, but there’s some concrete truth to it. People buy contracting software because they think it will help improve operations, whether it’s keeping better track of equipment, increasing bid accuracy, or saving communication time between the office and job sites. You need to do a self-inventory of why you are looking into contracting software, then bring that information to the company you are working with. They should be able to give you an explanation of how this can help.
What Are The Software Requirements?
When you commit to a new piece of software, you’re rarely just making one purchase. Cutting-edge software generally requires new technology to run it on, which can cause a lot of problems for many electrical companies. You may use plenty of good technology out in the field, but your office may be reliant on legacy systems. As a result, you always want to know what the new software is compatible with before you buy. If it still works, that’s great, just consider what you may upgrade to in the future and if that applies.
If you need to upgrade first, consider if the added cost is worth it. This shouldn’t be taken lightly. Not only are you potentially buying new devices for the office and field teams, but you also need to invest in security for each new device.
What Are The Pricing Tiers?
Finding quality electrical contracting business software for free is pretty unlikely, especially if you are a growing company that’s going to require a higher and higher scale of service as time goes on. However, it’s still worth looking into what each pricing tier is. In some cases, if you are a smaller company with budgetary concerns, a lower price tier may be best for your finances while still giving you the basic functions you need. This also provides a little bit of protection in case you don’t like it in the end. Complicating things is the fact that not every company uses a tiered structure. Some pay as you use, some charge a flat rate, and others charge per user. Do the calculations and find out what structure fits your finances.
Something else worth looking into is whether or not there is a modular ability to buy the software. Sometimes, you only need one part of a larger suite, like bidding software. Modular purchases give you all the benefits without having to pay for things you don’t need.
Can You Supply Some References?
Companies that use electrical contracting software are placing their success and client satisfaction in the hands of a third party, so you don’t want to take this lightly. Be sure to demand references from companies who have used the software for a substantial amount of time. When you are talking to the references, make sure you have a clear set of questions planned. You just don’t want to know about the positives, but how the company responded when they had an issue in the past.
Also, if possible, you want to request that the references they provide are a company similar to yours in terms of goals and size. After all, a medium-sized company and mega-contractor are going to use the same pieces of software in very different ways.
What Support Options Are Available?
Even if you have a piece of electrical contractor software that you’re happy with, chances are you’re going to need to reach back to the parent company for one reason or another. This can be due to a technical support issue or just general confusion when it comes to using a certain feature. Generally, what you want is a company that can provide you with specialized, expert, remote support as soon as possible. If you’re in the middle of a job and something fails, the entire project could be halted until you find a solution. Make sure your software provider has the means to get you that solution as quickly as you can.
As a side note, even if it’s not as acute a need, it may be worth reaching out to the provider to see if they have onboarding support. Getting your entire team to use new software can be a long and painful process. The software company may be able to provide instructional resources or even a live demo on certain features to make things easier.
If you’re still struggling to find the best electrical contractor business software for you, be sure to consider eSub. Our software suite integrates both field and office operations to make sure your electrical company has all the tools it needs to succeed. This is done through a combination of mobile apps, document control software, as well as cloud-stored data. Have essential, real-time information uploaded for all your team to look at, including:
— Team task completion/timeframes
— Proceedings on job sites
— Bids/material costs
We also recognize that every team has different concerns when it comes to their business. Because of that, we offer modular electrical contracting software, so you only buy what you need.