Contractors that specialize in the HVAC industry are well positioned for continued growth. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics , the job outlook for heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers is projected to grow 15% from 2016-2026 which is much faster than the average for all occupations. The average growth for all occupations is 7%.
This is great news for your growing HVAC business. However, investing in new software will increase the value of your HVAC business. Your team will be able to work more efficiently and take on more projects. It is important to take the steps now to incorporate new workflows and establish project management best practices. Once you get too busy with new projects, it will be harder to make any changes despite the benefits of the new software. Below are benefits of how software can improve your HVAC business.
Empowering your mobile workforce with tools to make their job easier
HVAC technicians primarily work in the field. They work in residential homes, schools, retail establishments, hospitals, office buildings or factories installing, repairing, or performing maintenance on HVAC systems. Cloud-based software enables your technicians to document jobsite activity directly from their smartphone or tablet. They can take photos documenting issues such as damaged equipment, a poorly installed electrical system, or any safety issues on the jobsite. Users complete daily reports from their mobile device to capture crew hours, equipment and material usage, and any other notes important to document project progress for the General Contractor. As a result, technicians can complete documentation in minutes. Most importantly, you will need to ensure that the mobile software is a native mobile app that can work offline. This is important to ensure that your technicians will be able to complete their paperwork even without an internet connection.
Mobile timecard management for more accurate payroll and job costing
With a mobile workforce, it is also important to be able to track their time accurately while they are in the field. One crew may be onsite for several weeks installing a large HVAC system in a new office building. In another instance, a single technician may visit multiple sites in one day to perform routine maintenance. Both instances could benefit from a mobile timekeeping solution to track each employee’s hours. Having a mobile time keeping system for field workers is important to track time accurately. A system that tracks time according to specific tasks or cost codes for job costing is icing on the cake for a growing HVAC business. With job costing capabilities in HVAC software, businesses will be able to track labor productivity. This information will help make adjustments in labor in order to complete a project profitably and provide more accurate estimates for future projects.
Resource management to schedule resources effectively
Whether your company specializes in HVAC design-build projects, field service, or a hybrid of both, scheduling software comes in handy to manage resources effectively. Ditch the spreadsheets and automate the scheduling process. With resource management software you will be able to view all resources and projects in one place. Users make changes easily in order to resolve scheduling conflicts. You and your employees will know exactly where they will need to be and when they need to be there.
BIM coordination to improve collaboration and reduce rework
HVAC companies will greatly benefit from building information modeling (BIM) coordination with the design team. BIM allows HVAC contractors to collaborate directly with the design team on the technical specs needed for the building systems. Verification of the dimensions and locations of shafts or how different materials will affect insulation are just some of the items that can be evaluated with BIM. Collaborating during the design phase will greatly reduce the need for changes during the construction phase. As a result, this keeps costs down and keep projects on schedules.
Document control and change management to ensure you get paid
Speaking of changes, large commercial projects will undoubtedly produce many RFIs and Change Orders. When work at the jobsite moves so quickly and the General Contractor issues verbal directives, it is important to document any work that your foreman documents all work completed. HVAC contractors will need a document control and change management solution to create, track, and store all the necessary paperwork. Because the team is so busy doing the work, the software must be quick and easy to use. If your team can embrace the change management process and software, they will ensure that you get paid for all your extra work.
These are just a few of the main benefits that software can improve operations for HVAC companies. By automating workflows for your employees frees up your team to work on more projects. Software can help you increase your revenue and in turn increase the value of your HVAC business.