Technology | 14 min read

Best Job Management Software for Tradies

Job management software for tradies

Picture this—you manage a home repair and renovation business, and you need to outsource a tool for payments and invoices. Chances are, you’ll find a fairly efficient online program that suits your needs (more or less).

Now say you’re also seeking a tool to manage your inventory.

And then your workforce.

And your vehicles.

At this point, you see how it’d be far more practical to mind all these tasks on a single, centralised hub.

Nowadays, there are aspects of workflow management that basic platforms like Microsoft Office can no longer satisfy alone. In order to track budgets, deadlines, resources, and client requests, you’ll need the help of something designed to handle the complexity of tradie work.

With the right system, your business can easily improve customer satisfaction and retention, and even boost referrals. It’s no fact, 87% of active, high-performing companies utilise management software. But first, take a look at what qualities to consider when incorporating a project management app into your strategy.

1. Task Management

We’re sure you know that some urgent assignments are menial in nature. They can add stress because they need immediate doing, but are otherwise tasks that you and your tradies could accomplish with your eyes closed.

Conversely, some tasks may not necessarily be urgent, but make a greater impact on your business —and these are higher-order decisions that can’t be left to software.

Any job management software worth investing in should help you prioritise these tasks, and automate a good number of them. Differentiating between the urgent and less-urgent items on your to-do list is a critical part of task delegation and time management.

Management software with goal-setting tools can help drastically improve productivity. In 2017, “unclear goals” was the most common factor among failed projects. If you can break tasks down into workable chunks (with corresponding due dates), you’re a big step closer to achieving the goals that matter most.

Since nothing kills productivity faster than a cluttered mind, the right job management app should have features like priority tags, reminders, and live comment sections to allow users to work with clarity.

2. Timekeeping

A common source of stress among managers is the difficulty that comes with keeping an eye on projects as they’re happening. Without centralised updates in real-time, your business can easily go from being a well-oiled machine to an organisational nightmare.

Seek out job management software that allows your teams to track and update their work as work is ongoing. This goes hand-in-hand with timekeeping (so your payroll and accounting benefits as well), adding layers of detail to the reports and data you collect.

Active and detailed timekeeping can provide you with valuable insights that can help you make better managerial decisions down the line. When you can see the tasks and jobs that take the most time to complete, then you’ve found the next step in optimising your business.

3. Communication

A job management tool shines brightest when it can help you keep an eye on the conversations you have with your tradies, your suppliers, your contractors, and your clients.

Investing in software that lets you collaborate with your key stakeholders should make it easier for you to translate needs and requests into action points and keep your whole team on the same page as your jobs evolve.

Finally, last-minute changes to your task lists and working conditions should never be a cause for disarray. Mix-ups are bound to happen, which is why a dynamic job management tool that allows for updates in real-time is a must-have.

4. File Sharing and Record-Keeping

For businesses that rely heavily on file-sharing and taking inventory, job management software centralises documents that remain accessible to your team. To lower the risk of miscommunication, a practical system should notify team members of any modifications or submissions.

Sharing tools eliminate the need to outsource a separate drive and offer your team total convenience. No need to sift through dozens of links—you’ll have them all in one place.

Likewise, it’s important to keep neat records of each of your jobs as they progress; it wouldn’t do to lose a contract, invoice, or purchase order right when they’re needed the most. Keep an eye out for today’s more advanced job management tools, which should allow you to organise your records.

The benefits of using job management software

1. Centralised Modules

The best thing about incorporating job management software into your strategy is the ability to function within a single, centralised platform. Your business may be made up of different parts and people, but having the whole thing run on a single platform helps keep an eye on your overall business.

Job management software for tradies

Of the firms that incorporate project management systems, 95% are large, while 75% are businesses that earn below $100 million in revenue. But don’t let the numbers fool you—smaller entities can benefit from job management just as much, if not more, than larger ones. How so?

When everything exists in one primary space, collaboration becomes fluid. Better yet, your chosen software might allow users to customise pages and workspaces while maintaining core features. Sure, your marketing team may operate nothing like your field workers—but at least with a project management tool, they can avoid issues with communication.

Take a look at: Fergus

For tradie owners who enjoy taking in everything at a glance, Fergus is your one-stop-shop. It lets you keep up with ongoing projects, group jobs by status, prioritise tasks, and build projected revenue seamlessly. Its colour-coded dashboards stands as a testament to the wonders that the right info packaging can accomplish.

Job cards are easy to access and are chock-full of information ranging from job descriptions to supplier documents and reports. If several team members have access to a job card, higher management can easily approve changes on the Fergus interface or through email.

2. Empowered Teams

Project management solutions may look complex, especially since the better ones among them offer a good number of functions. But believe it or not, every feature is designed to work in favour of increased collaboration and productivity.

Systems that allow users to view past progress also make integrating new members into the team a lot smoother. With everyone on the same page, creating standardised processes makes for more consistent teamwork.

Software means users can work remotely and be logged in 24/7, should a task require attention at any given moment. Anything that could be relayed through email can now simply remain within a messaging system. Even better, most management software is optimised for mobile, allowing users to tend to anything on-the-go.

Take a look at: ClickUp

One platform that has proven to be an asset for large and small teams alike is ClickUp. Its unique selling point is a “task tray” feature, which allows users to reference various projects at once from a single view—perfect for managers looking to get a broader perspective on their tasks-in-progress.

ClickUp’s proprietary features focus on solving common project management challenges. To minimise the need for numerous apps, for instance, ClickUp merges personal and team productivity through flexible and customisable “Spaces”. Its various viewing options allow each member to filter through different roles and task categories to see where everything’s at, and where things are headed.

You can customise notifications to your liking, and detect in real-time when team members are viewing files or commenting on cards within a tray. On the whole, ClickUp is a fine tool for tradies looking to encourage transparency and open collaboration.

3. Enhanced Time Management

If there’s one thing that often comes back to haunt a tradie, it’s time management. Beyond tracking time-sensitive requirements, you’ll also want to zero in on how long a team member might spend on a particular task.

Knowing who is accomplishing tasks far quicker than you expect might give you an opportunity to pitch additional work to more efficient team members. Similarly, knowing who is lagging behind will allow you to intervene before any major delays are reached—you can train them or match them up with better-suited tasks.

The sooner you determine how long it will take to accomplish a single project, the easier it’ll be to estimate your material and human resources. Likewise, you can have a faster time with price deliverables according to workload.

Take a look at: Ascora

For tradies looking for a job management software with superior timekeeping features, Ascora is an app worth investing in. Its drag-and-drop scheduling interface stands out among its peers, and it allows users can also track changes made in real-time.

Ascora’s check-in-check-out system employs actual-time tracking, which makes for more valuable insights when reviewing team performance. You can even pin location-specific tasks on the map view, and oversee activities occurring in and out of the office.

4. Streamlined Quotations and Invoices

Getting your quotes right is arguably one of the trickiest aspects of tradie work. You might base your quotations on past work out of necessity, but with a project management tool, you’ll be equipped to budget according to your timekeeping and resources.

Job management software for tradies

When it comes to crafting invoices, you’ll find that simply labeling and assigning information can go a long way. Invoicing isn’t just about numbers—you’ll need to keep track of the services you are offering, contact details, and possible discounts for negotiations.

Using software to monitor these variables will save you a lot of grief in calculating the final costs. Better still, incorporating automated software can help you templatise and expedite your invoices.

Take a look at: Tradify

The app of choice for many tradies, Tradify is a tool that offers features that are unique to the trades industry while also syncing up with systems you might already have. Have your bills or supplier price lists on Xero, MYOB, or Quickbooks Online? Not a problem—they integrate with Tradify.

Many of Tradify’s tools are automated, so importing files such as contact cards and previous invoices are effortless. You can quote according to estimated and actual job costs put together by Tradify, and automatically transform timesheets and receipts into invoices.

Beyond organising labour and unit charges, a more efficiently streamlined quoting and invoicing process will save a lot of time and resources. In an increasingly digital landscape, paperless bulk invoicing is a relief.

5. Efficient Inventory Management

For any tradie, knowing exactly what you have in stock, reserved, and sold out demands a detailed and efficient system. Beyond physical products, inventory might also refer to your teams and various project elements.

An inventory management system counters the stress of having to manually take note of what you’re receiving from multiple suppliers. Something as simple as a kanban board (a visual tool that notes your flow of inventory) can keep you from misunderstanding your business’ needs.

With your inventory automatically sorted, you can meet customer demands by identifying what products are services are selling out quickest. An option to sort projects by inventory type or even specific items will make for a cleaner warehouse.

Furthermore, being able to trace your production cycle can be useful in relaying quick status reports to clients.

Take a look at: inFlow Inventory

inFlow Inventory helps businesses track pretty much whatever they want to—from products to prices, and whatever else you can move. Hassled by costing your FIFO and LIFO models? inFlow costs it for you.

Besides basic features such as organisation tools, pricing schemes, and product history, inFlow offers the unique ability to scan barcodes directly into your catalog. This will allow you to check, receive, and ship stock. You’ll also be able to generate barcode numbers automatically and print them out as labels.

6. Improved Communication

Better teamwork translates into better services for your clients—it’s an age-old rule for any business involving collaboration. On top of clear communication among team members, transparent communication with your clients takes your quality of service a notch higher: good business means no guesswork or surprises.

Working with cost-conscious clients? Accurate, customised reporting can help with that. Not only do your clients get to enjoy the advantages of high-value reports—so does your business. Simply knowing the amount of effort and resources it took to complete a particular job can provide meaningful insights that you can use to improve future work.

To guarantee the quality work your customers expect, seek software that also offers client management. An option for clients to log in to their ongoing projects can provide peace of mind and acts as a selling point for your business.

Take a look at: Workflow Max

With Workflow Max’s client manager, you can collaborate with customers on a regular, standard, or premium level. Through the software, you can manage contact details, markups, and payment terms.

Not quite sure you’ve sealed the deal with a prospect? You can also register leads and keep an eye on their demands and status.

Conclusion

With new tools and techniques on the rise, there is no denying change. Big industry players are employing even more effective frameworks and undoing long-standing teamwork and management beliefs.

Consider that the top five causes of project failure are: misalignment of priorities, changes in objectives, inaccurate reporting, poor communication, and an inadequate vision. With a project management tool, you’ll get to focus on each aspect with a lot more ease.

No matter your expertise, you’ll need to constantly arm yourself with opportunities to improve work ethic and communication. Consider what makes an entity successful, and which tools best suit your needs.

Of the 23% of organisations that employ standard project management practices, yours might as well lead the pack.

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