Using software to manage your business is a pretty common thing in this day and age, but where many seem to be lacking is using add-ons and integrations to enhance the experience.
We understand the hesitation, after all, the way you’re using the software now is enough to get your operations more organised and running better than ever before.
What we’re asking you to do is pause and think about the little frustrations, like the limits of your software, or the timeliness of some of your workflows even with digitisation.
Add-ons and integrations are designed to address these little nuances that are still poking at you throughout the day, causing annoyance or irritation.
Not only that, but these features can seriously automate some of the tiniest tasks on your daily to-do list, unlocking even more freedom and efficiency.
So, how exactly do these sideline features build better business processes? Read on to find out!
You can streamline workflows that use multiple different systems.
Most businesses using job or project management software will also be using other applications in their day-to-day processes.
Whether that’s Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, or another popular tool, it can be frustrating to still have to switch between programs while managing operations.
Integrations with your software, however, can create an automated bridge between systems, helping you achieve the efficiency you’re looking for.
The best example of this is a Zapier integration, a popular one amongst software providers.
Zapier is an online tool that has been designed to act as a connector for workflows that require two or more systems to be completed.
Armed with a Zapier integration, software users can automate simple but timely processes, like the assignment of jobs or schedules between Google Calendar and software. Or, the transfer of important lead information or job requests from Microsoft Outlook into a system.
You can get the whole picture when it comes to time management.
In addition to building a bridge between your systems, integrations also make it easier to get a bird’s eye view of your team and their time.
Maybe you’re still using Google Calendar for internal meetings, annual leave and reminders while using your software’s scheduling tool for service or project work.
Or, you might be using Outlook’s Calendar app on your team’s tablets or smart devices because your software provider doesn’t have the mobile functionality available yet.
Whatever it is, we see a lot of businesses using different systems to manage and monitor time, which limits the actual efficiency they can achieve with job or project management software.
This is where, again, we recommend integrations to combat such a problem.
When set up correctly, an integration can enable you to schedule jobs in your software system, and automatically send the time block through to Google Calendar.
It can enable admin teams to integrate internal or personal schedules stored in other apps with job management software to create a complete view of a team member’s availability.
You can enable even more on-site handling and processes.
Add-ons are additional software features that can add functionality to your build, inviting even more efficiency and targeting pain points that are unique to your operations.
Take, for example, one of the most common frustrations of being a contractor: getting paid.
In an effort to help combat the frustration of waiting for, and chasing up, payment of outstanding invoices, simPRO built an add-on for it’s users that enables them to take payments on-site.
Through a partnership with popular payment processing platform Square, the field staff of simPRO users can carry a portable debit or credit card reader with them to job sites.
By allowing tradesmen to take the most common form of payments on the spot, simPRO users look more professional and efficient on site, and cut down on the need for invoice follow-up.
You can create high quality commercial contract organisation and management.
Add-ons aren’t just about introducing new functionality to job management software, they’re also about enhancing it’s already awesome features.
In keeping with the example of simPRO, they also offer their commercial contractor users additional functionality to keep on top of client assets with the Maintenance Planner add-on.
This add-on allows for more in-depth record-keeping on the condition and quality of assets, better planning around maintenance and enhanced reporting for client communication.
By facilitating more effective workflows around asset maintenance for commercial-based simPRO users, this add-on can improve service offerings and quality of maintenance for businesses looking to leave a lasting impression (and gain a long-term contract!).
You can automate simple but time-consuming workflows.
You might read the header and think that your job management software already does that, but the truth is that even the greatest system still has timely to-dos, like data entry.
Again, this is where we see add-ons and integration step into a smaller but more supportive role, introducing automation where initially not thought possible.
We’ll draw on our same example of simPRO once more. This job management software provider also sells a tool that can be added to any simPRO build to automate data entry.
The Data Feed tool enables business operators to email job or customer data that needs to be entered to their simPRO system. As their email is processed by the simPRO system, data fields are automatically updated as requested.
The Takeaway? Make time to investigate your software’s add-ons and integrations.
It shouldn’t be a question of whether or not you have any add-ons or integrations that you use with your business’ job or project management software.
Investigating whether there are additional features that can enhance your experience should really be on your to-do list during initial implementation.
The real beauty of these tools is that you can add them to your software build at any time and start introducing even more automation, innovation and efficiency to your business.
And if you’re not sure where to start, or want to get extra features into your system with the struggle, the team at Modus Operandi can help.
Our staff specialise in customising, implementing and teaching teams how to use new systems and processes, meaning you get to sit back and watch the results roll in.
To have a chat to us about what add-ons might benefit your business, or how you can use integrations to target your software pain points, give us a call on 1300 446 682.
Alternatively, you can have a look through our services, and check out our blog for more insights, by heading to findyourmo.com