Service Business Software
A Complete Service Business Software Package Pays for Itself
Many new business owners mistakenly believe that they don’t need a software package because their business is service-oriented and not merchandise-oriented. The truth is that computers are for more than tracking inventory and ringing up sales. Good service business software is designed to save any new or established money in ways that many people don’t even think about.
Even if your business doesn’t have any inventory, it probably has supplies. Depending on the exact business, these supplies can be extensive. Employee theft should never be taken lightly, and no business owner should assume they are safe because their employees are “good people.” Some of your employees are not telling you everything. Without a supply tracking system, you could be paying to supply your employee’s personal homes. Service business software will determine if an inordinate amount of supplies are missing.
Another benefit of a computer system for your service business that is related to employee theft is having a traceable purchase order system. All purchases should go through the software. Invoices received from vendors that are not in the computer system immediately throw up a red flag. Anyone making purchases on behalf of the company must be accountable through a software system. This same purchase order software will also prevent over-ordering or running out of supplies. Keeping too much of any supply on-hand is only asking for trouble. A service business shouldn’t have to be in the storage business.
Another aspect of service business software is that it can help with customer management. Most service businesses run on a schedule. That schedule is subject to change from both internal and external factors. Keeping track of a schedule on paper only leads to errors. A computer scheduling system will ensure your customers get the service they request at a time that is convenient.
Scheduling is not always external. For many service businesses, internal scheduling can be just as important. Work orders can have a long life before they are marked as completed. A good service business software package will be able to handle a work order in all of its stages. The person who initially writes up a work order is rarely the person who is doing the actual work. A computer system will help to avoid any confusion from badly written work orders. A good system should also be able to keep track of any parts required, and it should note if the parts are in stock, ordered, backordered, unavailable, or substituted.
Another important function of service business software is that it can manage the company’s finances. Without a good software system, any money the company takes in or puts out can be falsified, lost, or mishandled. The software should not only be tracking cash, but it should be tracking accounts receivable and accounts payable.
Customer invoicing and customer history is also an important part of a service business that good software can handle. Copies should be kept of all customer invoices for archiving. If your company is using paper invoices, this can build up in a hurry. Real estate is too expense to be using it for storing documents in this day and age. Storing invoices in boxes is also less secure than storing them on a hard drive.
Customer information and history can be an important part of operating a service business. This information can be used for marketing campaigns to let your customers know that you haven’t forgotten about them and appreciate them. You can target customers with specific ads for services they have used in the past and may need again in the future. Keeping a database of customer addresses can also help to target marketing to specific areas of a city or region instead of trying to hit the entire area at once.
The last thing to look for in a service business software package is integration. Some software systems only provide limited functionality. It then takes a separate system to take care of the rest. If a software system must be purchased in modules, it will be much easier if the modules can integrate with each other and send required information to each piece.
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