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The ROI of Going Paperless: How Paperless Software Solutions Can Help You Save Money in Your Business

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Field Service Management has come a long way from the paper-heavy and time-consuming behemoth it used to be. In just a few years, digital technology has radically transformed the way the industry operates, and this change has led to increased time and cost efficiencies, faster response times, higher first-time fix rates and overall customer satisfaction. If you look around, you will find out that most service delivery companies are switching to automation in their day-to-day operations, thanks to paperless office software for small businesses. While this is inspiring, this might also compel one to consider the risks and challenges associated with digital transformation. Truthfully, adopting new tools and technologies are never easy, especially when it is a small firm with a limited capacity. However, the benefits of going paperless dramatically surpass the obstacles experienced during the early stages of the transformation. And once you get the hang of it, you will be surprised to explore the advantages it has in store for you.

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If this is not enough motivation for you to consider automation, you might look into the financial aspect of it. Simply put, just look into how much return on investment (ROI) paperless business solutions will ensure to your business. To give you a subtle hint– it is way more than you can imagine. When asked about their goals in automation, most service business owners respond that they want better, faster, and less expensive software development solutions to manage their service operation. However, better quality services require an investment of time and attention; faster services tend to sacrifice quality over time to delivery, and less expensive services sacrifice both quality and speed. The biggest challenge to service leaders is balancing the need for the economy with quality and speed of delivery. Therefore, it rests upon the digital tools to come up with a mechanism that fulfils all of these requirements, in a manner that is easy to operate, simplifies processes, and promotes best practices across the organization. And most paperless solutions are capable of realizing this goal.

Having said that, it is still surprising to see that there is still room for improvement. Studies show that 52% of companies still use manual methods for the bulk of their field service tasks. For years, companies have been using Return on Investment (ROI) to validate their purchasing decisions in several categories. But when it comes to digital tools, we have come to realize that people aren’t just asking us what’s the ROI on our software. They’re asking what the ROI is for going completely paperless. To answer this question, we will try to break down the financial aspect of going paperless in this blog. If you too are concerned about investing in digital transformation, we hope the resource helps you find the right direction.

1. The Major Pain Points

Before investing in new technology, a company has to understand how the solution will allow them to make their money back quickly and help them continue to save going forward. When it comes to paperless solution, i.e., field service management software, there are many pieces that go into building a return on investment and it depends on how the solution will ultimately be used.

To elucidate this, let us first have a look into the issues our software addresses.
When speaking to teams that are currently using our software, there were three repeated concerns that keep coming up:

i) Workflow optimization

By adopting a truly automated process that allows for real-time collaboration, service businesses remove several layers of handling including:

  • Collecting customer information
  • Creating job orders
  • Downloading/ uploading files
  • Sharing information across teams
  • Storing data for recurrent job orders
  • Repeated data entry for different tasks, e.g., estimates, work orders, dispatching, invoicing, etc.

In traditional paper-based environments, the amount of effort and resources required for these tasks hinder the entire process. It becomes time-consuming and arduous. Besides, it leaves ample scope for errors, which might lead to additional risk factors and expenses.

ii) Margin erosion

Margin erosion accumulates through poor coordination between teams and individuals, lack of collaboration throughout project delivery, and lack of accountability for the quality of the work completed. These areas further contribute to a higher likelihood of rework and in-field adjustments during the construction or application of the design. This in turn leads to uncompensated changes, which are absorbed by the business, reducing profit margins on projects.

iii) Overhead Costs

Running traditional design frameworks with paper-based processes can lead to excessive supply and printing costs, as well as the high costs of owning and maintaining the printers and technology themselves

Therefore, if your chosen software solution is to give you a significant return on investment, it must help you overcome these challenges.

Now, looking into the capabilities of these digital solutions, you will find out that not only they address these pressing issues, they also provide additional advantages to help simplify your business. And the results save you both time and money, generating greater ROI than you expect.

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2. The Solutions

Smoother Operations

FSM software unifies all of your field service operations in one place. FSM digitally transforms your processes so that your customer and financial records are available to you at any time. The software allows you to track business growth dynamically. An FSM software is usually accompanied by a dashboard that provides multiple sources and types of information in one place. This further boosts your chances of improving your ROI.

Prevent Billing Errors

This is by far the most important benefit that is noticed by our customer. Field service clients report a significant problem with billing errors. A technician may perform a service in the field and forget to add it to the work order; money lost. Probably the biggest consequence of inaccurate billing is the time it wastes in staff investigation, correction, and retransmission. This is also hard to quantify, but vitally important if you want to grow.

Higher Service Quality and Improved Accountability

User-based licensing allows for clear accountability and designers are taking a lot more care in their work and getting things right the first time. This directly results in fewer rounds of reviews and a more efficient team.

Streamlined Communication

FSM solution provides a unified platform for all employees to communicate. For example, within one tool, your dispatchers can use the FSM solution to dispatch and schedule service calls. Additionally, your field service technicians can use the same software from their mobile phones and get instant notifications regarding their job details, time and invoices. By bringing together multiple departments, you can increase your efficiency which contributes to ROI.

Enhanced Customer Satisfaction

By equipping field service technicians with paperless work order systems that improve accuracy and decrease time spent on manual entries and processing, organizations increase employee efficiency. This ultimately results in customer satisfaction. The data collected by, the technicians can then be used across your field service organization, where departments can integrate this data with business intelligence tools. This will result in actionable insights, which will help the business make better decisions. These software solutions also allow for syncing of work orders and payment information, which improves the invoicing process significantly. Invoices are accurately and immediately generated and sent to customers, all from one single platform. This prevents billing disputes and other technicalities that could hinder customer satisfaction.

Simplified Payment Cycle

Field Service Management software comes with payment features that help contractors receive faster payments. It also helps customers get better estimates which can help them make better purchasing decisions. Your field service technicians are also able to collect payments on-site with the right enterprise FSM solution. This means you only have to pay the subscription for one single software, instead of paying multiple parties for conducting multiple tasks on your behalf.

Less Time Consumption

Closely connected with communication, FSMs save time due to increased efficiency. Mobility for field service technicians also saves time as they can view pertinent information regarding their tasks at hand or their customers on their devices. Thus back-office employees will then only be used when they have more knowledge of the location, the task is completed, or if they are facing any issues which can save time and improve ROI.

Conclusion

Companies often underestimate how much ROI they can or should expect because they misunderstand what field service software is meant to do. They assume that software should automate or otherwise replicate the tasks they handle every day. However, paperless software solutions with the highest ROI does not just solve problems or speed up the status quo. Rather, it produces business impacts and helps a company evolve into a more competitive entity. Features do not define the software or drive the ROI. Becoming more adept, agile, and innovative does. Before investing in new technology, a company has to understand how the solution will allow them to make their money back quickly and help them continue to save going forward. With the aspects mentioned in this blog, it is evident that organizations all over the world are delivering a higher quality service for their clients and seeing a greater margin ROI by going paperless.

To sum up, we have found that on average, within one month of implementing our software, the savings gained in efficiency outweigh the cost of your yearly/monthly subscriptions.

Some of the factors contributing to these savings include:

  • Reduced end-to-end operation time
  • Increased first-time fix rates
  • Enabling remote collaboration in real-time on any device (iOS, Android, Windows, and web)
  • Resource optimization with efficient scheduling, dispatching, and time tracking
  • Centralized cloud-based storage for data security and seamless access
  • Improved accountability and decision making
  • Enhanced QA/QC and monitoring
  • Immediate savings on office supplies and printing-related costs

Depending on the size of your team, and how many projects you complete each year, the cost savings will vary.However, this is evident that with paperless business solutions, you are bound to save a lot of unnecessary costs that were otherwise indispensable in a traditional paper-based environment. And this is exactly what going paperless means for your company, indicating the potential ROI it can yield overall.

If you are interested in discussing how implementing digital solutions in your organization, we are always here to help. All you need to do is reach out to us.

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Joy Gomez

My world is made up of codes. It is the central element that drives my universe. I am a self-taught, process-driven programmer with a creative bent of mind. Since I was an engineering student, I dreamt of creating something unique. To satiate my creative appetite, I took to coding. Blessed with abundant support and generous scholarships from my employers, I simultaneously worked full-time and pursued my dream. My passion and high productivity helped me in my journey as well. Finally, I created Field Promax to follow my drive of coding and streamlining processes; and do more of what I know best—coding.