Most businesses nowadays rely on multiple software systems to get through the daily grind. Unfortunately, this can make things a bit disjointed as each sol...
Most businesses nowadays rely on multiple software systems to get through the daily grind. Unfortunately, this can make things a bit disjointed as each solution provides a piece of the puzzle and oftentimes doesn’t play nice with your other technology. Bringing these systems together to cooperate and share data can make life easier for you in many ways. Here are some tips to keep in mind when working to unite your systems.
Bringing your systems together can create new efficiencies and make your solutions operate as more than just the sum of their parts. Integrating your marketing and operations technology is a textbook example. Let’s say a prospect goes to your website and completes a contact form or even a sale using an e-commerce solution—like the one provided by FieldRoutes. That information can then automatically be entered into your operations software and then ping your salesperson, simplifying things for everyone involved. If a sale was made online, the new customer could even schedule and pay right then and there, all without even talking to anyone.
And that’s just one example. Now, close your eyes and think about what you could do by integrating your call center, sales, forms and documents, customer reviews, technician tracking tools, billing, and more in addition to your marketing. It just doesn’t get any better than that.
There’s definitely something to be said about gut instinct. But the savviest business owners know that running the show by the seat of your pants is no way to get things done right. Relying on hard facts on the other hand can help you make smart decisions that pay off. Pulling data from multiple sources can reveal things you may have otherwise missed. For example, you may be able to notice specific patterns with your top performing technicians—or low performing ones for that matter that you can use for training and guidance. Bottom line: when integrating your systems, focus primarily on ways you can share data between them.
Building on that previous point, if you can’t trust the data that’s being collected, then what’s the point? When working with multiple systems, it’s not uncommon to see multiple solutions provide different numbers for the same metrics. That’s usually because the numbers are updated at different times—weekly or bi-weekly, for example. To find the source that you can trust, simply look for the one that can integrate the data from multiple sources and has the most up to date numbers available. FieldRoutes™ Intelligent Routing is a good example of this, where we look at multiple sources with huge data sets, then cross-reference that information to find the most optimal path. It sure works better than a simple Google Maps integration.
The sooner you get the information you need, the faster you can pivot and make crucial choices for your business. Hiring employees is a great example of this. If you notice one of your technicians is starting to red line on stops per day, that may indicate that it’s time to think about bringing in some additional help. Since the process of finding, hiring, and training good technicians takes longer than ever before, the faster you know this information, the sooner you can get started. When integrating your systems, prioritize a source that provides real-time data and reporting—like FieldRoutes. That way, you can know what’s happening as it’s happening, so you can fix it before it becomes a bigger issue.
How long does it take to pull reports from multiple vendors and put them together in one actionable report? Depending on what you’re working with and how many systems you use, the process could take hours; maybe even half a day or so to get it all together. That’s unacceptable, especially when you consider the pace at which most field service businesses have to operate in order to be successful. Having everything you need right from one single source you can trust speeds this process up and makes life easier for the people collecting the data and the ones reviewing it.
Simple. Easy. Straightforward. These are magical words when it comes to technology, data, and reporting. All the information in the world won’t do you, your employees, or your customers any good if no one can make heads or tails out of what you’re looking at. When integrating your systems, look for that single data source that’s easy to use and provides the most easy to read reports. Solutions like our API, which allows you to share data with any vendor of your choosing, is just one example of how we do this in FieldRoutes. Our interactive dashboards, charts, and graphs also make things a bit easier on the eyes.
If you’re really looking to put your integration issues in the rear-view and high-five the easy button, look for an operations software system—like FieldRoutes—with an application programming interface (API). What is an API? It’s basically a fancy way of saying the software can easily share data between multiple systems—either pulling data in or pushing it out to software of your choosing. An operations system with an open API can get your systems on the same wavelength and open the door to integrations beyond the typical “preferred partner” list.
Integrating your systems doesn’t have to be difficult. FieldRoutes has everything you need to make things easy and provide real-time data you can trust. Visit FieldRoutes.com today to see how we can help get your technology on the same page.
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