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Contractors Need to Be Prepared for an Economic Downturn


You can’t run from a recession, but you can get your field service business in a better position to survive it. Recession talk is all around us these days, yet nobody really knows when the next recession will hit. Whether the economic downturn happens next quarter, next year, or later, odds are the economy will slow down sometime in the near future. And when a downturn starts, it can move quickly.

The savvy contractors are those who take the time to get ready for a downturn, whenever it might come. In highly volatile and uncertain times, organizations need to develop a resilience capacity, which enables them to cope effectively with unexpected events such as tariffs, trade wars, technician shortages, and interest rate hikes.

Given the volatility of the current economic environment, achieving resilience will require a new, flexible approach to operations as well as a robust, comprehensive contractor management software. By connecting out-dated, disconnected and slow processes, businesses will be able to quickly respond not only to the fast pace of change of digital and other innovations, but also to an aging workforce, increasing costs to run a business, and rising consumer demand for fast delivery.

Companies can increase their readiness for the unexpected by making real-time strategic and operating decisions that improve performance. Even in good economic times these are helpful actions to take, as they ensure an organization is ready, whatever storms may come their way.

Companies should act now, when the economy is stronger, so that they can adjust quickly to a changing environment. Automation, digitization, and analytics are changing industries faster than ever before, and the pace of change is only accelerating. And with political flux and trade disputes on the rise, economic disruption becomes more a question of “when” than “if.”

What worked five or ten years ago no longer works. To pivot in time, businesses need to be lighter on their feet and quicker in their reflexes. By understanding where your operations are slow today, you can take practical steps to become more resilient tomorrow.

So how can your field service company stay profitable in an unpredictable economy? You have to be prepared. A comprehensive field service management software can help your company mitigate risk to stay profitable in challenging times.

Here are 3 ways FIELDBOSS field service management software can help contracting business owners stay profitable in an unstable and uncertain economy:

1. Real-time visibility and reporting: A comprehensive field service management software offers an in-depth understanding of your business. If you know how many service calls you need per day for your service department to stay profitable, then you know in real-time if you are short on calls. If you are short on calls, you can advise your team to follow up on open repair quotes and see if the customer is ready to schedule. Real-time reporting also offers:

– A detailed, real-time view of the whole business

– Intelligence to recognize emerging trends

– Potential to seek and respond to new opportunities or threats

– Power to understand key areas delivering profit and loss

– Make fast, informed decisions based on accurate and live information

2. Maintenance Agreements: Maintenance agreements are the key to off-season profitability and economic downturn stability. They ensure companies stay busy and profitable. As well, many field service industries such as HVAC and Elevator Service are somewhat recession proof: people still need their equipment to work, so they opt for repairs over replacement. This creates more work, and, eventually, that client will still need a replacement. FIELDBOSS can help automate and efficiently manage your maintenance contracts and also alert you to which clients are not signed up yet.

3. Manage unbillable time: During times of economic instability, some contractors become more aggressive in their pricing in order to attract more clients. However, rather than lower your rates, look at what you can do to lower your overhead and expenses. Think about managing unbillable time — time between calls, organizing and inputting paperwork, or any labor you pay that does not have revenue associated with it. An end to end field service software can help decrease unbillable time by:

– pinpointing which technicians aren’t pulling in any revenue

– creating the need for fewer dispatchers, schedulers and back-office personnel

– invoicing more quickly

– eliminating duplicate data entry

– reducing technician paper-work

– increasing first-time fix rates

– decreasing technician drive-time

An unstable economy doesn’t have to mean the end of your business. Contact us today and learn how with a little lateral thinking and the help of a comprehensive field service management software, your company can sail through the hard times and come out stronger than before.

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