Understanding your customers needs
How does the customer interact with your business? How do you interact with them? Probably most of your customers locate and find you through their family, friend and business networks, through print media, directories or search engines. They will visit your website and then call you on the phone. Or you have a range of existing customers with whom you communicate by phone, email and face-to-face meetings. If customers interact with you through your website then you need to understand what information they expect to be able to find easily. This is the information that needs to be optimised for the full range of mobile devices.
Understanding your business needs
In many ways, web tools are most valuable in an electrotechnology business to improve productivity, share information and support collaboration. This applies at all times of the day, on any job and at any location. Answering the following questions for your business will help you to decide what your web tools need to deliver:
- What information do you use every day?
- When do you use it?
- What information do you check when you are on the move – contact information, product information, pricing, banks, trade suppliers, materials, staff location, coffee shops?
- What frustrations do you experience in your working day?
- How can access to the right information help?
Tips for the electrical industry
Look at every aspect of your business where web-based tools could help
Like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, web tools can provide an all encompassing system for managing your business. Investigate methods for simplifying your work flow processes, through management programs such as simPRO and GeoOP. These tools can also help manage equipment, inventory, and work safety systems.
Investigate Web Tools for Invoicing
With mobile connectivity available just about everywhere in Australia, it is a great idea to investigate methods for automatic invoicing at a job site on completion of the job. This not only shows your enthusiasm for the job, but enables your staff to add a personal touch to the delivery of an invoice.
Remember – training is as important as selecting the right web tools
Adjusting to a new system can be tough for your staff. Many web tool applications come with e-learning modules or face-to-face training modules that provide valuable training to staff on how to use and access the system while on site. You might also consider creating work manuals for staff to refer back to if they have any questions or problems with the software while on site.
You could decide to develop you own webtools or most probably choose to use web tools that have already been developed for your industry. simPRO is the most widely used web tool throughout the electrotechnology industry, managing workflow, including estimating, invoicing, scheduling, project management and reporting. The software integrates with electrical wholesaler catalogues and price lists. It is provided to customers for a monthly fee and accessible through any web browser on any device. simPRO was initially developed by an electrician and covers all the business processes involved in an electrotechnology business. The software also integrates with other business software tools such as Xero, MYOB, Quickbooks, simTRAC for GPS tracking of vehicles, and Groundplan for quoting and estimating. More information on integration partners can be found on the simPRO website. See our Case Study with Power Integration for more. GeoOP is another option to consider, especially for smaller electrotechnology businesses. It includes scheduling, quoting, time tracking, GPS tracking and reporting. The software also integrates with Xero, Unleashed – an inventory management system, iAuditor and Armada GPS vehicle tracking.