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3 Reasons Why Every Electrician & Plumber Should Be Paperless in 2017

By Keith Bateman on January 27, 2017
Tags: Data Collection, Productivity

Electricians & Plumbers - Mobile Apps

Plumbers and electricians are not just the men and women you call when you have an issue in your home, they are the same people who get contracted on commercial construction projects in cities and suburbs all across the world.

For these larger projects that involve permits, zoning, and large contracts it's essential that data be properly collected and stored for documentation.

Over the years as technology has progressed, so has the complexity and speed of these construction projects. Yet, when we look at how companies process, share and analyze their data on these job sites we find that they are still using the same methods from almost a half-century ago. They are still stuck using paper!

What Paper is Actually Costing You

It might seem obvious, and something you have heard a MILLION times, but using paper is negatively impacting your company's overall efficiency.

What does this mean? Take a look at some of these figures and facts:

1.) The average company spends $80 per employee annually and loses 2 hours per day just on paperwork

2.) TechRadar reports that up to 70% of business would fail within 3 weeks if their paper records were destroyed in a fire or flood. 

3.) A study by Penn State University found that 49.6% of time spent in construction is "devoted to wasteful activities" like looking for tools, errors in communication, attempting to locate forms, etc. 

How Can Mobile Technology Help?

There are a variety of ways that mobile tools will and currently are making an impact for Plumbers and Electricians. But when we focus in, we can clearly identify 3 primary ways that mobile tools affect a business' bottom line.

# Renewable Energy

According to the 2015 U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index, approximately 47% of electricity generation in the United States came from renewable sources including wind and solar. Projections for 2017 and beyond have made it clear that the shift towards renewables is not a wading fade, but a systematic change. 

When it comes to the services of a Plumber or Electrician, they are not immune. Understanding of the new "high-efficiency" parts and materials that are required by government regulations are now a key for being competitive in the industry and mobile apps can help! Mobile apps can assist technicians with looking up product manuals and documentation with just a scan of a barcode, finding the solution to common questions about pricing or equipment, and even help with the calculation of common service charges!


#2 Streamlined Operations

Mobile technology is great because it allows for the sharing of data in real-time without having to worry about driving or scanning the contents to the office later. A platform like GoCanvas gives Plumbers and Electricians the ability to send and receive job orders from wherever they find themselves.

Tools like Dispatch allow the office to schedule customer appointments and assign task directly to the technician's device out in the field. Once the technician receives the notification on their smart device, he or she can read where they need to go and begin completing the work order! To track the status' of all their tasks throughout the day/week, the office can view the Dispatch Manager online and view what has or has not been completed in real-time. No more guessing or trying to track down employees to find out if something has been completed. All the information is sent directly to your GoCanvas database. 

Another great example of streamlining communication is with Change Orders! With any big job, Change Orders are normal but time-consuming. With GoCanvas you can send an order, have it processed, and get paid within minutes. No need to wait around for paper invoices to make their way to everyone, GoCanvas sends it to the right people in seconds. 


 #3 - Foster CollaborationIn today's highly engaged business world, Electricians and Plumbers can't afford to work in informational bunkers. They need to have the information that they collect be communicated to the right people and systems in real-time. 

An example is an Electrician completing a Work Order or mobile Invoice form that requires supervisory approval before it can be completed. How can this be done faster without paper and having to drive all the way back to the office for a signature?

Simple! With GoCanvas and our Workflow functionality, the document that was completed on the technician's device will be transmitted to the supervisor's device for digital signature approval and then sent to the customer in real-time. The supervisor can even add comments and reject the work order back to the original Electrician if he/she feels it is incomplete in some way. 

But this is not the only way that mobile apps like GoCanvas help foster collaboration. The simple act of a dispatcher being able to create, assign and track assignments to technicians in the field is another great example. Another way is the simple ability for a technician to go out to a job site, fill out a mobile document, and be able to send a PDF copy to a customer, supervisor, and the office staff before they even start their truck to go home.

This is the essences of going mobile and fostering collaboration with GoCanvas, and how on average we increase our customers' productivity by 30%!

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