As technologies and software have been evolving rapidly, field service companies all over the world were also able to take advantage of it and upgrade their daily operations using those new tools. Industries like Plumbing, HVAC, Electricians, Telecom, and more, thrive on managing their day-to-day with Connecteam. With hundreds of these companies utilizing Connecteam, we came up with a list of features and capabilities that have helped those companies the most.
By the end of this article, you will know exactly what each of these features does, and how you can use it in YOUR daily work:
Time clock: Monitor and track your team's working hours while making sure they are at the right place at the right time
Job schedule: Schedule employees quickly and in real-time, while ensuring employees have the most updated information right on their phone
Forms: Create daily checklists, like the “End of job” report to show your clients, an “Expense reimbursement” form your employees can submit from anywhere and more
Chat: Communicate instantly with your employees, either within specific groups or individually
Updates: Create both operational and engaging announcements that will show on your company’s social feed
Utilizing the time clock will allow you to both track time for your employees and prepare for invoicing, as each employee can register their hours for different jobs or commutes. Connecteams’ Time Clock offers an arsenal of tools to help you manage your employee working hours, ranging from the ability to see their exact clock in/out location, to track the number of hours they are working at each client or location for payroll purposes.
The first thing you would want to do is set up your Jobs. “Jobs” in Connecteam are an information layer that you track time for. From our experience, field service companies typically define their jobs as either client name/location or by the type of service provided (e.g. Installation, maintenance, painting, e.t.c.). By doing so, you will be able to track the number of hours spent at each client/facility and bill them accordingly, or better understand how your resources are allocated between the different services you provide/different clients.
By setting up your geolocation, you can collect your employees’ GPS stamps when they clock in or out of shifts. This will ensure that they are not clocking in on the go and that all hours tracked are accurate.
By utilizing the job insights you can see how your hours are spent for each specific job, whether it’s a client or a service. This will also allow you to generate a PDF with a breakdown of those hours, that you can forward for billing purposes.
We know that Payroll is a pain. With Connecteam, overseeing your employee’s hours is a breeze. We have created a guide that will take you through, step by step, how to prepare for payroll using Connecteam.
You can even lock shifts and filled time cards from future edits. Ensuring that once a shift is approved and confirmed, it cannot be altered.
Forms allow you to create digital reports and checklists for your employees to fill out. These are always available on your employees’ mobile phones and can be utilized when needed. You can create as many forms as you want from scratch or use one of our ready-made templates, and all submissions can be exported into either excel or PDF and shared with relevant stakeholders.
Below are a few examples that we’ve seen field service companies use:
End of Job report - Keep your standards high with a quality assurance report. Where all employees that complete a job must upload before and after pictures, write details about the job and even sign it at the end. You can give them feedback and communicate around an entry using our comments section. This can also be exported, printed, and forwarded to the Client.
Incident Report - Whenever an incident occurs, it’s important to capture the information as soon as possible. Connecteam allows your employees to easily record the incident, upload images if needed, sign the report and share it with the relevant stakeholders.
Petrol reimbursement form: A great and simple form that your employees can submit after filling up gas. Simply add a picture of the receipt, put in the mileage traveled, and sign off at the end. Easy.
Supply order form - Give your employees a way to easily log what supplies they need for the coming week/month, and order something that you are running low on. This form can be logged for internal use, forwarded to the warehouse or an external supplier, and can even be downloaded by the employee.
By utilizing the job schedule, you can make sure that your employees always have the most relevant information, right on their phones. Whether you’re directly assigning shifts to your employees or creating open shifts that they can claim, Connecteam will certainly improve your scheduling, minimize back and forth communication and save you time!
Creating a shift:
When creating your shifts in the schedule, There are 2 main information layers, Shift Title and Job.
Job - Same as your Time Clock, these could be either the client/location or the service itself. This will allow you to filter specific shifts, give your employee a way to clock in through the time clock, and more.
Shift Title - This is an additional information layer that can be added to the shift that will help you categorize your shifts. Usually, if you used the Client/location info under the “Jobs” then this will be the service you are giving and vice versa.
After a shift has been created and published, the relevant employees will be notified and will be able to access and view all the details in advance. Any changes or edits that are applied on a shift will notify anyone involved in real-time, and will always show the most updated information on desktop and mobile. So dispatching shifts can be done the same day or a month in advance, — it’s up to you.
Unavailability for work:
Probably the most important ability is to understand which of your employees are able to work or not, at any given time. Through the mobile application, your employees can let you know if they are unable to work and include a note explaining why. The action will have a visual indication of your schedule, giving you an easy way of understanding who can be scheduled and who cannot.
Our Chat feature is the best place for your daily communications. With the chat, you can communicate with multiple field workers at once either by team chats, channels or individual chats. Receive real-time updates, images, and more.
Connecteam offers Three options:
One-on-One chats - This will allow direct communication with a specific employee.
Team chats - These will allow you to create specific team chats for your employees to communicate with one another. The team chats can be based on their actual location, the facility that they tend to work at, or the role and service they provide. Team chats are a proven way to keep your team engaged and motivated, not to mention connected to the bigger picture.
Channels- This is a one-way communication channel where you decide who can write in and who is simply a “Viewer”. Keep important threads up top, and prevent chatter.
Updates are your main channel for making announcements. These can be sent out as a one-time announcement, or you could have them repeat automatically at your preferred frequency. Not only are Updates easily created from your mobile app and your Manager Dashboard, but they also provide you with actionable insights as to who has seen or reacted to it. Updates are typically split into two groups: operational or engaging. Below are two examples that are taken from our template library:
New Teammates (engaging) - Whenever new employees join your company, you might want to give them a warm welcome. Simply select our template and upload their picture to add a post to your app’s very own social feed.
New Company Policy - Notify all your team of company changes, you can attach a file, and image, videos, and external links. And even follow up on who has seen each and every announcement.
With all these, your account can get up and running in no time, there is still plenty more to discover, and a lot more abilities to make your and your field service guy's life much easier.