Each stage of your business needs a home. From inventory management and finances to customer relationship management, you need to keep accurate records to ensure targets are met and you can provide proof of work when required.
Years ago, spreadsheets might have been the best solution to all these key elements of business management. Nowadays there are other systems that can handle this data more efficiently.
In this blog, we’ll go through the disadvantages of spreadsheets when using them for your admin and job management. We’ll also look at what makes service management software the better solution for managing your workload.
What are Spreadsheets?
First things, first, let’s explain what we are talking about when we talk about spreadsheets.
Spreadsheets are electronic worksheets that display data in a grid format. What you store and display in a spreadsheet is totally up to you. Its design makes it versatile and widely used for various tasks; from record-keeping and budgeting to advanced data analysis and graphs.
5 Reasons Why Spreadsheets Are Holding You Back
So why are spreadsheets so bad for your business? Let’s take a look at some of the big reasons why you should avoid using spreadsheets for your field service management.
When it comes to your business’ financials and job management, it’s important to be accurate. It’s been reported that 88% of spreadsheets have errors due to a range of instances. Even when you’re careful inputting your data, your spreadsheet is susceptible to data integrity issues. This can include typing inaccurate numbers or incorrect formulas.
If you rely on spreadsheets to store key data, you may lose an ongoing battle. As your documents become increasingly complex, they can be vulnerable to human error such as accidental overwrites and lack of version control.
There are some ways to improve that percentage of errors, such as having a colleague double-check the details, but that does take up a lot of valuable time. These inaccuracies might not be significant at first but can cause financial and professional impacts on your company in the long run.
2. Limited functionality and scalability
Spreadsheets have plenty of tools to run calculations and organise layouts. However, it can take time to learn the best way to manage your unique data in a spreadsheet format. You have to do the best you can with what you’ve got, which might not be the most effective.
While spreadsheets are incredibly useful for handling smaller sets of data and simple tasks, they show their limitations as your business grows. Managing vast amounts of data can become a lot more cumbersome without a scalable solution.
3. Lack of integrations
With integrations, you can minimise input time and seamlessly work between different programs. As spreadsheets don’t integrate with other programs, managing work can be slow and tedious.
Despite their flexibility, spreadsheets don’t offer native advanced functionalities to work across different programs. Businesses often find themselves resorting to workarounds or additional tools, making processes more complicated.
4. Restricted accountability and collaboration
Without user permissions and access restrictions, it can be difficult to pinpoint who does what with your data. You can share documents with the appropriate people, but the access management options are very limited.
Collaboration is key for many tasks across multiple departments. Despite new ways to view real-time edits for collaboration, spreadsheets still don’t match dedicated software solutions for accountability.
5. Time-consuming maintenance
At first, speed might not be an issue for you when using spreadsheets. But as your business grows and the job count rises, more and more issues could arise.
Having to correct data and input complicated formulas can take up time. Without integrations, data input is a longer, manual process and having to double-check work can take up time.
Over time, as data accumulates and tasks grow in complexity, spreadsheets can become unwieldy. This leads to increased time spent on maintenance: updating formulas, checking for errors, or searching for information. This time could be better spent on tasks that directly contribute to business growth, instead of managing spreadsheets
Advantages of Field Service Management Software Over Spreadsheets
In contrast to these spreadsheet drawbacks, service management software helps make managing your business straightforward. Rather than having a multitude of documents saved in multiple locations, you can manage everything from one central location.
Here are some key advantages of service management software over spreadsheets.
We’re circling back to functionality first. Service management software has much more to offer in this department than spreadsheets.
With a dedicated system, you aren’t limited by what you can do. You can take reporting, tracking and documenting a step further by linking them together. This way, your data is organised and you can find historical details quickly. That goes for client site addresses, communication history, job sheets, invoices and much more.
When trying to grow and expand your business, it’s key to run and analyse reports on different aspects of your organisation.
You might want to create your graphs and charts on a spreadsheet, but that would involve a lot of manual data input.
While spreadsheets offer basic data analysis, field service software comes with dedicated, built-in reporting tools. These tools provide in-depth insights into performance metrics. Helping businesses identify areas of improvement, enhance engineer productivity and better understand customer needs.
Filling out and creating work manually can take up a lot of time. When the job numbers increase, so does the amount of admin you need to carry out. Doing these process manually is both inefficient and unnecessary.
With specialist software, there are many processes you can automate to speed up your workflow. This way, you don’t need to create every single job sheet from scratch or log in every few hours to stay in the loop.
Create contracts for planned preventative maintenance work and then set it to automatically raise the appropriate job sheets so you don’t need to raise each one individually. The diary entries will be there, and the assigned engineer will be ready for the work, so they never overbook or miss appointments.
There are so many ways to automate your work. Once you’ve set them up, your admin is sorted. Customise everything to suit how your business works and plan ahead the straightforward way.
How to Make the Switch
Despite being versatile at first, as you grow your business, you’ll also grow out of spreadsheets. When you notice customer details getting lost or monthly finances not adding up, it might be time to make the switch to field service software.
But where do you start? Here are some initial steps to take to find your spreadsheet software alternative.
Choose the right solution
First things first, it’s important to implement a spreadsheet alternative that is best suited to your business. For businesses in the field service industry, job management software is a great option to explore. There are so many features and benefits that are tailored to your line of work.
Here are some key features you need to consider when choosing the right solution for your business:
- User-friendly: Make sure the software is user-friendly so every department can use it accurately.
- Mobile access: Does the solution offer field apps or web-based programs to give your engineers access to manage their jobs when onsite?
- Customization capabilities: Does the software work offer customisable tools to cater for your unique business requirements?
There is so much more to look into when choosing the right job management software for your business. If you’re unsure, download the trial and get in touch with their team to get a unique, live walkthrough of the system.
Migrate your data
Data is a common concern when it comes to making the switch. You might be thinking ‘How can I migrate my data without any hitches?’
If you’ve used spreadsheets for a while now, you most likely have lots of data that needs to be moved over to your new system. Thankfully, the process is straightforward with service management software.
With customisable data migration tools, you can quickly import everything from customers and sites, equipment and products and more. This way, you don’t need to worry about copying and pasting everything across when you switch.
Here at Clik, we help you through the onboarding process to make sure you have everything you need.
Get your team trained
Once the new system has been approved and implemented, it’s key to train your team to get everyone on the same page.
With so many new tools and functions, proper training ensures that team members can navigate and utilise these tools effectively. Being able to see the best practices and processes to make the most out of the software can ensure the switch is a smooth transition for your whole team.
As your business grows and data becomes more intricate, the need for a more suitable system becomes more crucial. If you’re aiming for precision, quick access to historical data and seamless operations, it’s time to consider service management software as your go-to tool.
Clik’s Spreadsheet Alternative
Clik’s service management software, Clik Service, is packed with tools to make the switch from spreadsheets straightforward.
As well as data migration import tools, it has a comprehensive, fully customisable reporting module. Track the data that’s key to your business success and keep on top of trends.
If you’re looking for an alternative to Excel or Google Sheets for data analysis and job management, get in touch with our team to discover what’s best for your business.