Electrical Contractor Software
Electrical Contractor Software Buyers Guide
Last updated: October 05, 2022
Electrical contractors work in an environment where the stakes are at an all-time high. They face intense job pressure while dealing with multiple work locations, specific contract requirements, and a large cast of owners, electricians, architects, technicians, subcontractors, vendors, and more. A single work-related error can put a contractor’s prospects for future work in jeopardy; that’s the reason electrical contractors are transitioning to electrical contractor software. These technology-driven tools automate the management of daily complex tasks and reduce the possibility of manual data entry errors.
That said, we understand that the vast landscape of software options makes it difficult for users to figure out what they really need. So, we have put together this guide to help you make the right electrical contractor software decisions for your business and your team. The purpose of this buyer’s guide is to present a basic framework for evaluating your internal processes and technology requirements. It will walk you through the key features that should be considered when evaluating software options so that you can find the best vendor to fit your business objectives. The guide will begin with a brief overview of electrical contractor applications and then dive into the detail of things to look for during the software selection process, helping you save time and money.
What you'll find inside:
- Understanding electrical contractor software
- Benefits of electrical contractor software
- What type of buyer are you?
- Tips on how to identify your needs
- Salient features of electrical contractor software
- Assessing the expenses
- Considerations when purchasing electrical contractor software
- Popular electrical contractor software
Understanding Electrical Contractor Software
What is an electrical contractor software? Electrical contractor software is an all-in-one field service management solution designed to help electrical contracting businesses manage their workflows. These dynamic solutions offer functionalities to automate day-to-day tasks, such as scheduling, dispatching, cost estimating, billing, invoicing, time tracking, and more so that electrical contractors can focus on providing quality work. They can also automate recurring tasks and generate reports to get into customer feedback and business performance. For efficiently delivering services to customers, these software systems enable users to manage work orders, customer requests, and daily operations. It ensures that all aspects of your electrical contracting business remain connected, which effectively enhances productivity and overall efficiency. Not only this, but the electrical contractor applications also record customer calls for better CSR training and provide easy-to-use invoicing templates to help you increase sales.
Benefits of Electrical Contractor Software
The key benefits of electrical contractor software applications include, but are not limited to:
- Streamlined project scheduling and dispatching
- Accurate estimates
- Professional bid proposals
- Organized work orders and invoices
- Better client and contractor communication
- Easier payroll management
- Easy accessibility
- Greater data security
- Improved customer satisfaction
- Smarter scheduling decisions
- Increased professionalism
- Effective project management
What Type of Buyer are You?
Before you dive into the details of different software for electrical contracting firms, you'll want to understand what type of buyer you are:
Small and midsize businesses: These businesses typically have fewer than 1,000 employees and prefer cloud-based software that don’t require a significant upfront investment. Cloud-based systems won’t require data backup responsibilities and software maintenance on the buyer’s part, which is quite appealing for small and midsize electrical contracting firms.
Large businesses: These businesses have 1000 plus employees and more complex business requirements. Which is why they prefer opting for full-suite electrical contractor applications that offer advanced functionalities for team performance tracking, real-time collaboration, and visibility into the financial aspects of a project.
Goal Setting: Areas You Want to Improve
No doubt that implementing a modern electrical contractor software solution for improved productivity and efficiency isn’t a snap decision. You have to consider multiple aspects before you reach out to a vendor to buy their services. So, before finalizing a software developer, it’s highly recommended that you set effective business goals. Software shopping for electrical contracting firms requires you to have a solid plan. You need to do the necessary leg-work to know your budget, research about your options, and talk to peers and others in the field to get their recommendations. It’s also suggested that you do your homework on what types of features and technology advancements are available on the market.
Define Your Current Problems Before Seeking a Solution
To ensure successful software selection, you need to evaluate the deficiencies in your current processes and highlight the areas that need improvement. That’s why it’s smart to start the software search process with a detailed list of needs and wants. You should gather and analyze limitations to growth, specific pain points, procedures in need of change, and areas that require productivity improvements. Articulate these to the shortlisted software provider so that they can suggest the best technology package to meet your needs. You should also dive deep into the functionality and potential features of a software and ask detailed questions during sales discussions and product demos.
Vendor Shopping: Features to Look For
Now that you’ve determined the needs of your electrical contracting business, it’s time for you to find a vendor that perfectly aligns with those needs. Keep a few features of electrical contractor software in mind as you evaluate the shortlisted options. The right software application will offer all the tools you need to optimize your workflow efficiency while facilitating easy collaboration with the team members. Conduct due diligence to make sure that you don’t end up with a system that causes problems for your workflow or lacks any fundamental features.
Electrical contractor software solutions are packed with diverse range of functionalities. You should shortlist the features based on your unique needs and the type of your electrical contracting business. Make sure that the tool you choose to implement for your business allows you to align multiple project activities and achieve desired outcomes before you lock yourself into a contract with the technology provider.
When exploring electrical contracting tools for your projects, be sure it comes with the following features:
- Work order management
- Billing and invoicing
- Task scheduling
- Quotes and estimates
- Time tracking
- Project management
- Customer database
- Document storage
- Bid proposal generator
Work order management: This allows you to manage all existing and incoming work orders, such as requests for installations or maintenance. You can also use this feature to distribute work orders among your employees based on their availability and skills, as well as track their progress on an in-built calendar.
Billing and invoicing: Electrical contractor software systems allow you to generate bills and invoices for the services provided. You can also speed up the process by sending invoices that support electronic signatures.
Project management: You can use this feature to manage multiple tasks efficiently. It ensures all projects are on schedule and documents updated. Employees can easily share resources among themselves in order to promote a collaborative work environment.
Task scheduling: The best software for electrical contracting firms assigns tasks to employees on a built-in calendar and track the status of those tasks on a central dashboard.
Quotes and estimates: These software systems generate estimates and quotes based on job requirements. You can either use cost templates or create custom estimates from scratch.
Bid Proposal Generator: An electrical contractor software works to help users bid for big contracts using a standard format for maintaining internal consistency. It also customizes each bid before submission.
Time tracking: This allows you to record and track time taken by an employee to complete a particular work task. You can also calculate payroll and bill clients by using time logs.
Document Storage: The best electrical contractor applications help users store and organize important documents like maintenance contracts, work orders, invoices, change orders, bid proposals, and timesheets in a centralized location.
Assessing the Expenses
The deployment method you choose to implement will affect the amount you end up paying for electrical contractor software systems. You can choose between the two deployment methods: cloud-based and on-premise. As an independent contractor, you must look for an affordable solution. Fortunately, there are a multitude of affordable software options available on the market. Subscription-based plans for the electrical contractor systems start at $7 per month per user. More expensive solutions with advanced features and ERP-suite functionality cost around $169 per month per user. Perpetual license fees start at $3,000. The cost of purchasing these electrical contractor technology products also varies according to the following factors:
- Setup fees
- Customer support
- Number of users supported
- Contract terms
Considerations When Purchasing Electrical Contractor Software
The key considerations of electrical contractor software include:
Mobile accessibility: Electrical contracting businesses include a team of field technicians who are constantly switching between client sites. These technicians require a tool that offers mobility via mobile app (iOS and Android) so that they can share files, view their schedules, access project communications, and take down work orders while on the go.
Integrations: How well a software plays with other systems must be considered. Integrations with other software tools enable you to transfer and share data between these systems. For instance, integration with customer relationship management (CRM) system will help you in automatically updating customer details in the electrical contractor software. While, an integration with an accounting software solution will help you gather data on expenses incurred and payments received.
The Top Electrical Contractor Software
The following integrated electrical software applications have positioned themselves as market leaders:
- BIM 360
- Electrical Bid Manager
- Jonas Enterprise
Choosing What's Best for Your Company
Electrical contractor tools help you automate day-to-day processes and reduce the occurrence of manual data entry errors. It makes it easier for users to assign project tasks and keep track of their employees’ performance with built-in functionalities in just a few minutes. An ever-growing number of businesses now rely on this technology to improve workflow productivity and facilitate real-time collaboration. We understand the hassles electrical contractors go through to select tools pertaining to their unique needs. That’s why we structured this guide to save you from such hassles and help you in making an informed purchase decision.