Keeping track of data is incredibly important when it comes to snow operations. But it can also be a completely overwhelming task. How often do you not end up getting your bills out to the client until two or three weeks after a major snow event? That may not seem like a long time but it’s long enough to put a wrench in your cash flow.
The truth is that people have a tendency to forget things or even become less inclined to pay the longer you wait to bill them. You’re much less likely to get pushback on a bill when it’s sent within hours of an event. When your client receives a bill shortly after the work was done, they’re a lot more likely to pay it quickly.
Of course getting bills out that fast might sound impossible when the crews aren’t even getting you their paperwork on time. That’s where snow plowing billing software can come into play. By automating your billing procedures, invoices can get right out the door and everything can keep moving forward.
Of course, billing is just one way that snow plowing software can make life easier for your landscaping company. Here are some of the ways in which it can make a huge difference on the entire flow of business.
1. Paying Subcontractors Efficiently
If you’re like the vast majority of snow and ice management operations out there, you probably utilize subs for big snow events. But in a lot of areas, subs can be hard to find. Given the nature of the work (long hours in freezing temperatures) it’s not always incredibly desirable. That’s why anything you can do to differentiate your business from the others in your area is a plus.
Snow plowing billing software allows you to do just that by helping you get subs paid right away. You’re keeping them happy and in turn you can feel confident they’ll return next time you have work. If they have a choice to work for you or the guy down the road who doesn’t pay in a timely manner, the answer is obvious.
2. More Accurate and Efficient Estimating
Whether you calculate jobs based on per push or by a fixed rate, snow plowing estimating software can help you create an estimate for whatever pricing methodology you utilize along with the input of specific details like types of equipment required, number of shovelers, depth of snow, materials used, and other factors that will affect the price. Based on collected data, the software system will calculate the appropriate rate for each job. It’s a huge time saver. Plus, you can feel confident that jobs are accurately priced and that no important costs were missed in the generation of an estimate.
3. Improved Data Collection
If you’re still having crews collect data on paper, you’re putting your faith in the idea that workers who have been in a truck for 15 hours straight are going to provide accurate information. Your crews are exhausted and chances are someone is going to forget to write something down or fail to record all the details you require. Plus, how often do those papers come back to the office crumpled and coffee stained?
Utilizing software that also has a mobile snow plowing app for field workers, allows crews to instantly report data rather than having to fill it out on paper time sheets, which is the last thing they feel like doing in the middle of the night or when they finally return back to the office after a long night of plowing. Eliminating paper means you’re a lot more likely to eliminate human error when it comes to the data collection process. Generating data in real time has other benefits as well, which we will explore next.
4. Data Generation in Real Time
Mobility is important in the snow and ice management industry as is the ability to receive data in real time. With a mobile app companion, you can know exactly where your crews are at all times. As changes occur or requests for more work come in, you can see which crew is the closest. You can then send a crew a task directly to their mobile device telling them who to shovel next.
Anyone who works in the snow business is also familiar with how quickly weather patterns can change. If snow stops in one area and picks up in another, Asset’s mobile app companion, iCREWtek™, allows you to communicate those changes in real time. You can re-route crews to a different site as weather changes make it necessary.
5. Creating a Trail of Proof
It’s a sad reality that people can sue over a slip and fall accident as long as three years post incident. How many businesses can go back and accurately track data that is three year’s old? Without snow plowing software it’s virtually impossible. Someone can make a claim that you didn’t plow when you were supposed to and it can be difficult for you to prove otherwise.
But with snow plowing software you can utilize GPS tracking to show where you were at any given time. The system will also allow you to take a photograph and will date and time stamp it. You can even record the exact weather conditions of the time of your visit. All of this data can be collected for verification purposes and kept on file for the future if it becomes needed.
6. Keeping Equipment Regularly Maintained
Few things are worse in the world of snow plowing than having a truck go down during a snow event. Every hour a truck sits idle can equate to lost revenue. That’s why keeping up with regular maintenance is imperative to the efficient and profitable snow plow operation. It’s another area where snow plowing software can help. Within the system, a maintenance schedule can be created that will dictate what needs to be done and when. It can be based upon mileage, time, or any other criteria that you choose.
Having an automated system that alerts your equipment manager or mechanic when it’s time to service a certain vehicle or piece of equipment is just one more check in place that will help you prevent downtime. And by knowing in advance what is due to be serviced, they can also be better prepared with the right parts and supplies needed for the work.
7. Keeping Track of Inventory
Another benefit to snow plowing software is the ability to keep accurate records on the amount of inventory you have left. This is important when it comes to the storage of products like salt and other ice management materials. Instead of tracking how much is left with spreadsheets or paperwork, you can utilize the software system to keep an accurate and ongoing record of exactly how much remains. This can prevent downtime if you unexpectedly run out of supplies. Instead, with an accurate and up-to-the-minute record of exactly how much product you have available, you’ll be able to remain productive and always re-order in plenty of time to get the work done.
8. Faster Billing to Your Accounts
We know we’ve already mentioned it, but the ability to bill your accounts immediately is a point worth revisiting. Getting paid on time is absolutely vital to any snow plow business. The cost of the insurance alone makes snow plowing an incredibly expensive operation and a slow billing cycle can really wreak havoc on it. Anything you can do to keep cash flow coming is beneficial. Fast (and accurate) billing is truly the key. Snow plowing billing software not only makes that possible, but makes it easy.
A Comprehensive Snow Plowing Software Solution
It’s clear that snow plowing software can make a huge impact on the smooth operations of a snow plow business. But this is only true if you find the right system for your operations. A lot of businesses have a different software program for every function of their business from an accounting program to a scheduling program and maybe even a separate snow plowing software program.
While they’ve got the right idea in automating these processes, it’s not truly the most efficient way to operate. Multiple systems means repeat data entry which is essentially a huge time drain. Plus, because these systems aren’t communicating with one another it’s as though each department is operating in isolation from the business as a whole. In the end, is that really a more efficient operation? The benefits of automation are lost when there are so many systems at play.
The answer is to find a snow plowing software program that is part of a comprehensive solution. That’s exactly what Asset provides—a comprehensive solution. It’s not only snow plowing software, but it’s a total system that can handle all facets of your landscape business. In the end, it will make your life easier.
If you’d like to find out more about how Asset and iCREWtek™ can help with your snow plow operations, contact us for a free demo or give us a call at 800-475-0311.