field service industry Archives - Striven

The 10 Best Ways Your Hearth and Fireplace Services Business Can Manage Costs

As your hearth services business grows, it is important to consider all of your costs, including labor, materials, and overhead. This is essential to remaining competitive in the market while growing investment capital to continue to build your business. From the early stages of establishing your company, your needs may evolve as you continue to optimize profits. Hearth Services management software will offer you a holistic view of your operations and finances to plan your longer-term strategy based on your market position. 

For business owners in the hearth services industry, strategically managing costs can allow growth with the addition of service technicians and up-to-date equipment.

1. Negotiate with suppliers for lower prices on materials

Building strong relationships with suppliers can lead to discounts and special deals on materials and supplies. This can be accomplished through regular communication and by purchasing in bulk. If businesses can negotiate longer payment terms, they can improve cash flow by redirecting cash reserves to other crucial operations.

Vendor negotiation can improve a business’s bottom line by gaining a competitive advantage over competitors and streamlining supply chain operations. Key performance metrics that indicate the state of the supply chain for the upcoming months are central to smart strategy execution.

A report by Aberdeen Group found that companies with optimized supply chain operations achieve an average of 15% reduction in supply chain costs, a 17% increase in order accuracy, and a 20% improvement in order-to-delivery cycle times.

2. Utilize automation and technology to reduce labor costs

Automation can help to reduce labor costs by streamlining repetitive tasks, such as scheduling appointments, ordering materials and supplies, and managing customer information. This allows employees to focus on bigger-picture tasks and reduces the need for additional staff.

Hearth Services management software provides tools for scheduling & dispatch, inventory control, and powerful CRM that not only utilizes automation but also unifies these processes in an all-encompassing system.

Automation of tasks previously done by human hand can translate to an improved customer experience, increased employee efficiency, and enhanced accuracy.

The World Economic Forum estimates that by 2025, technology will create at least 12 million more jobs than it destroys, a sign that automation will have a net positive effect. This can ease the employee relationship strains that may come from the introduction of automation.

3. Control Expenses

An operating budget is a crucial tool for controlling expenses. It allows you to track income and expenses, and identify areas where you can cut costs. Hearth service management software provides tools to manage revenue and expenses.

Implementing an operating budget based on these tools can help you better predict financial stability by being able to plan around controlled expenses and profitability. 

Integrated business management software can help keep all of these moving parts optimized for productivity and profit. For example, running a business with QuickBooks and dozens of complex spreadsheets allows for duplicate records and multiple versions of the same data that can become confusing and lead to inaccuracies across the many systems your business currently uses.

4. Outsource operational tasks to reduce labor costs

Outsource tasks to third-party specialists in marketing, payroll services, and IT support. This can save on small business labor costs by hiring freelancers or virtual assistants who can provide certain professional services at a drastically lower cost than hiring and training full-time employees.

5. Utilize a cloud-based accounting system to streamline financial management

Cloud-based accounting systems allow you to manage your finances from anywhere, and automate many tasks such as invoicing and expense tracking. This can help you to save time and money and make it easier to understand your financial position. 

According to a survey by Aberdeen Group, companies that use cloud-based accounting software have an average of 1.9 days faster cash conversion cycles than those using on-premises software. This can reduce the need for financing and free up capital previously tied up in inventory and receivables.

Hearth Services management software provides unified and accessible cloud-based accounting systems that save overhead costs. For Hearth Services businesses, a cloud-based accounting system can easily adapt to changing business needs, as it can be scaled up as your business grows.

6. Take advantage of tax credits and deductions for small businesses

Research tax credits and deductions that may be available to small businesses in your industry. This can include deductions for things like equipment, supplies, and employee benefits.

Tax incentives and deductions can provide additional funds to invest in research and development, capital equipment, and new employees as you expand your growing business operations. Tax deductions reduce how much business income is subject to taxes, while tax credits can increase cash flow and reward your business for allocating your finances wisely.

7. Rent or lease equipment instead of buying to save on upfront costs

Renting or leasing equipment can be a cost-effective alternative to buying, as it allows you to spread the cost over a longer period of time and avoid large upfront expenses. This gives you more flexibility to adjust your equipment needs as the business grows. Hearth services businesses may rent hearth accessories such as demo equipment or temporary fireplace inserts for temporary or seasonal installation.

Along with lowering upfront costs, rental companies typically take care of maintenance and repair costs to further save on future costs. Renting can even provide your business with tax benefits such as deducting lease payments as a business expense.

8. Implement a cost-cutting strategy and regularly review expenses to identify areas for improvement 

Track your expenses regularly, and identify areas where you can cut costs. This could include things like reducing energy consumption, negotiating better deals with suppliers, or streamlining processes to improve efficiency. 

As your business expands, it can pay dividends to identify areas for improvement so that you can incorporate these improvements into your longer-term, cost-cutting strategy. Hearth Services business management software provides a real-time, cloud-based, 360° view of your financial data and everything that means for the success of your business.

9. Network with other small business owners to share resources and ideas

Networking with other small business owners can be an effective way to share resources and ideas for managing costs. This can be done by joining industry groups or attending events. Oftentimes this can lead to collaborative endeavors and access to new markets to expand your business while managing costs. 

Running a small business can be stressful and isolating, especially in this digital age where people are increasingly working from home. Business networking can provide emotional support and motivation during challenging times such as worldwide pandemics.

10. Implement a pricing strategy that generates a profit and improves customer relationships

It’s essential to price products and services to cover your costs and generate a profit. This can be done by analyzing the costs of labor and materials, then factoring in the level of competition in your market. According to a survey conducted by QuickBooks, 40% of small business owners report that pricing their services is the most challenging aspect of their business. Having a pricing strategy in place to ensure profitability can ease some of the largest stressors for Hearth Services business owners.

To emphasize the importance of implementing a pricing strategy, a study by McKinsey & Company reports that businesses that optimize their pricing strategies can increase their profit margins by 2% to 7% on average. This can result in a significant increase in the bottom line for your Hearth Services business.

How do you do that? Be different. Consider trust-based pricing within your business ethos. Many companies quote an inflated job cost leaving room for when the customer beats them up for a lower price. While haggling can create temporary satisfaction and good vibes, long term it is harmful to maintaining good customer relationships. If you have soft pricing, how does the customer ever know they’re getting a good deal? 

If a customer is asked, “Do you want me to give you a little bit higher price so that we can negotiate…OR…do you want me to actually price it where it needs to be for us to succeed for you?”, the customer will always pick the latter. 

Hearth and Fireplace Services Success

Quote with confidence! Hearth Services integrated business software lets you know the true cost for every line item on your proposal, allowing you to attract and retain customers for life

Business Management Software For Electricians: Improving Service Metrics in 2022

When it comes to customer service for electricians, there are many aspects to keep in mind in order to grow a connection between your business and your customers. A business management software for electricians is the perfect way to keep your business running in an easy-to-navigate system that ensures KPI improvements and keeps customer satisfaction ratings high.

So how does an electrician project management software change and continue to nurture the customer experience? Due to the nature of the work being done where the majority of the time is outside of the office, messages from customers need to be easily accessible and cloud-based Electrician scheduling software is ideal for managing many areas of business, including keeping track of messages and ensuring fast response times.

Why Service Metrics Matter

Nowadays, customer connections are extremely important to maintain because of the amount of capable companies just like yours. To be chosen out of the competition, customer care must be prioritized to keep ratings up. The first thing most people will do is go to Google to search the ratings and reviews left by previous customers.

When you’re sending your electricians to an on-site job, things can easily go awry if customers are not prioritized. Imagine this situation: the customer can’t get a hold of your employees for some scheduling issues, they are frustrated due to the lost time they had to wait and figure out the time of arrival, they meet the electrician but despite the top-notch work done, their experience is clouded by their disappointments in low response times. That disappointment can easily become a complaint or low star rating that dissuades future customers from choosing your business.

How to Improve Customer Service Metrics With Electrician Estimating Software

It should be noted that communication between customers and a business is not just done through verbal or textual communication, but through visual communication via colors and overall brand style choices. Every interaction a customer has with your business is a form of communication—it either improves or worsens your chances of being their electrician company of choice. According to SuperOffice, “80% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience.” To show why your business is the right choice, start by choosing an electrician management software.

1. Providing Control To Customers

With an electrician estimating software, the customer portal alone can improve communication by allowing customers to view tasks in real time along with paying bills and viewing the status of current jobs. This allows them to feel in control.  As a result, it creates an overall better experience that will be reflected in your ratings. Additionally, ease of communication with your off-site electricians from the office can be a big improvement to create awareness of the tasks at hand, if any unexpected problems arise, or if they need additional equipment. 

2. Improving Average Reply Time

As noted before, replying fast is a surefire way to make customers feel like they are prioritized and as an added benefit, makes for better KPIs. A way to ensure faster responses when you have limited time to sit down and answer customer questions is by sending a quick response that you have seen their message and will reply shortly. Customers thrive on updates even if it’s just a note that their electrician will be responding later. Sure they might ignore the message once they’ve seen it, but the important thing is that they get the message and they do see it.

3. Allowing Customers Transparent View Of Job Status

By using an electrician project management software, it allows customers to see the much more detailed reports of the dispatches and arrivals. It creates a seamless stream of information that is available to view by customers and everyone involved in the process, perhaps another type of contractor who may be working in tandem with the electricians. Any doubts or worries they have will be alleviated when they are aware of the goings on of a current job. It is similar to online shopping when customers want to track their package. They check for updates, when their package will ship, and where the package is on the map. It doesn’t make the package arrive any sooner, but it does improve their mood regarding the transparency of the services being provided.

Choosing the Right Field Service Management Software

There are many options when it comes to choosing an electrician estimating software, however, be aware of hidden fees and upgraded features that are designed to keep you spending additional money not presented in the initial features. The best electrician software should include service metrics, scheduling and dispatching, work order management, customer portals and much more that is designed to help your business grow by keeping it in one management system. 

Most importantly, the right business management software will give you all of the features you need at one upfront and affordable cost, eliminating the worry of having to keep paying for additional features and add-ons. The last thing your business needs is to be hindered by having to wait and pay more for additional features that you need today.

The Takeaway

When it comes to businesses heavy on field work and out of office duties, the best tool is a cloud-based business management software that organizes your business needs and allows work to be done seamlessly outside of the office. While that alone is enough to heavily grow profit margins, customer service tools including customer portals and service reports upgrade the customer experience and in turn, differentiates your business from its competition.

Your Business Is Growing—Literally. Here’s How Landscape Management Software Can Help

One issue facing many companies across the landscaping industry is growth that grows beyond the bandwidth of what you can provide. This is a good problem to have– growth is fundamental to a healthy business, and landscape management is no exception– but it is a problem that needs to be solved nonetheless. Demand for your landscaping services can outpace your supply of manpower, antiquated paper files can get stacked in the corner pile into Mount Slushmore, manually creating and logging invoices waste too much of your day, and so on and so on until you lose momentum from sheer inefficiency.

Much like how growing weeds must be tended to, the right landscape management software tends to your growing business. Here’s four ways landscape management software can help manage your business.

1. It Can Save You Time

I’d like to engage in a little thought experiment, designed by the fine folks at Greenius. Think about what you pay your workers or yourself per hour. Calculate what that adds up to. Now think about how long it takes for the average employee to complete tasks like estimating, invoicing, customer relationship management, scheduling, and training. This might seem like making a mountain out of a molehill, but once you tally the inefficiencies and account for the typical rate of human error that accompanies each of these tasks, that molehill starts to get pretty big.

With a decent landscape management software system, time-consuming busywork that would otherwise cost your business hundreds of hours annually is condensed into a simple, easy to use interface that displays everything you need within just a few clicks.

2. Software Eliminates The Guesswork

One of the trickier parts of landscape management is knowing the right estimate to give to a client. According to Joanne Bratton from Aspire, “Most companies underestimate their job costs by at least 1%. Combined with underestimating labor per hour by only 50 cents, that translates into $48,000 in lost revenue for a $3 million landscaping company.” Ouch.

Luckily, most landscape management software provides estimating tools that can take away the guesswork from landscaping quotes and help create consistent, profitable quotes. The beauty of having estimating features built into a landscape management software system is that you can customize them to your liking, adjusting for a job’s length and complexity; if that stump looks clingier than your crew is used to dealing with, all it takes is a single click to fetch you a more realistic estimate.

3. Easy-To-Use Software Works On ALL Levels For ALL Skillsets

Landscape management software that offers a full suite of features has something for everyone at your company, including inventory management, CRM software, scheduling software, supply chain software, integrated accounting, and project management. Now you might be thinking, “That’s a lot of features. I bet I’ll be roped in to buying a whole bunch of other software, and I’ll never be able to keep track of them all :(“. That’s where you’re wrong, hypothetical you.

The best landscape management software systems are all-in-one services, meaning you and your employees will only ever have to pay for and learn a grand total of one software. They are designed for combining simplicity of use and coherent features, so if your company hires chimpanzees, I’m sure they could get used to the landscape management software, too.

4. Automated Technology Can Help You Work Smarter, Not Harder

The online nature of landscape management software means that technology can do the work for you. For example, an accounting software built into a landscape management software will digitally store and automatically organize your expenses for you. At a glance, you will know what your business earns and costs, and all it took was the right technology.

Furthermore, you can automate as many or as few processes as you choose. Integrated accounting means your software can automatically send out invoices and reminders for invoices, late payment reminders and fees, and even bill your client’s credit card in seconds. Tedious tasks suddenly disappear as software takes care of them, enabling your employees to do things a computer can’t—namely, landscaping.. Of course, everything is customizable, so you can automate as much or as little of your business as you’d like.

Does Your Business Need HVAC Management Software?

Technological advancements have led to incredible developments in society over the years that we’ve come to take for granted each and every day, one of the most significant being the heating and cooling units in nearly every building we enter. With Willis Carrier’s first HVAC unit drawings in 1902, we have come to depend heavily on the machinery regulating airflow in our homes and businesses. Installations and repairs and the process of ensuring that technicians can easily locate the tasks necessary to get the job done are significant challenges that HVAC management businesses face daily in their journey to improve their bottom line and provide overall satisfaction to customers.

One of the best ways to handle these challenges? Using an HVAC management software to store data, manage tasks, and crunch the numbers. Despite this, some companies are hesitant when considering adopting HVAC service software to manage their affairs due to the many types of software solutions out there. Read more for four reasons your business can benefit from HVAC management software

How Can HVAC Software Can Grow Your HVAC Business?

1. Stay Ahead Of The Competition

Owning and operating an HVAC business means you must have all your “ducts” in a row. It is estimated that the HVAC industry will grow at a rate of 6.3% from 2022 to 2030, according to Grand View Research. A shortcoming of many companies is the inability to track the progression of both individual jobs and year-over-year trends as these numbers continually change.

By integrating HVAC service software into your business, you can streamline your services so that you can stay ahead of your competitors. With HVAC service software, you can supercharge your marketing strategies to attract new customers all while providing your technicians with an automated platform that grants them the ability to easily share information with current customers and ensure no questions are left unanswered or incorrectly handled. By logging all information in one easy-to-access location, you can address any issues that arise.

2. Improve Employee Retention

It is no secret that skilled HVAC technicians are scarce. Although it has been this way for years, statistics show that even with the steady rise of the HVAC industry, these numbers are not projected to spike any time soon. A significant part of this dilemma can be attributed to an aging workforce, but another conflict might be the lack of ease in completing tasks due to outdated methods and antiquated technology. Employees who find their job challenging to manage will feel compelled to move on to something better suited to their personal needs.

As HVAC technicians review warranty services, work their tasks throughout the day, and take payments from customers, HVAC service software can help eliminate the difficulties they face. Integrating HVAC service software within your business will increase employee retention by making HVAC technicians’ jobs easier, therefore leading to higher satisfaction from customers, too. 

3. Keep Your HVAC Business Compliant

In the event that your HVAC company fails to comply with constantly revised regulations from the Department of Energy (DOE), your company may be subjected to heavy fines, legal conflicts, and the loss of permits, which can have a detrimental effect on its reputation. An HVAC service software will prove to be a much more reliable source for keeping up to date with constant changes, thus protecting your company from accidentally falling out of compliance.

For example, while some may be tech savvy, others may need more guidance to navigate a new system. Being patient and providing training through the transition can help employees who are hesitant or worried about a new system to perform more smoothly, and eventually, increase productivity. Some software solutions offer professional training as part of their onboarding process with the company.

4. Schedule Appointments With Ease

It can be frustrating to disappoint a client with a missed appointment or late arrival because of the negligence of a receptionist or technician or if there was an error or shortcoming in the scheduling technology itself. It is just as unfortunate to have customers cancel last minute and have a technician waste time and money traveling to their location to complete a job no longer needed.

HVAC service software prevents the opportunity for missed assignments due to all the data being stored safely and accurately. With HVAC management software, your customers can update their appointments easily and innovatively cancel them, which will notify your technicians in real-time so they can concentrate on the following work order.  

HVAC Management Software – The Takeaway

Stay ahead of the game by allowing HVAC service software to aid in the operation of your HVAC business. Having an all-in-one HVAC management software ensures organization, reliable communication, and, most importantly, a permanent and tangible advantage over your competitors. Companies with streamlined operations and a proven track record of meeting client needs are highly regarded.

Striven Earns Top ERP Software Awards From Capterra, SoftwareAdvice, and more in 2021

Striven was recognized as an industry leader in multiple ERP software categories by Capterra, Software Advice, and GetApp.

Capterra, Software Advice, and GetApp have named Striven an industry leader in multiple software categories:

  • Best Ease Of Use – Capterra, 2021
  • Best Value – Capterra, 2021
  • Best Customer Support – Software Advice, 2021
  • Front Runners – Software Advice, 2021
  • Most Recommended – Software Advice, 2021
  • Best Functionality and Features – GetApp, 2021

These recognitions come as a result of excellent reviews across all three software selection channels. Users who rated Striven were asked to weigh in on functionality, customer support, value, ease of use, and more. Striven has outperformed many of its competitors in each ranking. Each award was sourced directly from these user reviews, two of which are represented below:

“Striven allowed us to integrate lead generation, email marketing and a CRM. This switch keeps all of these systems that were previously other software subscriptions down to just one- Striven.” – Blake E, 5/5 star Capterra review

“Striven is the ERP for growing businesses. Striven is the most customizable ERP on the market. Offering the ability to customize everything from sale order documents to emails! Allowing customizations in the processing of sales orders, invoices, and items.” – Bill M, 5/5 star Capterra review

Striven product leaders expect that it will consistently earn recognition for its product and team performance, with more awards to come in 2022.

Striven is an all-in-one business management software providing a complete end-to-end cloud solution for most professional industries. It not only offers billing and invoicing tools, but also includes solutions for customer and contract management, projects, tasks, inventory, HR, and more. To learn more, visit

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Striven Earns Top ERP Software Awards From G2 in 2021

Striven was recognized as an industry leader in G2’s overall and mid-market ERP software categories in 2021.

G2, the leading provider of business software reviews, has ranked Striven as one of the top Overall and Mid-Market ERP Software products for both the Summer and Fall of 2021.

According to customer-sourced data at G2:

  • Striven’s Quality of Support ranks as 9.2/10 (ahead of the 8.1/10 ERP industry average)
  • Striven’s Ease of Use ranks as 8.8/10 (ahead of the 8.1/10 ERP industry average)
  • 100% of users rank Striven either 4 or 5 stars.
People's Review. Five cartoon people each raising a star simulating a 5-star review

To read the full story, please click here to view the press release.