What is Job Management?
When a trade business reaches a specific size, the old way of running everything on a whiteboard and calling back home for the address of the next job will become a chore rather than an effective way of operating your business.
You’ll need a system, or as it’s called in the industry, a job management system. With such a system by your side, you can easily streamline job management in your business operations and take hold of the success your business deserves.
In this quick article, we’ll run through:
– What job management is
– The life cycle of job management
– What job management challenges does your trade industry face
– Your top four areas for improvement in successful job management
But we’ll start with a simple definition of what job management is.
Job management definition
Job management is the step-by-step process you work through to complete all the tasks associated with running a job from beginning to end.
Any conversation about trade business operations will inevitably return to job management because it’s an essential component of the work you complete every day.
From the initial quote to the final invoice, job management systems help trade business owners run their day-to-day operations smoothly and efficiently. Without proper processes to streamline job management and facilitate smooth operations, your business will face problems completing even the simplest day-to-day tasks.
As for what happens in between quoting and invoicing, here is a quick rundown of the ten stages of the job management lifecycle:
1. Customer acquisition – Using marketing, advertising, and promotion, new customers are brought to the business and requested that work be completed.
2. Estimating & quoting – The proposed work is given a cost, and the customer is asked to agree to the quote before work proceeds.
3. Task outlining – The job is divided into smaller tasks and fed into any relevant job management system.
4. Scheduling – The necessary resources and staffing are allocated to the job.
5. Timesheeting – As the job begins, employees’ working hours are recorded for later use on the payroll.
6. Email & document exchange – Documents relevant to the job are dispatched to relevant stakeholders such as office & field teams, clients, and project managers.
7. Cost management – Costs are carefully managed and tracked via a job management system to ensure that expenditures are within budget.
8. Work-in-progress management – Work is kept ticking each day with everything managed by a centralised job management system that puts people and resources where they are needed.
9. Invoicing – Payment is raised for the work, and the business receives an inward cash flow.
10. Reporting – Data is collected and fed back into the job management system, letting owners further refine the process.
What is the difference between position management and job management?
The term position management refers to how a trade business determines what kind of work an employee will do and what their roles and responsibilities are; it is not a job management definition or a way of describing job management.
What is the difference between project management and job management?
Project management is actually very similar to job management, both involve doing just that, managing people, materials and machinery; and delivering jobs on time and within budget. The difference is in the scope of what’s being managed. Job management encompasses all the activities that go into the day-to-day completion of work. Project management on the other hand has a longer scope, it’s concerned with everything that goes into completing a job over a prolonged period. In other words, you can job manage work that lasts a day or so, but you’ll be project managing if the work is going to take weeks or even months to get done.
What job management challenges do trade businesses face?
HVAC professionals face relatively significant job management challenges, namely the ability to manage lots of technicians in the field without constantly needing to contact them. Remote digital job management systems are vital to succeeding in this industry, and every HVAC professional should have one.
Keeping track of potentially thousands of different parts is one of the job management challenges facing many plumbing businesses. Inventory and stock management can also be largely digitised and automated by many digital job management systems.
Safety and compliance are essential for job management in the electrical trades. Using a digital system to record and store documents allows electrical professionals to sidestep the need to cart around paperwork between jobs.
Four key areas for improving job management success
1. Job scheduling
Any discussion of job management best practices and refinement should include job scheduling.
The core of your trade business is how effectively your team moves from job to job, and having good job scheduling is essential to successful job management. Digital scheduling has almost completely replaced traditional pen and paper or whiteboard methods.
Today you’ll see technicians moving between jobs without ever needing to call home, now having access to their entire day’s work on their mobile device or tablet. The trend away from pen and paper methods has also been a boon for trade business owners, whose job management practices have benefited from increased communications streamlining and a decrease in double handling of critical job information.
2. Job Cost Tracking
Controlling the money that flows into and out of your business is one of the most important tasks a trade business owner performs. Your company’s financial viability relies on the same concepts we’ve laid out earlier in this article. You need efficiency, streamlining, and a job management system capable of creating a profitable job cycle that can be repeated infinitely.
You’ll need to constantly refine how you track job costs, a seven slight changes in the market or industry can see you quickly losing money performing the same work you have been doing for years. One of the big job management challenges that many trade business owners face is how to pre-empt these harmful changes. The answer is to establish a job management best practices system that accounts for change and remains flexible throughout.
3. Future job tracking
Part of moving away from traditional job management best practices and into the digital age is the ability to look far further forward in time and plan for what’s on the horizon. Digital job management systems give trade business owners and admin staff access to every upcoming job at the click of a mouse.
Job information can also be pushed and pulled throughout the business far more easily using a digital system, meaning that upcoming work can be easily discussed between relevant parties and planned out long before the work’s commencement date arrives.
Trade business owners can now meet many of the job management challenges associated with taking on future work and overcome them without allocating any additional resources or staff.
4. Periodic Tasks
Ongoing work or work with no set end date can be difficult to manage without a job management system specifically tailored to the procedural maintenance industry. Whether you work in facilities maintenance or fire services, one of the great job management challenges any business in this industry faces is how to keep track of work requirements and client needs across the space of months or years rather than days or weeks.
Job management best practice is now completely focused on using digital platforms to manage the ins and outs of trade business, and savvy trade business owners are quickly clueing into how easy it is to run periodic tasks with a digital system.
In this guide, we’ve covered everything you need to know about job management. Now that you know what to look for, we recommend checking out what a digital job management system can do for your trade business if you don’t have one already.