If you can programme any multi-channel heating controller produced in the last 30 years you can use apps to help run your business

“If you don’t embrace technology, you’re not going to survive”, is the frank assessment of Andy Baxter of High Efficiency Heating. Over the past decade he has harnessed the power of both software and digital hardware to transform his business into one of the industry’s most forward-looking. “But,” he warns, “You have to have an open mind. Learning how to use the technology is not the hard part, any installer can manage it. It’s whether you’re prepared to change your working methods completely.”  

Let the software do the heavy lifting - essential apps for running your business 

Managing and maintaining your relationship with your customers is the foundation of any business. In the analogue era that required a lot of leg work. But now there are extremely powerful CRM suites from developers like Surefire that take care of that automatically, featuring quoting tools and database management. Platforms like Commusoft allow field service businesses to manage operations from any location. Or you could hire a developer to make you something bespoke. It costs less than you think.

Go mobile and work on the run 

If you cling to the idea that you need a hulking desktop PC to power all your business tools then think again. You can accomplish all you need from the palm of your hand with a smartphone or tablet. “All our engineers work on tablets”, says Andy. “It really simplifies the process. When we visit customers they now expect a quote emailed to them immediately and that’s no bother for us. It’s really important for customer service too - as soon as an engineer leaves for a job a customer gets a text and another one thanking them when we leave.”

Remote working – it’s not just for times of crisis

The Coronavirus pandemic has forced many businesses to scrutinise how they operate. Is an office actually necessary, owners are asking themselves. And the conclusion many are reaching is a resounding no. Andy explains: “My office can be anywhere - in the van or even on the beach. As long as I have my iPad, I just need to fire it up to see what job each and every engineer is on. Because we’re fully digital we can run every single element of the business remotely.” 

Going digital can be daunting. But don’t let that put you off. With a little dedication it’s simple to adapt to new ways of working. Today’s customers conduct their entire lives online, and expect businesses to operate in the same manner.