Before developing HindSite’s irrigation software, I owned an irrigation business for more than a decade. I worked closely with irrigation technicians, learning what makes them tick, what they like, and what they dislike.
What I learned is that, for the most part, irrigation technicians are introverts. They choose to do what they do because it’s mostly a solo job, they have a lot of autonomy and they don’t have to deal with people every minute of every day. What they want to do is their job – installing and maintaining irrigation systems. Anything they view as outside of that core job they don’t enjoy.
So with that in mind, here are three things irrigation technicians hate and how irrigation software can fix them:
- Communicating Project Updates to the Office – When we initially trained companies on how to use our irrigation software, we’d train the office staff on how to use HindSite in the office as well as how the technicians use our mobile field service software using netbooks, tablets or smartphones. The office staff would then train the irrigation technicians on how to use HindSite in the field.
What we soon learned was that technicians often objected to the software if they were trained by office staff, while they embraced it if we trained them. Why the difference? Well, in a lot of cases, the technicians resented the office staff. We even heard one technician refer to the office manager as “that bitch in the office.”
Why? Because the office staff are paid to make sure technicians do the things they hate doing – turn in their paperwork, fill out their timesheets and communicate status updates with the office. The office staff are just doing their job, but the technicians often resent the constant intrusion in their day.
So the simple solution is to eliminate that interruption. As our customers have found, when they arm their irrigation technicians with an Android tablet or smartphone, and give technicians the ability to communicate things like the parts they’ve used, that status of the project and any additional notes, the technicians are freed to focus on their work. Plus, with irrigation software, the office staff can send notes and reminders to the irrigation technician via their device, eliminating disrupting phone calls.
- Paper Timesheets and Forms– Irrigation technicians are – by the nature of their work – not accustomed to filling out paperwork. They shuttle from job to job doing the work that they enjoy. What they don’t enjoy is time consuming paperwork.
Put yourself in a technician’s shoes. They want to focus on doing work. They work with their hands installing and fixing irrigation systems. Anything that isn’t that work, they don’t consider part of the job. Paperwork falls into that category.
Again, this is where irrigation software can make a big difference in eliminating some of the work that irrigation technicians hate. With HindSite, irrigation technicians time in and out of jobs with their device. If you have additional data you need from your irrigation tech, create a simple electronic assessment in HindSite and tie it to a service. Every time a tech completes that service, the assessment opens, prompting the technician to enter the data. It’s a quick, easy and painless way to collect the data you need to run your business without forcing the technician to complete paperwork that he probably hates and will avoid doing.
- Windshield Time – You know what irrigation technicians hate even more than paperwork? Sitting idly in traffic. If you’re forcing your irrigation technicians to drive all over town to service your customers, you’re wasting his time and making his blood pressure slowly rise.
So the simple solution is to eliminate all that wasted drive time. Optimize his day so that he spends as little time in his truck as possible. Look for field service scheduling software that includes smart routing functionality so that you can route your technicians as efficiently as possible. When a service call comes in, your solution should be able to tell you if you have any technicians scheduled nearby so you can schedule work orders to techs in the area.
Not only does that help you squeeze in more jobs per day, but it also helps keep your irrigation technician’s blood from boiling.
At their core, irrigation technicians want to install and maintain irrigation systems. They don’t want to constantly communicate what they did to the office. They don’t want to spend hours every day completing paperwork. And they really don’t want to sit in their truck all day drinking coffee.
So leverage the power of irrigation software to free them to focus on what they do best instead of the work they hate doing.