There’s no doubt that this year is going to be a challenge for the industry as it comes out of a period of strong demand and grapples with the issues posed by the conflict in Ukraine.
Already we’ve seen evidence of a slowdown – year-on-year sales in February fell by 8% compared to 2021 and by 36% in comparison to 2020. These latest figures, from the Business Pilot Barometer, represent a slight bounce back from January but, nonetheless, the signs are clear that the momentum of lockdown demand is dropping away and consumer confidence wavering as household bills, most notably fuel, rise sharply.
It’s difficult to call how consumers will react in the coming months. Those planning aspirational or discretionary investment in their homes may decide to hold off until more certain times. Conversely, some homeowners may consider now the time to invest in energy efficiency improvements to offset rising fuel bills or take advantage of shorter lead times.
What we do know, with leads and conversions dropping, is that customer service will be key to maximising opportunities and that means good business discipline with effective lead and cashflow management and operational efficiencies. And that’s where Business Pilot comes in.
Designed and developed by installers for installers, Business Pilot delivers real-time information on profitability against every job as well as helping installers manage cashflow, win new business, track and manage leads and control operations. Its drag-and-drop scheduling board makes rescheduling jobs easy, automatically adjusting all affected areas such as contract management and financial reporting in a single action. Just simply dragging a job onto the board or to a new position even updates the information sent to a fitters App.
“We help installers deliver a great customer experience by supporting them in managing every touch point with the consumer from enquiry to installation and aftercare,” said Business Pilot MD Elton Boocock. “While we don’t think there is going to be a crash, some of the disciplines of running a good business are going to become more important and that includes running your business efficiently to understand and maximise your profitability.”
To support its clients, the cloud-based installer CRM and business management tool has launched dedicated, role-specific dashboards as the landing page when you first log in to the system which it will showcase at the FIT Show.
This major software update gives users the ability to select the dashboard/s most relevant to them, for example sales, surveys, service or operations. Each is designed to deliver the most relevant tools to users’ fingertips and allow those who perform multiple roles within a business to switch between them.
“The update delivers a big visual change,” explained Elton.
It simplifies what you see when you log in, pulling in the elements that individuals need to access so you can get straight into what you need to do.
“For example, if you work in sales you’ll see you appointments for the day on the left hand side of your screen. You’ll also see your sales summary and where you are against target.
“Alternatively, if you work in the ops team as well as your appointments, you’ll see the status of contracts – everything is geared to the job you perform, while each dashboard is linked so everything is joined up.”
Business Pilot’s standard dashboard has also been updated, merging tasks into one focus screen rather than splitting them between contact, lead and contract, making it easier to get an overview of workflows.
“We’re following the launch of role-specific dashboards with a series of very exciting developments in the lead up the Fit Show,” added Elton. “They’re being delivered as part of our continuous programme of development. Installation has gone through incredible change in the last two years. Business Pilot will continue to evolve with it,” he concluded.
Visit Business Pilot on Stand M10 at the FIT Show on May 10-12 (2022) at Birmingham’s NEC.