Five Things Ops Managers Need in a Software Solution

Make their lives easier and your service business more profitable with holistic technology.

At every service business, whether janitorial or security, there is one key player who serves as the bridge between what goes on in the back office and what is happening in the field — the operations manager. As the owner of a janitorial or security business, your operations manager is a critical part of helping you run your business — and running it at a profit. They’re on the frontline of the business responsible for customer engagement, scheduling, ensuring that shifts are filled and that the work is being done. As talented as they may be, your operations manager needs help to do their job, too. That’s where a holistic software solution comes in. If you invest in the right tool, your ops manager can be more effective and more satisfied with their work. After all, if you have a great operations manager, you want to do everything you can to keep them. Here are five key things you should look for before investing in a software solution to ensure it helps your operations manager — and your business as a whole — be successful and operate at maximum efficiency.

1.       Easy KPI Reporting

It’s hard for your operations manager to improve on key performance indicators (KPIs) if they don’t have an accurate way to measure them in the first place. Your ops manager needs intuitive reporting tools to help them better understand where there’s room for improvement when it comes to overtime, turnover, shift fill rate, service quality and customer satisfaction, to name a few. The first step is having all your operations data in one system as a single source of truth. Then, your software solution should offer a combination of pre-built and customizable reports so they can get exactly what they need out of the data. You should be able to slice and dice the data in a variety of ways, including time frame comparisons, by job sites and by supervisors. The ability to automate reports is even better.

2.       Visibility into the field from the back office

Security and janitorial businesses have complex needs that span back office functions to field-based operations. But, your operations manager can’t — and shouldn’t — be at every job site every day. They need software that can give them real-time visibility into all their sites, from the palm of their hand. If your software solution provides real-time visibility into the field, GPS location verification and alerts, your ops managers can spend less time worrying about whether the work is getting done and whether employees are where they’re supposed to be, and more time focused on how to improve the business.

3.       Time-saving automation

Outdated processes, like relying on paper timekeeping, slows down your business and makes it harder for your operations managers to do their jobs. Eliminating redundant work and manual processes by automating things like shift offers and time and attendance gives a one-two punch in maximizing operational efficiency. And let’s face it, your operations managers could probably use a little time back in their day. Chances are, they’re consistently putting in extra hours either trying to fill open shifts or working those shifts themselves. When your manager loses their sense of work-life balance, it’s not just their personal life that suffers. When they’re forced to choose between being home for family dinner or making sure their timekeeping data is ready for payroll, their quality of work and job satisfaction suffers, too. Find a software solution that moves your company away from cumbersome manual processes and multiple subpar software systems, and your ops manager will thank you. 

4.       Integration of key functions

 The power of shared data in a holistic software system is invaluable for the entire organization, but especially for operations managers. As the main point of connection from the back office to your cleaners or guards, they need things like timekeeping, scheduling and payroll to be integrated so they’re not wasting time comparing data and cleaning up inconsistencies. An integrated software platform means your operations manager is no longer bogged down by clunky plug-ins, multiple software systems and manual spreadsheet-driven timekeeping and scheduling. And, they can focus on more value-added activities like ensuring your customers’ needs are being met instead of wasting time trying to get the information they need from disconnected systems.

5.       Clearly defined implementation process

The last thing your operations manager wants is to go through a lengthy and complicated implementation process for a software system that is going to take an indefinite amount of time to get adopted. This is especially true when they’re tasked with rolling out technology and accompanying process changes to site managers and employees in the field. They probably would rather stick with multiple, disparate systems to handle scheduling and logistics if it means they avoid months, or even years, of trying to get a new system off the ground, particularly if they’re comfortable with the arrangement and it gets the job done. What does this mean for you as a business owner? You need to make sure there’s a clear process in place for implementing a new software system and that everyone understands the value the new system is going to bring to the business and their specific roles within the company. This includes understanding a realistic timeline, knowing who needs to be involved and what resources it’s going to take to get your new system up and running. It’s also a good idea to include them in the purchasing process, because any new system you choose to implement is going to have a direct impact on their daily activities. It’s even better if you can find a solution that’s specific to your industry with nuances and capabilities to handle the specific challenges you face as a service contractor.

With your ops manager providing such an integral connection between your back office and the field, it makes sense that they’re going to have specific needs when it comes to your software solution. When your operations manager can focus more on high-value activities like employee engagement and customer service, and less on tracking down employees to fill shifts and call offs, you likely see a difference in both your bottom line and customer satisfaction.