5 Best Practices to Prevent Lost Billable Revenue

The average security systems contractor only bills for 50% to 60% of its technicians’ total work time. Learn valuable tips from ConnectWise to stem “time leaks” and increase profits.

Super-heated competition. Relentless squeeze on product margins. Head-spinning technology refresh cycles. These are just a few of the steep challenges that security dealers and systems integrators contend with in the marketplace each and every day.

Of course, there can be seemingly no shortage of internal challenges that business executives must also overcome if they are to sustain a strong bottom line. Consider this logistic, profit-bleeding nightmare: Lost billable revenue — all because a technician’s time wasn’t tracked, documented accurately or invoices weren’t delivered on time.

Sound all too familiar? If so, then you likely can appreciate how difficult it can be to prevent or even fix. With service maintenance contracts increasingly becoming a vital source of revenue for installing security contractors, accurate accounting of billable time is paramount.

According to ConnectWise, the average technology solution provider only bills for 50% to 60% of their technicians’ total work time. That means almost half of a technician’s time is spent on activities that don’t bring money into the business.

ConnectWise has a term for billable time that goes untracked or missing: Time leaks. You cannot know exactly what a technician is doing with their time if it is not being logged or billed correctly. Besides, you could end up overcommitting your employees. Such a scenario can lead to diminished employee satisfaction or unnecessarily hiring additional team members when the real issue is lack of efficiency from current staff.

To plug those vexing time leaks, ConnectWise offers installing security contractors these five time-management strategies and tools:

  1. Training — Regular training sessions are crucial for businesses to continually improve. During these training sessions, highlight how technicians should enter their time and how time entry affects the company’s overall profitability, as well as their personal efficiency. Managers can even use training to reinforce the importance of time management tools and to discuss the different tracking options provided to technicians.
  2. Email Reminders — In the member setup for ConnectWise Manage, you can go to the “billing info” section and enable a reminder email to ensure your techs track their time each day. If a technician fails to meet the minimum number of daily hours, they will receive an email prompting them to record their time.
  3. Mobile App — ConnectWise Manage allows employees to log notes about time worked while on a job in real-time, lessening the chance of time leaks occurring. Workers can simply open their calendar, click the relevant ticket number, save their notes, and then log time in the time field. By pressing the “now” button, techs will immediately end the time spent working on that ticket. The mobile app also has a stopwatch feature that allows employees to keep track of their time, even while driving. This feature automatically helps safeguard against billable time leaks, helping to improve billing accuracy.
  4. Time-Keeping Tip — In order to log hours properly and accurately, make sure the time logged is when work actually begins and ends. Do not round numbers. This will help guarantee that billable hours are as precisely recorded as possible.
  5. Look for Billable Time Without an Agreement — By clicking on the “view” button in the Time Entry Search screen in ConnectWise Manage, a filtered view of time entries can be created that do not have an agreement tied to them. The ConnectWise Manage Marketplace has predefined views you can download and apply onto your instance of Manage. This helps determine whether or not time was entered correctly, and also allows you to easily correct any mistakes.

An important feature of ConnectWise Manage is the ability to access data on services, projects, sales, marketing, finance and more. This is achieved with ConnectWise Reports. The tool can schedule reports to be automatically generated, so that managers and owners can receive just the information they deem relevant.

As tailored reports are created, users can even view a breakdown of the different types of work that employees are recording and then determine whether the work is billable or nonbillable. When the billing period arrives, you can easily transfer the notes and billable information stored within the system, making for easy invoice distribution.

If you would like to learn more about how ConnectWise can you rid your organization of time leaks, and help increase billable time, click here to watch an interactive demo.

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