“As a teacher, I was always looking for a side-gig because teacher pay is so marginal”
Why Field Services?
Field services software companies are nicely positioned to benefit from two-sided demand in the market. While software adoption in field services has lagged in some industries, residential and commercial service providers are now recognizing the benefits of cloud and mobile technology—increased office and field worker efficiency, improved resource optimization, higher accuracy in invoicing, faster collections, and better customer engagement leading to higher customer satisfaction (to name just a few). Additionally, customers of service providers now desire (or demand!) functionality for easier touch-points like online appointment scheduling and automated payments. Modern field services software solutions enable service providers to improve customer engagement and satisfaction, creating a clear competitive advantage over other local providers.
Our Work in the Field Services Sector
At Serent, our dedicated Growth Team, a resource provided without consulting fees to Serent's portfolio companies, has built significant IP in scaling field services software companies by optimizing go-to-market strategies and accelerating customer acquisition. We also assist our partners with strategies to better monetize their market position through improvements in account management, integrated payments processing, and partnerships.
An example of our work in the sector is our investment in Real Green Systems, a software and marketing services provider to lawn care, landscape, and pest companies, who we partnered with in late 2018. Within the first year, we worked closely with the management team to help fill critical leadership team gaps, establish key functions (e.g. account management), and redesign the approach to sales and marketing by incorporating best practices. Additionally, we helped the company bring payment processing capabilities in-house by establishing an internal payments facilitator, enabling Real Green to build deeper payment processing functionality into its core software platform and control the customer experience. This development has led to both improved operational efficiency for Real Green in managing an essential aspect of their business, as well as delighted customers who can now more easily manage their collections and eliminate double entry. Through these efforts, Serent helped Real Green increase its software and payments growth rate by more than ten percentage points.
"Thanks to the strong collaboration that we’ve had with Serent, we’ve been able to exceed our initial targets in the PayFac. It’s still early in the process. Time will tell if we can maintain that momentum, but things are looking very promising."
-Bill Nunan,CEO, Real Green Systems
In a similar vein, we help field service software companies explore expansion through accretive M&A: including both acquiring smaller, direct competitors as well as moving into adjacent markets to add new product or service lines.
This strategy has been the approach with Next Gear Solutions, a leading provider of job management, workflow automation, and carrier guideline management software to the insurance restoration market. Next Gear has a SaaS platform used by thousands of restoration contractors to manage all aspects of their restoration businesses from sales acquisition to work execution. Next Gear partnered with Serent in 2016 and since then, it has completed five accretive M&A transactions, which has helped them add product adjacencies, open up new markets, and accelerate their growth. Since Serent's investment, Next Gear has seen a nearly 4x increase in revenue.
"M&A for us has been a huge value creator...One of the things that you learn when you're doing mergers and acquisitions is that you need a team behind you to do it. There's a lot of work involved, and what's great about it from a management team perspective is if you have Serent's growth team and deal team on your side, they do most of the heavy lifting for you. So you're able to continue to run the business and figure out how you want to integrate the businesses, while they're handling the rest."
-Garret Gray, Founder and CEO, Next Gear Solutions
At Serent, we work alongside our portfolio companies to support growth across multiple dimensions. If you're looking for a partner who can offer expert guidance, support, and an extensive network of C-level talent and resources to support your company's growth trajectory, we'd love to hear from you.
Are you interested in discussing the field services market? Connect with us.