Implementing the right field service software for scheduling can make a big difference for companies that operate a mobile workforce.
Of course, choosing scheduling and planning tools is more complex than ever, with a growing number of products available offering a wide range of functionality.
An article on Service Management Online’s website explains that’s why it’s so important for field services companies to “understand the fundamental differences between manual, automated and optimized solutions, and opt for a solution that best fits their own needs.”
Manual or automated (using a scheduling tool) and optimized solutions require different levels of resources to support. Automated scheduling tools can display resource availability with calendars, skills and territory. This kind of solution allows firms to easily drag and drop work orders and tasks onto technicians’ calendars that dispatch the jobs and send electronic notifications.
However, picking the right resources with the right skills, parts and route requires an optimized solution, which needs a different level of support. Unfortunately, a lot of people expect all scheduling software to magically give them the best possible solution. They wrongfully assume that they don’t have to figure anything else out.
While there are software tools that optimize scheduling, there often is an army of real people supporting it. Getting a computer to fully schedule by itself requires lots of rules and workflow building, which is costly and requires a lot of customization.
However, scheduling systems in general are becoming more affordable for small- and medium-sized businesses, according to the Service Management Online article. And the benefits often outweigh any potential business disruptions that occur when implementing a scheduling solution.
For example, scheduling software can predict complications, monitor jobs that fall behind schedule, increase efficiency and improve customer satisfaction. The right tools can help field services firms meet not only today’s business needs, but those in the future as well.
Source: Service Management Online, November 2012