For the field service industry, workforce management is no longer just about being able to collect time. It’s the ability to service customers effectively, efficiently and provide exceptional customer experience. To be able to deliver the three E’s, service companies must be able to: (1) capacity plan for better resource utilization, (2) ability to assign jobs/work orders and dispatch service calls, (3) integration to inventory systems to see available stock and parts, (4) ability to create parts requisitions for jobs if parts are on hand, (5) mobile enablement to streamline administrative tasks for field engineers, (6) ability to self-serve and bid/fill job requests, lastly, (7) analytics to understand the how the business is running and be able to optimize processes. In order to achieve the full potential, workforce management systems must do the core time, scheduling, expense and task transactions. As well as, collaborate with other systems and process transactions to successfully complete the service cycle.
Planning resources time based on the service demand forecast. Field technicians can be utilized fully during peak and slow times. During down times, resources can be reassigned to other value added tasks. Or they can be scheduled for courses/certifications to increase their skills level. In turn, charge a higher rate for that resource and produce higher services margins.
Centralized Scheduling and Dispatching:
Having scheduling capabilities within the WFM system maximizes efforts spent on finding available resources. Resources are assigned to jobs and schedules are sent with work order details once the request has been accepted. Scheduling workflows notify resources and dispatchers on the status of every request so nothing falls between the cracks or through untraceable communications.
Inventory Integration and Parts Requisition:
In most cases, inventory resides in a financial or ERP system. With that being said, technicians need to be able to see what parts and materials they have on hand, either at a warehouse, trunk stock or perhaps sitting in another tech’s truck. Having visibility reduces costs and also improves service times with customers. Nothing is more annoying than a service technician showing up empty handed and having to come back on a different date with the right parts. Schedules can be adjusted in advance based on when parts are available on hand or through drop-shipment. As well, requisitions can be made on the fly or it can be done in advance during the time of the job booking.
Make administrative tasks easy like completing work details, time entry against a job and creating invoices. Provide mobile solutions that can automate these tasks without needing to fiddle with multiple devices and going in and out of different systems.
Having technicians self-schedule themselves for job requests improves utilization rates and reduces costs. For break- fix or unforeseen issues, a simple notification can be sent out to both full time personnel and independent contractors. Contractors that may be closest to the job or have availability are able to bid on the job and take the service request. This eliminates scheduling headaches.
Analyze, Measure and Optimize:
Understand your deficiencies and improve on them. By knowing the gaps in your business will enable you to improve on operational efficiency. Moreover, understanding what the margins are, and/or, the cost of every job at every stage is important to running a leaner and more profitable business.
Find out how Fieldpoint can transform your operations and triage the three E’s for your field services business.