Optimized service delivery can’t be achieved overnight, especially if you’re doing it manually. Paper-based work orders and whiteboards for scheduling are losing their place in the service delivery space. Field service management software with automated scheduling tools is now taking over, as field service organizations look to leverage the power of a software solution.
According to Aberdeen Research, 67% of field service managers are investing in technology. One of the main reasons for the change is to be able to automate their scheduling. Optimizing service delivery requires plenty of moving parts to all come together and can be very time-consuming. So, with field service dispatch software, organizations are cutting down on the time to dispatch, and finding many benefits to having an automated system to help schedule and dispatch.
Gaining Visibility into Resources
One of the key benefits of a field service scheduling software is the visibility it gives dispatchers into resources. With resource routing tools, dispatchers get a real-time look into the location of their technicians in the field. Whether on the move, at a job site, or sitting idle, dispatchers can find them. They can be rerouted in case of an emergency, or their schedules optimized to better reduce travel times between service calls.
By having all the routes available for each technician, dispatchers can make smart decisions in their dispatching of new calls. They can adjust assignments, to fill idle gaps, or change the order in which their technicians respond to calls. Having all the routes in one place on a visual map makes it a lot easier to make scheduling decisions, versus looking at a whiteboard and having to visualize the route the technician is on. Customer locations are visible on a map, so in case of an emergency, dispatchers will be able to look on the map to see who the nearest technician is. They can then reroute that technician to the call, without them having to travel long distances to get there.
Reduced Scheduling Time
Scheduling is a very time-consuming task, especially with a large pool of technicians. It can take a full day to plan the routes for 20 or more technicians. When emergency calls are introduced, it can send a dispatcher into panic if they don’t have an automated field service software to help them. According to Aberdeen, it’s not unusual to see 30% of the schedule change daily.
With automated field service scheduling software, dispatchers have full routes and schedules all in one place and can make quick changes to the schedule. Technicians will get new work orders and appointments pushed to their field service mobile app, and don’t need to be called or texted new instructions. Everything is up to date and visible, as opposed to needing to see whiteboards to make changes.
Field service management software also reduces the time needed to create work orders, as much of the process can be automated. Work orders that are part of contracts are automatically created and are ready to schedule without much additional process time. Unscheduled work orders are visible for dispatchers in their field service software, along with technician schedules. They can begin scheduling well in advance, to ensure no call is missed.
Scheduling Aligned with Business Objectives
The toughest challenge with scheduling can be meeting the organizations’ goals for service delivery. If your organization has the objective to meet certain deadlines and timelines, field service software can help ensure those goals are met. This can be achieved by giving dispatchers the visual picture and information in one location. With more information visible to them, dispatchers can make changes to fit business objectives, which can also include reducing technician idle time.
Adjustments can be made so that technicians’ schedules are full of work orders to reduce idle time and grow the bottom line. Revenue leakage is reduced, revenue increases and the company can take more service calls. All this because of better scheduling and dispatching through field service management software.
Increase Workforce with Subcontractors
With more field service organizations using subcontractors to complete work orders, automated field service software makes scheduling easier. Subcontractors look and feel just like in-house technicians in a field service scheduling software, making it simple and easy for dispatchers to assign them jobs. Much like their own technicians, dispatchers can see a subcontractor’s full schedule. They can see their route for the day and their current location, therefore, allowing them to make informed decisions. Perhaps it’s faster to schedule a subcontractor for an emergency call because they are near the customer.
For a dispatcher, it’s more information at their finger-tips, allowing them to make informed decisions, even when subcontractors are involved.
The Path to Success with Automated Field Service Software
More organizations are turning to automated field service software to get a better handle of their dispatching and scheduling practices. Using manual processes is slow, time-consuming, and not flexible when changes need to be made, especially in emergency situations for important customers.
It can be a challenge for field service technicians to get used to the new system. However, it will make the service delivery more efficient and help optimize routes in a way that technicians can take more service calls in a day. Because now dispatchers have the visibility to see holes in technician schedules that can be filled with additional calls.