There is a growing pressure in the field service industry to increase revenues and profits through new revenue streams and make the service department more dynamic, efficient and customer friendly in order to maximize revenue opportunities. It’s why the field service industry has changed from a reactive service model, where you don’t get a phone call for service until something is already broken, to one that is more proactive, preventative and predictive.
Companies are leveraging new technology to make their jobs easier, including Internet of Things (IoT) sensor technology, augmented reality and virtual reality devices, and mobile field service software that can equip their technicians in the field with a field service mobile app to make their job easier.
When it does come to generating more profit for the organization, however, there are two ways to go about doing it. First, you can simply cut costs to limit any revenue you’re losing to out-of-date practices, or secondly, add more service calls which will increase the bottom line through more profit. Field service organizations have to make the decision every day of what option they want to go with, but the best field service enterprises are picking the third option, doing both, and are powering that decision with a field service management software.
So how do you cut costs while also increasing the number of service calls you take? For that you have to look into your technician’s time when on a service call and see if there are better practices and procedures that will not only help the technician finish the service call faster, but also leave room to add more calls to their schedule.
How Field Service Software Helps Before Arrival
Before a technician gets to the job site, there are things that need to be done. According to VDC Research, 13 percent of a technician’s time is spent preparing for any field service operation. That can include anything from getting their paper-based work orders from the head office, picking up parts, and reading over past work orders to get a history of service of a particular piece of equipment, which could also mean someone needs to find those reports.
It takes up the third most amount of time for field service technicians and is a perfect area in which to cut costs and save time with a field service management software. In fact, many of these operations can be taken care of through the field service mobile app, as technicians will have work orders pushed through to them in the field, removing any reason to pick up a paper-based work order. They also have access to service history through their mobile app, allowing them to review previous work orders without heading to the office. They still need to pick up parts, but with built-in integrations, dispatchers and technicians can see where parts are located, how many are in stock and if some need to be purchased, cutting down time spent on finding parts needed.
The other major pre-service call task is the travelling. According to research, 17 percent of a technician’s time is spent driving to the job site. That by itself is the second most time a technician spends on any task during a service call, and combined with preparation, makes up 30 percent of every service call, making it an easy area to target to reduce time. With a mobile app, technicians have routing tools that can get them to the job site faster. This part of the service call can also be reduced by dispatchers who will have stronger scheduling tools in their field service software and can schedule technicians based on geographical location, limiting the amount of driving they are doing.
How Field Service Software Helps During the Repair
No surprise, the repair and maintenance technicians perform takes up the most time, coming in at 33 percent. And rightfully so that a third of their time is being spent solving the issue at hand. But it’s also a perfect area to see some cost cutting measures, many of which can happen before with accessible service history, but also with advanced checklists that can keep a technician on task and give them a standard path to follow through their repair.
Field service is also seeing the benefit of added technology, such as IoT, augmented reality and virtual reality that is helping to speed up repair times. And field service software can also push out manuals, repairs notes and instructions to technicians in the field, making it easy for a technician to get the answer to a question on a repair, without having to dial dispatch and get someone on the line.
By going to the job site armed with a clear service history on a piece of equipment, with a standardized checklist to follow and some extra tools to help them through repairs, technicians can begin to speed up their service calls and still capture the same amount of data they did before, as well as complete their service call faster.
How Field Service Software Can Speed Up Reporting and Invoicing
Another major area of a technician’s life when completing work is reporting and creating invoices. Technicians don’t generally create the invoice themselves but have to deliver the information back to the main office and it needs to be turned into an invoice. That accounts for seven percent of a work order’s life, while reporting on the service call is 11 percent.
With a field service mobile app, reporting is made easier with no paper-based work orders, pens or paper needed. Everything is captured on the mobile field service app and transmitted back to the head office. It drastically speeds up the time technicians are spending after a service call writing down their notes and information that will eventually turn into an invoice. Technicians can get to their next service call faster and are not spending time idling while they complete administration work.
At the same time, invoicing can be completed quickly as the work order can be closed straight from the field and all the information is sent back to the office for processing, without the technician needing to mail or drop off the work order to be processed. It also means invoices can be processed in minutes, as opposed to days or weeks, speeding up billing times which also help the bottom line.
Don’t Just Cut Costs with Field Service Software, Change Your Service Delivery
Field service management software isn’t just a cost cutting tool, although, it does a good job at that. But it’s a tool that will change how your organization delivers service and will help open up new revenue streams. By starting to chip away at the extra time technicians are spending while completing service, your organization will be able to schedule more calls for service, mixing both approaches to increase the profits of your business.