Your technician gets in their truck and accepts their first call on their field service mobile app —  work order for a job across town. They check the list of parts they will need to make sure they are in their truck. After activating turn-by-turn directions, they head to the job site 20 minutes away. Except it takes 40 minutes today because of traffic. When they get on-site, they pull up the work order and start completing steps on a checklist. The faulty part is replaced, the customer is happy and signs off on the work order, and the technician accepts their next call back across town. It’s a typical day in field service management.

How much data did you capture in that call? And how much of it will you put to good use in the future? Even if you just skim the surface, mounds of data were collected in that small sample of the technician’s day:

  • Travel time
  • Cost of parts
  • Inventory amounts
  • Labor time
  • First-time fix rate
  • Profit margin
  • Technician utilization

It’s all relevant data that field service management businesses should be using to make business decisions. Except you need to be able to track all that data and have it turned into useful metrics. And that requires field service management software with analytics and reporting tools.

Real-time data tracking in field service management

In customer service, many businesses live by the motto, you’re only as good as the last customer you serve. However, when did you last serve that customer when it pertains to data tracking? If you’re getting your data weeks or even months after the service call, how can you make changes to your business? What if the story above happened two weeks ago and you’re just processing their work order now? Did you know their travel time was higher than normal? Did you know the profit margin for that service call, or how much return that technician is bringing in?

In today’s field service management industry, real-time data tracking is key. Your business runs day-to-day, so your date tracking should be running day-to-day as well. It’s one thing if our technician above had one day with increased driving times, but what if it has been going on every day? Do you have the data on hand to see their travel time and to be able to make decisions on their routes?

With field service mobile apps, data collection is becoming a day-to-day activity. And it’s happening for every piece of data you find important, on every call, every day. From the moment the technician clocks in, to the time they clock out, real-time data is being fed from the field service mobile app to the field service management software. And with it, dispatchers and managers can make real-time decisions that affect positive change.

What’s your break-even price per hour?

There is plenty that goes on during a typical day that you don’t charge customers for. In some cases, you don’t get paid to drive to the job site. You don’t charge to pick up parts, or train new technicians or talk to a customer. And what about downtime and breaks? You only get paid when wrenches are being turned and repairs are happening. So, do you know how much you need to break-even every hour? What’s the cost of doing business and how much do you need to charge?

For field service management businesses, they could be losing money on every service call and not even know it. That’s because all those non-billable times can add up to a lot of money and eat into your profit margins. So, by collecting data with field service mobile apps, you get a full view of your technicians’ utilization in the field. Data tracking allows you to see exactly how many technicians are easily beating the business break-even point, and how many aren’t living up to the standard. And with that information, you can start to adjust routes, call volume, and even what type of calls that the technician takes. If you have the information, you can make decisions that have meaningful value to your business. You’ll learn who your most profitable technician is, where others may need more training, and what prices to set, so you can stay in business.

Always look ahead, not behind

What real-time data tracking allows is for you to start planning for your future. Field service management has plenty of challenges, and with data tracking, you can start to address those challenges well before they become problems. With Business Intelligence, tracking slow seasons, high call volume, or high travel times can mean a lot of difference to the bottom line of the business. Without data collection on field service mobile apps, you’re living in the past and trying to play catch-up. And by the time you do, a whole new crop of problems could be at your feet.

Field service management teams who succeed do so because they have a firm grip on what they are doing today. And they have a good grip on what is coming tomorrow, and the month after that. With mounds of data being turned into useful information, you know when you can scale back operations, and when you need to call subcontractors in. Find out your best-selling parts and when you need a full stock to be used. And know when your customers are calling, so you are prepared to give them service, even in your busiest times.

Data tracking leads to field service management success

For field service management businesses, data tracking may be one of the most important tasks they can take on for future success. By giving your technicians field service mobile apps, they are collecting and reporting back to you in real-time. Know the ins and outs of your business down to the last dollar, second of travel and labor time, and part in inventory. Know what your business needs to succeed today and, in the future, based on what you did in the past. And make informed decisions based on analytics, that will keep your profit margins strong, and your business trending towards success.