Field service management organizations are more versatile than ever before, the demand for service is increasing, yet the number of technicians and tradespeople is declining. So, many field service organizations in the HVAC, Facility Maintenance and Fire and Life Safety spaces are turning to subcontractors to handle the influx of calls, while some are utilizing subcontractors for their entire service team. Whether it’s a hybrid approach, where a field service organization uses in-house technicians and subcontractors, or where they just use third-party vendors, there is a need to focus on three key areas in order to schedule, dispatch and optimize the workforce in order to expand operations, grow revenue, and keep customers satisfied. Here are three focuses of service managers with a hybrid or subcontractor based workforce.
Focus on future demand
You have to take care of the present, but you always have to have an eye on the future. You don’t want to find yourself one day with too many service calls that need attention, and not enough manhours to complete them all. The last thing any field service organization wants to see is customers turning away because you can’t schedule a technician in a reasonable amount of time. With a field service management software, there are many tools built-in that can help you plan for the future and ensure you will have enough hands-on-deck to complete any influx of service calls. One way is to utilize a business intelligence module that can forecast your service delivery, showing you when your peak services times are in the year, what kind of calls you take the most of, which area you are seeing growth, and how many hours your technicians are working, among many other customizable options. Maybe adding new in-house technicians isn’t needed, especially when you are only seeing an influx in two months of the year, and subcontractors can help your organization handle the influx of work. With a field service subcontractor management software, you can execute the hiring of third-party vendors from within the same portal as you would schedule your own in-house technicians. They become part of your team, just as any other technician would, but without the constant overhead of their salary on your books.
Create a standard for in-house and contracted technicians
It shouldn’t matter who is attending a service call, whether it would be a subcontractor or an in-house technician – you still want them completing service to the highest standards possible. They are representing your organization, and one bad service call could turn a customer off for good. So to keep standards high, smart checklists in a field service mobile app is the perfect way to ensure that across your entire workforce, everyone is completing the same job at the same standard. A field service software with checklist design capabilities gives your organization the ability to make checklists for any type of service call and automatically attach it to a work order to be followed by a technician. With nested and smart questions and required answers, the workflow of any technician, even subcontractors, can be dictated for the head office, as a service call cannot be closed without every field accounted for.
Make data and information more accessible
Your technicians and subcontractors both need the ability to see information easily, without having to jump through too many hoops to get at it. With a growing workforce of subcontractors, the easiest way to provide that accessibility is through mobility, giving your technicians and subcontractors access to data right from their mobile phone. Pushing work orders from a field service management software to the field is as simple as scheduling the right technician or subcontractor with a drag-and-drop option. The work order, with checklists, parts, and information needed to close out the service call, can go from the back office to the field and into the subcontractor’s hands quickly and efficiently, without needing them to call into a call center and relay information. Concurrently, a field service mobile app makes it faster for you to get information and data from the field, as subcontractors and technicians can close out work orders, complete with a customer signature, all from the field and directly back into the field service software. No matter waiting for work orders to be returned to you, which means you can start the review process quicker than before. And for subcontractors, they’ll enjoy getting paid faster, as work orders can be closed out in minutes, as opposed to the days it could take to send a paper copy back through the official channels.
There are steps you can take to grow your organization, and utilizing the modules of a field service management software, you can put the focus back on completing your service calls, and be fully prepared for a busy future.