What Does Field Service Optimization Really Mean?

Blog, Contract Management, Field Service, Mobile App & Checklist

Last updated Aug 17, 2018 at 4:46PM | Published on Aug 17, 2018 | Blog, Contract Management, Field Service, Mobile App & Checklist

There is plenty of talk around the word optimization, especially in the field service space. You’ve probably heard before how a field service organization wants to ‘optimize their service delivery’, or ‘optimize their technician’s schedule’. Often, this is done with a field service management software, however, it’s a lot more than that, and in fact, it’s a companywide approach to field service delivery.

You can’t buy optimization. You can’t just decide to go out and buy the best field service software on the market and think your organization with be fully optimized over-night. It’s a good start to go with a mobile field service management solution that will help you make your service delivery more efficient, and will help you better utilize your technicians in the field, but field service optimization needs a broader approach than just what field service software you’re using and what mobile field service apps you have deployed your technicians with.

If fact, optimization is a lot of work and not just a one-step approach in the field service delivery space. It requires a real top-to-bottom approach and everyone needs to buy into the process for it to fully succeed. So, here are a few things field service organizations need to strive for when trying to become fully optimized.

A Company Wide Vision and Strategy

As we’ve mentioned, field service optimization must be a company-wide endeavor and not one that just the CEOs and managers take on. It must include everyone, including your technicians, warehouse hands, dispatchers and call center agents. In many parts, this also means a drastic shift in the service delivery model and how an organization goes about their day-to-day business. And that can be scary for some who are resistant to change, especially when you start adding field service management software with mobile apps and talk about integrations, analytics and metrics.

The truth is, no field service software can change an organization that doesn’t want to change. It’s an all-in approach or it doesn’t work, so having a vision and strategy to succeed is critical when thinking of implementing something like a field service software to help optimize the many different moving parts of your business.

Evaluate What Aspects of the Business Need to be Optimized

As part of building this new vision for an optimized field service delivery model, evaluation needs to take place to determine what areas of the business need to be optimized the most, and what could use a hand in evolving to the next level. Are your dispatchers still creating paper-based work orders and scheduling on whiteboards in the office? That’s an easy start for field service software optimization, by taking the paper out of the hands of everyone and putting it on a screen and better scheduling technicians to ensure their time isn’t being wasted.

The key is to evaluate your field service organization in a way that it aligns with what your vision and strategy is for the future. What your organization looks like today won’t be what it looks like tomorrow, as changes are happening across the field service space and require plenty of optimization to stay competitive. But it’s also important to remember that what you are optimizing is to better your business overall and enhance the things you already do great with perhaps an easier and faster way of doing it.

Agree on Key Performance Indicators to Measure Improvements

Optimizing anything doesn’t mean much if you can’t measure the success of the changes you have made. If you change your scheduling practices but technicians are still taking fewer calls and not having higher first-time fix rates, then the improvements you made didn’t have any effect. You also wouldn’t know about it if you weren’t tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) properly.

Field service software is capable of measuring and evaluating your KPIs for you and deliver for reports for any part of your organization you want to optimize. Using a Business Intelligence module, having notifications sent to you when your KPIs aren’t being met, so you can keep on top of them and adjust as you go. Track your technicians travel time, how many calls they are taking during a period, what their first-time fix rate is, and how fast are they responding to customers, amongst many other KPIs you can build into your field service software.

To keep your vision and strategy for an optimized field service organization, keeping track of your improvements and benchmarking success is a critical step in ensuring your organization remains on the right path towards optimization.

Select and Implement the Right Automation Tools to Improve Service Delivery

Now it’s time to select the best field service software to help optimize your service delivery and automate many of the processes that occur daily. In wanting to improve the services you offered, having many various levels of automation will ensure quick turnaround times for work orders and invoices and get service done faster and invoices into the customer’s hand quicker.

Automating your service delivery on its own won’t optimize your organization, as it’s a companywide approach. But it’s a large part of becoming an optimized service, as many of the processes that take up much of your administrative time are solved through automation. We’re talking automatic word order creation for recurring service from preventative maintenance contracts, checklists being completed on a mobile device and work orders being closed from the field that generate invoices through built-in integrations to accounting systems.

It’s taking all the small processes that chew up much of your time and makes them usable time for your employees to be working on other projects or tasks.

Field Service Management Software Can Help Optimize Service Delivery

It takes plenty of work to make a field service organization optimized and field service software is just one part of the process to achieve the level of optimization that will help drive revenue. But as said, even with the best field service software available, it still takes a top-down approach to make a field service organization truly optimized, and nothing something you buy out of a box, but rather, work on together with your field service software to achieve.