Let’s face it, a boring day in the office isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes you don’t need the phones ringing off the hook non-stop with requests for emergency repairs. But rather, you want a full schedule already planned out with plenty of recurring revenue. If you could have all your technician’s hours full of these kinds of jobs, you would be in a great position to succeed. Field service management needs predictability for a variety of different reasons, including:
- Reducing technician stress
- Improved customer service levels when emergency repairs come in
- Better consistency across all repairs
- A more predictable revenue line
According to Service Council, 59% of service leaders say increasing the predictability of their business is a top priority. If you know the type of service you are offering the majority of each day, you can offer better consistency in that repair. You can make sure you have the parts on hand that your technicians will need to improve first-time fix rates. And you can establish a high floor for revenue coming into your business. Predictability can make it so that you are entering the month knowing that you will exit the month a profitable company. And that reduces the stress on everyone to push for new opportunities. Instead, it’s about quality opportunity and more recurring revenue.
Let’s look at some ways to add predictable in field service management.
Sign those maintenance contracts
The power of the maintenance contract shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to predictability. It should go without question that the more preventative maintenance contracts you sign, the more recurring revenue you will have. And it also means more preventative maintenance calls that you can schedule well beforehand. Maintenance contracts are a trend that is here to stay in field service management because they offer that predictability. Do you need to be on-site every two months or six months? You can plan for that now and move these calls to better fit your schedule, especially during busy times.
Gather as much data as you can
To become predictable, you need to know what predictable even means. That’s because it means different things to different businesses. In field service management, there are many different things you may want to be predictable in. And it all starts with collecting data to get an idea of what your regular, recurring daily, weekly and monthly tasks are.
Call volume: How many calls are you taking each day, week, month? When is your busy season and slow season? Is there a time of year you see a spike in calls?
Parts usage: How much of one part are you using? When do you use specific parts the most? Is there a time of year that you need to have more parts in stock?
Type of work: Knowing the type of work you are getting and at what time of year will help you better schedule your technicians, create accurate work orders and allocate resources.
With Business Intelligence in a field service software, you can collect mounds of data that will help you become predictable. You should know exactly when spikes in business happen and when you need more parts. And the other advantage is, if you see trends fall from other months or years, you know it’s time for your sales team to focus on selling more.
Turn to predictive maintenance
It should go without saying but to become predictive, move to a predictive maintenance approach for your field service management. That means embracing technology like the Internet of Things (IoT) to help with service. Use technology to help offer remote assistance to your customers. If you want to avoid emergency repairs, get the repair completed before it becomes a problem. Let IoT send notifications when equipment is working outside of regular parameters. That way, an emergency call isn’t going to come through and you can properly schedule a technician to solve the problem.
The added benefit is, it improves customer service levels greatly. Customers will appreciate that someone is continuing to look after their equipment, even when they aren’t focused on it. Track different usage metrics to know when it’s time for a maintenance call, such as hours is operation or miles travelled. This predictive maintenance plan avoids costly downtimes for your customers.
Embrace a predictable day in field service management
A slow day isn’t a bad day. It could just mean you have met all your goals, have your crews busy with repairs, and clients are happy with their service. By adding more predictability into your business, you can start to add more recurring revenue to your already high floor. That could include taking on more project installations, which can turn into more recurring maintenance contracts. Take the steps needed to become a predictable business. There is nothing boring about being predictable. Especially when that means you’re constantly generating profits.