A real crisis has hit the field service management industry – an aging workforce.

The problem is not only real; it’s here now. It’s affecting many service organizations, as aging workers are set to retire, and there aren’t enough qualified technicians to fill their positions. In a survey conducted in 2017 at the Field Service Connect event, 48% of field service organizations said the threat of an aging workforce is a genuine threat to their service operations.

When the same survey was conducted in 2018, that number had increased to 53%. That means 47% of organizations aren’t feeling the crisis. However, that five percent jump is alarming to many, as it was in such a short period of time and would indicate that the issue is growing in severity.

Field service management organizations are struggling to lure millennials into the trades and replace the baby boomer workforce that is nearing retirement. Many field service organizations have changed their hiring practices, updated company approaches to hiring and culture, and are adopting field service management software to help manage their workforce and optimize their organization. This is all to maintain the levels of service they have offered for years without seeing major deductions to their bottom line.

Turning to Field Service Software for An Answer

Field service management software has plenty of tools to help field service organizations deal with the pinch of a declining workforce. The first solution is to use routing tools to optimize the schedules of available technicians and make it so they aren’t driving back and forth across the city. Next, field service management software provides a mobile app to cut down on time-consuming manual administrative work, so they can move faster to the next job site. Finally, they have scheduling tools that give dispatchers the freedom to move work orders around to fit as many as possible into their technicians’ schedules.

It’s an answer to a problem that is currently happening in the industry, and more organizations are making the jump to a field service software before the problem affects them. When being faced with this growing crisis, the options are to try and hire more technicians, which can be difficult, time-consuming, and all-for-not if the technician moves on to another organization. Or, as many in the field service space are starting to realize, the answer is to optimize the organization’s many procedures with a field service software, so that the organization is running at peak efficiency, even in when the industry is facing a crisis.

Is Outsourcing with Subcontractor Field Service Software The Answer?

While the declining workforce is making hiring full-time, in-house technicians difficult, sharing resources is an option, which is why many in the field service space are turning to subcontractors. Subcontractors can be managed right in their field service software.

Of the companies surveyed, half were outsourcing part of their work to subcontractors, while the most common ratio of subcontractor work to in-house work was a 25:75 ratio in favor of in-house technicians. Many organizations have increased the number of field service technicians they use because of the ability to onboard technicians and push work orders to them in the field.

Subcontractors now make up a sizable portion of the workforce for many field service organizations. Field service software is helping to manage those technicians and make them just as valuable as in-house technicians. With the crisis of an aging workforce now here, many are looking at outsourcing and subcontractors as a reliable source of workable hours and as a sustainable tactic for the long-term future.