Some companies are still using paper-based work orders. So, if you throw a mobile device and field service app in their face, some technicians may be hesitant to learn a new system. Some might just be stuck in the old way. But for a field service software solution to work, everyone has to buy in and be on board. You can’t have half your workforce using a field service app, while the other half is still doing things on paper.
When introducing field service software to technicians, there is a strategy you should think about deploying. One that’s focused on the value of the product, how it will influence technicians, how you will deploy it and what training they will receive. Here are some tips to help transition your team from paper-based work orders to a field service software approach.
Sell the benefits and the value of field service software
Just as salespeople sell to customers using benefits and value, you may need to sell the benefits of field service software to your team. Dispatchers and technicians may need to be convinced that the value they are getting in service dispatch software, far exceeds the value in their current operation.
When it comes to dispatchers who are used to whiteboards, emails and online calendars for scheduling, convince them that:
- They will save considerable time scheduling work orders
- They will be able to find the right technician with an opening in their schedule faster
- They will be able to work together in one system for all their scheduling
- They can monitor routes technicians take and adjust them quickly to reduce drive times
- They have more control of service calls and can monitor technicians in the field in real-time.
For technicians who are used to carrying paper-based work orders and clipboards on-site, convince them that:
- This solution will make their job easier with easy to use field service apps
- They will have greater access to information through service history, inventory and training
- They will be able to complete checklists from a field service app, rather than on paper
- They will have all their work orders for the day on one screen
- They won’t have to submit work orders to the head office for processing, as the field service app does it automatically.
Involve your dispatchers, managers and technicians
The best way to get your team on board with a service dispatch software is to have them involved from the start. Field service software will affect everyone in the business, from the top, down. So, everyone in the business should have their voice heard, from the bottom, up. Take an approach of having your dispatchers, managers and technicians tell you what they want to see in their field service software. Consider that they will be the people using it every single day, their feedback is valuable.
What you will gain from this input is valuable information about how your service department works. Only your technicians in the field know what they are responsible for while in the field. And your dispatchers will have insight into scheduling practices. Their needs for service dispatch software could widely different than what you believe them to be. So, don’t leave your employees out of the discussion. It will help in the early adaptation of field service software if your people had a say in which one you purchased.
Start the planning for change early
No one likes to change, especially technicians and dispatchers who have been doing their job successfully for years. And where people get most frustrated with change is when it’s brought on them suddenly, without notice. That shouldn’t be the case when you’re deploying field service software. Communications with your dispatchers and technicians shouldn’t end at gathering feedback on their needs. It needs to continue all the way through the implementation of the service dispatch software.
When you have decided on a solution, lay-out the plan for your technicians and dispatchers about when they should expect the new system. When will they need to fully change over to the field service software? How will the change happen? These are questions everyone will have. So, keep your team in the loop throughout the entire process. And then start training them on the new field service software. Technicians will need to learn field service apps and how to work with them in the field. They will need to know how to:
- Access work orders
- Insert time for timesheets
- Complete checklists
- Search through the service history
- Collect signatures and close work orders
Meanwhile, your dispatchers will have plenty of tools to work with when their service dispatch software is ready. That includes tools, such as:
Train early and often, allow for questions and constantly review with your people to ensure a swift transition.
Roll out Field Service Software in stages
Finally, when deploying field service software, think about doing it in stages. If you change every process your business has in one day, you could not only find a lot of push back from employees but also problems with your service delivery. Service dispatch software will become the backbone of your business moving forward. It will help you grow, become more productive and increase your bottom line. So, start with the work order management system, which is the foundation of any field service software. Work out from there, adding in field service apps, project management systems, and advanced metrics.
Just remember, communication is key in every stage of a new rollout. Don’t keep your people in the dark of when things will be changing. Before long, you’ll be fully running field service software across your entire business. You’ll be automating preventative maintenance schedules, scheduling your technicians for break/fix repairs and projects, sharing your resources. And you’ll be giving technicians complete access to service history.
Ensure you have thought of a strategy for deploying a service dispatch software. With a sound strategy, you will encourage early adoption of the new field service apps and have your technicians embrace the change.