When we talk about field service management software, we’re actually talking about people. Integrations, automation, modules, systems and mobility are meaningless unless they are affecting people. Field service organizations are made up of many kinds of people, from technicians to managers. From the field to the office, many people are benefiting from field service management software to eliminate redundancies in their job. It’s all about making jobs easier and people more efficient.
If a field service management software is in your future, you need to look at each person in your organization and ask, “how will it affect their job?” Each person is a spoke on the wheel that makes field service delivery run efficiently. If one spoke is stuck in the manual-processing ways, the whole system slows down. Information is missed, processes are slowed, and people are affected.
Let’s look at the main people in a field service organization and how field service management software is affecting their job. These are just some of the ways people’s daily activities are being altered because a business software solution was added.
Call Center Personnel – Work Order Management Software
The first person any customer reaches when they need service is your call center agent. They are the person on the phone trying to gather as much information as they can in order to decide on service. With hundreds to thousands of customers, their knowledge has to be vast, which can be challenging depending on how large the organization is. Luckily, field service management software is making it easier for call center workers to get service details from the phone to a work order, and into dispatcher hands.
When a call comes in, call center agents can access all of a customer’s records by simply searching in their work order management software for that customer. Already, time is being saved as these people don’t need to search for previous service calls, status of contracts or on-going projects, as they are all available in front of them. They quickly have access to all the information that is important to that customer. This avoids confusion with customers, speeds up phone calls and avoids hold times as they search for information. With this connected work order management software, they are getting a full organization-wide view and can quickly turn that phone call into a work order.
With the work order being the foundation of service, it’s important to get all the information correct to limit errors upon dispatching, ensuring the right technician is sent to the job. These work orders will be what technicians use, so getting it right is of utmost importance.
Dispatchers – Field Service Dispatch Software
When it comes time to schedule technicians, the work order moves into the hands of the dispatcher. This is one of the most difficult jobs in field service delivery and having a great dispatcher can mean the world of difference to your organization. It’s these people who manage technicians’ schedules and movement throughout the day. If they are stuck using whiteboards and Outlook for scheduling, this can severely limit their ability to provide timely and prompt service.
With field service dispatch software, the benefits to dispatchers seems endless. Selecting the right technician is completed with a skill search, ensuring the right technician, with the proper skill set and certifications is sent to the job site. Once technicians have been narrowed down, dispatchers now have their full schedule in front of them. This allows the dispatchers to properly assign a work order to a technician and optimize their schedule to fit as many calls in as they can. Other options in field service dispatch software includes routing tools that give dispatchers a real-time look into the movements of the technicians. They can schedule technicians based on their route, reducing driving times by optimizing their schedule to limit the miles they drive. In the case of an emergency, dispatchers can go straight to the resource routing tool to see the closest technician available and re-assign appointments to get that technician to the call quickly.
Technicians – Field Service Mobile App
Now that the technician has been dispatched, that work order the call center agent produced is pushed to them in the field using the field service mobile app. This eliminates the need for technicians to return to the head office to pick up paper-based work orders, as well as filling those work orders out and returning them. Instead, they are conveniently on their mobile device, along with all the instructions for the repair, help information and advanced checklists to help with repairs.
Field service mobile apps also give technicians great access to service history, which can help them in the field with repairs. Technicians can check past repair notes for solutions or recurring problems and find faster solutions to repairs. If they are on site and see additional problems, technicians can also provide quotes to the customer and quickly turn them into work orders from their mobile app. Field service mobile apps are becoming the lifeblood for technicians and field service organizations. Mobility is perhaps the largest advancement in field service delivery and will continue to be moving forward.
Service Managers – Field Service Business Software
Overlooking the entire operation is the service manager, who has to ensure everything runs smoothly, while also meeting service goals. There are many decisions a service manager needs to make on a daily basis, but he needs the up-to-date facts in order for those decisions to have the greatest impact. It’s their responsibility to ensure first-time fix rates don’t slip, that technicians are meeting their service obligations, and that the departments KPIs are on track.
For that, the service manager will need a field service business software with Business Intelligence to crunch the numbers and provide useful analytic. Business Intelligence can narrow down all the data being fed into the field service business software and produce reports that can have massive changes to the business. They can see efficiency ratings, travel, work and drive times, and be notified when KPIs aren’t being met so changes can be made. Analytics are only as good as the data feeding them and if they are old and out of date, they are useless in a real-time setting. With Business Intelligence, it’s data straight from the field, straight to their dashboard, where it can do the most good for the business.