The growing trend in the field service management space is to turn towards third-party vendors and subcontractors to fill the workforce gap when qualified technicians aren’t available, or for seasonal work during peak work times.
It has allowed field service organizations to meet heavy customer demand, become more agile with their full-time technician core, and offer additional services beyond when the areas of expertise of their workforce, or in a different geographical area. With this new trend of hiring subcontractors, field service organizations have reduced costs in hiring additional full-time technicians and improved their service delivery.
But there can be some risks in hiring subcontractors on a rapid basis, especially for critical clients who expect the highest level of service each time you visit. When you hire a subcontractor, you do give up some control in how that technician will respond to your customers, because they aren’t trained the same as your home-based technicians are. However, field service software is making it easier to avoid any mistakes subcontractors can make and ensure your customers that they will get quality service, no matter who comes by to do repairs.
Ensure your subcontractors are properly certified
When work orders are placed on third-party vendor platforms for subcontractors to bid on, you don’t know who you are going to get applying for the job. They may be missing the proper certifications or experience needed to complete the task. It’s critical to review their credentials before just handing them the work order and directions to the job site. When scheduling in your field service software, selecting subcontractors based on a skill set search will give you the list of ones that meet the criteria needed for the job. You don’t want to lower your standards for a quick and cheap fix by a subcontractor, as it could result in a loss of a customer.
Properly onboard your subcontractors
Onboarding subcontractors doesn’t just mean collecting their information, pay rate and billing information, it also means properly training them in how your organization operates. If your company uses a field service mobile app, instructions can be attached to the work order about how they are to great customers, get signatures to close out the work, which doors to use in an office and who to speak to.
Maintain standards and hold subcontractors accountable
It’s also important to communicate with subcontractors about how to report back to you. With a mobile app, advanced checklists can keep your subcontractors on schedule and ensure no part of the work order is missed, while also ensuring the important data and information is sent back to the field service software for processing. Checklists are a great way to maintain the standards your organization has for the work they complete, and ensures that no matter who is responding to the call, that your customers will get the same quality of work, whether it’s a full-time technician or subcontractor.
Treat subcontractors as if they are an extension of your company
There should be very little difference between your full-time technicians and subcontractors. They all should be held to the same standards, have the same tools to complete jobs and communicate information in the same format. Field service software makes it easy to make subcontractors part of your field service family. When dispatchers go to schedule work orders, subcontractor information is available in the field service software and they can be dispatched just like a regular technician would.
Just because they don’t work full-time under your roof doesn’t mean they don’t have a full impact on your customers under your name. Avoid risks with subcontractors by using a field service management software and manage their movements on the job, the same way you would any of your regular technicians.