It’s the benefit of our generation – reducing paperwork. Going green is a hot-button topic in the field service industry and for many reasons, service teams are wanting to dump paper-based processes. It generally falls into one of three categories:
1) Reduce paper usage and protect the environment
2) Reduce the amount of paperwork technicians must fill out
3) Reduce the amount of filing cabinets and boxes to store service history
What they all have in common is that a mobile field service software can help reduce them all. Even going as far as making field service organizations completely paperless. No more work orders and checklists to fill out with pens and pencils, no more checklists or compliance reports, and no more stacks of old work orders to look through for service history. With those changes, it also drastically reduces the amount of paper used, protecting the environment.
Reducing paperwork has so many benefits to a business, more than just having less paper floating around the office. It’s an opportunity to generate more revenue, assist in repairs and reduce processing times. It may be a stretch to think that way out of simply reducing paper-work, but it’s achievable. That’s because to go paperless, you need a mobile field service software with field service mobile apps to take the paper out of your technicians’ hands.
Let’s dive into this more and see what paperless really means to a field service organization.
Eliminating the Hour of Paperwork
Technicians have a handful of paperwork to complete their service calls. There are work orders, compliance reports, checklists, time cards, and manuals and guides if they need assistance in repairs. That’s a lot of paperwork to fill out and plenty of time a technician must spend making sure they are done correctly. That is a lot of lost time by your technicians, when they could be doing what they do best, providing service.
All that lost time is revenue your organization isn’t earning. The way to earn more revenue, other than raising prices, is to have technicians perform more service. If you install a mobile field service software and give them a field service mobile app to complete their paperwork, all that extra time is available to schedule more calls.
With a field service mobile app, they are completing reports on their smart phone or tablet as they work. They are using the start and stop timer for their time cards and have an electronic way to finish work orders. On top of that, all these former paper-based work orders are sent to their mobile phone, and if changes are made in their schedule, they don’t have to return to the office to pick up the new forms.
For some organizations, they also have hundreds of different forms. While there may be only a few work order types, some inspection, compliance and safety forms vary depending on city, state and country, and require a different look. With mobile field service software, you can customize all these forms and have the correct one sent to the technician.
Most technicians dislike administrative work and prefer to use their hands and be working on equipment. With mobile field service software, there is now a way to drastically reduce the time they are sitting idle filling out papers, and get them working on new customer equipment, generating revenue.
Reduce the Flood Coming Back to Head Office
Once technicians have completed their paper-work, it must go somewhere. From the field, this can create problems, as technicians can lose paperwork, misplace it, and in some cases, must mail it back if they are not located near the office. That slows down processing times and can leave files incomplete. With mobile field service software, as soon as the work order is closed, and an active connection is made, work orders and transferred back to the field service software. No manual interaction is needed, and work orders are available for processing as soon as they are closed.
For back office staff, the flood of paperwork they get can be overwhelming. Each work order has to be processed, checklists, inspection reports and compliance reports filed correctly. Information must be turned into useful data, invoices and service history, all in a timely manner. And just like in the field, there is a chance paperwork can be filed wrong, lost or information read incorrectly, resulting in errors.
With mobile field service software, the information from the electronic work orders is sent clean and instantly. Processing can be done the same day the work order is completed. Automation handles plenty of invoice calculations, such as service rates, based on contract rates or regular hourly rates. And within minutes, paper work orders can go from the field, through to the invoice process and be sent to the customer. This speeds up billing and improves cash flow within the business. No more waiting weeks to send out invoices.
Build a Better Service History
After the flood of paperwork is returned, what do you do with all that paper and service history? Is it put into storage cabinets, filed on spreadsheets or thrown away? And what happens if a customer asks for an old service report, their work order history and additional records? Does someone have to hunt through boxes to find old reports? All of this happens daily and takes plenty of time to find, compile and submit old work orders and reports to customers.
With a mobile field service software, the work order management system can have all work order information at your fingertips. The entire service history of a customer is available in seconds. No filing cabinets, no paper, just a full, detailed service history. This is also helpful with service technicians who want to check service history on equipment during repairs. From their field service mobile app, they can review past repair notes to help identify problems. This is becoming a must-have for field service organizations, as older technicians are retiring, and their notes and service history is being called upon to help train the next wave of technicians.
Paperless is More Than Just About Saving Trees
Going paperless had its roots in saving trees from being processed into paper, but the reality is, going paperless has deep roots into growing revenues in field service. The mobile solutions field service software provides is finding unique ways to speed up service, offer greater insight and communication and help with faster processing. It has improved the efficiency of technicians in the field and in the office. All this saved time is now being put to good use, generating more revenue for the company. So, now when you hear ‘going paperless’ you can start to understand that it’s a drastic shift in a field service operation, powered by a mobile field service software.