The field service industry is turning towards subcontractors. Not enough skilled technicians are available to complete the vast amounts of new work. So, field service businesses are looking at subcontractors to help with the workload. It’s turned into a great business practice for some businesses, as they have adopted entire subcontractor workforces. Aided by field service software, subcontractor management is now easier than ever. And field service businesses are taking advantage of what subcontractors are bringing to the table. That includes:
- Flexibility in times to schedule
- Emergency on-call service capabilities
- Expanded skillset and certifications
- Located in different territories and regions
With these subcontractor trends taking a firm hold of the field service world, a tool is needed to help with subcontractor management. And that is where field service software comes in, aiding managers and dispatchers in their work with subcontractors and third-party vendors. Here are the trends happening in the field with regards to subcontractors, and how field service software is helping businesses succeed.
Keep Subcontractor Management Focused on Customer Experience
The largest trend in the field service industry is the focus on the customer experience. With so many options available for customers to select service providers, nothing can be taken for granted anymore. A missed or late call, a bad first-time fix rate or overpriced service will have customers looking elsewhere. So, if you’re going to deploy subcontractors, it’s very important to keep your customer experience just as high as you would with your own, in-house technicians. Subcontractors are representing you and your business, so you need them performing to peak efficiency.
Firstly, design advanced checklists for subcontractors to follow. Give them the same mobile field service app your in-house technicians use to complete their service call. This way, you can control the workflow and how work is completed. Make sure no step is missed throughout the service call and every detail is inputted into the system. Field service software will collect all the information and make it available to the customer in their service report. Secondly, use the same mobile field service app to track the subcontractor’s movements. See when they are heading to the site, on the job, and where they are with tracking ability. Subcontractor management tools in field service software make it so your third-party vendors are delivering the same service your own in-house technicians would provide.
Collecting All the Big Data You Need
Another trend in the field service industry is collecting plenty of Big Data. It’s this data that gives you things like first-time fix rates, average travel and repair times, KPI reports and profit margins. But Big Data doesn’t stop when you start using subcontractors. In fact, it could be argued that knowing what your subcontractors are doing is more important, as you have less interaction with them for training purposes. With the mobile field service app, subcontractors are collecting the same data and transmitting it back to the field service software. That data is then turned into useful data, which can help dispatchers and managers decide on the quality of the subcontractor.
Subcontractor management requires managers to know how well a subcontractor is doing in the field. If they are struggling, or their first-time fix rate is low or work time too high, it’s time to look elsewhere. However, you wouldn’t get that kind of Big Data without a field service software and its Business Intelligence module to collect, analysis and offer reports on the service your subcontractors are offering.
Greater Access to Service History
Your in-house technicians are not the only ones that would love greater access to service history. Depending on the level of security you have set-up in your field service software, subcontractors can access the same repair notes and previous work orders as your in-house technicians do. This will help improve service time and first-time fix rates, as subcontractors can speed up repairs if they have a chance to review what was done before. To run effective subcontractor management, you need to give them the same quality information from your field service software.
Modernization and Expansion
Two growing trends in the field service industry are to modernize your workforce and expand it. Field service software is how many are solving the modernization problem, and subcontractor management is how they are solving expansion. Put them together, and you have a winning combination for growth in your business. As we have pointed out, field service software has plenty of unique tools that will give subcontractors a chance to succeed. That includes things like mobile field service apps and more access to information.
For service organizations who want to expand their operation, subcontractors are a great way to test the market. Expansion is a growing trend as profit margins get lower with increased competition. So, moving to a new territory is becoming a must for some industries. Rather than setting up a new office, warehouse and hiring a workforce, use subcontractor management tools and hire third-party vendors. See how the market responds to your business being in the new location and what kind of service people are asking for. It’s also a great way to expand upon the services you already offer. Don’t turn away business that is out of your scope. But rather, hire a subcontractor with the right certifications and knowledge to complete jobs your own workforce may not be trained in.
Subcontractor Management And Field Service Software Go Hand-In-Hand
If you’re going to use subcontractors, you need software to manage them. Treat your subcontractors like you would your in-house technicians with field service software. Complete with subcontractor management tools, your dispatchers and managers can treat them exactly like your regular workforce. Schedule and dispatch work orders collect information and produce invoices fast, even when a subcontractor is completing the work.
Grow your business with these trends and expand the service your business offers by hiring subcontractors. Use field service management software to give you total control over their movements and how they affect your customers.