Today’s field service industry is growing at a rapid rate, however, the technician pool is on the decline, as baby boomers are retiring in greater numbers each year and replacements are hard to find. In fact, the pool of Millennial talent isn’t able to close the resource gap, and field service organizations today are finding themselves in a situation where they may have a shortage of skilled workers, yet their businesses number of service calls is increasing.
In fact, 70 percent of service organizations predict they will experience a field worker shortage in the next five to 10 years, while 35 percent of organizations are facing that crisis right now, and don’t have enough technicians to handle the work. So, field service organizations have two options to turn to in order to combat the growing problem in the United States. They can hire Millennials to solve the shortage, which is what many are doing in America, as in 2015, one in three workers were considered Millennials. Or they can purchase a field service management software that has the tools, modules and integrations that can make a field service team more productive, even if and when their technicians begin to retire.
The Millennial Strategy to Close the Resource Gap
Field service organizations aren’t hiring Millennials at a rate they need to in order to close the gap being created by the baby boomer generation retiring. Only 15 percent of service organizations have developed strategies more Millennial workers, who are looking for more out of their job than just a paycheck, they want advancement, a greater direction and more technology in their work. Forty-three percent of Millennial workers want to work for a company that offers a career path for their technicians, and not just one that is the dame daily grind like their fathers were willing to do.
But with Millennials, you also get a group who will embrace new technology better than the previous generation, including field service management software, Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality and virtual reality. Considering they have grown up in an age where mobility is second nature, introducing a field service mobile app is going to be relatively easier with a group that is already experienced with mobile apps and devices.
When you consider that most Millennials are typically not trained in the industry they are working in, there is going to be many challenges long the way. Seventy percent of Millennial technicians did not study for that profession, so there is going to need to be more avenues for them to learn, such as digital access to customer histories to get a better understanding on what previous repairs have happened, and searchable knowledge-based software that is easy for them to find the answers they are looking for.
But with field service management software, the training opportunities are endless, and you can take the experience of the baby boomer generation and pass it down to the Millennials who won’t have the same experiences working in the field. Augmented reality and virtual reality will offer new ways for Millennials to learn, using technology they are already familiar with.
The Field Service Software Strategy to the Resource Gap
With the resource gap widening, there is another option field service organizations are exploring more and more to get the technicians they need to fulfill the work they have. Many are turning to field service software that can help them with the hiring and on-boarding of subcontractors in order to outsource their work to the market. In fact, 76 percent of field service organizations outsource a part of the work their organization does, that doesn’t just meet the growing demand, but also increases their coverage area, as they can move into new territory without having to hire full-time workers, while also being able to be flexible in their current offerings when demand fluctuates.
Subcontractors allow a field service organization to offer more services than they have been able to before, without having to hire on new technicians, and with a field service software, they can be managed the same as any full-time technician would. Work orders can still be sent to a mobile app, checklists can be completed, work orders signed and returned electronically, while integrations to accounting software will ensure that not only is the invoice created quickly, but so too is the payment voucher to have the subcontractor paid quickly.
Field service management software also comes with the tools needed to better schedule your technicians for more enhanced dispatching, and analytical tools make it easy to start to find where revenue leakage is happening in your business in order to make adjustments, even with a short staff.
Combine Millennials with Field Service Software
Combing millennials with field service software is a winning combination, as a field service management software can drastically change how your organization runs, removing many of the manual processes, with technology that is already being used by today’s Millennials on their own smart phones and tablets. It’s embracing the technology of today as well as embracing the people and technicians of today and using the tools they know how to use. Service can be taught, and with changes being made that has seen the industry go to a more customer service approach, hiring Millennials with great customer service skills will go a long way to retaining customers in the future.
And with the industry moving to more advanced technology, such as augmented reality, virtual reality and IoT, it’s going to need technicians who understand how that technology works. And baby boomers will have to training in the new technology, which gives the Millennial worker the upper hand in not needing as much training and truly embracing an approach that has a field service software at the heart of an organization.