Every field service organization has their own struggles in their day to day lives. It’s a challenging industry to work in, regardless if you’re talking HVAC repair, industrial equipment maintenance, or recurring maintenance of a facility. It’s a growing, complex and competitive industry to be in right now, but you may take some solace in knowing that every field service organization shares similar struggles. Not the exact same, but your peers are very understanding that there are types of challenges every organization must face in the field service space.
The interesting part about most of the challenges is that they are interconnected. You solve one, you help solve another, while at the same time, one struggle can lead to many others. To blanket all the struggles a field service organization may face, many are turning to field service management software to try and find a fix for these lingering struggles, and start a chain of repairing any damage done to the business.
Struggle: Optimizing Efficiency
Probably the largest struggle of any field service organization is optimizing efficiency and making their technicians more productive. You will see this struggle pop up in every other struggle, and is generally the key to running a success service delivery business or not. We’re talking everything from the better handling of technician’s schedules, to recurring contracts, properly planning for installation projects, having inventory levels readily available, having the ability to speed up invoice production, and well every aspect of the organization.
By having an efficient running service department, you’ll cut down on idle times and administrative work, and be able to schedule more service calls which grow the bottom line. This struggle can be solved with a field service management software by helping with dispatching of technicians, scheduling them for as many service calls as they can take in a day, and optimizing how their schedule looks based on geographical locations and how long all their work will take to complete.
If there is any one thing a service organization can do to solve most of their problems, it’s properly optimizing their work force as customer’s expectations continue to grow, the work force gets smaller, and repairs become more challenging.
Struggle: Customer Demands
Customers are becoming more demanding and meeting those demands is critical for success as a field service organization. With plenty of options for service work, customers aren’t willing to wait for service and are demanding high first-time fix rates, excellent and speedy service. As we mentioned, you have to optimize your technicians’ schedules in a field service software in order to meet the growing demands of customers in today’s field service space. Things like, becoming more predictive than preventative, narrowing work windows from eight hours to two, and providing on-demand, Uber like experiences, are things that customers want to see. It will be a challenge to make your customers happy if your organization isn’t running at peak optimization, so as said, solving one large issue can have great effects on solving many others.
Struggle: Lack of a Work Force
Do you want further proof that all struggles link together? One of the main reasons field service organizations struggle to meet their customer demands and must think long and hard about how to optimize their technician schedules is because there are very few technicians in the field service space today. Field service organizations are struggling to hire enough technicians to meet their demands, so many are turning to field service management software for a two-pronged approach: optimize their small workforce’s schedules to meet as much of the demand as possible, and hire subcontractors to complete what is remaining. Subcontractors can be managed in a field service software like any regular employee would, making them a simple extension of your service organization when demands exceed your capacity.
Struggle: Eliminating repeat visits
With plenty of customers to look after with a small workforce, first-time fix rates need to be high. Field service organizations can’t continue to return to a job site over and over to fix one thing, as that will cause a backlog in their schedules. Field service management software offers a solution where technicians can get as much help with a repair as possible, through attached guides, books, manuals, augmented reality and virtual reality capabilities, and have a history of service of specific pieces of equipment to help narrow down what is wrong before heading to a repair. All this helps to give the technician as much information as possible before they start their repair, making it more likely they will complete a repair on the first visit.
Struggle: Remaining Competitive
If you’re not optimizing your schedules to meet your customer demand with the small workforce you have, you’ll have a hard time remaining competitive in the field service industry. The reality is, customers aren’t remaining loyal as much as service managers would hope they would be, as there are plenty of options available if your technician isn’t able to get the job done right the first time. It’s imperative to send the right technician to the right job and increase your first-time fix rate so you build loyalty in your organization’s ability. Field service management software can be a blank solution for many of these struggles and is something field service organizations are turning to to remain as competitive as they can in their space.