When it comes to completing large installation or construction projects, it’s important to be timely, offer quality, and be financially responsible. Projects can be a great source of revenue for many field service organizations, but costs can quickly get away from you if you’re not careful in your scheduling. Effective project management means effectively scheduling supplies, resources, and technicians for specific tasks. Come in late on any task, budgets and timelines can be off. That leaves customers unsatisfied and opens leaks in revenue streams.
To keep a project on track and on budget, field service scheduling software is used to offer realistic time frames, assign resources and is crucial to the success of the project. Field service management teams have plenty to coordinate with project work and need an all-in-one system that will help them reduce the costs associated with projects, increase customer satisfaction and bring in projects on a timely manner.
Some field service management teams have two different sets of technician workforce. One is dedicated to just maintenance work, while the other is the construction and project team. With field service scheduling software, those two teams become interchangeable, and technicians can be pulled off preventative maintenance work to be assigned to projects if needed.
If you’re a project manager, you want a field service scheduling software that is ready to handle any size of project. Let’s look at how scheduling technicians is so important for project management.
Job Costing and Financials
Before taking on any project, managers need to know the costs, the breakdowns, the margins and the percentages. One of the costliest parts of the project are the hours technicians work. Depending on the project, technicians may need specialized skills, knowledge or certifications to complete tasks. When job costing a project, you will get the knowledge of the costs associated with completing each task in a timely manner with highly trained technicians. And when it comes to timelines on a project, it requires project managers to effectively schedule resources to meet any time constraint.
If a customer requests a short time frame to complete a project, that drastically changes the resources that need to be allocated. This is where having a connected workforce becomes useful, as dispatchers can take from their maintenance technicians, and assign them to project work. With field service scheduling software, everyone is using the same portal, so changes completed to a technician’s schedule will be visible to everyone. If a project needs an extra set of hands for a task, they can check their technicians’ schedule and see who is available on that particular day.
This allows for accuracy when planning projects, as resources can be assigned to the project’s tasks, blocking off that time in their schedule. With no whiteboards and no separate teams, it’s complete visibility into the workforce’s movements. With field service scheduling software and job costing tools, you will be able to bring in realistic estimates and time frame to complete projects. This prevents last-minute costly delays that could throw the project off its timeline.
Documenting Each Task of the Project
Projects are detailed and task dependent. They have many stages and need specific technicians and resources for each. A technician you need for a later stage may not be needed for an earlier one and can perform other maintenance work for your organization. Knowing each task, how long it is scheduled for and who is all involved is part of a successful field service scheduling software’s project management system. With it, project managers can detail each step of their project, the tools, resources and parts they need and the technicians that will be required.
This is another way to keep projects coming in on time and on budget. By documenting each task for the project, your field service management team will have a better understanding of how far along the project is and how much more to completion. It also allows you to properly schedule your technicians and allocate resources depending on the skills needed for each task. By knowing exactly what you need, when you need it, you can lower costs on projects, and meet tight deadlines.
Field Service Management of Projects
As tasks are completed and projects are underway, field service management teams need to have a status update on the project. Are they meeting their revenue goals and timeline targets? The only way to know before was through meetings on the job site to see what has been completed. Today, with the help of field service scheduling software, project managers get a detailed look at the life of projects. With estimated hours included in initial task creation, managers can see where their field service management teams are ahead of schedule or behind and adjust the schedule.
This is why it’s so important to have a connected field service scheduling software when completing projects. Project managers who fall behind need to be able to grab resources when they need to in order to bring a project in on time. Without status updates on the projects percentage completion and other analytics like utilization rates, managers are making estimates and guesses about where the project really is. That could be significant delays if they are wrong in their estimates.
Quality of Work on Projects
Perhaps what is not talked about most is the customer experience during a project. Customers are putting faith in your organization to get the work completed on time and on budget. They expect a quality product and quality service. There can’t be delays in sending the wrong technician or the wrong parts to the job site. With field service scheduling software, quality becomes a focus of projects. With projects broken down to individual tasks, project managers can ensure the right people, with the right skills, will be available when needed.
When you schedule the right people with the right parts, your quality rises. It also avoids any problems that could bring the project to a halt or cause major issues later down the line. The last thing you want to do is complete the project, only to find out there is a major issue that should been addresses earlier in the project. Effect project management ensures quality is controlled. With field service scheduling software, manage the risk and take opportunities of available technicians to bring in projects faster. With a complete view into your technicians’ schedules, you can bring in the best quality project to satisfy your customers.
Not only will this increase your profit on this project, but field service scheduling software will also help you beat out the competition by bringing in lower quotes and tighter timelines for project, installation and construction work.