A Guide to Optimising Your Field Service Process
Historically, field service organisations have been slow to adopt the latest technologies to manage and optimise their operations. In fact, a staggering 52% of companies are still relying on outdated manual administration methods.
But, if the COVID-19 crisis taught us anything, it’s that digital transformation is essential in today’s world for businesses to survive and thrive.
Luckily, you can digitise your current working practices with the right field service management tool in place. By eliminating time-consuming tasks and reducing the margin for error, you can enjoy boosted productivity levels, more profits and fewer unnecessary delays.
In this article, we’ll explore the top ways you can optimise your field service process by using modern technology.
How to Streamline your Field Service Process: 3 Top Tips
Here are the top three ways you can use a field service management tool to enhance your operations:
1. Perform Preventative and Predictive Maintenance on Your Vehicles
Although the saying ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ might apply to many aspects of running a successful business, it certainly doesn’t work when it comes to taking care of your fleet. Shockingly, unplanned maintenance costs three to nine times more than planned preventative maintenance.
Not to mention that defective equipment or assets can severely hinder or, at worst, halt your projects and set you back several days. Picture this: your technician, Michael, has an important appointment to attend. He loads all his equipment onto the van, gets in, and tries to start the engine.
After several attempts, Michael realises that the van isn’t going anywhere. So, he asks the back-office team if there’s another vehicle available. But, by the time Michael secures a new van, loads it up and gets on the road, he’s running exceptionally late. Your customer is unimpressed, and Michael is now speeding to get to the location quickly, putting himself and others in danger.
Even if the original van had started, there’s a chance it could’ve broken down on the road and caused an accident since no one had maintained it.
Fortunately, by performing preventative maintenance and adequate safety checks, you can avoid frustrating situations caused by defective equipment altogether.
With a field service management tool, you can complete daily electronic vehicle walkaround checks. The assessments make it simple to identify and report defects or potential problems to your Fleet Manager, ensuring that you’re able to keep a safe and legal fleet on the road.
By taking steps to maintain your vehicles, you can enable your technicians to attend more appointments per day, save money on emergency fixes and guarantee that your workers are safe on the roads.
2. Digitise Your Equipment and Asset Management Tracker
Did you know that 43% of small businesses aren’t tracking their inventory and assets effectively? With many field service organisations continuing to rely on spreadsheets, legacy systems and other manual administration processes to manage their vehicles, stock and tools, they are leaving themselves vulnerable to a host of issues.
For example, if you’re using a paper-based document for technicians to sign equipment in and out of storage, you will likely find that numbers stop adding up relatively quickly. Maybe the technicians have forgotten to fill out the form, or their writing is illegible. Perhaps they’ve taken too much stock so they can store it in their vans for future jobs.
When you can’t obtain an accurate overview of your inventory, you won’t be able to ensure that all your technicians have what they need for each job. Subsequently, they could be turning up to bookings without the right gear and need to make another appointment to finish the work.
Fortunately, there is a more efficient way to manage your assets and stock. With a modern field service management tool, you’ll have access to real-time, accurate data on all of your valuable goods, regardless of their location.
Consequently, your team can allocate stock, tools and equipment directly to customer bookings so your technicians can complete the job the first time. In the long run, you’ll save more time, enjoy higher levels of productivity and boost your bottom line.
3. Use Real-Time Data to Schedule and Manage Jobs
According to a survey conducted by Verizon Connect, half of field service businesses struggle with ‘quickly re-routing technicians’. A further 48% claimed their biggest hurdle is ‘keeping everyone updated about the schedule’ and, for 45%, it’s ‘informing customers of technicians’ estimated times of arrival’.
Unfortunately, job management and scheduling are tricky when you don’t have real-time data or the right technology in place. Without complete visibility over your workers in the field, you have to rely on phone calls, texts and spreadsheets to ensure that your technicians attend all customer bookings on time.
The good news is, using a field service management tool with an integrated intelligent scheduling feature such as BigChange, you’ll have all the vital information you need whenever you need it. The system uses GPS tracking technology to collect data in real-time, giving you every technician’s exact whereabouts and keeping your customers in the loop with automated texts and emails.
Whenever your customers make or reschedule a booking on the portal, your back-office team can instantly assign a technician to the job, taking into account the following:
- Traffic information
- Job constraints (for example, specific qualifications the technician must hold)
- Vehicle type
Not only can you guarantee that you’ll be sending the most appropriate worker to each booking, but you also eliminate the risk of scheduling issues such as clashes or delays. Plus, you’ll be arming your team with the tools they need to be more agile in the case of an emergency booking.
Grow Your Business with BigChange’s Field Service Management Tool
Save valuable time and stay connected to every aspect of your business with BigChange.
Our secure, cloud-based software helps you track and control every job, from quotation to payment, on a single platform. Everything you need to know will be at your fingertips, making it easy to plan, manage, schedule and track your field-based workforce and transport operations.
Plus, you’ll be able to make the most of our dedicated, expert support.
Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger, arrange a free demo today.