3-Step Guide To Creating A Smart Scheduling Workflow

Ann Dewar
May 9, 2023

No matter how many jobs you book or how many leads you have in the pipeline, none of it matters if you don’t optimise your operational processes. 

Why? Because this massively impacts service delivery and profit margins.

And this is where smart scheduling comes in. 

A smart scheduling workflow helps you to accept more jobs in one day, set new appointment times, send alerts for new jobs, receive notifications, and ultimately manage the availability of your workforce and equipment. 

Let’s look into this a little more. In this blog, we’ll cover what smart scheduling is and cover three steps to implementing a smart scheduling workflow.

What is smart scheduling?

Smart scheduling software gives you complete control over your workflow process, automating tasks that you might otherwise do manually. Businesses that use smart scheduling solutions enjoy not only a more effective and perfect schedule, but optimal times for appointments, an easy way to manage field-based employees, and also an overall improvement in productivity and customer satisfaction.

Here are just some of the highlights of smart scheduling:

📌 Create smart routes to minimise gaps between jobs

📆 Never get double-booked and assign the right engineer to a job

💸 Automate customer alerts and collect payments in real-time

⏳ Be more responsive to last-minute changes like customer emergencies or urgent call-outs

Ultimately, smart scheduling is handy for busy field service businesses who want to pack their schedules with back-to-back jobs. Businesses that do this minimise gaps between jobs, allowing you to fit more into your day, get more jobs done the first time, and invoice on the spot. 

It also boosts both cash flow and revenue. It’s easy to see why field service businesses make the switch.

📖 For more on smart scheduling, check out this blog: What is smart scheduling and why it matters

3 steps to create a smart scheduling workflow 

We’ve briefly covered some of the key reasons field services switch to a smart scheduling workflow. The bottom line? It can save your back-office employees time, money, and resources by streamlining the way work is assigned and completed.

And it reduces inefficient job scheduling associated with manual processes like paperwork, calls, and running back and forth between the site and the office. 

It’s literally a no-brainer when it comes to efficient job management.

Now, you’ll want to know what smart scheduling workflows look like practically implemented in a business. So, let’s break down the key steps in a smart scheduling workflow. 👇

Step #1. Use smart scheduling software 

Innovative tech is what makes smart scheduling possible. It digitises the otherwise manual processes within job management, which are notorious for errors and delays.

So, how does tech help? What are the key features?

The three main smart scheduling workflows include job scheduling, vehicle routing, and automated customer alerts. On top of this, you can also create templated workflows for specific job types so that engineers follow a standard for every job – and it saves manually recreating records for every job.

Let’s look at smart scheduling functionality in more detail…

📆Smart job scheduling

Essentially, this allows you to assign jobs based on employees’ strengths, qualifications and nearest location. This way, managers can help boost morale and increase overall productivity.

With access to an easy-to-use digital job calendar, you can view upcoming jobs for the day, week, or month, along with their respective assigned field service workers. With this, you can then tag each job based on priority or status to quickly identify what jobs are due up next.

Plus, you can view additional information such as on-site risk assessments, machine operating conditions, inventory levels, and material costs – all of which help to streamline communication and planning.

📌Intelligent vehicle routing 

With smart scheduling software, like BigChange, field service managers can use a GPS tracking system to route engineers to the quickest and safest routes available. 

Here’s what makes this really powerful… With engineer tracking, you can also get real-time information on traffic, road conditions, the weather, and other temporary obstructions.

And, on top of this, it boosts first-time fix rates by checking stock and assigning parts and equipment to jobs. And you’ll increase profit by minimising total travel time, fuel used, and overall job cost. 

Stock Allocation

⚠️ Automated customer alerts

Smart scheduling tools are a brilliant way to boost customer satisfaction too.

Why? Because it allows you to keep your customers informed with automated job confirmations and ETA text messages.

Plus, it’s easy to book new and recurring jobs based on customer availability. You can even allow customers to book their own appointments via an online booking system. And enable you to respond quickly to unscheduled job requests with a live view of resource availability. 

Find the location of your engineers with the JobWatch platform

You can check out BigChange’s smart scheduling functionality now, or keep reading to see how to set up the perfect smart scheduling workflow.

Step # 2. Set up your perfect workflow

Creating your smart scheduling workflow can feel daunting, but with the right technology and some best practice tips, it can be easy to get started.

Here are a few steps to consider:

1. Define your requirements: The first step is to understand what you want to achieve with your smart scheduling workflow. What goals do you want to accomplish? For example, you may have limited engineers and need to fit more jobs in a day. 

2. Consider any constraints: The next step is to think about any constraints that might limit job scheduling. For example, some jobs might be highly technical and require the right skills, which means you need to schedule certain jobs with specific engineers. 

3. Configure your chosen tool to meet your needs: After implementing your chosen tool, you might need to configure the tool to reflect your scheduling requirements and constraints. For example, with BigChange you can make sure the schedule considers buffers for likely challenges like traffic, as well as considering driving distance to and from the job location. This ensures there’s enough time to drive to the job from the previous job location and within the hours of the engineer’s daily shift times. Now that’s smart.

4. Automate the scheduling process: Once your smart scheduling software is configured, you can put it to work to automate your scheduling processes. With the right tool, this is super easy. For instance, BigChange has a user-friendly tool that provides simple drag-and-drop functionality to make this a total breeze. Plus, you can easily set up rules and workflows to handle common scenarios. For example, you might want to automatically schedule certain engineers to highly technical jobs. 

Step #3. Review and adjust regularly 

As a final step, it’s important to continuously monitor and optimise your smart scheduling workflow to ensure it continues to meet your needs. 

Take business intelligence and reporting, for example. 👇

If your tool includes business information, you can leverage reports and real-time data analytics to look for areas to improve efficiency, reduce errors, and increase the number of jobs scheduled.

Get more jobs done, the smart way 

Regardless of the industry you work in, if you’re in field services, the choice to digitise your business with smart scheduling is a worthwhile investment in the short and long term. 

And with technology like BigChange in place, making this happen is so much easier because it allows you to better manage client relations and improve work efficiencies for both employees and managers alike.

By simplifying the dispatch process, not only will your employees be more satisfied, but your clients will notice a significant improvement in response time, job performance, and reliability. 

The bottom line: With this technology, you can reduce no-shows and ensure that the right people arrive at their job sites with minimal delay. All benefiting profit margins.

Ready to build the perfect schedule? Get in touch with our job management pros to see for yourself how smart scheduling helps field service businesses. You can book your personalised demo here now.

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