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5 job management challenges and how to overcome them

9 December 2022

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Between ourselves, job management can be a challenge, can’t it?  

Whether your business is large or small, there are a few key areas that can trip up even the most talented teams.

Even in the best circumstances, balancing increasing costs, operational challenges and scheduling inefficiencies is a tall order. They are even harder to achieve when battling economic uncertainty.

Ready for the good news? It is possible to overcome these challenges and successfully plan, track, and manage your field service business with one simple solution: technology.  

Let’s jump straight into how. 

Job management challenge #1: Deal with staffing issues 

Be it recruiting staff or retaining the ones you already have, everyone is struggling with capacity issues in the day-to-day execution of business.

Actually, it’s a global issue with 46%1 of businesses struggling with a shortage of talent.

And many businesses have discovered that replacing workers is an uphill battle. There’s either not enough applicants or those that apply just simply don’t have the relevant skills. 

The solution? Optimise the team you do have. With the help of smart scheduling, your engineers’ routes can be optimised, allowing them to carry out more jobs per day.

The right tools will even help you evaluate which jobs and customers are more profitable, allowing you to make informed business decisions.

Job management challenge #2: Tackle supply chain issues

Field service firms used to have easy access to the parts they needed, but now face long delays combined with huge price hikes — thanks to a combination of political unrest, lack of raw materials, and rising fuel costs.

Despite the pandemic ending, 49%2 of businesses are still experiencing supply chain issues. And one in three2 expect the issue to remain until the end of summer 2023.

Here’s the thing: while job management tools can’t solve all your supply chain issues, it can help you keep better track of the inventory you have.  

Tech in action: For instance, using business intelligence from the system, you can adjust your reorder date to the extended lead time. Or, even explore if parts shortages will make certain services impossible and take them off the menu before incomplete jobs damage customer satisfaction. 

Job management challenge #3: Hit rising costs head-on

This is another challenge that prevents field service firms from growing profitably.

To keep costs low, businesses are keeping close tabs on their energy costs (33%3), sourcing more affordable suppliers (33%3), and halting hiring new employees (28%3).

But for many, there’s only so much cost saving you can do without impacting business operations.

Rather than passing on costs to the end-customer with price rises, the general consensus with field service businesses is to focus on keeping it lean across operations.

This means literally monitoring costs against each individual job — materials/parts, fuel, booking multiple regional jobs together, using the closest engineer, achieving first-fixes by being prepared… The list goes on.

How can businesses achieve this? With manual processes in place, this type of monitoring would be incredibly time-consuming. But with a solution like BigChange, it’s easy to track costs against even the smallest of jobs in real-time. The platform can automatically feed costs and time into reports and invoices to make reporting and invoicing seamless. 

Job management challenge #4: Ditch unnecessary paper

The pressure to improve efficiency and cut costs while maintaining high levels of customer service is a real challenge. One great way to accomplish this is by going paperless. 

So why are 52%4 of the field service management businesses lagging behind and yet to adapt to tech? 

Here’s what it boils down to: Many teams fear going digital because they feel some workers won’t get on board with the tech. But they forget one thing — the workforce is ageing and digital natives are filling their shoes. 

The bottom line: Going digital makes things quicker, more reliable, and more accurate. Put it this way. Would you rather type a name in a search box to find out who did job #1234 last year in Sheffield, or sort through 12 months of job reports to track down the technician? 

Job management challenge #5: Meet customer demands

Many field service businesses fall into the trap of doing things the same way they’ve always been done. 

The problem is, customer demands change. 

In fact, 89%5 of customers want to see modern, on demand technology applied to their technician scheduling, and nearly as many customers would pay a premium for it.

That’s why tech is so important. Instead of being left behind, you can introduce processes that delight customers. Just to name a few field service examples, you could:

✅ Provide real-time tracking of technicians so customers know exactly when they will arrive

✅ Fix issues first-time thanks to on-the-go customer data (model numbers, issues etc)

✅ Get to customers faster by routing the nearest engineer

✅ Provide quick and easy digital invoicing and payment methods

✅ Provide a self-serve portal for easy access to appointment booking, queries, and documents

Also, with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) features, you can gain a 360˚ view of your customer details. This means that all team members have full knowledge of what’s happening with an account when a customer gets in touch. Customers expect you to know what’s happening with their account and they don’t like having to repeat themselves if they need to get back in touch.

Not only do all these options improve their experience, it’s much more efficient and cost-reducing for your business too. Win-win!

Ready to get started with job management software?

No software solution can suddenly bring a workforce to full strength or stock essential inventory. 

But, the right job management software can help businesses fully optimise what they do have and take steps to minimise the impact on revenue and the bottom line. 

You too can unlock the full potential of your field service business by embracing job management software. And you can do it today 👇

Set up a demo of BigChange right here.

Need a little more convincing? Check out this blog on how BigChange provides competitive advantage (with examples)

Sources:

1Statista, 2022

2Supply Chain Management Review, 2022

3The Business Magazine, 2022

4FinanceOnline, 2022

5CSG, 2022

BigChange.com

9th December 2022

BigChange

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