How To Grow Your Field Services Business Without Hiring
28 January 2022
Discover what field service management is. Learn how to manage field-based workers effectively and increase workforce efficiency in this BigChange guide.
According to data from Glassdoor, the average cost of recruitment for a new employee in the UK is £3,000.
So, ensuring that every new hire for your business adds value to your organisation over the long term is paramount, especially as your business grows.
Although hiring more resources during busy periods can be tempting, it doesn’t account for troughs in activity and could eat into your profits.
In other words, you could end up hiring people only to realise that you no longer need them a few months later, which is financially damaging and destroys your reputation as an employer.
You’ll be glad to hear that being more selective when hiring new employees doesn’t mean that the staff you have need to take on extra work.
In this blog, we’ll talk through how field service businesses can be more productive, without hiring more people.
How do you grow your business using your existing team?
Knowing exactly how to utilise your existing field services team and implement job management systems and the right technology can help to make your team more productive and efficient, reducing the need to hire new people, even during a busy period.
Getting the most from your existing team is key to increasing sales and to your overall business growth strategy,
Let’s look at the top three ways your team can deal with a high volume of work without overloading.
1. Digital job scheduling
Did you that field service organisations waste a staggering 140 hours per year by creating job schedules manually?
This can lead to a few key problems:
❌Time spent on burdensome admin tasks, taking back-office teams away from activities that contribute towards business growth
❌Manual processes are error-prone, leading to delays and scheduling conflicts
❌Errors can leave a bad impression on customers
However, implementing job scheduling software can tackle these problems by:
✅Allow teams to schedule jobs and dispatch workers easily
✅Assign technicians to each job based on location, availability, skillset and vehicle type
✅Keep technicians updated on any changes to their schedule
✅Ensure you have the right resources in the right places and equip technicians to deal with emergency appointments
✅Allow back-office staff to see job progress and keep customers informed
Digital job scheduling removes the errors that can occur when a back-office team takes care of it manually.
Digitising your processes allows you to free your back-office team’s time spent on admin tasks so they can focus on more valuable activities for the business.
In addition, having a system in place to automatically schedule jobs helps you to fill your technician’s time more efficiently, cutting down on their travel time and allowing them to attend more jobs per day.
Overall, this makes your employees more productive and eliminates the need to employ more resources.
Digital job scheduling and the information provided also allows you to track other important information such as:
- Equipment Inventory
- First-time fix rates
- Your technician’s location
2. Improve company communication
Relying on text messages, phone calls, and paperwork to communicate job updates between technicians and back-office staff mean that vital information can be miscommunicated, incorrect, or delayed.
Poor communication can have a knock-on effect on your entire operation and leave customers with a negative impression of your business.
54% of technicians say that a pre-visit review of a customer’s service history is a top challenge, and 48% said access to a knowledge base is a key challenge they face.
However, many field service companies fail to provide the mobile technology that would help to solve these problems.
📱Implement mobile technology
A mobile application that links directly to the back-office team’s central platform will provide your technicians with everything they need to complete each job the first time.
This can offer the following benefits for your business:
📱 Real-time updates
A mobile application that links to your back-office team’s central platform, will equip your technicians with everything they need to complete each job the first time.
Technicians can instantly see changes to their schedule, read essential information about each case, complete risk assessments and mandatory forms, as well as issue invoices – all from the palm of their hand.
As a result, this communication improvement positively impacts your customer’s experience with your company.
With all the information they need on their desktop, back-office staff are able to easily assign and track jobs to keep your team moving.
Technicians are kept up-to-date on changes to their schedules and any cancellations in real time so they can get the most from their working days.
Implementing a mobile app keeps your technicians away from pen-pushing and helps them to focus on their jobs.
As a result, they can automate usual data entry tasks that need to be completed in the field such as tracking time and invoicing customers. All of this can be done on their mobile device in seconds and back-office staff remain updated on the status of each job.
📱Improve job performance
Technicians can track the time spent on each task of a job on their mobile device easily, which means they can bill more accurately for their services, improving your business’ bottom line.
In addition, having information in the palm of their hand on a job, the tools they need and previous notes, reduces the amount of time it takes to complete a task and can improve technicians’ first-time fix rates.
3. Collect data
Having access to a range of data across your business can equip you with the information you need to make your business run more efficiently and to ensure that you’re getting the most from your employees.
Data such as the following can provide you with a better overview of your business:
- Recurring customer information
- Job durations
- First-time fix rate for each technician
- Customer satisfaction
- Technician travel time
Understanding each of these elements and where there are any problems can help you to pinpoint the areas of your business that require improvements to increase both productivity and efficiency.
Field service management software gives you an overview of all of these elements, helping you to drive efficiency and reduce the need to continue recruiting for your business.
Quick wrap up
When you’re running a business and your staff seems to be constantly busy, the temptation to recruit more staff to relieve the pressure can be tempting.
However, looking at where you can improve productivity and efficiency across your business is key to boosting your business’ bottom line. Getting more from your existing employees will save costs on recruiting and training new employees.
Having job management software in place not only helps you to increase productivity, it also provides your staff with the equipment and knowledge they need to do their jobs well. This leads to keeping your employees satisfied and improving retention rates.
In addition, you keep your customers happy too!
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