The Impact of Digital Job Sheets On Business Efficiency And Productivity
7 August 2023
No one likes doing admin, it takes up time which you could use to grow your business. And if information is missing or hard to read, then this can lead to delays or errors when invoicing. That’s why digital job sheets are the unsung heroes of efficient field service operations.
These digital forms act like an organiser for engineers, keeping all the vital job information together in one place. Details like customer contacts, job instructions, parts lists, and site access details are all easily accessible via the job sheet mobile app. Which means no more wasting time chasing down details from the office.
In this blog, we look at how implementing digital job sheets can boost business performance through enhanced efficiency and productivity. We’ll explore how they streamline operations, improve field worker productivity and increase overall work accuracy.
How digital job sheets streamline operations
Digital job sheets streamline operations by centralising all the key information engineers need to complete their work efficiently. Details like customer contacts, appointment times, work instructions, parts/tools required, site access details, and much more, are populated into the job sheet form.
This means engineers have full visibility of each job in one place, meaning no more wasted time spent chasing down details from the office, previous notes, or van stock.
Digital job sheets also help streamline operations with more optimised scheduling and engineer routing. And enable a fast response time because they can be pushed out remotely to an engineer’s device whilst the customer is still on the phone – no more need to trek back to the office to pick up the paperwork.
Jobs can be dynamically allocated according to employee skills, locations, and availability. This intelligent scheduling ensures the right engineer is matched to each job and travel between jobs is minimised. Companies report engineers being onsite up to 30% faster after implementing dynamic scheduling through job sheets.
The automation of dispatch and job allocation also shaves significant time off admin tasks.
Plus, digital job sheets can activate jobs completed automatically, eliminating manual data entry and phone calls with the back-office.
Engineers are automatically notified of new jobs, with details ready to go in their job sheet app. This cuts down the time wasted on admin and gets field resources onsite without delay. By streamlining the flow of information and tasks supporting each job, digital job sheets keep the wheels turning efficiently.
How digital jobs sheets improve productivity
Digital job sheets boost engineer productivity in several key ways. The step-by-step task checklists within each job sheet provide engineers with clear direction to efficiently complete all work.
Engineers can progress through tasks one-by-one, ticking them off as they go to stay focused.
Knowing exactly what needs to be done removes any confusion and means they work confidently and productively. For example, an electrician completing a job sheet pre-populated with customer details will work faster. Similarly, a plumber dispatched with water valve locations mapped out saves time onsite.
Digital job sheets also list all the parts, materials and tools required for the job upfront. This ensures engineers have everything they need in one trip, rather than wasting time returning to
the van or branch to pick up missing items.
The ability to update progress and add notes/photos in real-time via digital job sheets keeps the office informed and allows them to provide quick support if any issues arise onsite. This kind of task tracking and communication means fewer delays waiting for input or authorisations.
Together, this all means engineers can get in, get the job done and move quickly onto the next task in their schedule. Plus, by boosting productivity, digital job sheets enable engineers to complete more jobs without adding resources.
How digital job sheets increase accuracy
Digital job sheets also increase work accuracy by reducing mistakes and errors. Paper-based forms often have unclear or incomplete information leading to errors. But digital templates ensure no fields are missed and all customer, work scope and compliance details are complete for each job. This fuels data accuracy.
For example, job information flows straight from the scheduling tool into a digital job sheet, eliminating re-keying errors that occur transferring handwritten notes or phone instructions. Attachments can also be directly added to provide engineers with the right reference materials like safety docs, technical specs and diagrams – these can be specific not only to a customer but also site-specific. This also helps with compliance and improves instructional accuracy.
The structured task checklists within digital job sheets act as step-by-step instructions to keep engineers on track. With clear guidance at hand, there are fewer opportunities for steps to be missed or conducted out of sequence. Engineers also can’t lose paper sheets with key information en route to jobs.
And the entire process is quicker because of instant access to completed job sheets. This means no delay in paperwork being sent/taken into the office, job cards (completed job info including certs, pics, etc). These are immediately available in the office and customer portal as soon as the job is completed through automated upload. And then billing can be immediate and tracked right through to payment, with no chance of missed invoicing and minimising instances of human error.
Location tracking via digital job sheets provides proof of attendance for more accurate job costing and customer billing. For example, engineers could check in when they arrive on site and this ties a timestamp to the location for verification. This increases accountability and accuracy.
By reducing incorrect data entry, preventing task errors and providing verification, digital job sheets drive higher quality work. This translates into greater customer satisfaction and fewer defects requiring rework.
Top tips to optimise digital job sheets for users
In essence, digital job sheets play a dual role – informing field teams while allowing them to report back progress. The way information is presented influences how easily it can be actioned. Plus, the information immediately pulls through into a customised, branded job card, keeping both office and customer informed.
Here are some top tips to help optimise digital job sheets:
- Focus on concise, structured data entry to limit scroll time for engineers on their mobile devices.
- When creating job sheets, consider the best and easiest way to collect information needed with easy answer options. For example, you can use a predefined list of icons as answers and these will be shown on the device. The engineer filling in the worksheet can then very quickly pick an icon for their answer to the question.
- Use a system like BigChange which automatically pulls customer and location details from databases to eliminate retyping.
- By adopting this approach it means if an engineer wants to find out more information, they then always have the option of clicking on the contact and finding out CRM information, for example, if they can’t get through a gate it will tell them the number to call and the person to ask for.
- Plus, engineers will always have the option to look at the job history for that customer so that they can look back at notes, pics, etc in case any of it is relevant/helpful but this again is because of the link to the CRM where all of this information is digitally stored.
- Use a system like BigChange which can display critical job details first – e.g. address, access codes, and more.
- Use checkboxes, dropdowns, and photos to simplify data input.
- Auto-sync new jobs upon assignment for quick access.
- Enable offline mode for areas with poor connectivity. Plus use a system which makes sure offline data input will be automatically uploaded once they are back online.
To sum up, you want the job sheet to be intuitive and accessible on a mobile screen. Engineers should be able to scan and action key details at a glance. Of course, you don’t want to overcomplicate the forms. Find the right balance between capturing sufficient detail and keeping the interface simple. Nobody wants information overload. The key is to use a robust system which automates and simplifies all these actions for you.
Boost operations with digital job sheets
Paper-based job management costs your business time, money and frustrations. Digitising processes via purpose-built field service software, like BigChange, eliminates the drawbacks of manual approaches.
The time savings also enable engineers to complete more jobs per day. Digital job sheets also drive quality by reducing errors and providing task guidance for accurate execution. Together, these benefits of increased efficiency, productivity and accuracy.
The bottom line: For any field service business looking to enhance operations, digital job sheets should be a core component. Equipping your engineers with this technology will tighten up your processes and deliver impressive results.
Find out more about how BigChange can make you unstoppable today.
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