Job planning: How to boost team productivity and performance

Ann F Dewar
June 19, 2023

Field service management is unpredictable. Delays, cancellations, emergency jobs, and changes in job scope require rapid adjustments to schedules.These unexpected twists and turns require us to be nimble and adapt our schedules in real-time. But without the right tools, this can feel like juggling plates.

Enter: Job planning software. It's not just about boosting productivity (although that's pretty impressive), it's also about supercharging your entire team's performance.

The right platform plays a pivotal role in ensuring smooth operations, happy customers, and a thriving bottom line. In a nutshell, investing time and effort into job planning sets the stage for success, enabling your field service business to thrive in a competitive market.

Let's dive in!

Today’s job planning challenges

Planning and scheduling jobs efficiently is no small task in the field service world. It’s a delicate balancing act. You must consider factors like engineers' availability, the urgency of the jobs, travel time, and of course, your customers' preferences. And in our fast-paced world, there's always something unpredictable around the corner – last-minute cancellations, urgent requests, or scope changes.

Keeping everyone in the loop is another hurdle faced daily. It's essential that all team members are up-to-date with their schedules, job specifics, and any last-minute changes. Why? Because communication hiccups can lead to mistakes and wasted time. And no one wants that.

Then there's the challenge of keeping an eye on ongoing jobs and team performance in real-time. This visibility ensures teams are performing at their best, customers are happy, and you can spot any areas to improve on.

And let's not forget about the challenges we face with industry regulations and standards – they add an extra layer of complexity to job planning. Matching the right engineer to the right job is vital too, but without a system that keeps tabs on skills, experience, and certifications, this can feel like a mammoth task.

Lastly, you’re always striving to meet the high expectations of our modern customers. They're looking for quick service, accurate appointment times, and real-time updates. Meeting these expectations while juggling all your other planning considerations certainly keeps you on your toes!

All these hurdles signal the importance of using the right tech tools, like field service management software, to make the job planning process smoother and more efficient.

So let’s see how it can help.

The role of software in job planning

Field service software is a game-changer when it comes to job planning. It's like having a trusty assistant by your side, streamlining and simplifying the entire process.

With its powerful features, the tech takes the hassle out of scheduling and routing jobs efficiently. You can say goodbye to the days of manual spreadsheets and endless back-and-forth phone calls. And say hello to optimal schedules, considering factors like employee skills, job urgency, and customer preferences, all with just a few clicks.

But it doesn't stop there. The best tech is designed to adapt to the unpredictable nature of our industry. It empowers you to make real-time adjustments on the fly. Got a last-minute cancellation? No problem. Need to assign an urgent job to the nearest available engineer? Easy peasy. Have to reassign a job to a different engineer? Just one click.

With this software, you can handle unexpected changes smoothly and ensure that your team stays on track, maximising productivity and keeping customers happy. In fact, field service software truly takes the stress out of job planning, making your life easier and your business more productive.

👉So let’s take a look at how job planning software boosts team productivity and performance in a bit more detail.

How job planning boosts team productivity

The right software is like having a secret weapon in your job planning arsenal. First off, it eliminates those tedious manual processes and mountains of paperwork. The right tech automates workflows, freeing up your team from admin burdens. So your team can focus on what they do best – completing high quality jobs.

Plus, job planning software takes the headache out of juggling schedules and playing the guessing game. It considers factors like employee availability, skills, and job requirements to create optimised schedules. No more wasted time or unnecessary travel. Leaving your team hopping from one job to the next with maximum efficiency.

And there's more. As you know, communication is the glue that holds a team together, and the right software takes it to the next level. With real-time updates and seamless collaboration, everyone stays in the loop. Your back office team, engineers, and even customers are always in the know about job status, changes, and customer requests. In a nutshell it streamlines workflows, optimises scheduling, and enhances communication.

How job planning supercharges team performance

The right software isn't just about boosting team productivity—it's also a game-changer when it comes to team performance. First and foremost, this software enables you to track performance metrics in real-time. With instant access to data, you can analyse how each team member is performing and identify areas for improvement.

But that's not all. Field service management software fosters better communication and coordination within your team. It reduces siloed working and encourages camaraderie across the company, so that you’re working as one big team, not as separate departments.

For instance, you can easily share job details, updates, and instructions, ensuring everyone is on the same page. No more playing phone tag or relying on scattered emails.

And here's the best part: this software allows you to provide real-time feedback and recognition to your team. With performance data at your fingertips, you can acknowledge achievements and address any areas that need improvement promptly.

In short, the right software goes beyond productivity—it's a performance booster. It helps you track performance, enhances communication, and facilitates real-time feedback.

Case study: Job planning in action

As a case in point, CDC Draincare has expanded significantly since introducing BigChange.

How? Firstly, the job management system has replaced a number of disconnected systems with a single platform that provides real-time visibility of all jobs nationwide, across different businesses and office locations. But that’s not all. BigChange helped CDC to be twice as productive without increasing headcount. Take it from Simeon Turner, Group Operations Director, at CDC Draincare:

BigChange has provided a platform for us to freely expand the business, allowing us to transform with a seamless and paperless solution. We’ve doubled the number of jobs we do nationwide but with BigChange automation, we’ve not had to increase staff to manage the extra workload. So, we’re probably twice as productive in the office. And through better scheduling and resource allocation, we’ve increased field service productivity by about 20 percent since introducing BigChange.”

CDC is also taking advantage of the integration between BigChange and XERO accounting software. With contact and invoice data automatically synchronised between each system, double keying is eliminated. This saves hours in manual administration, as well as minimising inconsistencies and improving data quality.

📖You can read more about their case study here.

Empower your team for success with job planning software

To sum up, the right job planning software is a powerful tool that can truly transform your team's performance. By boosting productivity, improving communication, and providing real-time performance tracking, it empowers your team to succeed.

With the right technology in your corner, you can streamline operations, enhance collaboration, and achieve incredible results. In fact, the right job planning can make a huge difference to the bottom line.

You can improve first time fixes by ensuring you have exactly what you need for each job, plus you can analyse the cost-effectiveness of routes and adjust pricing. Or if a route isn't cost-effective but you want to keep the customer, you could consider sub-contracting and the software will give you that information and allow you to white label if necessary.

It even allows you to analyse whether your job margins are right. In fact, BigChange helps ensure accurate invoicing and no missed invoicing, meaning better cash flow. And advanced reporting helps you to forecast accurately and you can look at everything in as much detail or as high a level as you want.

Are you ready to supercharge your field service operations? It's time to say goodbye to the hassle of disorganised schedules and say hello to seamless planning and happy customers. With BigChange, you'll have all the tools you need to make your business run like a well-oiled machine.

📖 Related reading:

You can talk to an expert now, or keep reading for the most commonly asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is job planning?

Job planning for field services is kind of like the backbone of successful field operations. It involves everything from deciding who should tackle which jobs, to figuring out the most efficient routes for your team to take. This way, you can ensure your customers get top-notch service right when they need it.

What are the benefits of job planning for field services?

When it comes to the benefits of job planning for field services, first off, it boosts your team's productivity big time. It eliminates a lot of time-wasting guesswork about who should do what. And when everyone knows their assignments and routes in advance, they can hit the ground running and get more done in a day. Plus, it makes sure that jobs aren't just completed, but completed well because they're matched with the right skills.

Another big win is customer satisfaction. Nothing irks a customer more than waiting around for a service that's late or poorly done. With a solid job plan, you're better equipped to provide timely, high-quality service. And, let's be honest, happy customers mean repeat business and great referrals.

What is job planning software?

Imagine a super-smart personal assistant that takes care of all your scheduling and planning needs. That's what job planning software is, but for your field service business. It's an automated tool that helps you plan, track, and manage all your field operations. And by "all", we really mean it. We're talking scheduling jobs, assigning tasks, figuring out the best routes, and much more.

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