The Top 6 Ways to Improve Productivity in Field Service Management
8th October 2021 - Do you know how productive your field service management activities are? Unfortunately, businesses that rely on outdated systems and manual administrative processes may struggle to get an idea of the bigger picture.
The good news is, it’s easier than you may think to improve productivity.
With a cloud-based field service management solution, you can schedule jobs, dispatch workers, receive updates on job progress, manage inventory and handle the invoicing and payments process all in one place.
In fact, around 75% of field service organisations that use mobility tools have observed increased employee productivity and customer satisfaction rates.
Read on to learn about the six top ways you can improve your field service management productivity.
How to Improve Productivity in Field Service Management
Here are six top tips that will help you achieve productivity improvement:
1. Schedule Jobs Strategically
Your field service technicians are one of your most valuable, yet expensive, assets. Therefore, you must schedule your field-based workers’ time efficiently to maximise revenue. The less downtime there is, the more jobs they can complete each day.
With a modern field service management solution, you’ll be able to get the right resource to the right place every time using accurate data. Plus, by reducing the volume of admin, you’ll free up time for your back-office staff to focus on other business-critical activities.
2. Plan Better Routes
In addition to scheduling jobs smartly, you must think about the routes your workers are taking. Although travelling between customers is part of the technician’s job, they’re not earning money for your company when they’re in transit. Therefore, it’s vital that you minimise the amount of time they spend on the road.
With a field service management solution, you’ll receive alerts for key movements, such as toll roads, and be able to locate the nearest resource with the relevant skills. As a result, you can define the best possible journey between jobs, saving time, fuel and money.
3. Set Realistic Targets
Setting targets for your workers is crucial to improving productivity. However, it may be tricky to ensure that the goals are realistic or measure progress if you don’t have the facts.
Using a field service management solution, you’ll have access to real-time data such as where your workers are and how long they take to travel between locations. Equipping yourself with factual information enables you to set achievable objectives for your team and increase productivity.
Furthermore, if workers aren’t meeting targets, you’ll be able to get to the root of the issue much more rapidly than if you had to rely on second-hand – and possibly distorted – information.
4. Increase First-Time Fix Rates
Picture this: your technician travels to a customer’s premises to complete a task. They inspect the issue and soon realise they don’t have the right parts in their van. Subsequently, they have to reschedule another visit with the customer, which takes time away from other projects.
Yet, second visits are an inconvenient reality for many field service companies. According to research, these are the most common issues that impact a worker’s ability to complete a job first time:
Unavailable or incorrect parts: 29%
Customer/asset not available for service: 28%
Improper diagnosis at time of dispatch: 19%
Technician didn’t have required skills: 15%
Resolution was only temporary: 8%
Nevertheless, you can achieve productivity improvement with the right field service management solution. With complete visibility over everything from inventory to technician locations, you’ll be able to forecast the requirements for each job precisely and increase first-time fix rates.
5. Manage Your Inventory Effectively
In theory, it may seem that traditional inventory management methods such as manual check-out and check-in sheets should work. But, whether technicians forget to fill out the sheets, their writing is illegible, or they take out too many parts and stash them in their van for later, you’ll quickly find inconsistencies in your stock numbers.
Not only will you be unable to forecast stock requirements for the future accurately, but technicians may also be unable to complete scheduled projects if the equipment isn’t available.
Digitising your inventory with a field service management solution is key to productivity improvement, especially as your business grows and accumulates more assets. You can
create a detailed register of equipment and other assets, track item movements, see a record of fitted parts and include serial numbers, barcodes or QR codes on the stock.
As a result, your technicians can check stock in and out from their mobile devices, and your admin staff can budget for inventory far more effectively.
6. Go Paperless
It’s no secret that manual administrative tasks take up more time than they should. According to a survey, workers say they typically spend over two hours per day on admin instead of getting on with more important jobs.
When your field engineers have to fill out paper forms and bring them into the office, they’re wasting a valuable chunk of their day. Plus, your back-office staff then have to spend more time processing the document, entering the data into outdated systems and creating paper-based invoices.
With a field service management solution, such as BigChange, you can digitise all documents, enabling field service technicians to promptly fill out forms and send them to the office from their mobile devices. The forms pull through pre-populated data about the customer and tell the technician exactly what information to add, reducing the risk of human error.
Consequently, your field service engineers can spend more time working on projects, and your back-office team can spend less time processing documents before generating an invoice.
Achieve Productivity Improvement with BigChange
Save valuable time and stay connected to every aspect of your business with BigChange.
JobWatch, our highly secure, cloud-based technology, helps you track and control every job from a single platform. Everything you need to know will be at your fingertips, making it easy to plan, manage, schedule and track your field-based workforce and transport operations.
Plus, you’ll be able to make the most of our dedicated, 24/7/365 human support based in Yorkshire.
Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.