The field service business is quite demanding with increasingly complex products and equipment as well as high performance expectations. Field service organizations need to learn the best ways to avoid the biggest field service mistakes such as the inability to create a daily work service schedule quickly and according to established business policy consistently and utilize technology more effectively in order to improve process and communications with the field workforce.
It is estimated that there are about 500,000 organizations in the US, which provide some form of field service and the business is growing. These entities have estimated employees of close to 2.3 million service field workers. With the increased demand for field services, there is also mounting internal and external pressure for these organizations to reduce their operating costs, adopt high efficient technologies, improve profitability and increase customer satisfaction.
One of the challenges which field services entities face is the application of outdated processes and strained scheduling capabilities with compromised mobility. These aspects result to lower technicians' productivity. In addition, impaired access to customer data and reliance on paper forms as well as improper coordination with the main offices leads to frustrations in meeting customer demands. Problems such as parts, materials and equipment shortages occur, which interrupt the workflow.
Field service software application systems provide workflow management, introduce business intelligence parameters, enhance logistics and inventory tools for a streamlined functionality.
A typical field service process would entail;
Customer call actions
Drive to site
Fulfillment of customers orders
Closing work orders
Time reporting and work billing
One of the biggest mistakes field service businesses make is simply having improper information flow, which affects resource mobilization including manpower, equipment-, finances and the actual performance of the tasks. Organizations offering field services should integrate field service automation systems such as ClickSoftware to enhance efficient scheduling and real-time communications with the mobile workforce.
Taking into priority the tasks at hand and the expertise of the field service staff, dispatchers are able to assign work according to job priority and resource availability including skill credentials, align work dependencies such as equipment, parts, and materials in time for use at the work site. In addition, the customer service history is logged and readily accessible.
With a web-based software application that allows internet connectivity (no matter where you are) and task scheduling features on the fly, the field staff can handle tasks more efficiently. In summary, whether it's a crew of gas or electric utility workers, field engineer or technician performing preventative maintenance or repair services, they need to be equipped with reliable field service automation software that allows information flow for easy coordination and timely access of data.