Dispatch Best Practices

Posted by Steve Lawrence

Tue, Jul 03, 2012

dispatch softwareA best practice is a term that is echoed very often when discussing how to optimize operations and procedures for a business.

For the field service industry, using best practices for your dispatch operations can provide real benefits to every part of your company.

Some of the benefits of following dispatch best practices include:

  • Faster turnaround of work orders and service requests

  • More accurate recording of work order status and billing

  • Correct assignments of field personnel based on skills and availability

  • Better overall operational flow

  • Increased number of jobs completed

  • Improved quality and accuracy

  • Better utilization of skilled resources

  • More accurate tracking and billing

  • Greater customer satisfaction

When you consider how each of these benefits can improve your bottom line and overall profits, it is no surprise how many field service businesses are eager to adopt dispatch best practices in their operations.

The following are some key best practices for dispatch operations that you can consider for benchmarking against your current processes:

Automate work order assignments as much as possible. Utilizing a system where routine work orders can be automatically assigned to field resources will give your dispatcher more time to devote to exceptions and emergency situations. Assignments should be made based on work order priority, field resource skills, availability, cost, and travel time.

Provide a dashboard view of work orders in process. The more quickly a dispatcher is able to review the current disposition of work, the more efficiently your dispatch operation will be. A dashboard view provides a color-coded and graphical depiction of work orders at various states along with the status and availability of field resources. Dispatchers can then assess the overall situation as well as drill down on work orders that might be delayed or may need to change priorities.

Allow flexibility for dispatchers to make management decisions. Your dispatchers often need to shuffle work when priorities change or emergencies arise. The dispatch system should allow these types of overrides and give your dispatchers options to adjust when necessary.

Track performance using key performance indicators (KPI’s). Every business is unique and may have certain processes that should be tracked. For field service operations, consider in-day reporting to measure the operational performance such as number of work orders completed, number of pending work orders, utilization, travel time and mileage, jeopardy jobs, etc.  Service managers also review historical data to better understand trends and enable more effective analysis and improved planning. Reports such as planned duration vs. actual duration, tasks throughput, non-availabilities, backlog (to mention a few) all provided with drill-down by district and individual.

Your business needs an advantage in order to compete in the field service industry. When quality, dependability, and fast response count, you should rely on dispatch best practices to make sure your business stays at peak operational performance.

Tags: Dispatch Software, Mobile Workforce Management