The field service industry is based around the service work order. Without a work order, there is no business. From the time that the customer contacts the field service business, the work order is the central point to making sure the job is defined, assigned, completed and billed properly.
Some field service companies still rely on a paper-based system to manage their service work orders. Unfortunately this process has its share of inaccuracies, missteps, and obstacles. Some of the issues with a paper-based service work order system are:
Hand-written – or even typed – service work orders can vary based on the individual customer service representative (CSR) and can be very inconsistent or indecipherable
Routing the service work order from the CSR to the dispatcher could take several minutes if the CSR is busy, or the work order could be misplaced
Organizing the service work orders by the dispatchers is a manual process and can lead to missed schedules, delays, or cancelled jobs
Billing is not consistent and can be inaccurate if the service work order is misinterpreted or additional work is left off
The latest buzz is all about service work order software for the field service industry. The reason there is so much talk about this solution is how it helps in every area of the field service business:
Define – service work order software is used by the CSR to record the request either over the phone, from a web form or via an email. The work request is clearly defined and clarified to make sure the job requirements are clearly understood
Assign – the dispatch group receives the service work orders electronically. An elaborate algorithm helps the dispatcher by automatically assigning the work request based on priority, skills required, field service resource availability, and the time needed. The dispatcher can review the assignments and make adjustments if needed
Complete – field service resources receive notification of new assignments through their internet-enabled device such as a laptop, tablet, or smart phone. There is no miscommunication or lost data between the original work order and the field technician, so the right person can complete the job on time and on schedule. Additional work or parts can be noted by the field technician when necessary.
Bill – once the service work order is completed, the field resource simply needs to note the information and it is routed to the billing department for an easy close out. The invoice is accurate based on the information on the work order data, so there are no lost sales or discrepancies between the initial order and the bill.
Analysis – as an added benefit, service work order software can help you to analyze your productivity and quality on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis by providing reports on jobs completed, time utilization, travel expenses, and more.
The benefits from implementing service work order software more than offset the investment expenses. When you take into consideration the lack of tracking, accuracy or quality issues, and cancelled jobs from a paper-based system, a service work order system can pay for itself in short order. It is no wonder that there is such a buzz about service work order software – it gets the job done for the customer and for the field service business.