Technician Scheduling: Get Out of the Dark Ages

Posted by David Alazraki

Fri, Sep 28, 2012

field service optimizationThe noble knight arrives on his shiny white steed to slay the dragon and rescue the damsel from distress. These glorious tales of chivalry and courage carry forward even to modern times. It is true that often our field service technicians can be seen as a knight in shining armor to some people who need help in their emergency situations. And quite often those field resources are able to pull off miracles and heroic deeds on a regular basis.

But these tales are not always so rosy. As a matter of fact, the Dark Ages of old can also relate to modern times. Technicians may be tasked with performing work that is far beyond their capabilities, or they must travel far and wide at substantial expense and time. Worst of all, the message may not ever be received by the technician, and the heroic deed goes undone.

If your field service business uses antiquated technician scheduling processes, it is quite possible that your heroes are not performing at their best. Consider the problems with the technician scheduling “Dark Ages” that some businesses still use:

  • Techs must report in each morning either by phone or by coming into the office. This takes time, and if the dispatcher or manager is not available the technician may not be recorded as being available

  • Travel time to work sites can be substantial depending on where the technician is located and the assignment location. Time is money, and when travel is involved you must also consider the wear on your vehicles and the fuel expenses

  • Taking inventory of available technicians, knowing what jobs are currently in the queue and what work requests are still pending is the job of a frantic dispatcher, who must spend a substantial amount of time each day manually reviewing who is doing what on a job board or by using a bunch of paper notes

  • Managers are not able to track daily expenses or work completed with any degree of accuracy or reliability

  • Billing discrepancies and sales can deteriorate and leave a business in dire straits

Before your field service business “castle” is under fire, consider an automation solution that will be the modern day tools to make your knights of the round table shine once again. With the right technician scheduling software you can:

  • Assign service orders based on the technician’s location, skill level, and availability in order to optimize costs and reduce expenses

  • Make sure technicians are assigned their work as soon as they report in from any location using their tablet, laptop, or smart phone

  • Track the status of work orders along with any additional requirements once the technician is on site

  • Juggle substantially more work in the same amount of time because the dispatchers are able to more easily manage all incoming requests

  • Review the work in process throughout the day with easy to understand dashboards, and allow dispatchers to override and re-route assignments based on changes in priorities

  • Accurately complete assignments and then review productivity through detailed reports

Your field service kingdom can once again feel safe and secure by using modern day technician scheduling software solutions. This time, you will be the hero.

Tags: Field Service Optimization, Workforce Management Tips, Mobile Workforce Management