The struggle for many service businesses to get their operational efficiency to an acceptable level has been a daunting task. While trying to get daily business completed, it is hard to take the time to review the performance and workflow defects that can occur on a regular basis.
For example, your employees may send an email message, then follow up with a phone call before passing a paper work request to be processed. The workers are doing their best to make sure the job gets done, but the redundant efforts that they undertake waste valuable time and money.
Another example is if a dispatcher is constantly calling to check the status of field resources - or the resources are calling in every hour to report their status. In either case, two people are taking time to report the status of one job. This is more redundant work that is eating away at your business profitability.
It is time to get a handle on your operational efficiency. There is no time like the present to devote serious effort into this critical initiative. The good news is, achieving operational efficiency does not have to consume a significant chunk of your time or resources. There are field service automation solutions available that can be implemented in a short amount of time and will not slow your business at all. As a matter of fact, the right field service automation solution will show results from the first day the solution is used.
To boost your operational efficiency here are just a few methods:
- Provide consistent and reliable information to your employees. By getting the right information to your employees as quickly as possible, they will be able to react and make more productive choices.
- Use technology to deliver information and transact business from anywhere. This includes enabling field resources to use mobile devices to get their job done.
- Establish strong relationships with business partners. Having a partner that understands the field service industry can give you an objective look at your operations and offer ways to streamline tasks and save even more money.
- Keep customer communications strong. Even when things go wrong, customers appreciate honesty and notification of the situation and what is being done to correct it. Having systems in place to track and report issues will enable your customer service representatives to quickly communicate with customers and provide up to date information.
- Reduce travel time. Every moment on the road is time that could be spent completing a job. Instead of earning money, your resources are spending money through fuel expenses and travel time. Utilize systems that will optimize travel time to get more jobs completed per day.
- Don't take on the responsibility of a computer department. Instead, consider outsourcing your IT responsibilities or utilizing cloud service solutions. By taking the IT work out of your business you can focus on your core services and sales versus running cables or doing backups.
Operational efficiency is worth the effort. Dedicate a few hours one week to talk with a field service automation expert and determine where your opportunities might be. The time spent could very well save you thousands of dollars or more and greatly enhance your business productivity and profits.