Breaking old habits can be very difficult. When it comes to working in the field service industry, those old habits could be costing your business a lot of money. Time, productivity, and customer service can suffer greatly if the wrong habits are in place.
Take this quick quiz to see if your field service operations may need an intervention:
How often do your customer service representatives (CSRs) have to "hand hold" a service order to make sure it is done properly? If the CSR does not feel confident that dispatch and the field resources will handle the job properly, a lot of time is wasted by everyone to stop and give the CSR updates. Instead of all the hand holding there should be an automated system that provides updates to all parties involved so no one has to leave their desk or make a special call.
Do your dispatchers spend more time fighting fires than managing work orders? Try to gauge how often throughout the day that your dispatcher is frantically trying to get the jobs completed by constantly calling and checking field tech statuses. If the dispatcher is spending more than 10% of time putting out fires, then a better system should be in place that gives electronic updates of jobs and tracks work on an easy to use dashboard.
How much time is spent by your field service personnel driving versus working? Travel expenses can eat away at your profit margin until there is nothing left. If your field resources have to do a significant amount of traveling to get from one job to another, consider having a system in place that can more intelligently assign your technicians to the nearest locations and plan the work day around minimizing travel time and costs.
Can you predict your busy days and your slow days? Every manager can probably have a good intuition on what days are going to be hectic and what days are not so bad. But some days can sneak up on even the best manager. Instead of relying on a guess, utilize a system that can help predict work order volume and pre-assign resources so you can know when to call in extra contract help and when you can tell some of your team to take a day off.
If you answer "Yes" or "I don't know" to these questions there is a good chance you might be falling into some habits that will cost your company money.
Bad habits eat up time and can cost your business valuable sales and profits. One good habit to start is to periodically review your operational effectiveness and see if some of those bad habits are creeping back into your workplace. Review daily productivity reports and track your key performance metrics to spot issues before they get too far off course. That way you can break the bad habits and get back on the track to a good productive business.