Is Too Much Information a Bad Thing?

Posted by Avigail Shabtai

Mon, Oct 15, 2012

field serviceOne of the greatest benefits of a field service automation system is all of the information that is now available at your fingertips.

You can get data on daily activity – even hourly activity – in virtually every shape and size that you want.

But can this be too much?

While it’s great to have an abundance of data to analyze it is way too easy to fall into “analysis paralysis”. Instead of working on your business, you are spending way too much time behind a computer screen or staring at stacks of reports, flow charts, and graphs. It is wiser to manage the information that you review on a daily, monthly and yearly basis while you spend the bulk of your time actually working on specific business goals.

The following are some tips on managing your information without becoming a slave to it:

Focus on your primary goals. Number of jobs completed per day is an important metric for the field service industry. But you should also look at profitability and the expenses associated with those jobs. Pick 3 or 4 key metrics and visit those daily.

Take a step back. On a monthly basis you should review your month’s activity and compare it to the same month from the prior year. Pick several key points such as sales, jobs, and quality issues to compare.

Annual review. Once a year you can spend a few hours – possibly as much as a day or so - evaluating trends. Do you see your activity increasing in a particular territory? Should you add to staff? What processes are taking longer than they should?

Daily activity monitor. For your daily tasks you can set “alerts” that if you hit a certain number of issues or exceed a volume level you can take a closer look. Otherwise you can let your team do most of the work so you can focus on growing the business and increasing profitability.

Field service automation systems can track many things such as:

  • Number of pending work orders

  • Work orders that are in process or in queue to be assigned

  • Future scheduled maintenance work so you can plan ahead

  • Number of field resources, their skill levels, and their locations

  • Work orders that have completed for the day

  • Work orders that are behind schedule

  • Quality issues

  • Travel expenses per job

Whenever there is an exception or issue it is good to have the ability to drill down and analyze the problems in order to take action. But instead of letting all of this information take over your work day – keep your focus on the key items and then spend most of your time taking care of your business to make sure it is successful and profitable.

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