Starting 2013 with a Bang

Posted by Oren Cohen

Fri, Jan 04, 2013

enterprise mobilityFew things get business owners and managers more excited than realizing a measurable return on investment (ROI) for their projects. What has been challenging is actually measuring the return after the investment. After coughing over all of those dollars to implement technology, where’s the bang for the buck?

When it comes to scheduling processes, there are some tangible ways to measure your ROI and see the bang. The following are some tips on ways to review ROI for your service scheduling systems:

Measure before you sign the check – map out your existing processes and note the time for each step along with the number of errors that occur. You can choose to measure for a week or just a couple of days in order to get a good sampling. Also try to get numbers on the highest number of jobs you have completed in a day if possible. The time and errors directly affect your ROI.

Calculate your current costs – aside from the time and error rate, also determine the expenses of your existing systems including hardware, software, upgrades and maintenance expenses. Consider how often you replace your existing equipment due to age or failure.

What are the benefits of a new scheduling system? While you should include productivity and reduced errors, also consider the cost savings of utilizing a cloud-based solution versus hosting with in-house hardware. Cloud solutions reduce your need to perform maintenance and can scale as your business grows. A new scheduling system can also save on fuel expenses by optimizing routing and assigning resources based on location as well as availability.

Above and beyond – a Click Software article mentions that beyond the normal ROI measurements businesses should consider the overall data quality enhancements that come from automating service scheduling processes. The ability to drill into details from a job level, field resource level, or customer level can provide tremendous benefits for the business in terms of isolating issues and improving customer satisfaction levels. The timeliness of the data can also be improved substantially with real time information and forecasting to help with resource planning. Imagine knowing well ahead of time how many field service technicians you will need during your peak work periods or for large upcoming construction projects. This degree of planning is extremely useful for service industry businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Your ROI calculations should be enough to easily justify a change from using your current process to a more automated solution. By looking at the total cost of ownership (TCO) over a specified period of time (typically 3 or 5 years) you should be able to determine if automation is the right step for your business. In most cases, the right type of schedule automation solution will definitely be worthwhile simply because of the technology enhancements combined with timely data and the benefits of cloud-based software solutions.

When planning your year and how to get the most bang for your business investment dollar, a solid service scheduling automation solution can provide the results that your business needs to get measurable benefits.

Tags: Field Service Optimization, Field service management software, Workforce Management Tips