4 Field Service Mobility Lessons From Typhoon Haiyan

Posted by Avigail Shabtai

Thu, Nov 14, 2013

typhoon haiyan workforce management disasterSuper Typhoon Haiyan has many field service industries asking – is my company prepared to withstand a super storm? The truth is – no field service provider can predict whether something as tragic and epic as Typhoon Haiyan will someday afflict their service area. Preparing for the worst is all you can really do in response to such horrific worldly news.


Lesson 1: Be Able to Gauge Damage

Typhoon Haiyan brought with it sustained wind speeds of up to 200mph, not only destroying mostly everything in its path but also causing widespread outages. You’ll need to know the full extent of the situation in order to develop a strategy for restoration, and one way to do this is through smart metering. Smart metering relays utility consumption data from customers to field service workforce management software for instant information sharing. If a customer is experiencing an outage, field service management will know about it faster and decision can be made quick to get customers back on their feet.

Lesson 2: Systemize and Automate Job Assignments

Once your field service team understands the gravity of the task at hand, your next step will be to act – and fast. Through the use of workforce management software, your company can avoid panic-stricken delays and deliver needs with faster response time in action by automating details like:

  • Assigning technicians to assignments based on skill and location

  • Routing technicians to their assignments

  • Tracking where each technician is in their assignment lifecycle

Lesson 3: Institute and Execute a Strategy for Mobile Communications

Time is everything when recovering from a mega storm. Workforce management will be too busy dispatching and managing fleets to deal with much else, which means once in the field, technicians will need to be more independent. For this reason, enterprise mobility is absolutely critical. With enterprise mobility, technicians can:

  • Access crucial customer information from anywhere

  • Receive new job assignments remotely to avoid trips back to the office

  • Report their status to the office in real time

  • Update inventory

Information access is going to empower recovery efforts by getting the technicians what they need, when they need it. The last thing a recovery effort needs is more confusion and that’s what workforce management software and enterprise mobility aims to prevent.

Lesson 4: Approach Duty With Great Sensitivity

Customers have lost their homes, their belongings and sadly, many have lost loved ones, too. It’s a horrific scene to endure and field service technicians will be the individuals working directly in the most devastated areas. For this reason, sensitivity and humanity must be maintained. There has never been a better time for technicians to showcase stellar customer service than going the extra mile during a natural disaster. Be kind and positive as you work with customers to restore service. 

The best that any field service team can do in a situation like this is to perform as best they can.

Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been effected by Typhoon Haiyan. To donate, please visit Huffington Post and select from a number of listed charities.

Image Credit: Fragile Oasis

Tags: Workforce Management Tips, Developments in Field Service Management