3 Things To Consider When Planning Your Utilities Workforce

Posted by Ross Carman

Thu, Feb 13, 2014

utilities repair management softwareWhile there are several different ways to schedule the workforce, the most successful way to do so is with scheduling and dispatch software that can take all the information needed and process it efficiently and effectively to provide field service automation.

1. Field Service Mobility

Field service management software is designed to offer you and your workforce the most mobility possible. That's important when you need to meet the needs of customers and also have to plan for changes that will take place in the future. The workforce you have now will not stay the same. It will fluctuate as people retire, are hired, and shift departments, duties, and responsibilities.

2. Technician Scheduling

According to the American Public Power Association (APPA), more needs to be done in order to plan for future workforce needs. By using scheduling and dispatch software, a company can see whether technicians are being over-scheduled, which could indicate the need to hire more technicians in the future. Without proper software to provide an overview of the scheduling for the company, it can be more difficult to see what is really taking place.

That can hurt a company in the present, but poses even more of a risk for that company's future. Most of the future concerns have to do with retaining good employees. A study conducted by the AWWA Research Foundation, and jointly funded by AWWA and the US EPA discovered some telling information about water utilities and the way they handle their workforce. Included in the study were the following points:

  • Utilities must be more successful at retaining a diverse workforce.

  • Effective programs for retention involve more than just good pay.

  • Engaged employees are good, long-term employees.

  • Scheduling played a large role in whether an employee remained at a company.

  • Many utility companies over-schedule their technicians, leading to burnout.   

3. Service Scheduling

Field service automation allows for more than just technicians to be scheduled. A company can also see which service appointments are the most critical, so it can send technicians to address those issues first. Field service automation allows these technicians to clear a scheduled appointment once the issue has been resolved, so the utility company has that updated information.

Because so much can be done with scheduling and dispatch software, utility companies that use it - and use it effectively - are often well ahead of the game. They have happier customers and more satisfied employees who aren't over-scheduled and overworked, which provides the best possible situation for the community.

Image Credit: CEnergy

Tags: Workforce Management Tips, Field Service Management for Enterprise