Nowadays, electric vehicles have become more popular than ever. Governments across the globe are supporting the electric vehicle industry through favorable subsidies and regulations.
To accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, the US government has set a target for the EV industry expecting 50% of new car sales to be all-electric by 2030. According to President Biden, the auto industry’s future “is electric, and there is no turning back.”
The US electric vehicle industry broke records in 2021 by selling 607,600 light electric vehicles. This is almost 83% higher than the sales made in 2018, and the number keeps growing exponentially.
With all the government incentives to switch from fossil fuel-powered vehicles and the willingness of citizens to move away, the electric vehicle industry is on an upswing. As a business leader in the electric vehicles industry, which is rapidly expanding and in demand, you are aware of all the challenges. While you expand your services to keep up with the skyrocketing demand, your service operations need to scale up.
Challenges of a Rapidly Growing Electric Vehicle Business
Installation, repair, and maintenance of battery charging or swapping stations
As the number of electric vehicles continues to rise, it is crucial to have well-equipped and highly maintained battery charging or swapping stations. While installing such stations, you ensure that the right technicians are available with the correct information and tools. Like any other equipment, these stations are subjected to regular wear and tear and thus require repair and maintenance.
It will be frustrating for customers to find a charging station under repair or maintenance when they need it the most. So, missing out on maintenance checks is not an option for you. Your maintenance activities must take place during non-peak hours. Along with that, you will want to process ad-hoc repair requests within the stipulated timeframe. If your business runs on multiple siloed platforms or traditional project management tools, your teams will struggle to deploy and operate large-scale battery charging networks or swapping stations.
Preventative maintenance of electric vehicles
Electric motors have fewer moving parts than internal combustion engines but still require periodic checks and maintenance. Typical maintenance jobs include rotating the tires, replacing various fluids, and changing out cabin air filters. The most important of all is battery health monitoring and maintenance.
Your customers should receive timely notifications about their battery parameters and status. The battery charge status of electric vehicles is as important as the fuel gauge of an internal combustion engine. You need to consider preventative maintenance initiatives for all your customer-owned vehicles. On top of that, this maintenance process has to be hassle-free for your customers.
Handling all reactive and preventative maintenance tasks without an efficient field service management system is challenging. This will get even more complicated as your business grows and expands its operations.
Managing onsite repair of electric vehicles
Customers will need immediate servicing when their electric vehicles break down or malfunction. The nature of these ad-hoc repair requests is subjective yet urgent. What’s more, customers expect a quick resolution.
You must assess the situation based on the degree and cause of damage and determine if the bike can reach the nearest workstation safely. Based on that, your back-office teams will need to act fast and dispatch the right technician with a suitable skill set while ensuring the shortest possible ETA. Gaps in collaboration between your back-office teams and your field service professionals will only make the process more complicated than it already is.
How Can Field Service Management (FSM) Software Add Value?
Intelligent Work Order Management
Managing work orders is an essential part of any EV business. An efficient field service management (FSM) solution allows you to optimize your field service processes from work order initiation to completion. With the ability to configure job statuses and checklists, your team can implement business process workflows without much assistance. Your teams can stay on top of urgent customer needs by prioritizing the large volume of incoming work orders. Your back-office teams can ensure that your field service technicians do not miss any step by mandating before and after service checklists. FSM software allows your technicians to upload notes, photos, and videos to their assigned jobs to improve documentation accuracy.
Streamlined scheduling and dispatching
Scheduling and dispatching your workforce on time gets complicated when the information is scattered across different platforms. Manual scheduling is prone to errors and missed appointments. These errors only increase as your service base grows.
An FSM solution offers a way to streamline the scheduling and dispatching of your work orders. It helps you digitalize the scheduling process and prevent scheduling conflicts like double bookings or missed work orders. With an efficient scheduling and dispatching solution, your teams can dispatch the right technician with the correct information and tools at the right time and increase first-time fix rates.
Automated Preventative Maintenance
Preventative maintenance is key to the survival of your business. Handling the regular preventive maintenance of all your customer-owned vehicles, as well as installed charging stations, is no easy feat. You can automate and streamline your end-to-end planned preventive maintenance (PPM) processes with an FSM platform. You can initiate PPM workflows with milestone-based triggers and send reminders to your customers or technicians as required. Based on your unique PPM requirements, you can configure job checklists. Your teams can also ensure quality control by mandating technicians to fill in a checklist before marking the job as complete. You can continually optimize your PPM process by collecting customer feedback after the maintenance service.
Intelligent Location Services
As your workforce grows, keeping an eye on all your technicians in the field becomes difficult. When your FSM solution has in-built GPS tracking and location intelligence, you can optimize dispatch routes and gain real-time updates on all ongoing jobs. Optimizing your technicians' travel routes can also save a lot of time and money. When your back-office team is aware of the precise location, they can set custom workflows to mandate geo-fencing coordinates for technicians working on onsite jobs. Real-time GPS location data allows your team to calculate the ETA accurately and share customer alerts appropriately.
Technician mobile app
FSM mobile app empowers your field service technicians with everything they need on the field. Using the mobile app, your technicians can access an easy-to-follow schedule. They can view job details, related assets, checklists, documents, notes, etc., on the go. They can also schedule a job or request a reschedule, update the job status, add notes on the field, and even update asset details if required.
Built-in location intelligence ensures that technicians reach the job location on time. You can even enable your technicians to collect payments upon job completion by integrating digital payment options with your FSM platform. Your back-office teams always stay connected with the field service technicians through customizable in-app notifications and reminders.
Advanced Analytics and Reporting
You are in charge of making crucial business decisions that will steer your business toward growth. As your business expands, you will require data and analytics to make those decisions. FSM solutions are an excellent source of valuable data insights. You can generate reports for all field processes, including work orders, accounting, employee timesheets, assets, inventory, and more. You can set business KPIs, track them through a single-pane dashboard, and get real-time insights into customers’ feedback, revenue, parts utilization, etc. As all your data is in a single location, your FSM platform, sharing relevant and timely reports and tracking trends over a time period becomes simple.
Zuper is the most comprehensive and customizable field service management platform. With Zuper, you can streamline operations and improve the customer experience of your electric vehicle business by
- Increasing scheduling and dispatching efficiency
- Optimizing their scheduled and corrective maintenance processes
- Maximizing workforce productivity
Zuper is designed specifically to address your field service needs and is highly flexible and scalable to keep up with the changing business needs of an electric vehicle business.
Zuper also offers first-class integrations with leading CRMs, ERPs, helpdesk, accounting, ticketing, communication, payment applications, and many others. Are you an EV business looking for field service management software to add value to your operations? Schedule a demo with us now!