Field service businesses are experiencing a unique kind of predicament. On the one hand, more and more consumers require high-quality on-site services. Markets like pool, landscaping and HVAC servicing, ISP and POS, security and property maintenance, and renewable energy are experiencing remarkable growth. In 2016 the global service market was estimated to be $17.8 billion and was predicted to double by 2022.
On the other hand, field service companies are struggling with a number of issues that make it difficult to meet the rising demand. There is a profound lack of skilled workers, supply shortages and rising inflation, and operational inefficiencies that get in the way of successfully executing customer SLAs.
As a service company business owner, you want to meet these demands and scale unencumbered by rising costs or workflow problems. A key way to do this is to increase the productivity of your field staff. Effective field service management can do just that.
Field Service Management
Field service management (FSM) organizes and optimizes service operations for field service businesses using digitization and automation. It employs intelligent technology, customization, and app integrations to replace time-consuming, manual business and administrative tasks.
Key features of FSM include:
- Work order management – Streamlined work orders using automated scheduling and job prioritization, comprehensive document management, and the creation of customizable workflows.
- Smart scheduling and dispatching – Drag and drop scheduling for matching the best tech for the job. Optimization of field staff via time and location tracking and route optimization.
- Customer management – Management of all customer and job details in one cloud-based location. Includes real-time communication to keep customers in the loop regarding ETAs and job statuses.
- Inventory and asset management – Monitoring and management of customer and company asset life cycles as well as warehouse inventory.
- Invoicing – Auto-generation of invoices that can be digitally processed and paid at the office or in the field and integrated with accounting software.
- Business oversight – Reports and analytics regarding KPIs and other crucial data in order to make data-driven decisions regarding field management workflows.
- Technician mobility – A mobile component that gives field techs the tools they need to handle scheduling, timesheets, job details, invoicing, and customer communication.
Here are seven ways you can use field service management to increase your field service technicians’ productivity.
1. Cut Down Administrative Tasks
FSM’s comprehensive work order management means that field staff spends less time routing around spreadsheets and matching images and documents to jobs and more time serving customers. A leading FSM brings:
- Automated administration, prioritization, and tracking of work orders
- Job processes tailored to fit their needs in the field through customization of workflows
- Reduction of paperwork and elimination of manual intervention with easy upload of images, videos, and notes to jobs
- Auto-creation of estimates and invoicing and digital approval capture
- Simplified contract management and automated planned preventative maintenance tasks
- Integrations with CRMs and communications apps to simplify data transfers and streamline tasks end-to-end
2. Make Communication Easy
Inevitably your technicians work much more efficiently when they have everything they need to communicate with office staff and customers quickly. A best-in-class FSM mobile application grants them the following:
- Communication using real-time calls and texts
- Automated alerts and notifications
- Digital submission of job status and details to the back office
- Access to online sharing of estimates, invoices, and digital payments with customers for faster job completion
- Integrations with prime ticketing, collaboration, and communications apps
3. Simplify Their Ability to Manage Their Schedule
FSM enables your technicians to easily and accurately manage one of the most important aspects of their work: scheduling. They have access to the following:
- Intuitive, quick-view scheduling
- Easy scheduling of new jobs or rescheduling requests while on the road
- Timesheet management with data auto-population and clocking in and out in the field
- Faster, accurate behind-the-scenes management of timesheets with smart geo-fencing and time and location tracking
- Automated clock-in reminders
- Communication with the back office regarding time off and job status
4. Shorten Their Ride
Automation and optimization via intelligent dispatching capabilities get technicians to the job sites faster so they can get down to the business of serving the customer. AI-powered dispatch provides:
- Automated job assignment based on real-time location, availability, skill set, and priority
- Route optimization via a powerful routing algorithm to find the shortest routes to and from job sites and to the next job site
- Time-saving that enables them to service more customers
- Elimination of inefficient paper-based routes
5. Put Everything They Need for a Job Right at Their Fingertips
An effective mobile component equips your field teams with the job details, tools, and capabilities they need to deliver the best customer service on-site. Benefits include:
- Access to the most up-to-date data about work order status and prior job documentation
- Job site location information as well as customer preferences and the latest communication
- Real-time communication capabilities with office staff and customers
- Quick access to stock availability and handling of products, materials, and other inventory needed for service visits
- Full asset management and monitoring in the field
- Quality assurance support via customized checklists and compliance documentation access
- Bringing contracted workers up to speed right away
6. Have the Data to Solve Those Problem Areas
You need business oversight regarding field staff performance and workflows in order to make adjustments that optimize tech productivity. FSM grants you the following:
- Advanced reporting and analytics for identifying operational inefficiencies
- Pre-designed or customized reports for all field management workflows
- Customizable dashboard for pulling the most valuable KPIs
- Data regarding work orders, accounting processes, employee timesheets, asset management, inventory, and more
- Tracking of metrics by technician or location
7. Keep Employees Happy
In these days of labor shortages, retaining skilled field techs allows you to scale and deliver superior customer experiences. Field service management helps maintain job satisfaction by:
- Empowering techs in all aspects of their jobs
- Freeing them up to do what they do best, on every job and with every customer
- Creating a work environment that engenders collaboration and a feedback loop
- Making your business one that attracts contracted workers
FSM: Your Way Out of the Predicament
An effective field service management solution is your ticket out of the bind facing so many field service companies. It delivers the operational automation and digitalization your teams need to capitalize on the growing demand and surmount the challenges impeding growth. FSM equips your field technicians with the best tools for delivering modern, on-demand, and personalized customer service.
The most flexible and customizable field service management software available today for fast-growing services organizations, Zuper has all the capabilities you need to streamline processes end-to-end and ensure that your staff delivers exceptional service. Through work order management, intelligent scheduling and dispatching, automated invoicing, asset and inventory management, 50+ prime integrations, and more. Zuper optimizes your field operations enabling you to scale and maximize profits.
Learn more at https://zuper.co/