A few years ago, electric vehicles may have been viewed as a futuristic technology seen only in Sci-Fi movies. Today, however, EVs are a reality, and we can easily spot them in our neighborhoods and on the road. The rate of EV adoption is only increasing—this isn’t a fad, and they are not going anywhere.
The rate of switching to EVs has spiked more than ever. According to the Kelley Blue Book’s latest study, sales in the US have increased by 65% in 2022. Which correspondingly triggered demand for EV charging stations.
With a significant increase in demand for EV vehicles, there is also a need for places to charge them. Here is where field service comes into play. Field service companies help EV businesses install, maintain, and repair EV charging stations, ensuring that they are reliable and accessible to drivers. Field service plays an essential role in the rapidly growing electric vehicle charging industry.
Growth Trend of the EV Charging Industry
The EV charging market is expected to consolidate in the coming years. The US Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will provide $7.5 billion to develop the country’s EV charging infrastructure, adding an additional half a million charging stations. However, this will only cover a fraction of the expected growth in demand for public and private chargers. California alone has committed $3 billion to build an additional 90,000 stations over the next two years.
Customers want more charging options, faster charging, and more locations. Additionally, customers desire greater flexibility and a uniform experience from charger to charger, regardless of manufacturer. In essence, today’s customers want a charging experience that is easy to use and predictable.
These requirements translate into more complex and rapidly changing business requirements for the field service management solutions that companies will rely on to build, maintain, and monitor their EV charging networks.
In this dynamic environment, keeping a close eye on real-time fluctuations in capacity is a competitive advantage. Capacity management must be granular enough to account for the different needs of charging stations and networks based on different technologies. Capacity planning and forecasting are emerging as essential tools for a high-performance field service operation that can keep pace with rapid growth, changes in supply and demand, and unexpected challenges.
The role of field service in EV charging
1. Intelligent work order management
The surge in electric vehicle (EV) adoption has created a significant challenge for EV charging businesses—a deluge of incoming work orders. As the EV market rapidly expands, charging station providers find themselves inundated with a staggering volume of service requests, maintenance tasks, and installation orders.
FSM software enables businesses to streamline the entire work order process, from initiation to completion. By configuring job statuses and custom checklists, field service teams can implement efficient business workflows independently— FSM software facilitates the mandatory use of before and after service checklists, enhancing documentation accuracy through the uploading of notes, photos, and videos by field service technicians.
2. Streamlined scheduling and dispatching
Imagine you’re running a successful EV charging business. The demand for charging stations is growing rapidly, and so is your workload. You need to schedule and dispatch your field service technicians efficiently, but doing it manually is a nightmare. You’re constantly juggling multiple schedules, trying to avoid double bookings and missed appointments. With a well-implemented scheduling and dispatching solution, businesses can ensure that the right technician receives the correct information and tools at the right time, ultimately leading to increased first-time fix rates.
3. Automated preventative maintenance
For EV charging businesses, regular preventative maintenance is essential for maintaining customer-owned vehicles and charging stations. FSM software enables the automation and streamlining of planned preventative maintenance (PPM) processes. Milestone-based triggers initiate PPM workflows, with reminders sent to customers or technicians as needed. Job checklists can be configured based on unique PPM requirements. Quality control is ensured by requiring technicians to complete checklists before marking jobs as done. After maintenance services are completed, the PPM process can be continually optimized by the collection of customer feedback.
4. Intelligent location services
As the field service workforce expands, keeping track of all technicians in the field can be challenging. FSM software with built-in GPS tracking and location intelligence offers a solution. This feature allows for dispatching using optimized routes and provides real-time updates on ongoing jobs. Optimized travel routes not only save time but also reduce operational costs. Location intelligence enables the setting of geo-fencing coordinates for technicians working onsite, ensuring that they stay within specified areas. Real-time GPS location data facilitates accurate ETA calculations and timely customer alerts.
5. Technician mobile app
The FSM mobile app equips field service technicians with all the tools they need on the go. Technicians can access schedules and view job details, checklists, documents, and other essential information while in the field. The app also enables technicians to schedule jobs, request reschedules, update job statuses, add on-site notes, and modify asset details as needed. With built-in location intelligence, technicians can ensure they reach job locations on time. Additionally, digital payment options can be integrated with the FSM platform, allowing technicians to collect payments upon job completion. Back-office teams can stay connected with field service technicians through customizable in-app notifications and reminders.
6. Advanced analytics and reporting
In the ever-evolving EV charging industry, data-driven decisions are essential for business growth. FSM solutions serve as valuable sources of data. Businesses can generate reports for various field processes, including work orders, accounting, employee timesheets, assets, inventory, and more. These reports enable the establishment of key performance indicators (KPIs) and tracking them through a single-pane dashboard. Real-time insights into customer feedback, revenue, parts utilization, and other critical metrics are readily accessible. With all data centralized within the FSM platform, sharing relevant reports and tracking trends becomes straightforward.
How can Zuper transform your EV station field management?
Zuper FSM software is a flexible and scalable solution that can be used by EV charging businesses of all sizes. With Zuper, EV charging businesses can improve their efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance customer satisfaction.
- Intelligent Work Order Management: With Zuper, you can create and assign work orders, track their progress, and receive real-time updates from technicians. Zuper also allows businesses to set custom priorities for work orders and to create custom workflows.
- Streamlined Scheduling and Dispatching: Zuper takes into account factors such as technician availability, location, and skill set when assigning work orders. With Zuper, you can also track technician travel time and send real-time updates to customers.
- Automated Preventative Maintenance: With Zuper, create and schedule preventive maintenance tasks based on asset type and usage. Send automated reminders to technicians when preventive maintenance tasks are due.
- Intelligent Location Services: Zuper allows you to track your technicians in real-time and see where their assets are located. Zuper also allows you to create geo-fences for their assets and receive alerts when assets enter or leave them.
- Technician Mobile App: With the Zuper mobile app, technicians can view their schedules, accept and complete work orders, and update job statuses. Zuper also allows technicians to collect feedback from customers.
- Advanced Analytics and Reporting: Zuper has a powerful reporting engine that allows you to generate reports on a variety of field operations. These reports can be used to track key performance indicators (KPIs), identify areas for improvement, and make informed business decisions.