Field Service Transformation
In this podcast, we discuss why reimagining your field capabilities is a critical part of the ongoing success of your business due to increased liabilities, increased customer expectations, and a limited pool of tradespeople. The following blog serves as a general outline with highlights of the podcast. Additionally, you will find links to tools that will help you get started on your journey of digital and business transformation!
If you have questions about any topic we covered in this podcast, want to offer feedback on our discussion, or need help kick starting your strategy, We’d love to hear from you.
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Ditch the spreadsheets! Reimagine, reorganize & transform field service operations.
Safety and efficiency are often two words that come to mind when thinking about field service and field workers. However, when is the last time that you’ve assessed the viability of your current processes and systems as it relates to your remote field service employees? The reality is many companies are still leveraging spreadsheets for scheduling and manual checklists for safety and task-oriented services.
With increased liabilities, increased customer expectations, and a limited pool of tradespeople, reimagining your field capabilities is a critical part of the ongoing success of your business. In fact, one of the most measurable ROI’s for field service companies is surrounding their field service processes and systems.
Common Field Service Challenges
Field service refers to any organization that is dispatching resources to perform work at various locations throughout the workday and workweek. These organizations typically consist of heating and cooling, electrical, plumbing, heavy equipment maintenance, and property management companies just to name a few, but ultimately include any company that sends their employees out into the field for work.
These industries can be extremely complicated as organizations need to juggle skillsets and manage logistics with efficiency and a high degree of customer coordination which can affect overall customer experience and satisfaction. Common challenges include managing:
Employees & Staff
- Field Service organizations must manage field workers with a wide variety of skillsets, certifications, large dispatch territories, and locations.
Material & Equipment
- Field Service organizations need to ensure they manage their inventory efficiently along with any special equipment needed for shipment while scheduling properly trained staff to deliver and install their products. They need to make sure they have the product stored on-site, or if it is drop shipped that it’s arriving in the proper time window.
- Field Service organizations must keep detailed customer account notes and history to track service records, field technician visits, signed documentation, troubleshooting, photos, videos, follow-up visit notes, etc.
The challenge of managing all these logistics efficiently can be daunting, especially with the added complexities of increased service industry demand, labor shortages, supply chain challenges, and rising self-service consumer expectations.
What methods and systems are you using to prioritize and schedule fieldwork? Do your dispatchers require intimate knowledge of each job to match the right technician and skillset? Have you considered a solution in which a system will help inform which service personnel would be the best match between job requirements and employee skill sets, certifications, location, and equipment?
You need tools that can help you manage more details with less manpower. Spreadsheets no longer cut it when innovative technologies exist that will help maximize efficiency by matching skilled technicians to appropriate jobs, dispatching technicians geographically based on route efficiency rather than on a first-come, first-served basis, and providing technicians a 360-degree view of customers while they’re in the field.
Customer Communication & Self-Service
Whether you service residential or commercial customers, communication and self-service is not only a differentiator, but it is becoming a must. In a world of increased safety, do your customers have an image and a name of who will be showing up at the front door? Do they have an easy way of reviewing images and completed work details online? What about the ability for guided self-service? Do you provide digital access to knowledge articles, instructions guides, and digital assets that help your customers create, edit, and view information about their assets?
Automated Monitoring & Alerting
What if you notified your customer of a potential incident before it ever occurred? With the internet of things (IoT), connected devices ranging from temperature to flow, volume, capacity, and sound are easier to implement than ever before. By connecting these types of sensors to your field service application, you can raise events to dashboards. This could allow you to notify a customer that a particular motor or part is running hotter than expected or that a device has stopped running altogether.
43% of consumers will pay more for greater convenience. This type of automation helps service companies become proactive and provide value-added services that differentiate you from your competitors.
Warehousing, Assets, & Fulfillment
Having the right equipment for the job is equally as important as the right technical skillset. Time spent installing, repairing, or inspecting (on the job) relates directly to efficiency, effectiveness, and customer satisfaction. When your high-value field service employees are running between supply houses, warehouses, and meeting up to swap parts between trucks, money is lost.
As part of the scheduling process, having digital knowledge of customer assets (equipment) along with vehicle and warehouse inventory will help ensure that not only is the right technician scheduled, but they are more likely to have the right equipment to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
Your brand is lived through how your employees conduct themselves on the road and at customer locations. Is the quality of work you deliver solely based on the individual knowledge and expertise of each technician? Do you have knowledge articles and best practice guides that help ensure the quality of work is driven through a methodical process? Or is quality based on whether a technician was having a good or bad day?
As an employer, you will likely rank safety as a number one priority for your company. In fact, in many field services companies, it will likely show up on the list of core values. However, when you consider safety as a practice, how does this culminate with your field employees? Whether digital safety checklists, quality assurance, or digital service tasks, incorporating recorded safety measures should be an ongoing part of your continual improvement strategy.
If you’re wondering whether your field operations can be more efficient, give us a call. We can discuss how we’ve helped similar companies transform their field operations.
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With each podcast we’ll provide an Innovation Playbook that will outline the steps you can start taking immediately, to kick start your strategy and improve business performance. Change doesn’t happen overnight. Download The EP 05 Innovation Playbook and let the innovation begin!
If you have questions about any topic we covered in this podcast, want to offer feedback on our discussion, or need help kick-starting your strategy, contact us! We’d love to chat or meet for coffee. We love what we do, we love talking shop, and we love teaching others what we know.
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