We live in a world where technological success is breaking boundaries. Businesses are moving away from spreadsheets and manual paper entries to complete their tasks. Even though it is difficult to part ways from a long followed norm, companies must adapt to the dynamic business environment to fully utilize the power of technology. A variety of digital assistants are at your reach to help you realize your company’s full potential and manage your everyday field service activities.
As a field service manager, you are responsible for supervising an array of everyday activities and a differently skilled and experienced field team. On a normal day, you're shuffling numerous duties, covering your team, client demands, distributing specialist support, organizing your scattered field teams, and staying up with the latest market trends. In any case, that is only a small part of the whole picture. How would you adequately oversee distributed work? What technology do you have to automate or simplify these various activities?
As a leader of a group of field service agents, you ought to be acquainted with the most recent innovation that can help you drive consistency, usefulness and streamline your tasks. This stresses the significance of keeping up-to-date with innovation.
Mobile, digital technology, like Custella, is an effective tool that you can use to: improve connection and collaboration amongst your teams, collect and categorize job demands, obtain information & data for reporting purposes, and organize your teams’ workloads.
An integrated workforce is always aligned to the tasks it needs to complete and to make such information available in real-time regardless of the location.
Blockages for Field Service Managers
A study by Deloitte illustrates a number of everyday challenges that field service managers experience:
Frequent on-site visits for the field agents
Inconsistent field service demand
Inefficiency in the supply chain
Unstable employee happiness
Based on the track record, field service managers have little to do with the development of the tech aspect of field service optimization applications. The ones who are behind the screen building the software may have in-depth technological know-how but often little to no managerial perspective. Field managers barely have time to think of ways to develop ERP solutions.
Instead of following a tedious path, what really needs to be done is to operate in a way that will reduce your team’s downtime and boost efficiency. Managers need a system that can do the following:
Send push notifications for any task
Illustrate lagging and leading indicators
Simplify visibility to a supervisor
Disseminate work smartly
Track health of machinery e.g. preventive maintenance.
Why build a new application when you can leverage software in the market that serves some of the biggest challenges of companies with a high number of field reps.
4 Suggestions on Optimizing Field Service Operations
Improvements in tech have a direct correlation to the operations of field service managers. These suggestions can be the stepping stone to getting out of the everyday problems you and your workforce face routinely.
Below are the 4 ways to enhance your operations:
Say Bye-Bye To Paper
Are you still noting down important points and scheduling them on papers or whiteboards? Time to step out of the old ways and welcome the efficiency that you need. Use mobile applications to note down the needful and check them off once completed. With real-time information at your disposal, there is no need to wait for end-of-the-day reports to come in and lose your work-life balance by working overtime. It is a win-win for you and the technicians as the entire business process can be followed in a systematic manner, ensures quality through instant feedback with pictures and videos, and cutting down on reporting time.
Improve On-site Performance
By following a single source of truth, you will easily be able to precisely follow the performance of your in-field technicians. Having clear visibility on check-in and check-outs, on the job details, chunks of information for particular sets of tasks - a very likely chance of instilling a positive and sustainable work ethic among the field service agents.
It is your responsibility, as a field service manager, to look after all sorts of information regarding the fieldwork and gain real-time data of the tasks assigned to the field agents. If the slightest indication of a problem arises from a technician, you can improve the on-site performance by giving a solution and assign work based on the latest information e.g. someone better skilled or someone who can get there earlier to prevent a breach of customer SLAs. You will basically be on the field without being physically present there.
More Data, Better Results
Analyzing the data collected by your field service team is essential for your operations. Such information gives you better insights into the quality of your team members and data points of the work completed e.g. check-ins, photos, asset updates, notes, issues addressed among others. This process acts as a check and balance system for tasks done.
For example, Custella was able to increase operational performance by 43% reported by one of its clients, and an improvement of resolution time from 4 hours, to under 30 minutes for another client.
A Necessity For Skilled Technicians
Competition is increasing, the workforce is aging, and demand seems to have gone up more than ever. As a result, companies are opting for third-party resources to fulfill their demands. Managers have to improve the operations while keeping in mind the simplicity of implementation of those ideas. If long hours of training decrease the efficiency of the business, perhaps opt for workforce management apps that let users get on-the-job training. Moreover, during the training process on the field, the trainers may even find new ways of crafting strategies to best educate the technicians. Surely, it will improve the workflow and keep the agents happy.
The only way to thrive as a business in this era of dynamic workforce management is to choose digital tools that enhance the overall performance of your business while being aware of any drawbacks from those tools and equally knowing the contingency plan. A field service manager such as yourself is not only responsible for effectively managing the workforce but to also assist them through the use of technology that encourages maximum collaboration, robust efficiency, better employee experience, and creates a sustainable business model for the business.
Watch this video on Custella's Service Level Agreement Module to know how you can manage your operational performance better:
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