The level of complexity is continuously increasing for field service management because of rising levels of customer demand. Therefore, many organizations are realizing the need to streamline and optimize processes around the delivery and management of field services. In this article we list five ways to improve your field service management process to keep up with the evolving industry norms.
What is field service management?
Many organizations need to manage teams that include service technicians and field workers that operate together and complete complex tasks. Projects include a lot of information that needs to be logged, monitored, and stored and have a big risk for error if completed manually. Field service management is the art of effectively managing workforce both in offices and on the field that is often supported by a field service management software.
A sophisticated field service management software assists and automatizes much of the process of getting a project, a service or a maintenance job done from start to finish. An online software also gives field workers mobile access to see and log important information and therefore makes communication between service technicians and field workers easier.
How to have a more effective field service management process?
The first step to improve your field service management is to go digital and use a software to manage projects and services on the field. Digitalizing and automatizing parts of the process reduces risks for errors and saves time for all involved parts. But having a software in place doesn’t automatically guarantee success – You must utilize it efficiently to get the best results.
Track important KPIs to measure efficiency
Important KPIs that are worth tracking can vary between organizations, and it’s important to identify variables that measure the efficiency of your processes. However, in most field service work two of the KPIs worth tracking are first time fix rate and mean time to repair.
First time fix rate suggests what percentage of service or maintenance jobs are resolved on the first site visit. This KPI can be improved by assigning the right person to do the job and giving them sufficient information and tools to fix the problem on the first visit. If improved, it indicates for a better customer satisfaction and lowered costs.
Mean time to repair measures how long a maintenance job or a service takes from when the issue arises to when it is completely resolved. This measures the efficiency of the whole process and if improved, you will most likely save resources.
Automatize tasks to minimize manual work
To manually type in information for a work order such as customer information, task description, time and assigned service worker takes time and is prone to human error. All this information flow can be automatized by integrating the inflow of service requests with your field service management system. Not only can parts of the distribution of work orders be automatized, but also reports and summaries can be created automatically and make it easy to analyze how profitable service jobs are for your business.
Veidekke, a company in the construction industry, uses Lime Work Order that is integrated to their Lime CRM to minimize administrative work and to optimize information flow.
Real-time information flow for a better customer experience
Real-time information is very helpful for all involved parts of a field service job, like the service technician, the field worker and especially the end customer. An increasing number of customers want to see modern technology with features such as real-time updates, the technician’s location, two-way communication possibilities and more. Many customers are also willing to pay a premium for these services that improve their customer experience. In addition to a better customer experience, real-time information is also helpful for field service workers and service technicians because they can share information efficiently through an online platform instead of making calls back and forth about updates and sudden changes.
Improved tools for time-efficient management
Managers have historically had a hard time leading field service and monitoring the quality of service inside the team. With a responsive software and improved scheduling and management tools managers don’t have to put as much time and energy on the process. Managers need to think of ways to streamline the field service process by cutting as many obstacles as possible for office and field workers. A field service management system can help efficiency by making job and resource allocation faster and make it easy to follow for all employees.
Resource management to lower costs
Great resource management can make significant cuts in costs if assets like machinery and vehicles are used to their full potential. Increased downtime and inefficient use of assets will show as a negative effect on profit margins and the whole value chain. By tracking assets and optimizing usage in a field service system you can make predicting decisions and develop operations towards a more cost-efficient service process.
Simple solutions to challenges in field service management can have an immediate effect on your profitability, quality, and satisfactory levels of customers. The first step is to go digital and to invest in a field service management to automatize tasks, reduce errors and gain leverage.