The field service management industry is not without its challenges. But adopting field service management software can easily eliminate them through its features and solutions.
Table of Contents
Field service management typically involves dispatching, planning and managers workers, technicians, or contractors to a location outside the company premises to install, maintain or repair equipment, system or assets.
Its the job of field service managers to keep track of the company’s field resources and coordinate the work of field service providers who deliver skilled, specialised or proprietary services to clients.
But this field service industry is not without its challenges. The challenges, if not done away with, can have a lasting effect on the company’s impression in the market, customer base and profits. And there is little a manager can do with the traditional method.
The need for automation, speed and optimisation is driving organisations to adopt field service management software.
Field service management challenges, such as retaining skilled technicians, underskilled workforce, growing operational costs, and lack of technology to manage the assets and services offered, are common.
Worry not! Along with the challenges, we have also discussed solutions to help companies overcome the challenges.
“There’s no use talking about the problem unless you talk about the solution.” — Betty Williams.
1. Scheduling Conflicts
Organisations starting or expanding their catalogue of services may face confusion and conflict while scheduling field workers, especially when done manually. Managers may forget to account for travel time between service calls or the duration of the service realistically. This will leave technicians with no time to get to the next call.
The solution to this problem would be field service management software’s task and schedule management feature. Not only does it optimise task allocation and management, but it also eliminates the chances of double booking.
The feature itself assigns the task to the best-suited employees and one who has an opening in their schedules. Regarding schedules, task management solution allows managers to prepare weekly or monthly calendars. But, of course, it can all be edited remotely.
2. Cost Control
Field service management has many costs to battle with, including scheduling, travel and ROI.
Field service companies are heavily reliant on skilled technicians to provide on-site services. Hiring, training, and retaining qualified personnel can be expensive. Furthermore, travel expenses and bonuses contribute to the costs.
Fluctuating fuel prices are a major contributor to rising operational costs. As field employees have to travel from one call site to another, they are bound to incur some expenses.
Field service management solutions are just what you need to win the war against rising operational costs. Companies can reduce fuel costs by optimising scheduling by assigning service calls to employees already in the area. Additionally, real-time tracking and monitoring help identify time theft or idling, contributing to additional costs. Not to forget, travelled reports are another way for the company to pay for exactly the miles travelled, not more or less.
3. Fragmented Communication
On average, managers would generally rely on phone calls and messages to communicate with their field staff. But what happens when the employees are not in the network area or when the job involves minute detailing that it is just too much to report back to the office? Also, there is no guarantee that the information shared over the phone to be authentic.
Isn’t that a challenge worth solving?
An in-built chat box is one such feature that allows field employees and managers or in-office staff to communicate freely. Videos, messages, photos and voice messages can all be shared effortlessly. Not to ignore that the feature is built-in in the app, eliminating the need for multiple platforms. The dual app allows the remoteness of the operation to thrive.
4. Dwindling Team Efficiency
How do managers determine that their field service employees are at the top of their game while servicing the AC for customers? There may come a time when employees struggle to meet their targets, answer calls and not be efficient.
This might be because of the dwindling efficiency and productivity of the employees due to mundane and repetitive tasks like data entry, filing paperwork, etc.
Automation is your answer to revive the employees’ productivity and efficiency. Field service management software automates even the most mundane tasks allowing the employees to focus all their time and energy on their primary job. Features like custom forms, document attachments and auto report generation do the heavy lifting for field executives.
5. Lack of Visibility
Lack of visibility is the most prominent challenge for all field service companies. With managers having no visibility of the task status, employees’ live location and activities can leave them feeling blindsided.
The only option left for them would be to call each employee for updates which is time taking and not recommended.
The solution to the problem is simple- using field service management software. Its solutions, like geo-coded attendance, real-time tracking, auto-generated reports, analytical dashboards, and real-time task status checking, bring visibility into the operations.
6. Time and Performance Management
Identifying and retaining top talent is vital, for they are the ones helping the business grow. Also, identifying them will help provide incentives, bonuses and all the encouragement they need. Also, the underperformer’s performance evaluation sheds light on the hindrances they are facing and the training they require.
Additionally, time management determines that the employees do not take too long to solve the customer’s problem.
The software solves this problem by marking their arrival and departure times through task management and attendance features. And through happiness code, employees can request customers to provide the code if they find their services satisfactory. Additionally, with auto report generation, managers are getting data that can be diced up as tasks vs achievement reports, performance analysis and more.
7. Customer Experience
Among the challenges in field service management, customer satisfaction affects the organisation’s success the most. All management techniques, software automation or training should ultimately create excellent CX.
In field service, customer experience demands simple scheduling, on-time arrivals, issue resolutions, and follow-up through after-sales services.
Automation through the software helps with all these areas. It automatically pairs the service demand with the best-suited and available employee. This will ensure quick resolution and customer satisfaction.
8. Measuring KPIs of Field Efficacy
How to determine the effectiveness of your field activities? Cost and quality are the two most crucial KPIs for assessing field service effectiveness in any industry. It is incredibly challenging for businesses to balance maintaining and amplifying field service quality while ensuring overhead costs decrease with time.
Issues in a field service industry like manual procedures, paper-based collection, inadequate customer coordination and the need for experienced personnel are hindrances.
Analyzing the analytical insights provided by the field service management software boosts visibility and can assist in resolving many of these issues alongside increasing field efficacy.
9. Needless Documentation
In traditional service businesses scope of work and operations are managed on paper documents and passed around from managers to technicians and back when the job is done.
This is a highly inefficient method as it causes human errors, increases time consumed, and prevents companies from providing optimal services and completing targets.
Since the software is cloud-based, it can easily transfer data remotely without printing even a single document. This even allows field service employees to have remote access to data. Additionally, the software has another cool feature in its kitty- custom forms, which digitalise the recording and management of data.
10. Need for Centralisation of Information
Another barrier to reaching the pinnacle of field service is the lack of data centralisation. A simple view of service requests, client locations, technicians, real-time reporting, etc., is key to monitoring the company’s effectiveness.
TrackoField’s dynamic and analytical dashboard provides managers with minute-to-minute detail of the operations. The most critical information is kept at the forefront. It ensures that all the required information is accessible in the least amount of clicks.
The best part is that the dashboard can be customised according to the company’s requirements.
TrackoField can be your prime choice when investing in field service management software. It is because it has all the solutions for every challenge. This will allow companies to gain exactly what they seek without increasing their overhead expenses.