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How Scheduling Software Can Enhance Field Service Business Productivity

Estimated reading time: 5 mins

A field service business is one of the most lucrative ventures in today’s economy. Whether you specialize in plumbing, electrical, or structural repairs, there are a lot of people out there looking to benefit from your services. A typical field service company consists of several technicians specializing in different areas and many customers waiting to be served.

As such, it involves a lot of movement from one place to another, scheduling of repairs, contacting customers to inform them of the schedule, not to mention the bookkeeping department. As the owner of such a business, you can expect a lot of work within the company and in the field every day of the week. 

Scheduling and keeping records manually in such a scenario can be tedious and may lead to many mistakes. To avoid these issues, you’ll need to invest in a system that promotes an optimum working environment. For instance, Jobber’s lawn care scheduling software will ensure that you deliver your services on time and receive payments before the set deadline. (1)

Do you want to learn more about such applications and how they can help improve your business productivity? Keep reading!

  1. Helps manage unexpected changes

Field service business involves a lot of movement as a team of technicians works to ensure that all customers are served within the agreed-upon time. However, challenges may occur from time to time, some of which can be overcome while others are difficult to avoid. For instance, if one of your technicians falls sick before attending to their duties, you can assign another person that particular task.

This is something manageable, and you only need to make a few calls if you’re running a small company. But it can create a huge ripple effect in larger businesses where there is a lot of work coming in every day, and most of the technicians are already scheduled for work. 

When the aforementioned emergency occurs, the manager might need to call upon those who were having a day off to fill in for their sick colleague, but that time will need to be compensated. Filling in all these details can be tedious, but with scheduling software, it’s only a few clicks, and you’re good to go. As such, you’ll be able to manage such unexpected changes and make any rescheduling without affecting other operations within the business. 

  1. Managing inventory

As mentioned earlier, a typical field service business consists of many technicians specializing in different areas. For instance, you’ll have electricians dispatched to carry out electrical repairs, plumbers, and structural technicians. Each one of these employees needs to visit the construction site with a complete set of relevant tools from spanners to screwdrivers.

As a company, you need to have all these tools ready for all operations to run smoothly. However, the biggest problem faced by most of these enterprises is managing their equipment and spare parts. As such, it’s quite easy to make losses because spares were not tracked or some tools got lost, and no one knows who’s responsible.

Scheduling and other management software applications can be integrated into the business to monitor operations. For example, when a technician is scheduled to work on an electrical fault at a given client’s house, the manager will ensure that all the tools required are included in the schedule. The technician’s signature should also be taken as soon as they’re given all the requirements, and the reverse should be done at the end of the task.

Apart from that, the software will also ensure that the relevant authorities are aware of the number of tools already dispatched to the field. It then becomes easier to schedule the next day’s or next week’s operations without assigning one set of tools to more than one technician. 

  1. Reduces time wasting

The biggest problem facing field service businesses is time wastage. A lot of time is wasted on the road traveling from the office to the client, and from one client to another can take up a lot of time. To make it worse, you—as the employer—will have to cater for those hours wasted because your employees aren’t at the site.

So, how do you avoid such situations and ensure that you only pay your employees for the time spent at the site? You cannot eliminate travel but what you can do is reduce the amount of time spent on the road and maximize the hours spent at the site. Remember, the rule of thumb when growing your business is to generate an amazing output using the least possible resources. (2)

Scheduling software can help you achieve this. Since you have many technicians spread across the state or your locality, your software will always show you the location of every employee and the distance they need to cover to get to the next client. 

To avoid time wasting, it’d be prudent to assign the next client to the nearest engineer. For instance, if you have a technician working a few blocks from this new customer, you can schedule them for the job. This is better than sending someone from your office to the site because this will not only waste the client’s time, but you’ll also end up paying the technician more than the expected amount.

Conclusion

Scheduling software is a very crucial part of any competent field service business today. Operations must be streamlined and integrated in order for the next technician to be scheduled for a job. Completing this process manually is almost impossible for a big company considering the number of variables involved. Scheduling software ensures that such tasks are done as smoothly as possible. 

Where unexpected changes occur, the software will make it possible to reorganize your team on time without messing up other operations. It also allows the field manager to keep track of the equipment and spare parts. If your employees are always on the move, scheduling software will ensure that you reduce the amount of time wasted on the road.

References

  1. “Five Ways To Upgrade Your Field Service In 2021”, Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2021/03/02/five-ways-to-upgrade-your-field-service-in-2021/
  2. “6 Ways To Sustain Business Growth”, Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2015/09/29/top-6-ways-to-sustain-business-growth/
 

About the author /


Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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