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Field Service Management Best Practices for the Executive Suite

Field Service Management Best Practices for the Executive Suite

With the global field service management market projected to reach $29.9 billion by 2031, well-positioned Field Service Organizations have ample opportunity to grow. As an executive, bridging the gap between high-level strategic decisions and the day-to-day operations of your field service teams is crucial for taking advantage of new opportunities and driving success. While staying on top of every operational detail is not realistic, understanding the key field service management best practices is essential for making informed decisions and keeping your business agile and thriving.

By grasping some of the fundamental principles, you can empower your leadership team to steer your organization effectively, ensuring that strategic choices align with the operational realities and challenges faced by your frontline workforce. Let’s take a closer look at the most impactful field service best practices.

 

1. Optimize Operational Efficiency to Boost ROI

Operational efficiency is key to keeping a company profitable. When an organization runs smoothly, it improves ROI, customer satisfaction, and productivity – all of which impact your bottom line. Operational efficiency also enhances employee morale and nurtures a culture of innovation, laying the foundation for long-term, sustainable growth.

For FSOs, enhancing efficiency primarily means optimizing scheduling, dispatching, contractor onboarding, and providing mobile access to information and inventory for field service staff,  all areas Field Service Management software is designed to handle. Among high-performing field service organizations that use Field Service

Management software, 90% experienced agility gains, and 98% saw a boost in productivity.

Here are some ways to improve operational efficiency:

  • Implement intelligent scheduling and dispatching: Leverage advanced algorithms and AI-powered tools to optimize technician schedules and routes, minimizing travel time and maximizing productivity. Almost 80% of high-performing FSOs already use AI solutions.
  • Streamline inventory management: Ensure technicians have the right parts and tools for each job by integrating inventory management with your FSM software. This reduces delays and improves first-time fix rates. One quarter (25%) of field service workers report that companies don’t make it easy for them to know what parts are required for service visits.
  • Invest in technician training and development: Provide ongoing training to keep technicians up-to-date with the latest technologies, best practices, and safety protocols. This improves service quality, reduces errors, and boosts employee satisfaction.
  • Automate administrative tasks: 73% of field technicians report spending too much of their time on paperwork. Implement automation for tasks such as work order creation, invoice generation, and customer communication to free up time for more value-added activities. Adopting intelligent automation can provide an average cost reduction of 31% within three years.

ServicePower helped Siemens optimize its operations to handle 400,000 jobs a year. ServicePower’s field service management software allows the company to boost customer satisfaction, accelerate productivity, and raise first-time fix rates.

Read the Case Study

 

2. Protect Your Bottom Line With Data-Driven Decisions

It’s one thing to generate reports and track key metrics, but executives need to be able to leverage this field data. The best FSM software offers custom dashboards and analytics reporting to present information in a form optimized for data-driven decision-making.

Additionally, high-quality field data and advanced analytics tools allow you to uncover valuable insights and trends. With this information you have a solid foundation for strategic planning and risk management, enabling you to proactively identify areas for improvement and optimize operational performance to drive innovation and growth. In 2023, 91.9% of organizations surveyed reported achieving measurable value from data and analytics investments.

To make the most of your field service data, consider the following:

  • Define key performance indicators (KPIs): Identify the metrics that matter most to your business, such as first-time fix rates, mean time to repair, and customer satisfaction scores.
  • Implement real-time data collection: Equip technicians with mobile devices and FSM software that allows them to capture data in real time, ensuring accurate and up-to-date information.
  • Leverage predictive analytics: Use advanced analytics tools and IoT sensors to identify patterns and predict future trends, such as equipment failures or demand fluctuations. This allows you to proactively address issues and optimize resource allocation.
  • Regularly review and act on insights: Schedule regular meetings with your leadership team to review data insights and make data-driven decisions to improve performance and drive growth.

 

3. Leverage a Blended Workforce

One of the greatest challenges facing the field service industry is the talent shortage. Freelancers are expected to account for over 40% of workers over the next few years. This skills gap makes it critical to maintain a blended workforce of both employees and contractors.

A blended workforce makes it easy to leverage the expertise of seasoned technicians while also tapping into the flexibility and scalability offered by contractor partnerships. However, committing to a blended workforce requires a specific approach to workforce management. You can’t rely on outdated software that was designed only with employees in mind and running two software solutions is cumbersome, expensive, and can lead to costly errors.

The answer to bridging the talent gap is to choose an FSM solution that is designed for a blended workforce. Such purpose-built software contributes to enhancing operational efficiency by ensuring that the best technician with the right skills and equipment is rapidly assigned to each job, improving your first-time fix rates and reducing Mean Time to Service (MMTS). Additionally, FSM software facilitates easy communication and collaboration among field technicians, contractors, and in-house staff. 

To successfully manage a blended workforce, keep these tips in mind:

  • Choose a solution with contractor management capabilities: Look for software that allows you to onboard, manage, and pay contractors seamlessly alongside your employees.
  • Establish clear communication channels: Ensure that all technicians, whether employees or contractors, have access to the same information and can easily communicate with each other and with dispatch.
  • Provide training and support: Offer training and support to all technicians to ensure consistent service quality and adherence to company standards.
  • Monitor performance and provide feedback: Regularly assess the performance of both employees and contractors, providing constructive feedback and recognition to foster continuous improvement.

 

4. Empower Customers With Self-Service

Customer satisfaction and retention help drive profitability; a 5% increase in customer retention can potentially increase company revenue by 25-95%,  making customer self-service portals indispensable to the modern field service industry. Nearly 90% of customers expect a self-service portal and adopting this approach offers several critical benefits. Portals simplify the steps between a customer requesting support to a service technician arriving on site.

Instead of calling or emailing to schedule a visit, self-service allows the customer to arrange it at their convenience and prevents agents from recording data incorrectly. By reconciling all requests in a single calendar appointment, clashes can be avoided. The software can take various factors into account when scheduling a visit, such as what parts might be required for the job, if they’re in stock, and how long it will take to order missing items.

Portals provide the customer with a sense of control over their service requests and real-time updates give visibility into their case. If your portal allows customers to self-pay, they will appreciate the convenience and you will enjoy an improved cash flow. 

Enabling self-service allows you to reduce your costs and automatic scheduling frees up your staff to concentrate on value-added tasks. Around 40% of service volume is now delivered virtually, eliminating 1 million technician visits per year.

 It also improves productivity and gives you ample lead-time for ordering parts. 

To create an effective self-service portal, consider the following field service operations best practices:

  • Make it user-friendly: Design your portal with the customer in mind, ensuring it is intuitive, easy to navigate, and accessible on various devices.
  • Offer omni-channel communications: Provide customers with multiple ways to interact with your business, such as live chat, SMS, or email, in addition to the self-service portal.
  • Integrate with your FSM software: Ensure that your self-service portal is seamlessly integrated with your FSM software to enable real-time updates and accurate scheduling.
  • Gather feedback and continuously improve: Regularly seek customer feedback on their self-service experience and use this input to make ongoing improvements to the portal.

 

5. Create a Culture of Continuous Improvement


Encourage your team to embrace change, challenge the status quo, and consistently seek ways to optimize processes and enhance service quality.

To cultivate a culture of continuous improvement, consider these strategies:

  • Lead by example: As a CEO, demonstrate your commitment to continuous improvement by actively seeking feedback, embracing new ideas, and supporting innovation.
  • Encourage cross-functional collaboration: Break down silos and promote collaboration among different departments to identify improvement opportunities and share best practices.
  • Celebrate successes and learn from failures: Recognize and reward teams and individuals who drive positive change, and treat failures as learning opportunities to refine processes and strategies.
  • Invest in technology and training: Stay current with the latest field service technologies and invest in ongoing training and development to equip your team with the skills and tools they need to excel.
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Upgrade Your Field Service Management Software Today

With the industry projected to grow, it’s vital for executives to implement field service operations best practices to stay ahead of the competition. ServicePower’s smart solutions strike a balance between innovation and efficiency.

Our software is specifically designed for managing blended, employed, and fully contracted workforces. We harness the power of AI and Machine Learning to provide your technicians with all the information they need to help solve your customers’ problems on the first visit.

For more information and to see what ServicePower can do for your business, request a demo today

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