In a time where flexibility is key, having a blended workforce has become essential in Field Service Management. However, having a blended workforce is only part of the solution. How do field service managers effectively manage a blended workforce?
In order to keep up with the demands and the restrictions that the coronavirus pandemic has sprung upon the field service industry, your workforce management system is going to have to be a lot more robust in order to efficiently manage your employees and contractors. In the top 5 field service trends for 2020, the gig economy being here to stay ranks number 4. This means field service workers and managers alike need to adjust to the blended workforce lifestyle.
Rise of the Blended Workforce
Before we get into how to manage a blended workforce, we must first understand how the industry got to this place. According to a Korn Ferry Report, Future of Work: The Global Talent Crunch, by 2030 the U.S alone could experience unrealized revenue of 1.748 trillion due to labor shortages. With this high demand for work and a gap in talent from the aging workforce, these positions will be hard to fill. Even Gartner predicts that by the end of 2020, more than 40% of field-service work will be performed by third-party technicians, not full-time employees.
Third-Party workforce management allows organizations to extend service capabilities and it also saves them time and money. By utilizing contractors, your business can serve customers cost-effectively and be more prepared for the changing demand in services. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this issue. With many in the field service industry being unable to do physical work, whether it is due to age, health problems or living in a hot spot, your workforce is going to need replenishing. This is where a third party contractor comes in.
Tools for Managing the Blended Workforce
There are many different wheels turning when it comes to managing a workforce. When you add in third party contractors, the wheels spin even faster. To keep this all organized and running smoothly, you are going to greatly benefit from a workforce management system that can handle the ebbs and flows of a blended workforce.
Make sure when you are looking for a new contractor management system, to check off all of the boxes for a blended workforce. Look at the system from a company's four pain points: financial, business, operational and technological. Assess what your business needs are under those pain points and you will be able to better choose the best contractor management system for your business.
Invest in Intelligent Workforce Management
With a blended workforce, not just any old workforce management system will do. An intelligent workforce management system can help you achieve control and accountability for both factory service and a third party workforce.
An intelligent workforce management system allows for access to real-time data and route optimization. Having access to these aspects is easier than ever with a field service workflow that extends across both factory service and third party workforces.
Use Third-Party Dispatch Software
Getting technicians dispatched on time and as quickly as possible is integral in the success of your business. If you have a third-party dispatch software system, then you can easily dispatch across your workforce, whether it is an employed or third party technician.
Having a criteria-based scheduling system allows for direct assignment across the blended workforce. It also takes into consideration proximity to the job as well as expertise, so you know the best technician is being sent to do the job. Having a diverse pool of talent can also allow for a better first time fix rate.
Leverage an Efficient Onboarding and Contract Management Process
Leveraging an efficient onboarding process is one of the best ways to retain independent contractors. Onboarding can be a problem for both businesses and new employees alike. Communication is key in the gig economy, so contractors value responsiveness and transparency.
Investing in a Contractor management solution that streamlines your dispatch process and increases visibility, while quickening onboarding will delight your contractors and your customers alike. Not to mention, this communication can improve efficiency across the business and for customer jobs.
What are the Benefits of a Blended Workforce?
A lot has to go into properly managing a blended workforce. You may be wondering if it is worth your time to invest in contractors. The truth is, there are many benefits to a blended workforce that outweighs the efforts it may take to get it up and running.
In this day and age, 60% of organizations state that customer service is the top source of competitive differentiation. If you want to get ahead, you need to satisfy your customers. By employing a blended workforce, you expand your talent pool as well as your reach. More contractors available allows for jobs to be done faster, which results in a positive emotional experience for the customer.
There are countless ways that you can save money with a blended workforce. You have more contractors available to do more jobs. And with more experience and transparency, you can lower your first time fix rate, which saves you from having to push back other projects and expedite tools. With contractors, you can expand your geographical footprint, meaning less cars on the road for a shorter period of time.
As a manager, saving money and improving customer satisfaction are a priority. By implementing these changes, you can expect to see higher satisfaction rates and lower costs.
How does one even begin to look for verified and talented contractors? ServicePower has made it easier than ever to network with contractors that can suit your business needs. Our certified contract network consists of high quality and accountable servicers you can leverage to access additional locations.
Third-Party Workforces are the future of the field service industry, but not all field service software is capable of managing a blended workforce. ServicePower’s Intelligent Workforce Management solution expertly manages a Third-Party, Employed, and Blended workforce, seamlessly optimizing your operations and improving your customer experience along the way.
To learn more about Blended Workforces, check out ServicePower’s Whitepaper, “The Future is Now: Why Third-Party Workforces are No Longer an Option.”