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Let it Snow: How to Improve Contractor Management over the Holidays

Cloud and mobile computing solutions are rapidly changing the way businesses operate in our modern world. This is true for companies in the field service management industry as well, although many have failed to realize the full potential these innovative solutions offer. This is unfortunate, as cloud Field Service Management (FSM) software is perfectly aligned to take advantage of cloud and mobile computing functionality for the industry.

One of the main pain-points cloud FSM software addresses and alleviates is contractor management. This area of field service management is acutely in need of streamlined solutions. In an effort to help, let's examine how to improve contractor management and boost the bottom line.

Contractor Management Pain-Points During the Holiday Season

There are more complexities involved with managing contractors than direct employees, especially during the holiday season when many contractors are on break; most field service companies are managing both types with a hybrid workforce. During the holidays, it makes more sense than ever to utilize both types of contractors to ensure that urgent repairs are handled quickly. How well they're managing them is the question.

A recent IFS study of 200 contractors gives us some insight:

85 percent of study respondents said they have maintenance contracts with customer-specific terms, service level agreements (SLAs) and pricing, but only 14 percent said their software facilitated these contracts 'very well.'

Many respondent companies did not enable field technicians to improve the customer experience or drive new revenue. Only 38 percent said technicians could access information on the terms of the contract including customer-specific requirements. Only 15 percent of respondents have technology to empower field technicians to upsell or sell new service contracts, only 25 percent could issue new estimates and 23 percent could get customer approval for
an estimate.

89 percent of respondents said they use subcontractors, but just over 10 percent have adopted current technology by giving their subcontractors a mobile app to interact with their field service management software.

Here's what this survey suggests contractors need:

    • contract management upgrades (incl. access to contract information in the field)

    • ability to upsell, issue new estimates, get customer approval in the field

    • ability to onboard subcontractors with FSM software for mobile enablement

How Improving Contractor Management Boosts the Bottom Line

There's a lot of room for improvement when it comes to traditional contractor management practices. With rising expectations from consumers and contractors in a digitally advanced world, field service companies are seeking solutions to close the digital divide and ultimately improve the bottom line. The main solution they're finding is FSM software in the cloud.

FSM software solves these common pain-points by giving dispatchers and managers the tools to efficiently recruit, credential, onboard, schedule, enable with mobile, and pay contractors – all from one central dashboard interface. Using rules and skills based logic, managers can choose the best contractor for the job by having visibility with their:

    • Availability (are they on call or out of state during the holidays?)

    • Skills

    • Cost

    • Feedback

    • Expertise

Essentially, by using innovative FSM software, dispatchers and managers can streamline contractor management from selection to payment. This includes enabling them with mobile solutions, so they can access and manage contracts, inventory, warranty claims, scheduling, payments, work order details, and customer feedback tools.

Here's how this translates into profit for field service companies:

    • Reduces time spent recruiting, selecting, and onboarding contractors

    • Optimizes rules and skills based logic selection increases work order completions

    • Improves customer satisfaction rates by scheduling with real-time cloud tools

    • Ability to upsell and create new contracts in the field improves revenue.

    • Access to inventory, pricing, and warranty claims in the field improves service and sales.

    • Reduces the time needed to manage and dispatch contractors, (and the stress of responding quickly to urgent calls during seasonal holidays when many contractors are not available.)

    • Reduces service failures and poor customer service by contractors

Conclusion

Most field service companies are managing a hybrid workforce, consisting of both direct employees and contractors. Managing the contractors is more complex and requires more consideration by managers and dispatchers. Common pain-points revolve around selecting qualified contractors and a lack of mobile enablement.

Cloud FSM software offers real-time tools that field service companies need to comprehensively manage contractors with efficiency during regular workdays and holidays. From streamlining selection with configured automation to completing payment with signature processing, cloud FSM software comprehensively manages contractors and boosts the bottom line. If interested in learning more please contact us and/or schedule a demo today.  Happy Holidays from ServicePower!

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