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Not All Field Service Scheduling Products Are Created Equally

Marketing often has a fancy way of making less look like more, especially when flashy colors and videos, and other wieldy marketing tactics are at play. But when you are searching for a field service management solution, you want to have the ability to strip that all away, so that what you have left is the product itself, its functionality and its business proposition; what can it really do and what can it really do for your organization?

When it comes to the core field service scheduling product, not all solutions out there offer the same thing. Some focus on the user experience, offering a UI that makes drag-and-drop scheduling a dream. Others rely on the strength of their mobile offering, emphasizing full integration as a strength. And all offer a range of features outside of scheduling itself that “beef” up the product in an endeavor to help streamline your business using the concept of end-to-end solutions.

Every Field Service Organization is Different

Of course, the reason there are so many solutions out there is because there are so many different kinds of field service organizations, each with a different vision and different organizational goals, looking for different ways to tailor their field service to fit their goals and KPIs. Here are some of the KPI’s and the goals you might be looking to address:

  • Jobs per day – Increase Productivity
  • Fix-time fix rate – Increase Efficiency
  • Service Level Achievement (SLA) % of Jobs within the Service Level – Increase Customer Satisfaction/Retention
  • Utilization (and Travel Reduction) – Increase Productivity and Efficiency

…And So Are Most Field Service Management Scheduling Products

When you get into the nitty-gritty, the scheduling of field service technicians themselves, not all FSM solutions are the same. Most of the field service scheduling products on the market fall into one of the following three categories, basic electronic scheduling, drag-and-drop Gantt chart scheduling, or basic scheduling automation. In a basic scheduling solution, a user, typically dispatch, logs into the product and sees a calendar, similar to Outlook, which allows you to put in jobs/work orders that can then be emailed to the field service technician. One step above basic scheduling are solutions that offer a Gantt chart view. Some of these offer drag-and-drop scheduling only, which is still entirely manual and relies on dispatch to make the scheduling decisions. Others offer automation, which schedules the field technician for you, based on basic allocation such as skill set. These solutions however, leave too much room for error and dispatch scrambling to fill gaps, which ultimately works against your organization. To maximize ROI and meet those KPIs, you need a more robust scheduling product like ServicePower’s ServiceScheduling.

So What Should Your FSM Scheduling Product Have?

In order to maximize the ROI of your FSM solution while meeting those goals and KPI’s we’ve listed above, you need a scheduling product that is going to optimize your schedule dynamically, in real-time. In layman’s terms, this means you need a schedule that is automatically going to adjust and change based on changing circumstances and events, such as jobs finishing early, a field service tech calling in sick, location of job, emergencies, multiple-day jobs and multiple-tech jobs.

One of the biggest benefits of optimized automatic scheduling is that it takes the guesswork and human error out of the equation. But in order for this to happen in its entirety, you need a solution that is built to manage the unexpected, while driving your bottom line.

Many FSM solutions perform offline batch scheduling which cannot be changed day-of, and do not account for variables and alternatives. This leaves dispatch teams the responsibility to fill gaps in the schedule themselves, meaning your field service schedule is never truly working at its optimal efficiency. In order to get that efficiency you need a solution with a powerful algorithm that works to drive efficiency and enhance customer service while reducing costs.

Highlighting ServicePower’s ServiceScheduling

ServicePower’s ServiceScheduling is built using an artificial intelligence based algorithm, Simulated Annealing, which is specifically designed to reduce an organization’s costs while improving the customer experience they deliver. The ServiceScheduling product fills tech schedules based on the allocating jobs during shift hours, while also factoring in breaks, drive time between jobs and job duration. It requires no manual intervention. This functionality allows for field service organizations to offer actual appointments, meeting customer preference while delivering the least costly schedule to the field service organizaton. ServiceGantt offers an interactive real-time view of truly optimized daily schedules, including mobile jobs statuses and GPS location data, allowing you to keep track of your field techs. ServiceScheduling allows your organization to make the optimal scheduling decisions while taking into account all peripheral factors, something that would be virtually impossible to do manually.

The days of scheduling your field service techs on a white board or an excel spreadsheet are long gone. Get the most out of a scheduling solution by choosing a product that truly takes into account your organization’s pain points, and fixes them. For more information on how ServicePower can drive your KPI performance and streamline your business more efficiently, email to set up a meeting today.

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