Full and part-time field service contractors are now one of the most important employment groups in today's high-tech world. Original equipment manufacturers, HVAC companies, insurance, claims management and security system organizations all depend on their field-service network to meet the repair and service the needs of the connected home.
Time is Money
When an important appliance goes down or has interruptions, clients are immediately outraged and demand fast service. Even the idea that a consumer's primary television or refrigerator or HVAC system could soon go down is enough for a consumer to request a service call. With the emergence of IoT and technology that connects all web-enabled appliances, service firms are receiving more field work requests than ever before. Fortunately, there are scheduling software tools that enable companies to meet this increased demand. Let's discuss how tech companies like ServicePower can help field-service companies achieve their goals.
The concept of smart routing is when software determines the very best method and route to drive to an appointment in any type of traffic or weather. Additionally, it groups appointments in the same vicinity at similar times. That way drivers are not crossing paths around the city. Instead, the closest driver and team with the right tools will be routed to a nearby location for the next appointment. That way, technicians can help their clients regain the use of their home appliances as fast as possible.
Smart routing has been a revolutionary way to save an enormous amount of fuel costs. Service trucks eat into profit margins as they troll around consuming gas. This technology has proven that it can help service companies save anywhere between 10% and 25% reduction in the amount of fuel used alone.
Reducing the time spent on the road also reduces accidents and other associated driver liabilities. This is another potential major cost reducer. Overall, smart routing is one of the key features of field-service management technology.
Not only is it important to route technicians appropriately, it is also important to schedule them on the right days and times according to need and request date. In the past, a team of logistics staff were responsible for this assignment. Now the scheduling software can do it all.
Scheduling software can check which engineers are available on certain days and match them against the client request and the skill level required to do the repair or replacement. Clients can view which days and times the engineers are available and match it with their own schedules. Best of all, everything can be done online without an intermediary.
Matching Skills Sets
The service person must have the right skills and tools to solve the problem at hand. Clients that schedule field workers who are not able to solve their problem are much more perturbed than clients who experience a delayed technician. No matter what, they want the problem solved on the day the technician arrives. For example, if a technician needs to find a replacement part from one of the many service techs working in the area so that they can complete the repair on the first visit, with the right technology - they can do so.
Fortunately, the new scheduling optimization tools record all the field technicians' skill levels. Credentials are checked before they ever start working in the field. It also keeps track of the inventory of parts in each truck. It will not schedule an appointment with a client unless the right engineer is there with the right truck and equipment. That way, many of the most important obstructions to first-time fix rates are removed.
Last but not least, scheduling software enables managers to know where their entire mobile staff is at all times. Through a combination of GPS tracking and technology, the managers can easily find their technicians throughout the day.
This means that in the case of an emergency, they can route the appropriate people to the right next service appointment. They can also calculate average service times for certain repairs and utilize customer satisfaction ratings to more accurately plan future daily shifts or changes in team size.
ServicePower is a leading provider of mobile workforce management software and field-service technology. For more information, please contact us.