What is dispatch management? Dispatch management is the crux of field service, as it combines customer and equipment needs with the right technicians to complete a job to the customers satisfaction. This sounds easy, but dispatch management is a combination of repairs, routine maintenance, installation, deliveries and more, all while handling the customer and their expectations.
A dispatch managers job is a difficult one, and it requires an organized individual who can handle constantly changing parts. Many field service businesses still employ old techniques, like whiteboards and manual spreadsheets.
However, dispatch management has become easier with the development of dispatch apps, which empowers field service management teams to flexibly manage technicians in the field. A dispatch app helps dispatch managers automatically assign jobs to blended workforces based on the job’s criteria. Dispatch management also reduces time and human error, as previous methods proved to be monotonous and left plenty of room for mistakes.
Dispatch Management Features
If your field service business is looking to invest in a dispatch management app, there are certain features that should be non-negotiable before investing in one for your business. Being able to dispatch to a blended workforce is one of them. The rise of the third party workforce is not going away in 2021. According to a Korn Ferry Report, by 2030 the U.S. alone could experience unrealized revenue of 1.748 trillion due to labor shortages. With this increasing demand for work and a gap in talent due to the aging workforce, these positions will have to be filled using third party contractors.
A dispatch management app should have the ability to manage a blended workforce and scale operations as demand changes. Being able to seamlessly schedule technicians from all over will make the dispatch manager's job easier and the dispatching process more efficient. Dispatch management apps can even improve companies' first time fix rates.
Data driven decision making is another trend that we are seeing in field service management. Data driven decision making means using facts, metrics and data to guide strategic business making decisions. Dispatch management apps use real time data in order to eradicate human error that often occurred in traditional dispatching processes. Data is collected and used in dispatch management apps for many reasons, such as:
- Improved Scheduling
Real time data allows for scheduling to be easily optimized. This is a task that was once monotonous and time consuming for dispatch managers. Now, managers can easily access real time information and make decisions backed by data. Simplifying this process saves time and money, allowing for managers to make other decisions and field service workers to get more jobs done.
One of ServicePower’s customers was able to save $1M YoY with scheduling optimization while also reducing technician travel time by 15%. The criteria based scheduling feature allowed dispatch managers to automatically assign jobs to employed, third party and hybrid workforces using a standardized process.
- Reduced Time Between Jobs
Dispatch management allows dispatchers to immediately respond to any changes that occur, reducing delays and improving service.
Route optimization paired with dispatch management means realistic routes are set in real time, all while actively managing a schedule so that technicians are able to get from one job to the other as quickly as possible. Route optimization can also save money by optimizing schedules and reduce travel costs by 15%.
Route optimization and dispatch management capabilities together will not only save you money, but delight your customers with quick and easy service. New mobile capabilities can also assist in minimizing turnaround time.
- Allows for Mobile Capabilities
Technicians are relying on mobile platforms now more than ever. A dispatch management app allows technicians in the field to receive updates about scheduling changes, job status and customer information right to their phone. With the competition for third party contractors becoming more steep, technicians are going to work for the company that they feel has invested in the technology to make them competitive.
Mobile apps allow for the flexibility that technicians crave, while also saving time and money with its ability for real time communication.
- Automated Decisions
Our fourth feature to look out for in dispatch management systems involves using artificial intelligence. Dispatch management uses AI to help automate the decision making process. This may sound scary, but these automated decisions will be made keeping business rules and optimization goals in mind.
This automated process allows dispatch managers more time to handle more important matters, while making their job simpler and more efficient. Dispatch management systems also have built in “red flags”, so that if a business rule and an opportunity for optimization is a conflict, dispatch managers can flag it and make the right decision.
Why You Should Invest in Dispatch Management
Dispatch management has the capabilities to reduce errors and maximize work output. Not only does that save your business time, it increases the amount of service that gets done.
The ability to seamlessly integrate and dispatch a blended workforce will undoubtedly increase customer satisfaction. In fact, 60% of organizations state that customer service is the top source of competitive differentiation. By employing a blended workforce, you expand your talent pool and increase the areas in which you can service your customers.
As dispatch management continues to change, the ability to invest in automation, trust artificial intelligence and connect to workers in real time will be pivotal in determining your company's success.
Learn more about how ServicePower’s dispatch management software can take your field service company to the next level.