Today, third-party field service technicians are indispensable. Approximately three-quarters of service businesses leverage these skilled professionals, per research from the Service Council. Analysts from Gartner predict that third-party technicians will handle 40 percent of all service calls by 2020 as a consequence of full-time field worker attrition linked to retirement and the continued uberization of the field services space. Companies within the industry must, therefore, do what they can to accommodate these external service providers, but how? Here are three good places to start:
Streamlined field information access
While third-party technicians value autonomy, they also require direct support from the field service businesses they serve - namely, mobile access to mission-critical customer and work order information. This ranks as the most preferred strategic support among third-party field technicians, 55 percent of whom desire more accurate and accessible data, according to a survey from the Aberdeen Group. An estimated 61 percent of field service companies already offer such technology to in-house technicians, per the Field Service conference, which means most simply must distribute login credentials to their external personnel, a relatively simple solution for a significant operational roadblock.
Standardized scheduling tools
Scheduling is among the most pressing concerns for all field service technicians. However, third-party professionals are particularly preoccupied with this issue, as their livelihoods hinge on their availability. One seemingly minor scheduling change can trigger multiple cancelations, costing them significant sums. This is why almost half of all external service providers insist that field service businesses put into place standardized scheduling techniques and tools centered on digital technology, per the Aberdeen Group. Unfortunately, a good number of organizations in the sector still use paper-based dispatch and scheduling processes, Field Service News reported. This has to change.
Centralized information management
Actionable enterprise data is essential to field service success. Most companies navigating the industry understand this reality and are searching for ways to collect and capitalize on customer and operations insights. This is why they have embraced mobility and invested in the latest field service technologies. However, many field service businesses struggle with data management, according to researchers for the Service Council, who discovered that 41 percent of these companies experience consistent issues when attempting to move data gathered in the field into centralized enterprise systems for distribution. This common problem affects all areas of field service delivery, including workforce deployment strategies involving third-party technicians. Almost 40 percent of these field service professionals are in favor of information centralization, as it helps them more effectively execute, the Aberdeen Group found. Without this sort of consolidated approach to data management and distribution, field service companies can find it difficult to bring on the external talent they need to fill staffing gaps and bolster operational scalability.
Here at ServicePower, we develop and deploy field service management solutions that help organizations in the space meet the needs of all workers, including third-party technicians. As an industry-leading software maker, we have rolled out unified FMS tools for some of the biggest field service companies in the world, including GE Appliances, Allstate and Siemens.
Connect with us today to learn more about our work and how we can assist your organization as it integrates external service providers into the mix.