FIELD SERVICE MANAGEMENT: 8 RESOURCES TO GET RECESSION READY
4 min. reading time
07 August 2022 ·
James Alex Waldron
n a challenging economy, field service operators may be attracted towards the 'quick wins' of cost-cutting and raising prices overnight. Recruitment freezes, fuel levies, and lowering the time given to planned maintenance orders (in favour of reactive/call-out work) are all strategies that achieve a 'better' profit and loss. These ideas, however, are shortsighted, and leave field businesses with a damaged reputation and great loss of future opportunity. It's possible to improve customer satisfaction and raise the productivity of your existing field resources (and fairly quickly) with the appropriate assistance.
Field Service leaders learned lessons in 2008/9 which were carried into the success strategies we see today. In our 30+ years' experience, we've been here before. Control of planning and scheduling, field productivity, and cash flow, all create an atmosphere where it's possible to mitigate the effects of an economic downturn. Here we've gathered resources to improve field service processes and apply the technologies that are ready to assist your operations.
➤ 10 FIELD SERVICE PLANNING MYTHS THAT COST YOUR BUSINESS
Dispatch and scheduling teams are only human, and humans make mistakes. However, myths, out-of-date knowledge, and incomplete thinking throughout field service planning and in Finance and IT departments become expensive errors in the long run. We've compiled a list of 10 of these traps that persist in planning field forces and technical field service.
➤ CUT THESE 3 COSTS WITH ENGINEER DIARY MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
Any company that relies on field service engineers to drive profitability is acutely aware that Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are vital to winning new business and retaining contracts. Cost pressures are not unique to the reactive maintenance and call-out service sector. Continually cutting spend does however, leave field operators vulnerable to the issue of reputational risk against quality of service.
➤ REDUCE OUTSOURCING RISKS WITH FINAL MILE SOFTWARE
Technical field service outsourcing, whether modelled on a long contract or on-demand, has long been a tried-and-tested means to controlling cost and gaining fast access to skills. Indeed, it’s this flexibility that often maintains cash flow in especially seasonal businesses.
➤ INCREASE THE PRODUCTIVITY OF YOUR FIELD SERVICE MANAGEMENT
Are you looking for new ideas to increase your field service management productivity? It's no secret that technology is a fundamental ally when it comes to increasing productivity. With field service management software (FSM software), you can automate processes, communicate efficiently, and industrialise sensitive customer information for a lasting increase in productivity.
➤ FIELD SERVICE ENGINEER: TECHNICIAN AND BRAND ADVOCATE
Field Service technicians and operatives are your mobile workforce. Providing technical expertise in the field, these employees take on double responsibilities for the company. They not only provide valuable in-person services; but they are also the most direct contact with your brand. They shape the Customer Experience with an interaction that crosses communication back to head office. In the modern move towards the role of customer advocate, they can provide on-the-spot tips and tricks, 'watch-outs' for the future, and warn that it's time to replace an asset.
➤ FIELD SERVICE OPTIMISATION: SOFTWARE TO MANAGE IN-DAY CANCELLATIONS
Whether maintenance, inspection, certification, or emergency repair, a dispatch desk responsible for scheduling jobs for field operatives will at some point face unexpected delays and cancellations. Whilst the definition of these setbacks means they're unplanned, how an organisation responds is entirely within its control. Inefficient scheduling might move up the day's appointments, ignoring the creation of idle time at the end of the working day. Field service optimisation balances proactive and reactive scheduling factors for the best value outcome.
➤ FIELD SERVICE 24/7: THE NEXT NORMAL?
Home services expectations have changed–permanently. For your field service business, evening and weekend working is no longer the domain of 'on-call' and reactive maintenance operations. Previously an occasional (yet valuable) revenue stream, the idea of extending field services to 18, or perhaps 24 hours a day might appear a project too difficult to manage. Is extending your field operating hours right for your business?
BONUS ➤ 5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT OPEN SOURCE APPOINTMENT SCHEDULING SOFTWARE
Scheduling appointments for field service engineers and technicians requires crystal clear information and features. Documenting real-time traffic data, employee skills, asset holdings—even weather conditions—leads to controlled expenses, lowered stress, and improved customer experience. Too often it can be tempting to continue with existing customer support ticket systems, and in some cases, patch IT gaps with free website plugins and open-source appointment scheduling middleware. Works and job requests now flow in unfiltered, by email, or into a CRM, undoing the many benefits that your new tour planning software provides.
TALK TO FLS ABOUT RECESSION-READY FIELD SERVICE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
Do you need assistance to create your goals for the coming economic downturn? Cost savings, high customer satisfaction, happy employees, transparent processes - where do you begin? A sustainable strategy is created with balance. Using dynamic real-time technology, field service processes can be modelled and automated to mirror your unique setup (e.g. SLA optimisation, employee satisfaction, cost efficiency).