Five Field Service Practices You Need to Retire This Year

Manual Scheduling < Automated Scheduling

When you look at how many factors you can take into consideration versus how many a computer can look at, it’s no surprise that a computer can schedule better than a person. Field service scheduling requires decisions about many factors from travel time and routing to the technician’s schedules, and skill sets making manual scheduling hard and prone to error.

Due to this, it’s much easier to have an automated program that knows all of this information and can schedule your solutions faster and with optimized outcomes. It will leave you to focus on the more critical tasks each day.

Paper-based forms < Electronic Forms

Think about how much you like filling out paper forms and scanning them into a database. Now think about why you are still doing it! Many field technicians will agree that paperwork and all related tasks make up the worst part of their day. This is because most workers would rather be doing something that directly impacts a customer’s life.

To save time and get your employees doing what they love, why not use electronic databases and forms? They are generally faster to fill our and easily searchable, unlike their scanned counterparts. If you want to save time, let them auto-populate with information that is standard and unchanging.

Automation < Smart Automation

Automation is great for many things across all industries. This includes scheduling and dispatching field technicians. However, there is no reason to automate everything possible. This type of automation might make your business look worse. Think about customer service calls. Do you like hearing an automated system? The answer is probably no.

Neither do your customers! Smart automation is the way to go as technology advances. You can have intelligent booking options on your website, but if someone wants to call, they are probably looking to talk to a real person. Take this thought process to every part of your business. Look at the situation from every viewpoint to see what can and what should be done in the eyes of the most important person, the customer.

Avoiding Millennials < Recruiting Millennials

Time is unstoppable which for recruitment means you’ll have to look younger. While the recession brought back many who would have been retired, that trend won’t last. According to the Service Council, over 70% of service based organizations will face a shortage of talent within the next ten years.

This is a statistic that is harder on the utilities and healthcare industries as they struggle the most to fill positions left open by retirement. To solve this trend, recruiting must take on the younger generations. While many have called the millennials lazy or entitled, they have a lot to offer organizations.

Millennials’ higher college background enables them to have a better understanding of the industry while the age they grew up in gives them the technological skills needed to move the company forward. While engaging with a new generation can be a challenge; understanding generational differences and focusing on things millennials care about will make a huge difference.

Sticking with Old Technology < New Technology

Leading field service organizations don’t shy away from the advantages of new technology like artificial intelligence and machine learning or the Internet of Things. They know things like this can help their business save money while also helping customers grow loyal to their brand.

If you choose to use things like AI and machine learning, you can optimize automated scheduling as talked about in the first change of this post. The Internet of Things helps make diagnostics and predictive maintenance possible though sensors and connected devices. Other advantages are things like augmented reality or virtual reality which can allow for new and exciting client presentations and remote repair and training.

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