4 Steps to Efficient Service Scheduling 

Field service scheduling is a critical task that too often gets overlooked. In the primary steps of fulfilling a client’s contracted maintenance or service request, improper scheduling can send a negative ripple effect throughout the rest of the service process. Without the ability to effectively schedule and communicate that schedule to the service technician, firms lose both time and money – neither of which anyone wants less of! 

Take six minutes to learn how scheduling technology can complement your team and become a game-changer for your service organization.  

(If you have extra time, check out our previous blog around scheduling: Stop Scheduling Your Technicians Wrong) 


Today, service organizations use various methods for both scheduling and managing the work order queue. Some are scalable, but many are not, and in today’s world, “good enough” simply isn’t anymore. A whiteboard, email calendar, or paper slips are not the optimal way to go about scheduling appointments and travel – a service organization needs to improve this process, or risk limiting profits, losing time, and falling behind. 

Let’s say you have received an incoming service request. This could be from an end client (or better yet, a prospect) or potentially the next recurring maintenance/PM visit of a contract already in place. In either case, a work order will be created against the service that needs to be performed.


1. Spin up the work order for a new service request or upcoming contractual service task 

This can be done within your ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), where you manage your sales orders or contracts, or it can be done right within the field service management platform. The key to this step is ensuring you have all the correct information to get the job done right the first time. No extra truck rolls here! 

Questions to ask yourself: 

    1. What equipment is being serviced? What is the request? 

    1. Will we need parts or inventory to schedule this job? Do we have it in our warehouse or storage facility? 

    1. Who is the right technician for this job? What qualifications and experience are needed? 

    1. Where is the service being performed? Do we have a qualified technician that is close to the site? 


Field Service Platform Recommendation: 

An integrated experience between your ERP and your FSM (Field Service Management) solution is key to reducing manual entry and increasing the velocity of work order creation.  


2. Create the appointment(s) (what is “scheduled”) off the work order that was created 

This step is critical as it should contain all the necessary job or request information to properly flow through from the ERP to the service solution’s scheduling board queue 

Questions to ask yourself: 

    1. Do I have all the needed information in my work order? 

    1. Is there contact information for the client I should include for my service technician? 

    1. Are there any special instructions I should provide? 

Field Service Platform Recommendation: 

Creating this off the work order will ensure all the necessary information flows into the appointment.  

Scheduling an appointment is important as you can have several appointments tied to one work order.  


3. Schedule the appointment for the work to be performed 

This is the fun step and the moment the request gets put onto the schedule and a technician (or group) gets assigned the work. Having a connected schedule board helps reduce KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) such as average response time by supplying insight into technician availability and routes. Scheduling filters based on skillsets and certifications help ensure you increase your first-time fix rate by sending the RIGHT technician to the job.” 

Questions to ask yourself: 

    1. Do we have any contractual SLAs in place? Did they request urgent service due to a critical failure? 

    1. When is our next available qualified technician available? Do we need more than (1) technician? 

    1. Is this a 4-hour job? 1 day job? Multiple day job? 


Field Service Platform Recommendation: 

Does your scheduling board/solution allow for you to filter by “division” or “tech qualifications”? This makes it easy to identify the right team or technician to assign the appointment to. 

Can I see a day view? Week view? Month view? This is also important for advanced planning and will give the best possible chance to assign work that is best for your team and the clients request.  


4. Ensure the appointment was communicated (or dispatched) properly 

An appointment that gets put on a whiteboard or on a piece of paper is hard to communicate in real time. This is where an automated field service scheduling solution provides ROI on (2) KPIs: Time & Money. 

Questions to ask yourself: 

    1. Did the appointment notification go out? 

    1. Is my technician able to perform the work when scheduled? 

    1. Will my client know that I’ve scheduled their work? 


Field Service Platform Recommendation: 

Real-time notifications within an FSM solution ensure your technician knows of any newly assigned appointments – ensure you have this set up. 

Clients’ expectations continue to rise and if you offer a superior customer experience you will win every time. Give your clients a heads-up once your technician is on the way with any needed information such as a picture of the technician, name, and contact details.  


Now, we’ve walked through the 4 key steps to ensuring a service request or contractual service task gets scheduled properly. Make note of the key recommendations per step that a field service solution should be providing your organization to ensure the best possible experience for your back-office scheduler and your service technicians (& the end client!)


A field service solution does much more than just provide a smooth scheduling experience for your service operations – but scheduling is a critical step that touches all throughout a service organization and ensures a superior end client experience.

If you are in the market to elevate your service operations, Service Pro by MSI Data is a solution that can help you mature your field service operations. We have the goal of helping our clients gain visibility into their service operations and ensure they maximize their field service profitability.  


  • Andrew Knox

    Andrew Knox is the VP of Sales and Marketing at MSI Data. He’s focused on driving both brand awareness & sales growth strategies to propel MSI Data to new heights. Andrew prioritizes channel partnerships, brand awareness, everything field service software and management, and helping our clients gain visibility & maximize profitability.

  • Leena Meyers

    Leena Meyers is the Content Marketer at MSI Data. Topics of focus include: case studies, blogs, field service software and management, scheduling, KPI tracking and management, technician efficiency, visibility, and maximizing productivity.