Hey there everyone. Welcome to our final installment of The Paperless Trail, our content series focused on making mobile field service a reality in your operation. Today, we’re zeroing in on scheduling and dispatching, and how integrated software can make field service scheduling a strength of your service firm, rather than an obstacle.
At the root of any successful service operation is the ability to efficiently schedule field technicians and inspectors. For dispatchers, precise coordination is necessary—not just to meet SLA requirements—but to go above and beyond, surpassing competitors. By making scheduling and dispatching as simple as humanely possible, companies can cut down their service times, save on gas and generally make customers happier.
Field service Scheduling and dispatch is all about one key idea: Getting the right technician to the right place at the right time. Let’s look at each aspect of this notion to understand how it can be accomplished by your firm.
Getting the Right Technician
Although dispatchers may have multiple techs in the field that can handle a pending service call, it’s important that they always find the perfect technician for the job. Scheduling a technician that’s too far away, currently unavailable or unable to solve the service issue won’t do any good, no matter how easy it was to assign them.
That’s why many companies turn to software solutions to handle their field service scheduling process. The software’s mobile capabilities allow them to assign technicians based on 3 important factors.[list_well][well_item]Their location – With a mobile field service app, a field tech’s mobile device will use its GPS to ping the tech’s location back to the main office software. Therefore, dispatchers can track their technicians’ whereabouts to see which techs are closest to certain open work orders. This process is even stronger when service vans carry an installed GPS.[/well_item][well_item]Their Availability – A connected tech can use his mobile device to set a “work status” that is always visible to the back office. For example, a tech can set his status to working, in-transit, restocking, etc. Having tech status readily available further aids dispatchers in selecting a tech that is readily available.[/well_item][well_item]Their Skill-Set – Although not necessarily a function of the mobile application, field service software allows dispatchers to filter through available technicians by their skill set in a heads up scheduling dashboard. So if a work order requires electrical work, dispatchers can search their techs by the electrician specialty and then assign them using the two previous categories.[/well_item][/list_well]
…To the Right Place
After the right technician has been selected, the dispatcher has to get him to work-site as efficiently as possible. The best tool for this job is the technician’s mobile own device—where he/she can receive point-to-point directions straight to his/her assigned job site. Plus, with voice navigation, the technician will never have to drive dangerously or break any hands-free laws.
Once the technician arrives on site, his/her mobile application continues to help.The application can inform the technician as to the area of the facility that holds the service asset and it can also store the name of the customer contact in case certain building permissions are needed for access to the asset.
…At the Right Time.
Like we mentioned in the first section, field service software gives organizations’ visibility into both the locations of their technicians in the field and their assets tied to work orders. This, along with knowing the work status of their technicians, helps dispatchers choose techs that can get to service locations faster.
However, another key factor in conquering service timing is understanding SLA requirements for each specific work order. Every SLA calls for a mandatory time to service, which depends on the contract. One SLA may demand break/fix service within two hours and another within two days. With this much disparity, it’s important that both techs and dispatchers know which work orders can be put on the back burner and which ones need to be handled hastily. Mobile field service software provides both dispatchers and technicians with this information.
All in all, mobility adds a powerful new dimension to field service scheduling; one that can simplify the dispatcher’s responsibility of getting technicians where they need to be. Couple the benefits of automated scheduling with the other features of field service software and you can see why many organizations are making the move towards digital solutions.
A Buyer’s Guide to Mobile Field Service Software: 9 Tips for Choosing a Mobile Solution
Manual paper logs are becoming increasingly incapable of keeping up with the current data loads of modern field service. Having a comprehensive mobile solution is necessary to keep in line with the ever changing landscape. Learn important tips, guiding questions, and to-do’s in our free, educational whitepaper: “A Buyer’s Guide to Mobile Field Service Software.”