A dispatcher must always be able to send the right field technician whenever a service request comes in. It’s expected that the technician sent has the requisite skill to handle the problem on the ground.
However, field service scheduling is much more complex, beyond just matching skills with tasks. There are other things such as service level agreements with clients, drive time, customer history, and availability of parts.
A dispatcher cannot possibly crank up all these factors objectively to come up with a recommendation. This is what field service technician scheduling software helps with.
It’s important to understand how field service technician software helps balance out all the variables faced in the dispatch process.
The complexity of field service operations increases as an organization grows. The geographical area increases, the variety of requests increases, while expectations on quality also increase.
This creates an optimization problem because the company does not want field service vehicles idling for too long. It increases average operating costs.
Field service software helps by determining the optimal routes for staff to take to fulfill as many requests as possible per day. It can work out the average time needed per request and help the company save up on its field resources.
If the tasks on a certain route do not require a specialist on the day, the specialist would then be assigned a different route.
Workflow differs across organizations, but the basic constraints are quite similar- trying to do the best job with the least amount of resources.
One of the biggest investments a field service company can make is upskilling its staff. Internal promotions are always cheaper than hiring people who have been trained elsewhere.
Field service technician software supports learning by having a repository from where field staff can access service history for different machines. It’s a great way for technicians to learn.
The software can also have standard checklists, workflows, and automated status progression to ensure technicians complete their work efficiently, with little to no supervision needed.
Eliminate Paperwork for Field Staff
The speed of assigning field staff to new tasks is also dependent on the amount of time they take at each site. The longer they take, the longer the average wait time for clients sending new requests.
One thing that bogs down field staff is paperwork. They need to record the work done, document the labor time, note any spare parts or inventory used, and take in feedback from the customers.
By having an easy-to-use mobile app where they can quickly fill in what they did at a particular client’s premises would save precious time.
The billing process can get automated while a client can fill out a satisfaction form on their phones via text or online.
Another important thing in field technician scheduling is communicating with customers. Often, customers request a technician but then forget. Then when the technician gets there, there is no one on site.
Field scheduling software can send automatic messages to customers asking them to confirm a visit they requested. This saves the company valuable resources and time.
In addition, automated messages can be sent to customers every time a technician is dispatched. Customers appreciate this because it allows them to plan.
The communication plan with field service workers is equally important. Traditionally, field service staff would come into the office every morning and have a look at a schedule drawn up on a whiteboard.
Now, they can carry and check their schedule on mobile devices. They can receive quick alerts whenever there is an emergency, or a deadline is approaching. They can easily receive or check coordinates to a client’s location, which helps to improve working conditions.
Conclusion: Simplify Technician Scheduling with MSI’s Field Service Scheduling Software
Matching technicians with the right jobs based on skill is a delicate affair. The dispatcher must not only match jobs with skills, but they must be aware of other constraints as well.
Utilizing field service technician scheduling software helps to optimize resource use, considering the numerous variables. The availability of parts, the geographical spread of your customers, the number of staff and skill levels, and agreements built into contracts with specific clients are all important constraints.
MSI Data’s Service Pro, an all-in-one field service management solution, can help your organization manage your technicians, inspectors, and emergency response teams optimally.
With easy-to-use, drag-and-drop visual scheduling, your dispatch team will find it well-suited to their work. Sign up for a demo of MSI’s Service Pro today.