As the famous song “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zepplin goes:
“…Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There’s still time to change the road you’re on…”
Now, we all know there are more than two paths you can go by when running your field service operations. We want to ensure you are on the right path for maximum success in your organization, and if not, help you pave the way there.
We have spent quality time surveying service-oriented organizations over the past two years with the goal of listening and discovering what is critical to their success. By casting a wide net into the ocean of service providers, we gathered information from various industries, company sizes, areas of success, and weak spots. Within these companies, they all had a common process: a work order’s core breakdown. A work order is the vehicle that drives the success (or failure) of a service organization. Within the companies surveyed, most shared the same struggles in their work order flow, which we seek to fix.
In this write-up, we break down a work order’s lifecycle to provide an organized framework for success. We put this analysis into bite-size chunks, or “job steps.” By following the 13 job steps listed below, your service operations can find crucial improvements and achieve optimal results.
“A goal we have is to get closer to what our prospects and clients genuinely care about…bells and whistles in technology only get you so far…” —Geoff Surkamer, CEO of MSI Data
MSI Data is focused on understanding where commonalities across equipment-centric service organizations appear. Our market research started with over 250 service organization interviews, from which we discovered several key takeaways, some of which are unique to each organization and others are common across different industry verticals and key stakeholders. The most prominent work order similarities are 1) missing pieces in their work order’s organizational flow, and 2) lack of overall structure of work order process.
Combining this information with our knowledge on how service organizations establish KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) around their service organization, how they describe the life of a work order, and how they track the profitability of their service operations has allowed us to establish a standardized common flow of job steps.
When you break down the steps of fulfilling a service job (also referred to as a “service request,” “work order,” etc.) it can be broken down into 13 crucial job steps:
- Identify key metrics for profitability and performance
- Work Order Creation with all the needed information to complete and measure performance
- Ensure your team has the materials and equipment needed to get the job done correctly, the first time
- Effectively schedule the appointment and travel
- Communicate with the field service team timely to complete job
- Determine when to recommend additional work to the client
- Allow for your technician to document all the information needed to complete the work order
- Collect payment from your client for the completed work
- Track the completion of all work orders
- Assess service technician performance and effectiveness
- Gain visibility into profitability metrics timely
- Correct off-track profitability metrics with operational improvements
- Demonstrate profitability and performance to stakeholders
By following the above 13 steps, a service organization will be set up to uncover inefficiencies and be able to either start improving their work order process or fine-tune their current process and crush their goals. It does not matter what level of field service maturity your processes are at, getting started and following our data-backed formula will help give you the confidence you need to maximize your field service profitability.
Sharing our findings for all to read and reflect on is how we will continue to both learn and improve in our ability to deliver value in the field service management space.