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Updated: August 20, 2019
The classic image of a fleet manager making sense of stacks of papers littered with scribblings and walls lined with sticky notes was a reality for many businesses in the fleet industry not long ago. Attempting to efficiently and effectively schedule a staff of field technicians on a daily basis is one heavy breeze away from (literally) blowing your business productivity out the window.
Previously, the only alternative to scheduling every field worker’s route and daily work on your own was hiring another person to handle the problem, which wouldn’t solve for the inevitable human error that can cost your business revenue and damage your reputation with customers.
Manually scheduling field service technicians not only wastes valuable time, it also removes the ability to see around corners and make fast changes to routes based on daily emergencies or updated customer priorities. Dispatchers and field service managers can see where people are supposed to be, but are unequipped to confirm with a phone call to the main dispatch office.
We’re taking a closer look at the ways manually scheduling field technicians can damage your service business and how implementing a field service management software solution can bring your business into the twenty-first century.
Why manual scheduling is inefficient
Owners and managers, particularly in small- to medium-sized businesses, do not have the luxury of wasting time. When your business depends on efficient use of all mechanical assets and employees, time is money. Time that is wasted results in money wasted that could be better spent expanding and growing your operation.
How manual scheduling hurts your employees
Your employees in the field rely on dispatchers to be their eyes and ears while they are busy building relationships with customers and making the best use of their time. If field workers do not have dependable schedules, their work suffers and they will likely grow irritated by the lack of information from business leaders. If technicians are not enabled to perform their daily tasks it’s only a matter of time until they move on to a business that has the infrastructure to support their daily needs.
Learn how a construction and demolition company used technology to improve dispatching, boost productivity, and observe what was working well, set up alerts to passively monitor day-to-day operations and save valuable time.
How field service management software improves productivity
Using field service management software means scheduling information is kept digitally in a living, dynamic space, and dispatchers can see on a digital dashboard – not a messy dry-erase board or bulletin board – where every technician actually is in near real time, eliminating any phone tag and wasted hours in the day.
In the event schedules need to be updated on the fly, the dispatcher uses a simple drop-down scheduling process to alter driving routes, which then automatically alerts the technician in the field. The system pings the tech on his or her mobile device, saying to head to a certain location without any wasted time.
Growing mobile and digital capabilities mean that businesses can easily change from “the way we’ve always done it” and improve the quality of working conditions for employees. With GPS vehicle tracking and workforce management solutions, companies can get the right tech to the right job at the right time, and take less time doing it.