For a cleaning service company, one or more field teams visit numerous sites for routine day-to-day cleaning, cleaning up a chemical spill, annual maintenance of premises, brush-up before or after an event, and for several other tasks, on a daily basis. Regardless of the nature and scope of the job, a field service management software (FSM) does wonder to the efficiency, and by extension, the profitability of the business.
Scheduling can make or break the cleaning business. Cleaning is a precise business, requiring strict adherence to time. The job may be urgent, but even for routine periodic maintenance jobs, undertaking the task at the precise agreed-upon time is essential to prevent major disruption to the customers’ business or operations.
Most field management suites offer easy drag-and-drop interfaces for supervisors and managers to schedule jobs to cleaning teams. A smart field service software automates the task, allocating the right field service worker to the right job, depending on the skills, competency, availability, and previous jobs. An intelligent Artificial Intelligence enabled system could prepare a duty roster automatically, factoring in leave requests, break time after previous shifts, and all other considerations. Such suites also automate follow-ups, generating timely push notification reminders to field workers, supervisors and other stakeholders.
A collaborative module integrated to the FSM allows field workers to communicate with their supervisors seamlessly and in real-time, without having to log on to another app. The in-built module could also co-opt update client requests and other instructions to the CRM, without manual re-entry.
The nature of field service dictates several on-the-spot decisions. For instance, a client may request an additional job which may have cropped up impromptu. Sometimes, the nature or scope of the job may be different from the one communicated over the telephone. With a strong collaborative suite built into the FSM, workers can contact their supervisor or manager for confirmation, and even generate a revised agreement on the spot.
An FSM suite improves job efficiency in many ways.
A GPS enabled field service management suite can direct the cleaning team to the site through the most optimal routes while plotting different jobs for the day in an optimal way as well.
Field workers can readily refer to job instructions or instruction manuals, easily available through the FSM suite and delivered through their mobile apps. They can connect with their supervisor or an expert worker, or refer to chat logs or the knowledge database to get clarification on crucial job-related aspects such as which chemical to use to clean a toxic spill. They can refer to the app for checklists on safety precautions to be taken when undertaking dangerous jobs, or the dangers associated with spraying chemicals such as glyphosate.
The FSM suite integrates all information in one place, and offers a world of convenience, as opposed to carrying bulky books and instruction manuals, or painstakingly source information from various sources.
GPS tracking allows stakeholders to track the position of the field staff in real-time on a map. Supervisors can keep track of the pace of work. Managers can estimate the ETA and track work completion, to provide accordingly. Strategists and analysts can identify common pain points, or suggest ways to improve the operational flow.
Managers and planners can have an easy live overview of all jobs taking place in different locations, with live status. They can keep track of the pace of jobs, and accurately commit to a time frame.
An FSM suite keeps track of the equipment taken for the jobs, equipment returns, any required repairs or services to the equipment and more. For instance, grass cutters, power drills, and flame torches require periodic maintenance to work efficiently. A good FSM suite keeps track of the work undertaken by each equipment, and schedules servicing accordingly.
The job of the operational team is to indulge in the core cleaning tasks. Any time spent on administrative activities such as filing status reports, invoicing, and other clerical tasks are unproductive non-revenue generating time.
A field management suite automatically collects data and information on the site. Any information which is to be collected manually, such as before-after photos, the signature of the client, or anything else has to be captured just once. A truly intuitive field management suite auto-generates invoices, auto-populates forms, and takes care of all routine clerical tasks. A truly smart system goes one step ahead, sending the invoice to the customer through email, filing a regulatory compliance report, by itself, making follow-ups in case of delay in receipt of payments, and much more. If the device carried by the field service team has stripe card payments enabled, the suite could even collect payments on-site, shortening the billing cycle considerably.
Side-by-side, the field management suite updates the inventory stock, and may even reorder depleting stock. Field management suites equipped with AI capabilities may match inventory with upcoming orders, or even possible upcoming orders to right-size inventory so that no amount is blocked up in inventory.
Related Reading: How do you think FSM software can influence industries in the future? Check out our blog on the future of field service technology.
All such advantages notwithstanding, success depends on getting the field management suite right. What matters is not just a laundry list of features, but attention to detail that sync with the finer nuances of the business. ReachOut Suite is developed, keeping in mind the various challenges of service industries and the limitations of other available off-the-shelf packages. Get in touch with our experts today to learn more about how ReachOut can help you increase productivity on field.
Sachin works as a part of the digital marketing team at ReachOut Suite. He believes in a healthy and resourceful web and does his own little contributions for the purpose by creating and disseminating innovative and quality content.
More posts by Sachin Krishna