ReachOut Suite helps build a talented and skilled workforce for field service enterprises. Learn more about the ReachOut field service suite in this blog.
Improve The Competency of Your Field Service Workforce Using ReachOut Suite
Today’s competitive business environment results in wafer-thin margins. Profits come from internal efficiencies. A skilled workforce is crucial for highly efficient operations. According to the Vital Field Service Management Statistics report, some of the top challenges faced by field technicians include:
- access to service manuals (52%)
- access to the knowledge base (48%)
- pre-visit review of service history (54%)
- training videos (30%)
Verizon Connect estimates that 47% of field service companies find it challenging to get quality technicians and drivers to meet the surging demand.
The message is loud and clear. Field service success is directly linked to a skilled, adept, and flexible workforce.
Here are five ways ReachOut suite helps field service enterprises maintain a qualified, trained, and productive workforce.
1. Scheduling the right technician for each job
Effective scheduling requires assigning the right technician for each job. ReachOut’s intuitive field management suite assigns the best available technician to fulfill the work order.
While assigning a technician to a work order, the system considers the technician’s proximity to the worksite, whether the technician is on overtime, his/her upcoming leaves, and other relevant factors. But the most crucial consideration is the skill-set to do the task.
Servicing or repairing certain hi-tech equipment requires specific competencies or certifications. For instance, complex high-end machinery manufacturers require service technicians with three to five years of experience. Some states mandate licenses for many types of HVAC technicians. For example, the US EPA mandates HVAC technicians working with refrigerants to obtain Section 608 Technician Certification. There are four types of such EPA certification, each specific to different kinds of HVAC/R equipment.
Assigning inexperienced or unqualified technicians to such jobs may ruin the repair. Scheduling repeat visits wrecks efficiency and degrades the customer experience.
ReachOut allows schedulers to track such industry-certified agents. Schedulers may assign tasks to available certified agents instantly. A skills database makes it easy to identify the skills or certifications mandated for fulfilling a work order and match technicians who fulfill the requirements. Schedulers select the best option from the shortlist, considering the skill-sets, experience, and availability.
2. Ensuring skill competencies
Today, most field service businesses face a significant shortage of talent. As Baby Boomers retire, generation X, Y, and Z, who replace them, are not eager to take up field service jobs. The result is an increasing talent crunch.
There is no workaround to developing internal resources to overcome the talent shortage. ReachOut field service suite enables enterprises to manage talent better.
Maintaining a competent workforce requires regular training interventions. ReachOut suite Integrates with UpSkill Learning management system. UpSkill allows enterprises to create and manage training courses easily. Field service enterprises may easily create short video courses, blended training courses, and other interventions to up-skill their field agents. The tools on offer also identify skill gaps among technicians and assign relevant training courses to bridge the gap. Short, flexible sessions deliver skill upgrades without the training obstructing work.
ReachOut’s skill management tools also help field service enterprises track the certificate expiry of their technicians. The enterprise may arrange for updates and refresher sessions when needed. For instance, the tool keeps track of the upcoming exams for Section 608 Technician Certification for HVAC technicians. Technicians set to write the exam receive relevant training materials.
3. Maintaining an active knowledge depository
Most equipment deployed today in the field is complex, connected systems. There is no standardization either, with the industrial landscape dotted by millions of equipment. Technicians can’t keep track of everything related to their ecosystem. This is more so when the technology and best practices keep changing by the day.
ReachOut offers a knowledge repository that provides technicians the information to do their jobs well. Enterprises may upload relevant information, detailed instructions, and HOW-TOs to the knowledge repository. Field agents get such information at their fingertips through their field service smartphone app.
ReachOut helps them access:
- Service handbooks and manufacturer’s guidelines for specific equipment
- Industry-specific, updated best practices and tips
- Information on the correct spares and tools for an equipment
An example is ReachOut’s food inspection app. The app offers all the resources for food inspectors, field agents, and other field workers to do their job well, including inspection forms, checklists, and a knowledge base. The app delivers a checklist of FDA and DEFRA-approved requirements. Field agents can use the checklist to ensure proactive compliance. The knowledge base specifies the recommended procedure for equipment storage, hot and cold holding temperatures, guidelines for cleanliness, safeguards when using toxic substances, and more.
Seamless integration of ReachOut with the CRM offers technicians ready access to customer information and work history details. Such information enhances their situation awareness and enables them to do a better job. Technicians refer to service logs to understand the equipment better.
4. Automation to enhance competencies
ReachOut field service software automates routine tasks and speeds up data collection. GPS technology tracks the field agent. Supervisors may intervene when there is a delay, without the agent having to shout out for help.
Automated data collection makes inspections fast and easy. Flexible, automated reports spare technicians valuable time. Technicians no longer have to waste time filling up report forms and the end of the day or email reports to their supervisors. Automated invoicing and payment collection also spare technicians from the hassles of unproductive administrative work.
ReachOut’s customizable digital forms and service scheduling features transformed a backflow testing business in Idaho. Watch Video Now!
The most significant impact of automation is on technician productivity. Field agents and technicians spend more time servicing equipment and less time on unproductive paper-pushing activities.
ReachOut’s automation capabilities have a strong impact on field agent morale and motivation as well. Highly motivated employees take steps to remain updated and enhance their skill sets. They may also spend the time saved on unproductive activities to watch training videos or engage in skill development activities.
5. Robust communications enable faster and better work output
ReachOut field management suite offers robust communications capabilities. Field agents may connect with their supervisors and other stakeholders seamlessly, in real-time. Structured communication workflows and data storage capabilities improve traceability and eliminate confusion.
Field agents may connect with supervisors in real-time to get clarifications and updates. They may also connect with a remote expert to fix the equipment without scheduling a revisit. These options increase first-time fix rates significantly. Interacting with remote technicians live gives novice technicians valuable on-the-job training and enhances their skill sets tremendously. The spin-off benefits include better productivity and enhanced workforce morale.
As technology becomes more pervasive and competition intensifies, the workforce becomes the key differentiator among firms. Forward-looking field service enterprises nurture their labor force and position their employees as a critical source of competitive advantage. ReachOut field service software allows enterprises to cultivate and maintain a skilled and competent workforce. Want to try ReachOut to upskill and manage your field service professionals? Contact us and get started right away.
ReachOut: Inspection & Work Order Management Software
Do you still use paper or Excel spreadsheets to manage your service business? ReachOut is a web and mobile solution for companies to schedule, dispatch and deliver inspections, work orders, ticketing and more.