As competition intensifies, businesses have no choice but to make field service hyper-efficient. Improved efficiency enables field agents to perform more tasks during their shifts. The benefits include a better asset utilization ratio, improved productivity, and lower costs. Customer satisfaction also improves. Such efficiencies help businesses survive today’s challenging business environment.
Inefficiencies in scheduling and dispatching lead to several issues, such as:
The stakes of field agents covering the maximum number of jobs per shift and on-time arrival are higher in field service than on-time arrival at a regular job. Field agents engage with the customers directly and often undertake emergency jobs. Any delays, for whatever reason, degrade the customer experience.
Read more: Can Scheduling and Dispatching Software Make Your Business More Productive?
Scheduling field crews is not as easy as assigning the next-in-line or the nearest available field agent to a job. The scheduler has to consider many factors and make changes each time anything changes.
The first consideration of the scheduler is to shortlist eligible field agents from the general pool of available agents. Not considering field agent skill-sets or competencies cause serious issues.
Not all field agents in the muster roll will be available. Many field service companies mix full-time, part-time, and contracted employees. Each employee category will have work arrangements that cover work timings and other particulars. Even full-time regular employees may work in predetermined shifts.
Optimized scheduling depends on preparing duty rosters considering:
Field service jobs are draining. Making field agents work overtime or cramming jobs one after another may deliver short-term results. But soon, the agent develops stress and burnout. The scheduler must
Plotting schedules in advance improves efficiency manifold. Imagine a field agent traveling to the other side of the town for his second job of the day and then returning for his third assignment a few meters away from the first job site. The field agents waste unneeded time traveling, the businesses waste fuel, and a lesser number of jobs get done in the day. Effective scheduling:
Field service scheduling is dynamic. Inevitable changes occur at the last minute, which has a domino effect on other schedules.
Read more: Tips To Make Your Field Service Business Competitive With A Job Scheduling Software.
Scheduling and dispatching is a complex exercise. Scheduling depends on considering several permutations and combinations and making optimal tradeoffs. Route management depends on getting accurate, real-time information. Many companies lack the proper tool to get these critical processes right.
Spreadsheets, emails, and online calendars are inflexible, time-consuming, and error-prone. Such methods are also stressful for the scheduler and limit the bandwidth. Field agents end up doing lesser work than they could during every shift. Customers are also put off by the long wait and opaqueness.
Many field crews use third-party navigation apps such as Google maps or other GPS systems to reach their work sites. Such tools have several limitations in business settings. Field agents find it difficult to toggle between such piecemeal tools. Getting information and tracking communications becomes difficult. Critical information may slip through the cracks, leading to further delays or low-quality output. Multiple tools also endanger safety, as field agents have to divert their attention when on the road.
Ensuring the right worker does the right job at the right time is next to impossible without the right field service software. ReachOut Suite streamlines scheduling and dispatching. The suite offers:
ReachOut Suite integrates all field service functions, including work order management, inspections, and invoicing. The suite streamlines workflows, speeds up things, and enables seamless field service.
Contact our experts today to know more!
Ashmitha works with ReachOut Suite as a creative writer. She collaborates with the Digital Marketing team to deliver engaging, informative, and SEO friendly business collaterals. Being passionate about writing, Ashmitha frequently engages in blogging and creating fiction. Besides writing, Ashmitha indulges in exploring effective content marketing strategies.
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