Dispatching of maintenance and service orders
If the planning and scheduling of service jobs is your daily business, you probably know how challenging it can be.
There are a lot of necessary questions that need answers. And problems that need solutions. Usually quickly.
- Which technician is available?
- Does the job require special skills?
- Which technician has the right skills for the job?
- Does the technician need special materials or instructions?
- How can you prevent long drives and long idle periods and save costs at the end?
Field Service Management means that the planning of a company’s mobile resources is as efficient as possible. Mobile resources are internal or external service technicians and engineers, tools, material and vehicles.
For five technicians your dispatcher is may be skilled enough to manage it with his head and excel. But there is a better way. The right field service software can save a lot of time, money and nerves.
Reducing the distance between jobs
With route optimization, throughout the day, all the technician's appointments are optimized. The dispatcher can display the routes on Google maps, and he can choose the nearest technician to a job.
If a job requires specific skills, with skill matching, you can find and assign the right technician.
Do it right the first time
The material management and mobile warehouse guarantee that the right tools and the needed material are in the car. The technicians do not have to come back to pick up material. And you can avoid second appointments because of a higher first-time-fix-rate.
Be fast and reliable
Appointments can be made faster, and they are more reliable and with that, you sure can satisfy your customers.
Save costs and grow your business
These are all factors towards that service technicians work on their full capacity without overtime or idle periods. Equipment and material are trackable and where they should be.
Sounds reasonable and like a good goal? So, why are you doing it the old way?
If you answer only one of the following questions with “Yes“, you in need of a field service management software.
- I have more than 5 technicians/engineers in the field.
- I have at least one person who is doing the planning.
- Excel is used a lot, e.g. for the planning of vacations and illness absence or scheduling.
- Appointments are managed with Outlook.
- Your staff is doing a lot but no-one knows, who is doing what and how.
- The time between finishing a job and invoicing is more than 2 Weeks.
- You have more work than employees.
- You could grow and get more employees but you actually can’t because you have no capacity to organize them.
- Or it’s the other way around: you can’t find technicians to hire, but you have a lot of job requests.
In the end, an optimized and standardized workflow can save the day.
Do you want a technician with a toy? Or do you want a streamlined process and a technician with a powerful tool? Exactly. It all starts with how you handle your data. How you build up your BASE.
Factor 1: synchronize data central
Efficient scheduling requires a synchronized system, where data is accessible easily and quickly.
If this is the case, you can start to automate your processes.
Prerequisite for efficient dispatching & scheduling is structured information in the right place.
In order to find the right service technician, the dispatcher needs a lot of information at hand. Who is on holidays, who is ill, who is already working at full capacity etc.
In mfr, the dispatcher creates a work order with all the needed information, checklist, and documents. Then he can set the status to “planning“.
In the schedule, he can now sort all these work orders with the label “planning“ after categories like “priority“, “category“ or “distance“. With the integrated Google maps view and the suggested technicians, he can decide which one is the best for the job.
And with drag and drop, he can assign the job.
During the assigning process, he can choose between “pre-planning“, if he needs to contact the customer about the date first, or already set the appointment with an automated customer notification.
Is the work order scheduled, the technician immediately receives a push notification on his device.
For a team of dispatchers, a field service management software should have following features:
- Each dispatcher has his own schedule. That makes it easy to make out who planned what.
- Each scheduler is configurable individually to fit different demands.
- All schedules are always in sync hence wrongly double dispatching is not possible.
Factor 2: Coordinate dispatching with subcontractors and external technicians
If you have to coordinate and plan your service and resources worldwide, and maybe even with subcontractors, you need a highly dynamic and secure software.
With all the data in the cloud, real-time synchronization, the mobile solution and the subcontractor feature, it does not matter where the field service takes place. In the end, you have a high-quality documentation and a tidy report.
Factor 3: Efficiency, efficiency, and efficiency
The half- automation we described here, should be sufficient for most of the companies to optimize their process and workflow.
In most of the cases, the dispatcher has to discuss the appointment with the customer. But in cases like when you have to fulfill maintenance contracts, full automation makes a lot of sense.
If you want more, we have full automation too.
With recurring maintenance, the software can automatically create a job within a set timeframe and suggest which date and which technician is the best fit for the job. The automatically created job goes to the job stack, and the dispatcher can schedule it.