4 Tips For Remote Field Service Management
Effective field service management involves the interaction of many moving parts, such as dispatching service technicians to the field or working with a warehouse full of required parts for repairs. Unfortunately, the challenges of field service management have been amplified in the post-COVID landscape, where a large-scale remote transition across many industries has happened with little in the way of preparation.
Switching over to remote during the pandemic creates several concerns for field service. Without a centralized reporting office. there is no single place for personnel to get required parts, submit reports, and receive tasks. Additionally, it is important to minimize contact with customers as much as possible – that means avoiding any contact that is not directly related to an actual field service visit.
In this article, we explore 4 important tips that can help you overcome these challenges, and even leverage the advantages of remote field service teams to improve your productivity and efficiency – even if you return to regular operations. We also provide you with a recommendation for FieldConnect’s software, which combines all of our advice into one unified solution.
1. You MUST Implement Dispatch Software
If you were running an informal phone-and-notebook dispatch system before you went remote, this practice will no longer be sustainable when you’re managing a remote team in the pandemic era. Having a paper-driven office requires a lot of people working in close physical proximity, exchanging potentially contaminated physical documents.
It is imperative that you switch away from cluttered notebooks and stacks of paperwork, and migrate to dedicated field service dispatch software that can help you schedule orders for your personnel and optimize your task management. Such software includes real-time analytics for performance and ongoing orders, and can help you achieve greater efficiency in managing all dispatched personnel. You’ll also reduce paper waste as you move away from your physical records.
In order to make the most out of any software you implement in your processes, it’s essential that you take the time to onboard and train your personnel in best practices. Without this training, your people may end up forming their own processes and habits, which could throw a wrench into your organizational efforts.
2. Equip Every Technician With Time Tracking Tools
Keeping track of your technicians and their orders requires a huge amount of manpower, which may not be available if you’re running a skeleton workforce. With time tracking tools, you can easily determine whether technicians are taking efficient routes and whether they show up at a customer’s home at all. Some tools even provide analytics for routes taken, allowing you to measure fuel and time efficiency.
Coupled these with time-tracking tools to measure billable hours to the minute, you have a recipe for efficiency that frees up your administrative staff for other tasks.
3. Set Up Digital Inventory Management For Your Parts
Without a centralized office and warehouse, technicians may find it difficult to secure parts for service orders. A digital inventory management solution can solve this problem, automating the entire process of stockroom management and making it easy for anyone to determine the availability of a part, and order it for a customer.
Going digital also streamlines the interaction between technicians and administrative staff, reducing the number of calls made or the amount of bureaucracy that must be navigated to get a part. Not only does this reduce friction, it also reduces the amount of face-to-face interaction between personnel, which can help prevent exposure.
4. Remote Quotation And Support
Many customers will be understandably wary of allowing technicians into their homes during the pandemic. By using remote support and estimation tools, your technicians can skip an in-person survey visit, by instead having the customer remotely walk them through the problem. From here, technicians can diagnose, assess, and even create a quote from the software.
Field Connect | An All-in-one Remote Field Service Management Solution
We advocate the use of digital tools wherever possible in your field service management pipeline, and having a single software suite that solves all your problems would be even better. With FieldConnect, you can improve your field service processes, increasing performance and customer satisfaction across all avenues while making life easier for you and your team. From dispatch tools to remote quotations, FieldConnect gives you everything you need to transition your team to remote work.
Contact us now for a free demo, and find out how we can improve your processes!