Job scheduling and technician dispatching is perhaps the most crucial element to the success of a service business. One might argue that it is as important to field service management as blood circulation to our body. Just the way it keeps our heart pumping and our organs running, Service delivery companies, service scheduling does the same to maintain the service quality and cash flow to a service delivery organization.
Given the paramount significance of job scheduling and dispatching, it is only wise to ensure a proper system of managing work orders and assign technicians accordingly. However, a great many companies still rely on traditional paper-based systems to schedule their work orders. This entails a massive risk of mismanagement due to manual errors. The chances of double booking, overbooking, shortage of staff, failure to address emergency service requests, etc. are significantly high when you are doing things manually. Especially when you are running with a large crew or handling too many projects at a time, it is most likely to mix things up.
This would eventually lead to an array of potential problems, including late arrivals, unavailability of technicians, compromised service quality, project delays, and even irregular payment cycles. All of which would result in only one possible outcome– dissatisfied customers and in turn, lower profitability. If things get further complicated, it could even be fatal for a business. Especially for small field service businesses, the loss would be too difficult to afford. This is the primary motivation for service businesses everywhere to switch to scheduling software.
Simply put, job scheduling software enables automation in the task of scheduling and dispatching software in a service organization. Thus, it helps companies avoid erors and mismanagement so that they can continue to provide seamless service. However, this is not the only reason companies are choosing service dispatch software. It comes with a bundle of benefits that could give small field businesses the most coveted competitive advantage. Here is how it can help you take your business to the next level.
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Better Job Management
While scheduling software is primarily designed for seamless assignment of work orders, it also enables you to monitor your overall schedule better. Most software solutions offer a comprehensive calendar view where you can view your work orders in daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly basis. This way, you always know your work orders beforehand and can always be prepared for your upcoming assignments. With this knowledge, you can also plan better to mobilize and utilize your resources, making sure that they are being used to their full potential. You can also assign a particular job order to the technicians possessing the right skills and experience for the job, thus increasing productivity, quality, as well as first-time fix rates.
Prioritize Work Orders
A service company usually deals with multiple projects at a time. Therefore, you need to prioritize work orders and assign technicians accordingly. You need to decide which orders need to get done as soon as possible, and which ones can wait a little longer. On the other hand, there are emergency service requests, in which you practically have no time to waste. Now, if you don’t have a system where you can organize things properly, your operations will most likely go haywire, leaving behind a bunch of disgruntled customers. However, with a properly automated scheduling and dispatching system in place, you can achieve this goal with just a few clicks on your computer or smartphone.
As a field service business operator, your primary resource is your field technicians. And to get the job well done, you need to be on top of everything to optimize it. However, unlike inanimate assets in a business, your technicians don’t live in your warehouse so that you can bring them out whenever you need them. Then how do you ensure their availability? Simple, use service technician scheduling software. This cutting-edge digital tool shows you your employee’s complete schedule, including their planned leaves, so that you can arrange assignments accordingly. Even if one of your employees is suddenly unavailable, or an emergency order comes through, you can check the availability via this software and manage them as per technician availability. Some scheduling software even offer dedicated mobile apps with GPS technology, through which you can track your technicians’ location and assign emergency jobs to the technician who is close by at the moment. This helps you address work orders faster and increase productivity at the same time.
Even if a work order is confirmed and scheduled, your responsibility as a field service manager does not end there. You need to inform your field technicians so that they reach the job location on time. With an automated scheduling system in place, you can directly notify your field technicians through email and/or text message as soon as an order is confirmed. Thus, they can keep track of their assignments and no work order is missed. Even if the assigned technician is unable to take on the work order, they can in turn directly inform you through the dedicated mobile app so you can immediately look for an alternative and get the job done in time.
Keep Up with Recurring Job Orders
It is common knowledge in the service industry that recurring jobs pay more than new clients. This is why companies everywhere work hard to maintain a loyal customer base. This is more relevant in field maintenance, for they require inspection and attention from time to time. However, if you are using traditional paper-based methods to keep track of your recurring customers, there is a significant chance that you miss it. Especially for those work orders that need your attention in longer time gaps (e.g. once a year). But if you automate your scheduling and dispatching system, the advanced digital tool will schedule the appointment automatically, making sure no job opportunity slips through the cracks. This will eventually result in improved customer experience and thus, a happy, loyal customer base for your business.
To sum up, scheduling software can bring in a chock-full of advantages for your service delivery company. The obvious benefits of the cutting-edge digital tool will prevent mismanagement, mitigate operational risks, as well as increase profitability and productivity of your organization. Therefore, it is no surprise that companies everywhere are ditching the age-old pen-and-paper system and choosing automation for their scheduling and dispatching process.
If you are yet to implement one in your organization, then you are clearly missing out on one of the most important competitive advantages in the field service industry today. So, why wait? Choose the best service scheduling software for your company and watch your profits grow in no time.