Getting the right technician, with the right tools and resources, to the right job, at the right time, can be complicated. But the success of those processes is vital for any field service operation. Despite the unpredictable nature of the business, there is a wide range of ways to empower your technicians to ensure they are confident going out in the field and to enhance productivity and efficiencies. If you find that your field service operations are not as productive as you, or your customer, would like them to be, here are 5 ways you can increase efficiency.
1. Smart Preparation
Because field service operations are typically remote, it’s important your technicians are as productive as possible in the field. In many cases, going back to the office or warehouse isn’t possible or practical, so it’s vital the technician is prepared for the day when they begin. By providing product information along with the job/work description, a technician can pull/pick from the warehouse one time for the entire day’s work.
Having all the right parts is key to being able to complete a job, but equally important is the know-how for performing the repair. Providing the technician with product schematics or specifications, documentation, and even step-by-step instructions and 3D renderings, are all ways in which you can setup your technician for success and increase their efficiency.
2. Use mobile technology to enhance coordination and communication
Logistical issues and lack of communication often slow down the productivity of the entire field service business. Not only does inefficient communication delay the progress of current jobs, it affects the business’ ability to take on more jobs. Utilizing mobile technology may be the best way to solve this issue.
Many service organizations spend a great deal of time coordinating job assignment and changes. Historically, this has been done through a myriad of phone calls and emails, which takes up the time of the technician and the scheduler. Today, all jobs that are assigned to a technician simply appear on their mobile device. Alerts can be added for high profile jobs, or last-minute changes. In addition, with GPS technology, it becomes easier to pinpoint the exact location of technicians and allows dispatchers to direct the best-suited technician to the next job.
3. Provide Interaction and Service History
Apart from using a software solution to track equipment usage and automate processes, take advantage of the other functionalities that an intelligent system provides. Using software to store specific customer interactions provides crucial information to a technician about historical activity. Rather than having technicians show up to jobs unaware of what needs to be done, or what has been done to date, a record of customer notes, equipment used, and service history can be accessed, which provides technicians with a full picture of any given customer. Technicians become more knowledgeable and efficient and allows them to provide a superior customer experience.
Having insights into Service History, also provides the opportunity for the technician to leverage their ‘trusted advisor’ status, and potentially upsell a customer to a more reliable product.
4. Implement connected field service software
Connected field service is the notion of adding connected devices, powered by IoT (Internet of Things) and the Cloud to your existing field service operations. Field Service Automation software like Dynamics 365 for Field Service provides the ability to send information directly to technicians at remote locations about equipment condition and the potential need for repair. In a traditional reactive mode, the technician receives little information about what has or is occurring at the site. Connected Field Service environments, on the other hand, can capture data about the device at the time the anomaly was detected, giving insight into what might have caused an issue. Connected Field Service environments also can steam real-time data from the device, providing additional insights into the device’s health or operational efficiency.
By utilizing modern field service software, using mobile technology, tracking inventory and data, or implementing connected field service, you will optimize your resources, engage your customers, and make your technicians more efficient. Our MCA Connect field service consultants can help you understand how field service software can specifically impact your operations and transform your technician profitability. Contact one of them today to get started!
5. Provide Training and Ongoing Support with Augmented Reality
Companies can use Microsoft Dynamics 365 Guides to train technicians on exactly how to perform installs and repairs, without costly retraining. Or you can use Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist to provide hands free, heads up, expert remote assistance. Work together from anywhere while empowering technicians to solve problems more efficiently by working together from different locations.
If you feel your company is ready to take your technician efficiency to the next level, contact us and one of our field service specialists will be in touch.
Author: Travis Pullen, Director of Field Service
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