Increased field service engineer productivity is the goal of every field service organisation. Simply put, greater field service engineer productivity results in shorter service visit durations, more service visits per day, and greater field service revenue. And most of that additional revenue flows straight to the bottom line as increased profit. So how can field service management software help?
Well, some of the ways in which field service management software helps to boosts field service engineer productivity are well known. Better call scheduling and route optimisation, for instance. Automation, in terms of filling-in job sheets and time sheets, and ordering parts, maintaining inventory records, and updating customer details. And so on.
But field service management software can also help to improve field service engineer productivity in some other ways. Ways which are less obvious, but no less valuable.
So here are five ‘quick wins’ in field service engineer productivity—each brought about through the use of field service management software—that you may have overlooked.
‘Quick win’ #1: Realistic targets
Field service management software of course allows you to schedule your field service engineers more precisely.
But that better scheduling turns out to have an unexpected fringe benefit: because the resulting schedules are firmly based on achievable fact, not broad assumptions, the resulting targets are also firmly based on achievable fact.
Meaning that they are realistic—giving management a firm platform from which to ask probing questions, should those targets not be met.
‘Quick win’ #2: Better accountability
The same pragmatic realism extends to orchestrating the entire sequence of events and actions upon which a successful field service management operation depends. Engineer travel duration times, arrival timeliness and job completion times, of course. But also parts ordering, reporting compliance, inventory accuracy and so on.
And not just in terms of individual field service engineers, but also the broader workforce supporting them.
In short, field service management software makes it very clear who has to do what—meaning that there’s much greater accountability when things don’t go according to plan.
‘Quick win’ #3: Management without micromanagement
Field service management is a demanding job. Field service engineers have to be intelligent, creative, adaptable and capable of operating independently while carrying out a customer-facing role to a high standard.
Meaning that micromanagement isn’t for them. So attempt to micromanage a field service workforce, and repercussions will follow. Grumbles, certainly. And possibly a higher level of labour turnover.
Field service management software squares this awkward circle. By providing firm, achievable, fact-based plans, it provides a solid management framework, without compromising engineers’ independence, and micromanaging them.
The result? Better-managed field service engineers—but not unhappy field service engineers.
‘Quick win’ #4: Better teamwork
Fairly obviously, a lot of the role of field service management software revolves around the better planning and scheduling of individual front-line field service engineers.
But not all of the role of field service management software revolves around that. Sometimes, two or more engineers must work together on a job. And sometimes, two or more engineers must work in sequence on a job. And often, as noted above, the successful fulfilment of a field service management operation depends on, not just front-line personnel, but all of those people who support them.
Field service management software helps to deliver this teamwork—creating a single, coherent field service management workforce, and not a collection of individuals with their own tasks and agendas.
‘Quick win’ #5: Task rotation
Monotony is unwelcome in any job. But in a customer-facing field service management role, it can be particularly unwelcome, especially from a senior management perspective.
That’s because monotony can lead to lower quality, through inattention to detail and slipping standards. It can lead to higher labour turnover, as bored employees seek new jobs just to inject some variety into their lives. And it can also lead to poor morale—again not good news in a customer-facing role.
Field service management software can help to break monotony, through deliberate task rotation, scheduling engineers in a way that helps to keep them fresh and focused.
The result? Happier engineers, more productive engineers, higher quality, greater customer satisfaction—and a better bottom line.