Editor’s note: This is the second article of a two-part series.
Automating tasks within a supply network increases efficiency, reduces errors and shares actionable data among partners. Services reap many of the same benefits.
- Significant time savings and increased productivity
Switching to an automated field service scheduling system saves time in many diverse ways. Firstly, you instantly eliminate any need for time-consuming paperwork. All those man-hours disappear, leaving managers and technicians more time to focus on the real work at hand.
Technicians connected to an automated field service scheduling platform can easily review work orders, parts inventories, and service-level agreements (SLAs) while on the job. Any issues can be immediately addressed, boosting your first-time fix rate and mitigating costly delays. Best performing field service providers boast an average FTFR of 88 percent.
- Real-time communication
Instant team communication saves time, money, and resources. Field engineers are connected to the system by mobile devices, allowing them to instantly update the system in real-time on job progress without having to call in or even touch a spreadsheet. Likewise, managers can easily assign service jobs to the right people based on information such as equipment requirements, shift availability, and location. With an automated field servicing schedule in place, you no longer need to email or call work teams and customers with updates. Customers and subcontractors with access to vendor portals can also be easily kept in the loop on the status of work orders and give instant feedback on the ground.
- Enjoy user-friendliness with flexibility and compatibility
Automated field service scheduling interfaces are designed to be user-friendly on any device and across multiple platforms. You don’t have to know any code or spreadsheet formula functions to make changes. That’s all done by AI. Instead, simple drag-and-drop functions allow anyone on any device to make changes or see relevant updates at a glance.
- Achieve more corporate goals
In addition to the immediate benefits listed above, organizations can use the launch of an automated scheduling and dispatch system to spearhead longer-term initiatives aimed at improving working conditions, staff morale, customer service and brand image. Everyone plugged into the system has accountability and you have a reference of key performance indicators.
- Reduce human error
Mistakes happen and we learn from them, but they are best avoided in the first place. You can set up your automated field service scheduling system to disallow events and prevent scheduling clashes such as doubling up on jobs. The system can warn managers and field engineers of pending jobs with deadlines and give status updates. The AI can also automatically track and verify job-specific requirements such as skills, tools, equipment, materials, and service contract details; all of which help mitigate delays and improve first-time fix rates.
- Improve employee retention
Improved employee retention is another benefit of having automated field service scheduling with AI helping ensure a less stressful work environment as they are not burdened with unnecessary paperwork. Keeping employees on a long-term basis pays its own dividends. Their expertise and experience help ensure ongoing efficient field service management. High staff turnover on the other hand can negatively impact morale, productivity, the brand image and the bottom line. A study on service employee attrition by Northern Illinois University revealed that organizations with high employee retention post average profits four times higher than those with high staff turnover.
- Deliver world-class customer service
Today’s customers expect the same kind of personal service from you that they experience with everyday transactions such as ordering food delivery or a taxi cab. Digital connectivity gives everyone real-time updates and functions such as map integration with GPS tracking.
- Make payments and improve cash flow
Technicians can trigger automated invoices to be generated and sent to customers as they complete jobs on site. Time spent and materials used as well as any other relevant info can be automatically added to the invoices as well as any customer-specific discounts and warranties.
Ultimately, by automating the entire work order lifecycle from the point of contact to billing, you can process payments accurately at lightning speed with minimal human interaction. Your customers will enjoy the convenience of using their preferred payment method and your efficient customer service will foster their loyalty to your brand.