Maintenance Planning: Harnessing and using data to drive your service business

February 22, 2018
Loc8 Insights Maintenance Planning- Harnessing and using data to drive your service business

Data is very a powerful; in fact, it’s by collecting sufficient data, that some of the world’s most successful businesses have managed to differentiate themselves and provide a level of expertise much higher than anyone else. For each field and industry, there are numerous tools available out there that help companies to collect valuable data and to make sense of them. Predictive Maintenance is an intelligence that many businesses have in place in order to improve their service quality by accurately predicting when a minor component will fail.

To understand how predictive maintenance works, it is important to identify the different types of data that can be used. This article should give you a fair idea of the examples of data you should be tracking and how this data will come in useful for devising an effective and efficient field service strategy.

Job Data

Job data include all the information related to the processing of a particular job, right from its service request to the confirmation of invoice payment after successful service completion. Some of these parameters include the type of task, duration, success rate, equipment used, service engineer assigned, etc. Collecting such data can help you devise an accurate and highly optimised schedule. By understanding what methods and tools worked in the past and what mistakes were made that delayed the completion of the job, your service engineers will be able to complete the task in a short period of time.

When collection historical job data, some of the questions you should be asking are: (i) How many visits did it take to complete the job? (ii) How many problems were faced during the completion of the job and (iii) If the job was unsuccessful, what can be done to ensure it is successful the next time?

Technician Data

Any experienced field service worker will tell you that every technician is unique in their own way, be it from a combination of skill sets to an analytical approach to solving problems to possessing excellent communication skills that help deal with difficult customers. Having extensive information about your technicians can help you devise a strategy that lets you optimally assign the right technician for the right job.

When collecting technician data, ask the following questions: (i) How long have they been working in the industry? (ii) What are their special skills? (iii) What is their job success rate? (iv) How good are their customer support skills?

By collecting all of this data, you can assign the correct technician best-suited for the job. Ensure you use this information to assign a technician who can fix the problem on the first visit, and in a timely manner. This helps improve customer satisfaction and is bound to lead to repeat business.

Customer Data

Most new field service businesses always forget to consider the importance of customer data, which as companies like Google and Facebook have shown is the most important data of all. The type of customer data you collect can be just as extensive as the job and technician data, like customer age, location, occupation, etc. For example, you can predict the kind of job request to expect in a particular location by seeing the various requests that come from a particular location. Similarly, you can use customer data to create maintenance schedules based on the times you can expect them to be at home.

When collecting customer data, ask the following questions: (i) What kind of service calls has this customer made in the past? (ii) How extensive is their knowledge of the field? (iii) How difficult are they to deal with (or what is their attitude towards technicians who are inexperienced or take time to get work done)?

Environmental Data

Finally, when you’re part of a field service organisation, keeping a track of the environmental factors is something that will save you a lot of grief in the long run. Knowledge of factors such as weather conditions, traffic, accessibility to WiFi and cell phone reception is extremely useful and will help you plan a hassle-free schedule that your technicians will thank you for.

Predictive software is the way of the future. So ensure your business doesn’t stay back in the dark ages and invest in software tools and solutions that will give you an edge over your competitors.

Loc8 Field Service Software
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