Most field service companies offer services that cover a wide array of applications — everything from construction, electrical, plumbing, roofing, fire safety and more. Because of this, one of the most commonly faced challenges is managing your technicians’ schedules, which can be an important task as you have to take into account a number of factors before finalising the day’s timetable. It requires great attention to detail as well as constant communication to ensure every operation’s workflow runs without any hiccups. But don’t take our word for it; here are four reasons why it is important to maintain a centralised system and streamlined process for scheduling in your field service organisation.
Productivity is maximised
A well-planned scheduling system makes it easier to measure your in-field service technicians’ productivity levels. Often, when scheduling is not properly taken care of, technician workloads can get imbalanced. This means that some technicians will have a packed, almost overworked schedule, while others might go days without getting assigned a job. To ensure all your technicians are working at optimum levels of productivity, invest some time to manage their schedules and ensure workloads are evenly balanced.
Information is centralised
When you have to manage schedules of multiple in-field techs, it can be a hassle to have to constantly assess their availability and review changes in scheduling. Often times, a job may get cancelled or a technician will complete a job early, freeing time in the schedule. When this is not highlighted in time, it ends up becoming a wasted opportunity. By maintaining a centralised system of scheduling, you can quickly access timetable gaps and make changes on the fly. Couple this with a smart BYOD policy (Bring Your Own Device) and the right job management app, and you’re on the right path to streamlining your organisation’s scheduling process.
Accountability is increased
Another advantage of having a centralised system for managing technician schedules is that it raises accountability by maintaining a sense of transparency in the whole process. What this means is that your technicians will always be aware of their teammates’ timetables. This gives them the chance to pitch in when jobs are scarce, or even ask for help when their own workload gets a bit too much. The advantage of such a centralised system really shines through when you have technician teams with varying levels of skill and experience, as it encourages newer and less experienced techs to step up their game and aim for the same levels of productivity as their more-experienced colleagues.
Emergencies are better handled
Dealing with emergencies is part and parcel of working in the field service industry, as many companies have to deal with a mix of planned and emergency work throughout the day. When maintaining technician schedules, it is always advisable to block some time for emergency calls. Otherwise, you might find yourself in a situation where an emergency call comes in and no technician is available — which means you will have to reshuffle the schedule and inform clients that their job might be delayed, or (in the worst case) delay the response on the emergency call. To prevent such a situation from arising, avoid overpacking your technicians’ schedules by leaving them some breathing space. And if you’re wondering how much free time you should allocate, the best way to decide is to analyse past job data and get an estimate of how often emergency requests come in.
Fortunately, field service management companies now have smart software scheduling tools that have made managing technician timetables much simpler. Instead of pouring over hundreds of spreadsheets and running complex formulas and macros, field service management software provides field service teams with an easy-to-use interface that saves your organisation a lot of time and money. To know more about how smart software can help your field service company, read more of our articles.