5 Field Service Software Hacks to Increase Productivity
If you’ve invested in field service software for your business, then you’ve already taken the first step toward increasing your productivity. Field service software can help to streamline your workflow, let your team and your service technicians get more done, and help you to provide better service to keep your customers happy. It’s a wise investment for any business looking to maximize productivity and profits.
Even if you think you’re using the software efficiently and thoroughly within your business, chances are you may be missing out on some opportunities to get even more value out of the software. And if you’ve yet to take the plunge and invest in software, understanding how to use these hacks can help you to further justify the investment and may help you to choose the software that’s right for your business. With the following five field service software hacks, you can maximize your FSM software benefits and maximize the software’s value.
5 Productivity Hacks for Your Field Service Software
Field service management software can be a major asset to your business, but only if you use it to its full capabilities. If you’re not using all of the software’s functions, you could be missing out on time and monetary savings. These field service software hacks can help ensure you’re fully utilizing the software, maximizing your investment, and helping your whole team to work faster and better.
1. Capitalize on Automation
Repetitive business processes, like sending out appointment reminders to customers and sending invoices, can quickly take up a large part of your day. These processes also distract you and your team from more important tasks that also require your attention. One of the best field service productivity tips you can use is to automate these processes with your service software, saving you time.
If you haven’t yet automated these processes in your business, you’re not alone. According to FinancesOnline, as of 2020/2021, 52% of field service organizations still used manual methods for their services. However, automating processes can contribute to increased productivity, higher profits, and improved customer satisfaction.
Field service software can automate multiple processes. You can set automated appointment reminder calls, texts, and emails to keep customers updated and to reduce missed appointments. You might use software to track invoice payments and send automated follow-ups on overdue, unpaid invoices. You can even use software to trigger alerts so you know when each job is finished and your technician is on the way to the next.
2. Utilize Schedule Optimization
If you haven’t yet focused on optimizing your field technician schedule, then you’re likely missing out on opportunities for efficiency. You might be assigning field technicians to jobs that don’t align well with their skills or expertise or even scheduling jobs without regard for optimizing travel time and saving your technicians time on the road. This is particularly true if you’re assigning out jobs as service requests come in, matching up the request with the first-available technician. This might save you time at the outset, but can lead to longer, more complicated, and even multiple service appointments and unhappy customers.
When you use field service software that offers scheduling optimization capabilities, you can ensure that your schedule is designed to help you meet your goals of maximizing productivity while promptly and thoroughly addressing customer concerns and problems. Software that allows you to schedule appointments based on location and required technician skill can make for smoother operations for your entire team. There will also be less rescheduling and fewer follow-up appointments, which can streamline your administration team’s workload.
Manually-created schedules are prone to errors and usually lack efficiency, but software that keeps your schedules centralized can help. If your current software doesn’t have scheduling optimization capabilities, it may be time to shop for another option. Look for a tool that offers drag-and-drop functionality to save you time with scheduling. The ability for your project managers to easily assign work orders and service orders to your employees or subcontractors is a must-have feature, and it’s one that you’ll find in D-Tools Cloud.
3. Use Mobile Work Order Management
Mobile work order management can streamline the process of assigning, tracking, and resolving work orders. It’s a valuable time-saver for both your management team and for your service technicians.
Opting for a mobile work order management platform can eliminate back-and-forth communication between technicians and your management teams. By taking everything digital, you can eliminate issues like lost work orders or orders that arrive without essential information. You also allow your technicians to respond more promptly and receive assignments when they’re in the field, a must for fast-changing environments when you need to be able to prioritize those important work orders.
D-Tools System Integrator software features robust project reporting capabilities and Mobile Install functionality that keeps your management team connected with your technicians and installers when they’re in the field. You can publish install tasks and service orders to a web portal, and technicians can then use any smart device to receive and access those orders. The Mobile Install feature allows technicians to track installation times, update completion status, and take notes and photos. Then, they can sync that information back to your team for a comprehensive, detailed record that allows you to measure your productivity. Staying connected with your technicians becomes an easy, fast process, and you’ll have data that can help you to make well-informed decisions and better run your business.
4. Take Inventory Management to the Next Level
Inefficient inventory management can negatively impact your business productivity in multiple ways. When field technicians arrive at a job without the right parts or tools, they have to leave, travel, and then return with those items. Even worse, if you don’t have those tools or parts on hand, then the repair has to be put on hold while you order them and wait for them to arrive.
This scenario can result in frustrated customers, negative feedback, and poor ticket completion times. You might lose those affected customers, and can also lose out on potential customer referrals. The more time that your technicians spend driving back and forth from job sites to your company to fetch parts, the lower their productivity will be. You’ll also be incurring expenses for additional mileage and vehicle use.
Field service software that offers mobile inventory management can solve these issues and increase productivity. With such software, your technicians can have mobile access to inventory and parts, ensuring that they have the supplies they need to do their jobs promptly. With continuous access to inventory, technicians will be able to order only the parts that they need, and they’ll be able to see what parts are already available. This can help to avoid duplicate and unnecessary part orders, ensuring that your funds are used wisely and appropriately. It can also eliminate those unnecessary trips back to the warehouse and keep your technicians on task and on time for their appointments.
5. Leverage Real-Time Data for Decision-Making
When the only updates you receive from your technicians are when they call in to the office, your team will largely be working in the dark. Field service software that provides real-time data can leave your team better informed and help you to make essential decisions.
Accessing real-time data can help you to stay abreast of each technician’s progress and location. Not only is this an important safety feature, but it gives your team the ability to make strategic decisions and provide essential information to customers. If a technician is running behind, you can call their next appointment and update the customers with real-time data. There’s no need to distract the technician with calls, and you can provide superior customer service.
The data you receive can also contribute to other important business decisions. Reviewing information on technician productivity, what parts are most in-demand, and how long each technician spends driving can help you to make strategic scheduling, management, and even hiring decisions.
Signs You Need New Field Service Management Software
If your current software isn’t serving you well, it could be costing you productivity, reducing customer satisfaction, and making work difficult for both you and your field service technicians. The following 10 signs can indicate that it’s time to invest in new field service management software:
- You have too much paperwork and you’re missing important appointments or deadlines
- Your field technicians are arriving to appointments without the information they need, or with bad field notes
- Your system is unorganized and you can’t find important files
- Your team has low productivity, or even worse, your current system doesn’t allow you to track your Key Performance Indicators
- Field technicians have to make multiple trips out to get repairs done correctly
- You’re having trouble scheduling the right field technicians for each job because of lack of information
- You’re not communicating with customers well or easily
- You’re receiving customer complaints and customer satisfaction has declined
- You’re behind or unorganized with your billing and invoicing, or you’re making frequent invoicing errors
- Your system is expensive, outdated, and just not working as well as it could
A new field service management system can help to solve these challenges, and you can enhance its performance with the above field service productivity tips. The right system can streamline your workflow, maximize your team’s productivity, and lead to better service appointments and improved customer service and satisfaction. Explore the field service management capabilities of D-Tools Cloud and System Integrator software. Request a live demo today.