As a field service manager, your day-to-day operations are no easy task. You’re expected to get the right people, with the right skills, to do the right job the first time.
With so many variables to keep track of, achieving 100% productivity is nearly impossible. So, how do you create a seamless end-to-end workflow?
The first step to diagnosing any productivity problem is to realize this – Manual methods are slowing you down. They’re time-consuming and leave room for human error.
And when your job involves planning a business-critical deployment, you need to understand the challenges you’re facing.
Here’s a list of the 5 biggest field service problems hurting your productivity (And how to fix them!)
1. Inefficient Workflows
An inefficient workflow might look like this:
You receive a work order request and manually add it to an already busy schedule. You pass that along to a dispatcher who then checks in with the customer and sends your crew of workers on their way. By the time they arrive, they’re expected to have all the information needed to get the job completed.
Seems simple enough. However, at any point in this process a reckless mistake such as…
- Not confirming a customer’s availability or schedule
- Assigning the wrong technicians to the job based upon qualifications needed
- Lacking the information of what has to be done
- Not having access to important project documents
…will cost you time, money, and damage your company’s professional reputation
Without real-time visibility into your workflow, you’re just blindly checking off tasks and creating massive productivity gaps.
The best way to fill the gaps in your workflow is to implement a solution where everyone has a definitive scope of work set, that can be tracked from start to finish.
This leads us to problem number 2.
2. Poor Communication
If your enterprise-grade communications system involves checking in with technicians and customers via text and phone calls… you’ve got a problem.
Real-time communications are a vital part of boosting your productivity. And asking your employees to use their personal devices on the job has its own set of obstacles.
For instance, it’s difficult to regulate how your employees use their personal devices at work. Without an official means of communication, you leave the timely success of your project up to chance.
The best way to streamline communication across your entire organization is to utilize a platform that gives you visibility of the work being done in real-time and keeps your customers updated on your progress.
3. Scheduling Errors
Effective scheduling is difficult. Not only when you’re doing it manually, but especially when it involves scheduling different kinds of work – new deployments, preventative maintenance, or break/fix repairs.
Without a platform to manage your schedules and coordinate tasks on the fly, you’ll have less time to track onsite activities in real-time.
This can create some serious productivity problems when you’re dealing with:
- Last-minute schedule changes
- A shift in job priority
- An unavailable employee
- Completing multiple projects at the same time
A manual scheduling process will never be able to account for all these potential variables. And a service manager that can’t coordinate their daily operations effectively is a big red flag.
The easiest way to avoid fatal scheduling errors and maintain a consistent project timeline is with an operations management platform. Having 24/7 digital access to your schedules allows you to prevent time conflicts, reschedule technicians instantly, and optimize your workflow.
When your timeline is completely visible, there’s nothing you can’t account for.
Your technicians and team members are the backbones of your operation.
After all, they perform the necessary labor needed to keep business alive and take care of customer requests. So it’s crucial that you maintain a certain level of accountability throughout your organization.
Unfortunately, “human error” is a huge variable to be considered when you’re trying to streamline your productivity.
But when you’re stuck manually tracking your operations, you don’t have any effective systems in place to keep your team members accountable for the quality of their work. Alternatively, an operations management tool allows you to:
- Let techs and customers sign-off on completed work
- Track technicians via geo-location
- Get real-time updates on your team’s job progress
- Instantly communicate with team members and answer important questions
Understanding which of these variables is causing your team’s performance to drop is critical to boosting productivity. With an online operations platform, you can easily provide layers of accountability and keep your daily operations running smoothly.
5. Ineffective Asset Management
The ability to track, manage, and stay updated on the status of your assets is crucial to maintaining a productive workflow.
Without an asset management tool, it can be difficult to compile a current work history for your technicians to reference on the job. Without it, they’re unable to access important service records or stay updated on scheduled maintenance.
Not only that, but asset management technology empowers and enables your technicians on the job site. They’ll be able to schedule maintenance ahead of time instead of reacting at the very last minute.
And when a busy schedule already has your team members spread thin, you can rest easy knowing that you’re able to see emergencies in advance and plan accordingly.
Avoid unnecessary workflow disruptions
At Chekhub, we understand that the days of paper-based work orders are gone.
That’s why we created an operations management platform to help service managers perform tasks confidently, prepare for the unexpected, and streamline their operations from top to bottom.
When you want complete visibility of your workflow, Chekhub has all the tools you need.