John Cameron, general manager at Trimble, looks at the benefits of scheduling.
Traffic was expected to be worse than ever over the summer holidays, with the average journey time predicted to increase by 50%.
This was a temporary setback for holidaymakers but for at-work drivers who rely on their vehicles to meet customer service appointments, these delays may have had a detrimental effect on a company’s bottom line and its reputation.
Summer holiday traffic is just one of many unexpected challenges that can de-rail a field service operation.
Workforce management is one of the biggest hurdles facing field service businesses and with much field-based work becoming increasingly complex and critical in terms of timing, skills and consequence, it is important that any unpredictable dynamics are dealt with effectively.
The key objective for field service managers is to get the right people with the right skills with the right assets to the right place within a set time and a work management solution can help achieve this.
It provides a real-time job status of each mobile worker alongside alerts for proactively managing productivity.
If a job is in jeopardy of being missed due to a technician being caught in traffic or a vehicle breaks down, work management solutions automatically highlight this and can adjust schedules and reassign work.
More organisations are also beginning to realise the value of intelligent scheduling. This can incorporate technician knowledge, parts availability and capacity into scheduling processes to ensure that the technician arriving on site can resolve the customer’s issue first time.
Incorporating performance management analytics technology is extremely beneficial in helping organisations to improve operational decision-making.
The technology generates and customises reports that showcase key measures including quality of service, statistics for individual workers, actual tasks completed against the total time of the working day, fuel usage and distance travelled. With this information, field service managers are able to identify what is preventing their workforce from completing more jobs.