Field workforce management is integral to the success and business continuity of the utility industry and is a growing part of the service industry. The overarching goal of field workforce management is to ensure that people are in the right place at the right time with the right information. Current practices in the industry are manual, disconnected, and missing customer expectations. Organizations need to change the way their field workforce is managed and operated.
Field services teams are an integral and critical component for an organization to drive business growth and develop superb customer service best practices. In order to help field services team, reach their full potential, they need to be armed with cutting-edge technological resources. This will allow them to better meet customer demand and manage these distinct customer channels on one unified platform and this can all be managed in a remote setting.
With the growth of tools such as mobile phones and tablets, technicians can work from anywhere. This provides an opportunity for companies to reduce costs while increasing productivity. However, managing this workforce requires remote requires careful planning and control through trusted enterprise tools and services.
Although managing field service firms presents its own set of issues and is increasingly complex and costly. One of the biggest issues service companies faces is effectively managing their field employees as they may struggle with field management such as remote asset maintenance and repair issues, the loss of critical knowledge from seasoned to newer technicians, and building trust across the organization to create a transparent and unified field force.
Some of the common issues organizations face with field service management are -
Keeping track of the field technicians’ output
Field superintendent views are limited, making it harder to track the production and efficiency of field workers. The majority of the time, there is either a gap in the assigned jobs completed or jobs submitted to service managers on time. As a result of this discrepancy, managers have difficulty understanding the productivity and performance of field technicians and scheduling intervention in the event of a work reschedule required.
Other issues, such as “how productive technicians are,” “how long did he take to complete the work,” “how courteous was he with the client,” “when did he check in or check out from the job,” and so on, are not addressed.
Scheduling jobs for field servicemen
Scheduling jobs for field technicians is another difficult task that a Field Superintendent encounters. It goes without saying that evenly allocating field jobs can be a nightmare for field superintendents. Furthermore, task scheduling necessitates precision to ensure that a job is assigned to the most qualified specialist who is familiar with the job and proficient in its execution. That implies the manager must distribute jobs based on expertise while also considering considerations such as technician availability, proximity to the project site, and so on.
In brief, the scheduler must manually handle a variety of aspects while limiting risk in the event that the team is large. This means that scheduling every single technician's workday before they arrive on site can take up hours of valuable time when dealing with large amounts of data collection equipment being hauled around town each day!
Hassle-free communication with field technicians
Real-time information unavailability is one of the leading causes of poor field efficiency and productivity. Field technicians cannot constantly connect with the back office and ask for information or cannot move from one location to another searching for information. Field technicians need ready access to the customer database via the field service management app on their phones or personal devices for real-time access to data such as warranty and guarantee, service history, inventory details, and so on is feasible, increasing efficiency.
Overcoming field service management challenges
To overcome the challenges elaborated above, organizations need to move to an automated field management solution that will help connect the field technician and office together more efficiently.
With the procurement of automated field management software such as Dynamics 365 Field Service, organizations can benefit in many ways stated below: -
- Field superintendents and technicians can connect them in real-time using the field management platform technology to identify and track jobs, routes, time, and feedback, among other things. Also, can benefit from this in several ways, as the software helps to track and monitor the field serviceman’s performance and assist the field serviceman in reporting his tasks on time.
- Scheduling for field technicians is a complex process because there are so many factors that play into such as“how long it takes and what type of equipment needs to be used during each appointment” the availability hours, and the expertise required to execute the job, etc. Field service management solution AI-based model determines the equipment required along with the field technician’s availability by taking into account several factors such as his current schedules, scanning skillsets from a workforce data source, and pairing the proper technician to a certain job thus making the scheduling and rescheduling of job easy and automated. It also uses GPS to track the technicians’ locations so that the appropriate field technician may be found nearby depending on the work requirements.
- Field workforce management solutions establish an automated platform for standardized communication flow, giving field superintendents a conduit to connect with technicians in the field in the event of a crisis. In general, Field solutions can send field technicians automated messages concerning schedule changes, plan changes, inventory data, client specifications, and so on, keeping technicians aware of the latest information and planning the work & routes accordingly.
- One single view of market, territory, and field technicians working on the job is an unmatched benefit offered by Dynamics Field Service solution that makes it very easy for the field superintendents & schedulers to manage, plan, and shuffle the jobs.
The benefits of using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service to manage the workforce remotely are numerous. It gives organization an opportunity to better manage employee time, minimize distractions, and make sure of productivity and efficiency from field workers. This is especially important during a busy season when there’s so much going on at once!
It’s worth noting that low operational efficiency is the reason for low productivity, and low operational efficiency is the cause of low productivity. Again, the organization must deploy the appropriate systems or tools in its operational process for the field personnel to be effective. As a result, improving the efficiency of the field personnel process can boost both productivity and service quality.
Looking to gain more information about field workforce management from home? Watch our webinar on Managing field workforces from home– A Dynamics 365 Field Service, and learn how Microsoft’s premier Field Service solution can help in managing the field workforce from home.