Lose the Whiteboards in Exchange for a Flexible & Mobile Field Service Scheduling Board
One thing that can be almost guaranteed when a requirement of a business is for field technicians visiting prospective customers is the use of some type of scheduling board. This humble tool has stood the test of time over the past few decades. Whilst some companies have taken a minor step forward, and developed a spreadsheet-based system or use dedicated scheduling software, they are still not able to gain the real benefits in having this tool integrated to the rest of the field service software or ERP.
Key Benefit 1 – Transparency and Collaboration
By relying solely on a physical whiteboard, companies are limiting the opportunity to have full visibility of the schedule across the business so many people rely on this simple tool to tell them what is going on and when it is happening. Whilst spreadsheets improve this somewhat, the ability for true collaboration is limited, and the risk of file corruption and version control errors remains high. Dedicated field service scheduling that is integrated to the rest of the business means that everybody can collaborate in real time, the information being presented is always true and current, and any changes are reflected in real time.
Key Benefit 2 – Agile Rescheduling and Automatic Updates for Technicians
In business, things change, and they can change very quickly. This is a fact that field service managers and schedulers deal with every day when allocating resources for jobs. If a business is relying on a physical whiteboard or spreadsheet they are often dealing with out of date information which makes agile decision making difficult, risky, and frequently, impossible. By having a dynamic scheduling tool integrated into field service software and core ERP like NetSuite, any changes that are made are done at the job record and updated instantly in the schedule board. The benefit of this is that everyone across the business is seeing the same information at the same time which alleviates any possible confusion and allows accurate and timely business decision making.
Key Benefit 3 – Filterable Resources to Find the Right Person for the Right Job
One of the biggest challenges of being a field service job scheduler is finding the right person with the right skill set at the right time to do the job, and then booking and confirming allocations to jobs. Good field service software, like NextService, makes this a breeze, as each human resource has a skills and training matrix built into their employee profile. This can then be used to filter down a potential list of assignable resources based on availability, skill set and proximity to the job. This means that the right person is easy to find and allocate and because the system is integrated, they can be notified and then accept the job instantly. There are no more phone calls, voicemails, follow up emails or confirmations necessary as the process is all managed by the automated workflows in the software.
That’s it for now. Keep an eye out for Part 5 of this mini-series which will cover how app notifications and job update alerts can help improve and automation communication in a field service business.
Also, if you have missed the first three instalments of this mini-series you can view them here.
If you missed Part 1 which is all about eliminating job folders, paper job cards and paper safety checklists, you can catch up here.