When it comes to service requests for operational assets and equipment, the golden rule is: A stitch in time, saves nine! And that’s a very valid thought. However, advances in service techniques and technologies mean that field service managers can do more than just provide timely maintenance services. Field service scheduling software now empower service teams, both out in the field and those staffing roles at the home base, to extend the definition of “efficiency”.
Multifaceted Service Scheduling
There are multiple facets to planning and scheduling an efficient field service management operation. And timely service is just one of those facets – albeit a very important one. Typically, though, on-time service is just the end result of what an efficient service team can do. Other aspects include:
– Supporting remote teams with additional virtual expertise, especially if the team requires inputs from more experienced technicians who aren’t on-site
– Using mapping tools to plan and schedule the most efficient route to arrive at a service location
– Leveraging the power of a full-featured field service management app to enable remote teams to continually remain in contact with the client and the service management team at their home base
– Integrating with corporate service supply management systems to make just-in-time availability of parts and components a reality
Through all these various facets of service management, feature-rich software delivers the key elements that make timely service a reality: Planning, managing, coordinating, and communicating. Even when service teams are mobile, either enroute from the home base to a field service site; heading from one service location to another; or returning to base from a service call, today’s field service management systems play a seamless behind the scenes roll to make on-time service a reality – all the time!
Mapping: A Key Element of Timely Service Management
The best field service management software delivers a powerful tool in the hands of mobile service technicians. Often, arriving on-scene on time is critical for the timely completion of a service task. However, there are many factors that might prevent that from happening:
– Unexpected road closures
– Unforeseen delays in beginning the journey
– Unfamiliar routes
– Team members that are new to the area, or who have been re-routed from other job sites
– The need to plan and schedule multi-legged maintenance routes
These are real-world operational imperatives that contribute to service delays. When getting from point A to point B is time-sensitive, field technicians can rely on the power of integrated mapping tools to plan out the most efficient route to make that happens.
Field service management software tools are no longer that clunky email-based data storage device they used to be a few years ago. In some instances, only a single member of a multi-part team may arrive on time, with other members delayed and on-route. A full-featured cloud-based field management system can ensure the service call proceeds according to originally timed schedule. Because these tools are integrated with cameras and mobile devices – smartphones, tablets, laptops – on-site technicians who have already arrived at the service site can “loop in” the delayed team via video links, to ensure they seamlessly integrate into the ongoing operation upon eventual arrival.