How can organisations utilise technology to give stability through a growth phase, whilst also using the same technology to aid growth?
Growth plans brings with them many challenges. How will you resource the expansion plans? Will newly acquired customers have different expectations? How will you measure success? Whilst trying to answer these intricate questions it can be very easy to lose sight of your existing service provision. This blog looks at how you can utilise technology to give your organisation stability through a growth phase, whilst also using the same technology to aid growth.
The ability for technology to seamlessly bridge the gap between field and customer service is now widely acknowledged, but for organisations with ambitious growth plans they must look deeper into the capabilities of the software to strategically prime the business for sustainable growth. But how?
Field service management software has many strings to its bow but for the purpose of supporting growth there are four elements which are particularly valuable when fully expended.
Reporting and analytics
Growth brings change and change requires close observation. Accurate reporting at individual engineer level and across the entire team is essential. You need to know what is happening in the field and you need to know this quickly. As well as helping you uncover day-to-day issues, detailed reporting will inform your ongoing strategic growth plans.
All service organisations have the data necessary to achieve this, but the difficulty lies in extracting the correct data quick enough. To add to this complexity, the very nature of growth means you will be handling more and more data. This is where mobile workforce management software can offer real advantage.
To start with, the software delivers data in real-time enabling you to analyse the data and respond quickly. But it also delivers this data in flexible formats, from multiple touch points to anyone in your organisation. Once you set up specific reports they can be scheduled to automatically distribute to the right people. This agility gives you significant advantage over other companies with similar growth plans reliant on inflexible reports that can only be understood by a limited number of people.
To grow your business you ultimately need to maximise the time your frontline team spend with customers. But as your team grows you have even more considerations when scheduling an appointment – more skills to bear in mind, additional geographic locations to map and more productivity figures to monitor.
You need a process which will take all of these considerations into account and continually assign the best suited engineer to each job. By implementing field service software you can automate this process by getting the software to not only generate appropriate appointments based on the criteria you submit, but also optimise individual work schedules to ensure you make the best use of each engineer’s time. The intelligent way in which the system schedules works will increase productivity and optimise efficiency, both of which have a direct impact on profits.
Balancing stock levels
When managing a larger service team that is completing more jobs you have far more stock to manage. The risk of stock obsolescence increases as does the risk of running out of parts. The bigger your organisation gets the more difficult this will be to administer.
What you need is to be able to monitor the stock inventory in real-time and give your frontline team access to this. By creating visibility and empowering your frontline team to directly order the parts relevant to their jobs, you will be able to maintain a far more precise and cost effective stock level. Mobile workforce management software delivers just this. Furthermore, with the right software, you can directly collaborate with suppliers through portals so that you have a holistic view of your entire service chain – from supplier to frontline employee.
Equipping engineers to increase growth
Forward thinking organisations are recognising that field technicians can not only solve a problem, they can also build customer value and revenue opportunities. In fact, research from Aberdeen Group shows that organisations which recognise this value in their frontline employees are 56% more likely than peers to meet their service revenue growth goals in the previous 12 months.
This doesn’t mean turning your engineers into salespeople, it just means equipping them with the right support and tools to have the right conversations with customers. By presenting engineers with relevant information, such as service renewal dates and warranty options, at the beginning of a job they have the ability to hold conversations with customers that can lead to additional revenue.
Through field service management software this information can be presented to frontline teams in real-time on their mobile devices. The system also allows the individual to make notes on each job so sales opportunities are recorded and fed back to the relevant team instantaneously.