Efficiency is the driving force behind service excellence, competitive advantage and revenue growth. Despite this, 95% of organisations are aware of inefficiencies in their field operations which they would like to resolve. These are the findings of a recent survey carried out by Oneserve that looked into the main causes of inefficiencies in organisations with a mobile workforce.
The research unearthed some interesting findings and this blog focuses on inefficiencies found within the workforce and business process. We will publish further findings next week, which discuss inefficiencies in the system(s) used to manage mobile operations.
The headline figures
95% of organisations are looking to increase field service efficiency. Inefficiencies are a concern of nearly all participants, with 95% placing a medium or high priority on improving field service efficiency. Of these, just under half (48%) cited the system(s) being used to manage field operations as the catalyst for inefficiencies. A third felt their business processes were to blame, while 5% said they thought that workforce productivity was the main issue.
Business processes and systems are holding back organisations
The theme of the research showed a general dissatisfaction with the processes used in field operations. Conflicting demands were a major hindrance for almost half (48%), while a lack of scalability worried 38% of participants. These results would suggest that processes have not been properly reviewed as the needs of the organisation have changed. This subsequently holds the company back from achieving the very goals the processes were originally set up to support.
Another common issue stated by respondents was that of dealing with complex contracts. Thirty eight percent of those surveyed find this a problem, which is perhaps inevitable in the field service industry as customers often have very different needs.
Issues with business processes that are causing inefficiencies
A staggering 62% of respondents said their workforce is frustrated with current business processes and systems. This would suggest that close to two thirds of field operatives do not have the support network in place to complete their work in the most efficient manner. This could damage staff morale and customer service in addition to leading to inefficiencies.
Reluctance to change hinders efficiency
Perhaps less surprising is that over a third of respondents cited reluctance to change as an issue with their workforce. Change management must be a major part of any efficiency improvement plan because people are often resistant to change, especially if they are unsure how it will affect them or think it could have a negative impact. But if changes are carefully planned and two-way communication is continually encouraged, organisations should see the apprehension ease.
Some participants also noted a lack of employee skills (24%) and a lack of motivation (14%) as influential factors on inefficiencies.
If you’re looking to increase the efficiency of your own field service organisation you may find our white paper ‘Overcoming Field Service Efficiency Flaws’ useful. Download it here.