The financial impact of inefficiency

Identifying field service inefficiencies and resolving them is one of the most effective ways to increase profits.

Identifying field service inefficiencies and resolving them is one of the most effective ways to increase profits. A study by the Service Council found that service process efficiencies and workforce utilisation and productivity featured in the top three major inhibitors to achieving optimal field service performance. Despite this, many service organisations continue to function with inefficiencies emerging left, right and centre. Are organisation simply overlooking inefficiencies? Or are they just too difficult to resolve? This blog explores the answers to these questions.

First let’s put the cost of inefficiencies into context. For the average service organisation, 30 minutes of wasted engineer time per day costs £525,000 per annum (Source: Service Council).

Inefficiencies are undoubtedly costly and it is true that many gains can be made in the field, with the engineer. But are organisations focusing too much on frontline inefficiencies? Don’t get me wrong, optimising workforce productivity is vital in every service organisation, but efficiencies for the field and efficiencies for the back office go hand in hand. Much like engineers, if office staff are more efficient they will have more time to do more. It’s a simple science and generally simple changes that lead to efficiency savings.

Simple steps to improve back office efficiency

Improve communication – if the back office team aren’t kept in the loop they will waste a lot of time finding the answers they need. Whether that is calling an engineer to find out what parts need to be ordered, or contacting a customer to find out if they are satisfied with the work.

These arduous tasks can be removed with the use of our field service management software because the software manages the entire service delivery process, automating workflows and giving real-time visibility to office staff at a click of a button.

Banish paperwork – trees should no longer be sacrificed during the service delivery process. Not only does a lot of time get wasted transcribing paperwork, office staff must also resolve illegible or missing information and chase lost paperwork. It’s a lengthy and laborious process which no longer needs to happen in the digital age.

Use the right technology – as I’ve intimated already, technology is a fabulous enabler to efficiency improvements. But to fully optimise the operations of your office-based team, technology needs to be purchased with both the frontline and office teams in mind. It needs to connect everybody and give visibility of the entire service operation. Not only that, it needs to adapt and mould to changing requirements, as the very nature of field service means service organisations have to continually adjust to meet customer expectations.

In summary, no inefficiency is too difficult to resolve, but they cannot be resolved if you don’t know about them. Organisations which see the bigger picture and review the efficiency of every aspect of the service will be far more effective at turning inefficiencies into profit.

To help you further improve efficiencies, download The Oneserve Guide to Efficiency in Field Service Management. The whitepaper explores the four essential components which must work harmoniously to achieve optimal efficiency, together with the role mobile workforce management software can play in coordinating these components.