The secret to effective field service scheduling

The secret to effective field service scheduling

Effectively scheduling a field-based workforce is critically important, but it’s also a major challenge. What’s the secret to getting it right?

When it comes to managing field service operations, there are many moving parts that need to be kept in sync to effectively deliver your service. One function that is especially important is workforce scheduling. Read on to find out how you can overcome the challenges it presents with an intelligent field service scheduling system. 

The challenge
Managing a mobile workforce is no mean feat. With staff in different locations, it can be difficult to keep track of what is going on whilst ensuring productivity is maximised.

Critical to maintaining high productivity levels is the effective scheduling of your team. It is a delicate balancing act of assigning each job to the right operative – i.e. the one in the most convenient geographical location, with the correct inventory and available time.

Organisations offering multiple services have another factor to consider – the skills of their staff. After all, it might be the case that certain jobs require specialist skills that not everyone has.

It’s perhaps surprising, then, that many companies we speak to are using paper-based systems or basic spreadsheets to manage their field-based workforce. Here, you often find that the scheduling team, managers and operatives are all flying blind.

Schedulers have no visibility over the operatives so are reliant on phone calls and emails to determine which technician is best suited to assign to each job.

At the same time, managers are unable to monitor performance in real-time, delaying the opportunity to make efficiency improvements.

Operatives, meanwhile, have no foresight into the task they are about to embark on, often feeling frustrated as they are mismatched to jobs.

So what is the secret to effective field service scheduling?
One word: intelligence – specifically, intelligent scheduling software.

Intelligent scheduling solves two issues.

Firstly, using such technology means all influential factors can be taken into account when scheduling a job. For example, the location of the job, operative skills, operative coverage, customer commitment and work priority can all be considered.

With the right software, this will happen at a click of a button and always ensure jobs are scheduled in the most efficient manner possible.

Secondly, intelligent scheduling delivers insight. Managers can monitor service level and KPIs in real-time and operatives have complete sight over the tasks assigned to them.

  • The results
  • Increased productivity
  • Cost savings, i.e. reduced fuel costs
  • Higher first time fix rate
  • Improved customer satisfaction and retention
  • Better business performance

Scheduling was once a highly complex aspect of field service management. With the right field service management software, though, it can not only be simplified but vastly improved.

Want to learn more? Request a demo of Oneserve to discover how we can help you transform your business.