Do your projects usually go over-budget? Do your field service technicians take longer times than planned? How do you deal with this? Being over-budget or over-time seems like the most frequent mistake for service-based companies. While it is impossible to control all the aspects that usually impact the field service work. It’s also important to notice that many of these errors can be avoided by having the right tools. We have prepared the following list to assist you in improving your company’s productivity. By using this simple techniques your customers will be happier than ever and your productivity will be first class. You’ll be surprised after seeing how these measures will help you avoid catastrophe.
Windshield Times (or Driving Times)
Having a GPS-enabled fleet of cars will help you keep track of your employees’ windshield time. You can easily monitor the time spent on the road versus the time spent on production. With this information you will be able to better align the routes or schedules of your employees. The best way to keep track of this is by dividing your windshield time versus production hours. Ratios and standards can be set for frequent customers or routes.
Expert Hint: Use Google Maps or a similar tool to get an accurate sample that will serve as a comparison.
This is by far your most appropriate measure of performance. The best way to measure it is by using your GPS enabled mobile devices. This way you can start tracking time as soon as the field technician reaches destination. Define an average of times based on historical measurements, or type of customer order for new clients. This will actually help improve the productivity of the company as a whole.
This measurement will impact both your field technicians as well as your customer service reps. By asking the right questions before the contract actually gets signed or approved, you will be in a much better position to give adequate customer and field service. Be sure to have an adaptable customer order taking that is shared across all involved parties. Especially useful for field tasks that require a large setup, like landscaping or lawn care, equipment rental, pool service or tree care and trimming services.
This measurement will be the one that will have the best long term effect. Leaving the site in the condition it was initially received is crucial for keeping good customer relations. Having a company procedure is the best way to keep your employees and field technicians on track and acting according to your specifications. Depending on the type of service, you would want to invest some time identifying the spots that generate lost time and that usually make customers unhappy. The way to measure this is by having the field technician input the times it takes to clean up the site. A bonus can be added if you get a happy or a congratulatory call-back from the customer.
Finally, your time and company management will not be better measured than by actually comparing your initial bid versus the final cost. This process will serve as a benchmark of performance and communication for the company as a whole. Thus it is wise to have some sort of collaborative bonus attached to its achievement. Two main things cause a project to be over-budget: First, did the initial bid cover all the associated tasks to deliver the job? Second, is your crew following the estimated windshield, production, layout and cleanup times?
As you’ve seen, all these measures relate one way or another with your company and inter departments. After investing some prior time in defining the best timing and service procedures, you will be a step ahead of your competition in the market. Keep in mind that business changes at all times and it’s important to have a flexible environment and not stick to outdated or unrealistic times. Field service is all about being communicative and flexible at the same time.
What are the techniques that you use for field service? Are you using technology to assist you in this time-tracking? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.