There are a number of business solutions for managing work orders and field service companies. A number of these solutions emphasize Routing and Mapping as the most important feature. For companies dealing with critical equipment, high tech repair, or regular inspection service, this is far from the most important aspect of service management. Routing and mapping is only important for delivery businesses and high volume or rapid low tech service.
Companies that use High 5 Software solutions are dealing with high end equipment like satellite systems, hot water & solar systems, security, fire safety, elevators, audio/visual equipment, IT, and others. The techs hired are pretty smart and capable. These techs know how to “route” to the job site, that is the very least of their worries and definitely don’t need people in the back office telling them how to follow a map or directions on their GPS device.
THE most important aspects for the smart technicians working in these industries are the following:
- Customer & Equipment: Fully understand the customer and all the equipment and details about the job site.
- Parts: Know exactly what parts will be needed for the service work.
- People: Send the RIGHT tech to do the job. The closest tech may not have the necessary skills or compliance certifications.
Let me explain each of these. First and foremost is Customer & Equipment. Both the people in the office and the techs in the field need to fully understand details about the customer and specifically their equipment or systems that need to be serviced. If a customer has a gas water heater and you send an electrical tech to the job site, you have failed for first time service success. If the customer has a Linux server and you send the closest tech that has only Windows experience, it will be a complete failure. If a customer calls for service and you know that another piece of equipment is coming due for scheduled maintenance, you can add that to the job and save an extra trip.
Secondly is Parts. By knowing the equipment on site all the parts and replacement equipment can be made available for the technician. In some cases specialized equipment is drop shipped directly to the customer site. Sometimes the tech needs to go to the warehouse and pickup a load of parts & equipment for the job, sometimes the tech needs to go to the supplier to get some parts, and the rest of the time the techs truck has the parts tracked and available on their truck as a “rolling warehouse”. The worst thing to happen when doing service is to realize part way through that you don’t have the necessary parts to complete the job. Then you have to stop, go to the supplier or back to main warehouse, then back to the job site to complete the job. During this time, the customer equipment may be out of service even longer causing customer dissatisfaction. You can have the best routing in the world, but if the tech doesn’t have the right parts, it’s a complete waste of time.
Finally are the People or Techs. Getting the right or best tech to the job site is equally important. If you are doing work for Home Depot and they require that all technicians have up to the date background checks and that they are certified for specific type of work, then if you send the wrong tech, you could be in violation of the agreement and lose this customer. Not only do you need to know the tech’s that are certified for the work, but you need to send the tech or tech’s that have the best chance to succeed in the shortest time frame. In some cases this might be subcontractors that can be scheduled for the work. For sophisticated service companies, it’s rarely the closest tech who would be the best for the job.
Once you know the Customer & Equipment, have the right Parts for the job, and assign the correct Techs then this will provide the best chance for first time successful service. Then send the address to the tech, they are smart enough to “route” and find the best way to get to the job site!