If you manage a team of electricians, why would field service software be relevant to you?
- Scheduling and Dispatch
For electricians, this is probably the No. 1 benefit from Field Service Management software. All field service segments have urgent customer needs from time to time, but perhaps electrical technicians feel this urgency the most. If a customer’s power isn’t working, that’s clearly a major problem. It’s impacting both employee quality of life, productivity, and revenue. The customer wants that problem solved now. He or she doesn’t want to wait. You need to get your closest electrician on-site as quickly as possible. On your end, this involves effective communication and integration of scheduling and dispatch. Simply put, this is usually easier to do within FSM software than any other method. You can GPS-track your electrician, know his or her job status, have an idea how much time is remaining on his or her current job, contact him or her by phone, re-route his or her schedule, and drag-and-drop so that your entire company knows about the change. You can also contact other customers who will be affected by the re-routing of that electrician, ensuring that you’re not aggravating other clients to solve the problem of one.
- Data Analysis
All organizations are collecting a great deal of data. In your electrical services business, you have information about your customers, about your technicians, about your staff, about types of jobs you’re getting called for, about revenue per product, and so much more. The question becomes: how do you compete on that data? How do you use it to drive your business forward and make better decisions? FSM software helps with this. First, all the data is now in the same place. There will be levels of permission to access different types of data, but in general your entire company can see everything that’s happening. This increases collaboration and decreases communication problems. Secondly, the data can be organized and analyzed in different ways, including visually (most human beings are visual creatures). Finally, it’s real-time monitoring of business KPIs. You can know exactly how something (or someone) is performing in that moment, or across a specific period of time that you need to look at. This is increasingly helpful when making decisions.
You need to ultimately get paid, or otherwise there’s little reason to be operating as a business. FSM software, especially FSM software with a good mobile component, makes invoicing very easy. Electricians can hand their phones to a customers and the customers can complete the information right there -- or even do it from their own phones. It’s almost like having the Square app or some other credit card reader right on their phones. It increases the ratio of completed jobs to invoiced jobs, which is a KPI all FSOs should monitor. Another benefit when it comes to invoicing is that electricians can attach photos, notes, and customer feedback to the customers’ accounts. That way, if different electricians are assigned subsequent calls from those customers, they have rich backstories on the issues and needs.
But how do you choose?
If you’re feeling good about the three benefits above, that’s a great start. The next part is how do you choose? You need some type of checklist, and you need an idea how to present it to whoever makes the financial decisions in your shop. We put together a checklist for choosing FSM software, and you can download it now. (We’re very nice people.) If you have any questions, please let us know.