We’ll be honest with you upfront, although sometimes it’s tough to hear: your small business (or larger business) field service organization is not perfect. (**Ducks as you throw stapler at us!**) No business is perfect, whether you make a lot of money (i.e. Apple) or are constantly seen as a great place to work (i.e. Google). Every business has challenges, flaws, process adjustments, and pain points.
What tends to separate a good business -- one that thrives and grows -- from a bad business -- one that stagnates and dies -- is how you respond to the challenges and pain points. As Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” It’s the same with running a small business or any type of field service organization. When things are going well, everything feels and looks great. When things aren’t so good, it’s about how you respond.
It can vary by the type of field service business you run, but typically the biggest challenges you’ll see in a FSO include:
Inventory: It’s hard to access or poorly organized.
Scheduling and Dispatch: Technicians are always running all over your metro area with no real plan, and appointments seem to change every two hours.
Sales: Your funnel and customer information isn’t organized to give you any type of advantage in your market.
Customer Relationships: Customers are annoyed by lack of communication, late-arriving technicians, or problems that take two to three visits to solve.
Mobile: Customers expect a mobile solution, because they use their phones for everything else anyway, but you don’t have one.
There are other types of pain points that might result in your organization, but that’s a basic list.
If any of the above -- or something we didn’t mention -- resonates with you, then you need to fix that pain point. It’s the only way to grow your business. If you let it sit there and ignore it, it will continue to get bigger until it seriously hurts your future potential.
Typically, one of the faster ways to start resolving FSM pain points is through the use of FSM software. The primary advantage of that approach is integration; FSM software integrates different aspects of your business. It allows for better communication and more transparency, so that different areas within your business all can arrive at the same page. This usually makes your decision-making and data analysis more effective.
The problem, though, is this: FSM software costs money. If you’re a small business, your financial decision-makers might be concerned about spending that money, especially if other priorities (e.g. a new truck or other new equipment) need to come first.
To help you out here, we’ve put together a checklist of items you need to have ready for a discussion about FSM software. It’s a ‘cheat sheet’ to moving you toward a more effective integration of different business practices. You can download it now. As always, if you have any questions, please contact us.