Electrical FSM

Why Your Boss Wants Field Service Management for Your Service Calls

Why Your Boss Wants Field Service Management for Your Service Call

Running an electrical field service management operation can be among the more challenging FSOs to manage. (No offense to any others, of course. All have their challenging days.) If a client calls needing an electrician on-site, there’s a good chance that hours of lost productivity could be on the line. For an enterprise-level organization, having faulty electricity for 5-6 hours could potentially represent millions of dollars in losses.

Your clients want an electrician there ASAP, and they want the problem fixed the first time that electrician comes out. So, your first-time fix rate needs to be high. On top of that? The client expects good service, easy invoicing/billing, and all of his or her information to be correct.

Stop and think about this for a second. You send an electrician out to the client’s site with the main goal of repairing the problem. But while that’s the focus, 9-10 other small things need to go right or else the client could end up having a bad experience working with you. The margin for error is really small. If the client believes he or she had a subpar experience once or twice, this client might stop working with you — even if you consistently fix his or her problems the first time out.

This is because the “product” for any service business, especially an electrical FSO, isn’t really the fixing of the problem. Most of your clients don’t understand electrical wiring at an in-depth level, so they aren’t sure exactly what your electrician is doing when he or she comes on-site. They are judging your quality of service. Is the electrician nice and prompt? Are all the processes easy to follow?

You have a small margin for error in this work, especially if your goal is retaining clients and promoting growth.

How do you take that small margin of error and give yourself some breathing room?

You need to make sure that all your different processes work together effectively, which can be a challenge. When a client calls your electrical FSO, here’s generally what needs to happen:

Whoever takes the call needs to understand the problem
Someone needs to know where all your electricians are
Based on that info, someone needs to schedule an electrician to go out ASAP
The information about the problem needs to be transmitted to the electrician
Any inventory issues need to be addressed
The customer’s information needs to be updated and made available for invoicing
The electrician has to get to the site and fix the problem

There are a lot of moving parts, and it typically involves four to five people (if not more).

The easiest way to keep all these balls in the air is to use a FSM tool, i.e. a software program that can integrate all the bullet points above into one system.

Of course, this type of software does cost money. (Nothing that can improve your business will ever be free.) You need to convince your boss of its merits, and if you work in a small business electrical FSO, this might be hard. Resources are tight.

But don’t worry. We put together a checklist of how exactly to convince your boss of the need for a FSM tool to make it easier to walk that tight margin of error in your work. You can download it now.

Key Information


FSM Calendar

Use FSM Software Calendar Integration to Keep Your Team Productive

Use FSM Software Calendar Integration to Keep Your Team Productive

Josh Bersin, who works with the talent management team at Deloitte, is considered a ‘thought leader’ in spaces around management, making the most of your people, and general productivity relative to time. He recently wrote a post on his website called “The Art of Doing Less.” He wrote the post after coming back from a meeting with leaders of different industries held in San Francisco. This quote sticks out:

“The most important resource our people have is their time,” said one of the HR leaders from a well known media and technology company. “So what I’ve learned after nearly 20 years in HR, is that we need to do away with almost 75% of the things we do.”

The quote speaks to bigger ideas about time management, and how to make the time you do have at work be the most productive it can be.

If you run an electrical field service management shop, you likely have a lot going on. There are recurring client requests as well as urgent client requests. In addition to making sure your electricians are on point and making all of their appointments, you need to be managing new leads, invoicing, your CRM, etc. It can become overwhelming, especially in busier months.

There are also a lot of moving parts in your electrical FSO. Some people are out for pockets of time, especially in the summer. The electricians are always in the field. When certain people go on vacation, you lose their functional knowledge for that amount of time. It’s only worse when people leave your shop, especially if they head to a competitor.

How do you keep track of all this?

One of the most effective tools we’ve seen — especially for busy small business electrical FSOs that have limited resources — is field service management software. There are many options on the market right now, but here is one key thing you’ll need to make your electrical FSO more productive: calendar integration.

Why?

For calendar integration, there are two benefits. First, if the electrical FSM software integrates with your existing calendar system (Outlook, Google, etc.), that’s a big win in terms of set-up. Second, everyone’s calendar is laid out onto a main calendar that everyone else can see. So you can look at the grid ahead of time — it’s colorful, too! — and see when people will be out of office and what the electricians’ schedules look like. It allows you to identify potentially problematic areas around low staffing, or see where revenue dips may be happening (determined by fewer clients).

These issues relate to making your FSO more productive. Some people view that as a six-month or longer project. We’ve got a “hack” for you. We can help you get there in 30 days. Yep! Just a month. Are you interested? We put this information into an eBook, which you can download now. The path to productivity in electrical FSM is part of the path to revenue, so check it out today. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

30 Days eBook


FSM Challenges

Overcome Challenges with FSM for Your Electrical Business

Overcome Challenges with FSM for Your Electrical Business

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.

Invoicing

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.

Checklist