Trending Service Tech

HVAC Technician Uniforms and What's Trending

HVAC Technician Uniforms and What’s Trending

Let’s be honest here. For most of the last 20-30 years, HVAC technician uniforms—along with the attire of other branches across numerous field service industries—have looked something like this:

Now, while Jason here—we’re not exactly sure if that’s his real name, but he looks like a “Jason” to us—could perhaps be wearing more specific clothing like a shirt with a name-brand logo across his chest, the key point is this: nobody is confusing Jason with:

HVAC service technician uniforms have never been fashionable or trendy, and would certainly not be “Blue-Steel-approved.” The hard hats, the steel-toed boots, and the generic t-shirts worn by field service technicians are meant to be suited to the tasks at hand. The goal is function, not fashion. However, we have noticed that certain companies are improving upon the fashionable aspects of the traditional HVAC technician uniforms, and it has us wondering: could HVAC service technician uniforms be evolving into a new market sector for fashion retailers?

It might be. For example, back in the summer of 2013, Wrangler released a new “construction pant.” Along with Wrangler’s new pants, Carhartt created a “high-visibility, zip-front, Class 3, thermal-lined sweatshirt” for HVAC and other field service industry technicians—and it’s only about $90. There’s also this piece of apparel from Scotchlite:

Talk about pops of color! Sturdy pants! This is a man with all the answers.

All joking aside, the HVAC service technician uniform and apparel sector of the field service industry is big business. As another example, Gartner has predicted that wearable technology such as mounted headsets or Google Glass eyewear could save the field service industry $1 billion by 2017—and surely even more by 2018. The real-time, on-site data gathered by some of these devices like this wrist-mounted computer —

— can be shared across different departments in your field service organization for more effective marketing and forecasting. Ultimately, the goal to utilizing wearable technology as part of your business’s HVAC technician uniforms is to achieve an increased first-time fix rate, better reviews, and increased revenue generation. And we all know this stitch of wisdom to be true: it doesn’t hurt to look good while you’re doing all of these tasks.

The rise of wearable technology in the workplace, and incorporating these wearables into your HVAC technician uniforms is inevitable and logical. HVAC and other field service technicians spend all day at jobsites with customers, and are oftentimes in conditions that make it critical to have the right type of clothing in order to complete a job safely and in a timely manner. When Wrangler released the construction pant that is displayed in the link above, the company noted that, “A workman’s clothing is one of the most important tools he depends on during demanding hours on the job.” This statement is indeed quite true.

In today’s working environment, one of the trendiest “accessories” that pairs well with HVAC service technician uniforms is of course:

No, that’s not a “murse” (man-purse.) It’s an iPad/Surface/tablet. For decades, field service technicians didn’t carry or utilize a lot of technology-driven devices. They mainly carried tools, jobsite materials, and inventory items to customer locations.

That’s drastically changed. As field service companies begin to rapidly adopt mobile devices and field service management software—like the product we develop—more integration and connectivity has been realized in HVAC and other field service industry businesses. The principles of interconnectedness even extend to technicians in the field.

Our mobile software has FSM integration with all of your other business practices so that everything is automatically updated as it is happening—both on the desktop version and on technicians’ mobile apps. There’s even offline mobile work tracking that syncs with your desktop versions as soon as the mobile device reconnects.

Although we wouldn’t necessarily recommend a loose-fitting t-shirt in the field at most jobsites, we would encourage you to sport this number:

What are the implications of making this your companies go-to HVAC technician uniform? There are two things that can happen when you wear that shirt:

The customer laughs, and a customer relationship begins to be established.
The customer is not pleased—meaning you really shouldn’t have worn that shirt.

Simply because we worry that your customers would react in the way option (2) describes, we recommend not making that t-shirt part of your HVAC service technicians’ uniforms. However, while we’re on the topic of clothes you probably should not wear to a customer jobsite, here’s one more look for your viewing pleasure:

Finally, here is one last fun fact for the road: If you do a Google Images search for “service technician attire,” one of your top image hits is this:

Admittedly, we don’t know Victoria Beckham’s (Posh Spice) full résumé, but we would bet that she never worked as a field service tech.

That connection to the world of high fashion aside, field service clothing—including HVAC service technician uniforms—is likely to remain more functional than fabulous for several generations. It’s much more about getting the work done in an efficient manner than the client commenting on the pops of color on your techs’ t-shirts, and the trendy flare on their work pants. Accessorizing HVAC technician uniforms is more likely to be tablet and mobile based than hard hat and tool belt driven in the coming years. (Although, in reality, your hard hat and tool belt won’t be going anywhere.)

This shift to field techs being constantly surrounded by—and utilizing new—technology is one of a host of changes taking place in field service industries today. To understand more about the workplace and jobsite environment of these industries—and consider how to embrace the change management practices that get your team aligned and comfortable with changing technology toward—download our eBook about getting ready for 2018 now.

Prepare for 2017


FSM Work Order

Why Use Your Work Order Software for Mobile Technician Tracking

Why Use Your Work Order Software for Mobile Technician Tracking

In field service businesses, work order software is typically used as a way to track appointments, revenue, and customer information. Some even use the metric of completed jobs vs. invoiced jobs, which can speak to how effective your billing processes are. (You don’t want to have a lot of completed jobs that haven’t been invoiced yet.)

There’s another aspect to work order software that’s important, however: It can teach you a lot about your technicians.

Let’s run through this quickly.

By looking at work order software data, there are numerous points of information about your technicians that you can determine. This starts with the basics, such as:

How many work orders are they completing per day?
How long does it seem to be taking them to close out an appointment?
What revenue are they generating per week?

This can lead you to a deeper question, such as:

If the number of appointments per day is low, does this have something to do with drive time, inventory issues, or the basic skill sets of the technicians?

Field service management software, or FSM software, is continually evolving. We just had a new release of our own software, and one of the major developments we put in was route optimization and scheduling functions. If you manage time properly — especially technician time, as those are the people in front of the customers — it’s easier to grow your business. We understand that, so we want to make sure anyone using our particular FSM software has that benefit.

In the coming years, you’ll see more FSOs — including small business FSOs — move toward this idea of “resource scheduling optimization,” or RSO.

The goal in RSO typically is to minimize driving time. Technicians need to be in front of customers working on their issues in order for the FSO to make money. The goal of the scheduling team — and in reality, the goal of the organization as a whole — is to fit in as many appointments per day as possible. That constitutes additional revenue.

Typically, RSO software will design the best daily schedule for each of your technicians. This could be based on a number of factors like:

Geography
Driving distance
Customer priority
Customer preferences

In the process of optimized scheduling through field service software, the pain points revealed by your work order management software can resolve themselves.

Most FSOs still aren’t at a place where they can work with more complicated RSO software, though. In fact, to understand exactly how work order management software — a more basic way of tracking different schedules — works, you need to understand the entire mobile ecosystem taking hold in FSOs right now. Why should you be mobile-first? How can you maximize your business that way? How does it play into fsm integration? And what will mobile-first fsm (field service management) give you in terms of data about your technicians?

We have put together an eBook on exactly this topic, which you can download now. Feel free to contact us with any questions.

Mobility eBook Download


Real-Time Syncing

Updated Info for Your Techs with Real-time Syncing on Mobile FSM

Updated Info for Your Techs with Real-time Syncing on Mobile FSM

By some research, 37 percent of field service organizations are still primarily using a pen-and-paper model for record-keeping, business decisions, and essentially running their entire businesses. That’s 3 in 8, despite the fact that it’s 2016 and we’ve managed to develop games where augmented reality can put Pikachus on your smartphone relative to your location.

It might be time to consider a mobile-first field service management tool. Let’s paint two scenarios to help you see the value here.

In Scenario A, you are using a pen-and-paper system — like the 37 percent of FSOs mentioned above. You have a client call with an urgent need. Maybe you run an HVAC repair company and the client’s air conditioning is out. The building can’t function. Hours of lost productivity could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars down the drain. The client needs this fixed now.

You call a nearby field service technician — you think the technician is nearby, based on his or her schedule for that day — and you re-route him or her to this new job. You have to explain the job over the phone, and/or text him or her the details and the main customer information.

The technician gets there and does the job to the best of his or her ability. It’s possible that it isn’t fixed the first time because of an inventory issue, a lack of context on the customer problem via SMS, or something else. Because you are still pen-and-paper for invoices, the tech probably can’t invoice on the spot.

That’s Scenario A.

Scenario B starts the same way: urgent client call. Now you look at GPS and know exactly where your technicians are. You find the closest one, or the one that it makes the most logical sense to send, and you call him or her. You explain the problem and say you’ll upload all the necessary detail to his or her version of an app. You can even sync with inventory so the technician will know if he or she needs to get to a warehouse before going to the job site. Now the technician has all the customer data and necessary inventory on his or her phone. It’s in real-time.

The technician goes to the client site, does the job, and bills the client from the phone; ideally the client has the same app (but a different version, client-facing vs. technician-facing) as the tech.

That’s Scenario B.

Which scenario do you think would make the client happier?

Which one do you think would make your technician more effective?

Which one do you think would make your employees’ lives easier overall?

The answer to all three questions is “Scenario B.”

Mobile-first FSM is just one way to improve the efficiency of technicians in your FSO. For more approaches to having the most productive techs in your community, download our eBook now.

Mobility eBook Download


Quickbook Accurate

Keep Your Team Organized With Mobile Field Service Management

Keep Your Team Organized With Mobile Field Service Management

Running any type of field service business means that you’re in charge of a lot of moving parts. You have managers, and you have employees — but then your technicians (or “plumbers” or “repair people” depending on your specific industry) are the ones meeting with clients all day and solving their problems. The technicians are out in the field. Very infrequently are they in the office — and if they are in the office, that’s probably not great for your revenue stream.

In short, you have a lot going on and people are moving all over the place; some of your technicians may do five to six appointments in a day, if not more. Your employees have meetings at your HQ, and your managers may be flying around to meet new potential clients (assuming you work beyond just your local area).

With 10 different people in 10 different places on any given day, how do you keep the day-to-day operations of your FSO running smoothly?

The easiest answer is a mobile FSM solution.

A mobile field service management solution usually takes the form of an app. There will be different security levels within the app relative to the role in your company, but basically all your employees download the app — and everything they might need is contained within it. This would include:

Customer data
Invoices
Document storage
Schedules
Inventory management
Technician appointments
Sales data/progress
Messaging

That way, if Manager A is at an airport and Technician A is at a client site — and those two locations are 1,000 miles apart — both Manager A and Technician A can get on the same page with the FSM solution.

It’s one of the easiest ways to keep your team organized. Mobile is essentially becoming everything in a lot of businesses; customers prefer to get information on their phones, because their phones are always with them. This is totally true in all types of field service industries. Mobile FSM is a combination of embracing available technology and basic human psychology about the ease of checking your phone.

In the process, your team becomes more organized.

Mobile FSM is also a good profit pathway for your FSO. If you ruin a small business FSO and it’s not quite profitable yet, consider downloading the eBook below. It’ll get you started on some approaches to profitability through field service.

Revenue Generator


FSM Solutions

What Are the Most Pressing Fixes for Your Business with FSM Software?

What Are the Most Pressing Fixes for Your Business with FSM Software?

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.

Checklist


FSM Work Offline

Allow Your Team to Work Offline with a Mobile FSM Solution

Allow Your Team to Work Offline with a Mobile FSM Solution

One of the biggest time drains in small businesses can be e-mail. Globally, it’s costing organizations billions in productivity. While one of the benefits of rapid mobile adoption is that it made everyone more connected — so it’s easier to do business with people who aren’t physically near you — there are also drawbacks. It can lead to this sense that people need to “always be on,” and that sense is pervasive in a small business. There are limited resources, limited staff, and many things to be done.

Many people approach this problem by trying to do as much as possible, but that’s not always the best idea. Work is actually less about tasks — although they are important — and more about the energy of the people who work with and for you.

Take an example from mobile technology. What happens to your phone if you just keep trying to use it, continuously, without a break? It dies, right? It runs out of battery. You, as a human being, are not a phone — but the same concept applies to you. You need periods of “offline,” or breaks.

Now we come back to mobile.

Most organizations use mobile as almost a tracking device for their employees. Managers can send emails at 11 p.m. and expect a response. That does nothing for productivity — most people are not productive at 11 p.m. — and it does absolutely nothing for helping employees get offline, away from work, and recharged.

There is a better approach, though, and it also involves mobile.

If you run a small business field service shop, use a mobile field service management software program. Essentially, it’s an app. All the crucial information about your business is contained within this app. You’ve got schedules for technicians. You’ve got customer information. You’ve got revenue information. You’ve got payroll data. Everything is there.

Now, your employees have an opportunity to work offline a little bit — and/or remotely. They have their phones and can check the mobile FSM solution when they need to; the information will be there in real-time. They can even set up alerts to get ‘pinged’ when something important happens or is updated within the mobile FSM solution.

OK, it’s not totally ‘offline,’ no. They are still checking their phones in this situation. But they’re not tethered to their e-mails. They’re not constantly answering questions for other people; the information other people need is within the mobile FSM solution, which they can access themselves.

This works two ways, actually: for employees and for customers. If your customers download the app, they get a different set of data they can see, relative to their accounts. This helps prevent the 10:45 p.m. customer e-mail with an urgent question; whatever they have a question about might be available to them within the app. (You will never end the idea of a potential 10:45 p.m. customer e-mail, but you can certainly reduce them with a mobile FSM solution.)

This is all part of a series of ways in which mobility has become a game-changer in field service. One of the issues there, though, is that many field service shops are still using mobile in the wrong way. It’s almost a drain on people to use it, instead of a strategic advantage. We put together an eBook on how mobility is a game-changer for the industry — and how you can use it as a strategic advantage in your smaller shop. You can download the eBook now, and feel free to contact us with any questions.

Mobility eBook Download


FSM Mobile

Using Mobile FSM Solution to Minimize Paperwork and More

Using Mobile FSM Solution to Minimize Paperwork and More

Mobile FSM tools have many logical benefits, including accessing business information regardless of where you are. They are massively important to field service organizations because they allow for quick contact with both technicians and customers. There are a few benefits people often forget about the idea of going paperless, though.

Going paperless with a mobile FSM solution:

Is Better for the Environment: Producing 17 reams of paper (average yield from a tree) typically releases 110 pounds of carbon dioxide into the environment. Using your mobile phone does have a carbon footprint, yes. But in general, a shift to paperless in your business is positive for the environment.

Makes Retrieval Easier While on the Go: This is the intersection point of mobile technology and cloud technology; you can pull up almost anything from anywhere as long as your device has some connectivity. Paperless documentation also makes the transport of data more effective, because you don’t need couriers or portable fax machines.

Allows for Automatic Backups: If you throw away a crucial piece of paper, it’s usually gone forever. (Or you’re going to spend a long time looking for it and involve many other employees in the process.) Mobile FSM software does regular automatic backups, so you won’t lose the important business documents stored there.

Enables Security Measures: Paper documents in a filing cabinet are only as secure as the building and the employees who interact with them. Mobile FSM tools often have bank-level security on them.

Encourages the Transformative Shift: This reason is a bit more psychological. It’s very hard for your company to become ‘digital’ and ‘in the modern business era’ if you’re still rooted in paper-based, on-premise type solutions for business challenges. You need to be moving to mobile and cloud because it will change how you internally think about your business and processes.

Those are five business value-add reasons to shift over to a mobile FSM solution. There are dozens more, but there’s one we’d like to especially highlight: work-life balance.

On the surface, you might think that always being connected is actually bad for work-life balance. If you’re always connected, it means clients and other employees can reach you whenever they want. That could be during work hours, but it could also be at 11 p.m. or 5 a.m. Wouldn’t that negatively affect work-life balance?

It can, yes. But the advantage of a mobile FSM solution is that it makes business easier. The resources you need are right there. You can see an email with a request, go into the app, attach whatever the request was for, send the email, and you’re done. In a previous situation, you’d have to remember where the resource was, answer the email and say you’ll get on it when you’re back in the office, get another e-mail, potentially have to go to the office, etc. A mobile FSM solution streamlines the ability to deal with issues, concerns, and problems. You can spend more time with friends and family.

The other aspect here is ‘The Great Paper Hunt.’ When your business is paper-driven, ‘The Great Paper Hunt’ can happen at any time. It often seems to happen as you’re trying to leave for the day. You know the drill: there’s a crucial piece of paper related to a customer, and no one can find it. Now everyone is looking for it. Instead of getting home at 6 p.m., you don’t get home until 8 p.m.

We fully believe in work-life balance — so much so that we wrote an entire eBook about how it factors into running or working for a FSO. You can download it now — and trust us, if you want a better work-life balance, consider adopting a mobile FSM solution. You’ll save paper and get home to your family sooner.

Work-Life Balance


Improve Field Service

Improve Field Service Employee Retention With Mobile

Improve Field Service Employee Retention With Mobile

We’ve written many posts on the Optsy blog about using mobile and field service management tools to improve customer satisfaction, and obviously that makes sense: customers pay for your service and help drive revenue for your company.

It’s important to remember the other side of the equation, though: your employees. Some organizations even view them as ‘internal customers.’ Regardless of what specific terminology you use, it’s important to retain employees as well. While there can sometimes be an attitude that people are interchangeable and your services and processes make you money, this isn’t 100% accurate. Finding a new person — be it a back-office employee or a technician — takes time, and then training this person to do the job successfully takes more time. You lose (a) knowledge of your business and (b) effective use of time whenever an employee leaves your organization. Both of those make it harder to compete in the marketplace — and we didn’t even mention that it’s possible your employee left for a direct competitor.

So, the point is: you need to focus on employee retention as much as you focus on customer satisfaction. And much like mobile helps a lot with customer satisfaction, it can also help with employee retention.

You will see this primarily on the technician side. Because of a high degree of specialized knowledge, technicians are often the hardest employees for FSOs to replace.

If you have a good mobile platform that’s integrated with your other systems, your technicians should theoretically be able to:

See all their appointments in a given day from their phones
See how close they are to one another and have the option to re-adjust the order based on drive time
Have customer data and core problems/issues in their phones as well
Have customer history with notes, also on mobile
Have a link-up with inventory to make sure they have everything they need for the day, or be able to build in time to visit a warehouse or supply center
Be able to invoice the customers directly when the jobs are completed on-site

All those aspects will make technicians feel like they have the assets necessary to do their jobs effectively; in short form, it makes them feel respected as members of the overall FSO. Respect is a major factor for employee retention, and that’s been held up by research.

Now consider a mobile platform or solution that isn’t well-integrated, so this happens:

The technicians lack customer data, history, and information
The technicians can see their appointments and realize the driving pattern makes no sense, but have little ability to change it
Inventory isn’t linked, so the technicians are often arriving at customer sites unprepared
In order to invoice clients, the technicians need to drive back to a home office or just say “I’ll come back another time”

The technicians will ultimately get frustrated at all the logistical problems preventing them from doing their jobs effectively — and ultimately, they’ll likely look for new jobs (possibly with competitors).

Interestingly, many small business FSOs design or work with mobile solutions in an effort to attract and retain customers, but the bigger value-add to a great mobile solution is the retention of employees who feel more engaged and less frustrated by the processes of the organization.

Two birds with one stone. That’s always a good thing in time-crunched businesses.

If you’re looking to grow your field service SMB, we’ve also prepared an eBook about revenue-generation models, ideas, and principles. It doesn’t reference employee retention per se, but it does speak to the two sides of growing revenue: the process side (your operations) and the planning side (your goals and priorities). They must be aligned for success. You can download the eBook and we’re always here to answer any questions specific to your organization.


Small Business Growth

3 Ways Small Businesses Handle Growing Pains with FSM

3 Ways Small Businesses Handle Growing Pains with FSM

It’s a mostly well-known fact that about half of small businesses fail within the first five years. (In some industries, like restaurants, that number is significantly higher.) Small businesses encounter any number of growing pains, from ‘ineffective ability to scale’ to ‘maintaining their company culture from two employees to twenty.’

Field service is no different. At Optsy, we work with hundreds of small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) in the industry, and as a result, we see hundreds of different challenges. They vary by what specific service line you work on, and what your area of focus is (plumbing, HVAC, IT, etc.) But amazingly, you can solve a good deal of field service SMB growing pains with field service management tools and software. Here are three key areas you can improve upon with Field Service Management software.

Integration of core operations
Typically, this refers to:

Scheduling
Dispatch
Inventory
Billing/Invoicing

… although it can incorporate other practices as well, depending upon your business model.

The concept here is tied to customer journey. If a customer or client has a field service need, you want this person to go onto your website or app (or call you) and be able to schedule the appointment at a good time for him or her. On your end, this scheduling of an appointment should be ‘speaking’ directly to dispatch — knowing where techs are and what their days and weeks look like. This also needs to be ‘speaking’ to inventory, so that you can identify what parts are needed for this newly-scheduled job — and then make sure the technician will have access to those parts. The final component is billing and invoicing; the tech needs customer data loaded into his or her phone so that billing can take place on-site.

All these elements need to be integrated to (a) assure a good customer journey and experience through the process and (b) improve your first-time fix rate, which will also keep customers coming back.

The simplest way to integrate them is through a software program where all the different variables can ‘speak’ to one another and be seen holistically. If you try to integrate core operations without FSM software, it can become painstaking and tedious and silo mentality can take over, whereby dispatch doesn’t communicate properly with inventory, and the end customer is disappointed.

The big data movement
Most companies these days are trying to compete on some form of data, with the underlying question being “What can data tell us that will make our processes more effective and profitable?”

Many companies think the core concept is having the data, which is actually flawed — data doesn’t mean anything unless it can drive decision-making in some way. For data to drive decision-making, you need two things to happen:

The data has to be easy to access and see holistically
The data needs to be analyzed and contextualized

This is especially true in how executives tend to approach data. Those are often the busiest people in your organization, so they don’t necessarily have time to cull through data sets or pockets of information. They want to know, rather quickly, what the data says and how that impacts future business.

With Field Service Management software, all your core business data — from customer information to technician metrics — can be housed in one place. It’s comparatively easy to pull different elements together and provide context on the results. These broken-down chunks of information can then be presented to decision-makers with different options.

In short: doing data right is about way more than just having data, and it all begins with ease of access to the data. FSM software helps you there.

Process improvement
This is often overlooked, but it’s very important. We don’t necessarily mean standard process improvement here — we covered that above in terms of integrating different processes and operations to drive your business.

What we mean here is that FSM software can usually (and needs to, to be successful) integrate with your existing processes, i.e. your e-mail or other platforms your company has been using.

If the software solution seems like a brand new object that doesn’t connect to any existing processes, people will be slow to use it — because they’re comfortable with how things have been going, as most human beings are. Remember: change is hard for a reason.

FSM software, when done right, is customizable and can work within existing workflows and processes that a field service SMB already uses. This will drastically increase the rate of adoption.

What other SMB challenges have you seen in field service? We’d love to hear and see how we could help you. And as you’re on this page, consider downloading a free eBook on paths to revenue-generation in field service for SMBs. We go through different steps and ideologies to consider in an effort to begin really making some money from service offerings. And yes, FSM software is a key aspect of that. Enjoy, and contact us with any questions.

Checklist


FSM Mobile

How to Efficiently Use Mobile in Field Management

How to Efficiently Use Mobile in Field Management

Some of the bigger trends impacting field service management in the last few years (up to a decade) include mobility, or the more common use of smartphones in the field, and Internet of Things (IoT), or the idea of connected devices actually being able to send data themselves.

Here, we’re going to address some core ideas about the benefits of the ‘mobile’ side — and, in fact, if you’re interested in more information, there’s an eBook on mobility in field service management available for download. (As always, feel free to contact us with any questions.)

In the last few years, ‘customer experience’ has become a major business metric — and while it basically means the same thing as ‘customer service,’ the idea is that you do a good job for customers/clients and they (a) keep their business with you and (b) refer you to other people. Both are crucial aspects of any type of business growth.

In a field service organization, your techs are the closest to the customers — they deal with customers all day, every day. You want to maximize that experience and those relationships, because it will drive your business.

This is the first important thing to understand about the impact of mobility on field service: it can make the customers’ experiences so much better, and that has bottom-line impact for your business.

Consider some things a field service manager can optimize with a mobile-connected workforce of techs:

Easy to sync up inventory with customer needs that day
Easy to contact the tech en route to a job and add information or change details
Easy for the customer to see where the tech is and have a good time window on his or her appointment
Easy for the tech to use his or her own phone to invoice the customer on-site, instead of having to run back to the office or do the invoicing separately

That’s just scratching the surface, but those four are all important concepts — the idea is to create an ecosystem where, because of mobile connectivity, the back office HQ and the tech are constantly connected and also the customer is always connected to info about the tech and the appointment, up to the invoicing stage.

Essentially, a mobile-connected workforce leads to greater flow of information between all involved parties — and that should lead to higher customer satisfaction, which benefits your business in the long run.

As we said, there’s more to understand about mobile’s impact in field service management — and how to maximize that impact — and while the mobile needs vs. implementation will vary by type of field service organization (here at Optsy, we tend to work with smaller outfits), still consider downloading this eBook and contacting us with any questions. It will start your path toward a competitive advantage in your field.

Mobility eBook Download