It’s over halfway through 2018, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to focus on the top strategic trends in service this year.  According to a survey conducted by Field Technologies Online[1],the number one strategic initiative to target – according to 74 percent of respondents – is to increase the efficiency of field technicians.

And why is this strategy so critical in achieving success?  The number of field technicians is typically the largest employee group in a service operation and efficiency gains can dramatically impact operating and financial results.  Efficiency is also expected by your technicians and will assist to attract and retain quality technicians in an ever-increasing talent short environment.

There are several key activities your organization can focus on to help support efficiency and the field technicians who have an effect on the bottom-line and are the “face of the organization” with customers.

Technology

Technology has become and will continue to be critical when evaluating field technicians’ efficiency. There are so many tasks that technology can optimize, including:

  • Scheduling to redefine driving routes and decrease travel time.
  • Providing ease-of-workflow via mobile devices in our ever-connected world.
  • On-the-go access to the company knowledgebase/FAQs to help triage problematic work challenges on site, in real time.
  • Insight into customer work history and contact information to engender rapport and an elevated customer experience (CX).
  • Checklists to guide work, ensuring every technician is following the same process.

Technology tools can connect field technicians, and your overall organization, to more experienced resources.  With access to “on-demand” information, your organization will enable technicians to “work smarter, not harder.”

Bonus Tip:  Change Management and Training

It’s not enough to simply provide the latest integrated technology to field technicians, it’s also imperative to educate and train your staff on how best to utilize the technology to influence the assets and products they’re working on in the field. Change management is also crucial aspect to implementing technology to field technicians and is often the most underappreciated aspect.  A successful technology change integrates change management into the implementation methodology.

Typecasting Technicians

In Hollywood, assigning an actor repeatedly to the same type of role, because of their success with certain characters, is known as typecasting.  The same idea can apply to your team of field technicians by assessing their specialization by product type, meaning certain technicians only work on a limited number of products, which they can efficiently fix and maintain.  The caveat is that more technicians may be needed in specific geographies with this type of model, however, efficiencies will certainly be achieved.

Additionally, technicians might be grouped by work type; i.e., preventative maintenance only, break/fix only, installation only.  Service companies may start less experienced technicians on preventative maintenance (PM) service since they are typically less complex and can be guided via PM checklists.  Utilizing your workforce based on individual strengths is a way to guarantee efficiencies.

Conclusion

Best-In-Class service companies capitalize on accessible integrated technology which helps efficiently and effectively manage a mobile workforce.  By providing the latest cloud-based technology to field technicians, and the appropriate training and change management, field service organizations can truly impact their bottom line results.  Couple that with assigning the right field technicians to do the right jobs and you’ll see your entire workforce begin to “work smarter, not harder,” accomplishing just as much if not more in a typical workday.

 Jolt Consulting Group helps service organizations increase revenues, improve operations and better connect with their customers. For more information on we have helped others in your industry, visit our case studies and client results or contact us today

[1]Field Technologies Online, Prioritizing Top Field Service Strategic Initiatives, November 28, 2017.