The field service manager of yesteryear was the “go-to-guy,” capable of solving daily operational issues by using skill, instinct and pure will. Managers didn’t have easy access to information or external resources, so they relied on gut feeling. But in today’s landscape of smart phones and connectivity, instinct and sheer determination aren’t enough. Access to information is essential.
The landscape may be different, but one thing hasn’t changed: Your competitors are ready to take on the very customers who pay the bills. To stay ahead, you need continuous improvement, and for that, you need to measure performance. Extracting measurement data from manual work orders, spreadsheets and invoices is extremely time-consuming, and today’s field service managers don’t have time to waste. Without access to reliable data, it’s difficult to measure your organization’s improvement.
- What to Measure:
In field service, first and foremost, the answer is what’s happening in the field. Everything about your business flows from field operations, but how is this information recorded, validated and protected? Of the elements recorded, which must flow through to create work records, invoices and time cards? Finally, what information may be captured to measure client experience, staff productivity and contract profitability? This information is integral to your business, and by eliminating redundant data entry, you can free up resources to provide better service to your customers.
- Where to Display:
This is where the work style of the field service manager becomes a factor. Some managers prefer a dashboard view of field metrics on a computer desktop. Making the dashboard available via a smart phone requires little effort. Others prefer to manually search their database for specific information related to field operations. Either way, decide what you want to see, and make sure it is being recorded at source.
- The Paybacks:
- Visibility of field data in real-time allows you to quickly react to changes and avert costly mistakes;
- Reduced redundant data entry ensures accurate information and reduces headcount;
- Thoughtful report creation allows profitability reporting by site or contract;
- You improve the company’s position in the marketplace by offering a service that is continuously improving — what a great selling point!