When a service tech shows up at your door or office to make a repair, whether it’s a cable box, a printer, or a piece of medical device equipment, they usually pull up in a company van, wearing the company colors. But there’s another side of service that’s equally as visible and important, especially these days: technician outsourcing.
Most companies, from the smallest mom-and-pop service shops to Fortune 100s with thousands of technicians, rely at least partly on technician contractors. Whether it’s a regional company that’s looking to land a larger, national service contract or a local organization that simply needs an assist in the short term, technician outsourcing is big business, especially post-recession.
Bill Lucchini, chief operating officer of OnForce, a company that pairs contract technicians with companies looking for help and expertise, told the SmartVan that many service organizations are running lean after the recession. These businesses laid off a lot of techs when the economy went south, and many are opting to outsource that work through services such as OnForce or FieldSolutions instead of rehiring full-time internal techs. OnForce has about 100,000 technicians, spread all over the country, in its database, though not all of them are active.
The are a couple of clear-cut reasons that organizations have opted to build up capacity with subcontracted labor, rather than rehiring full-time technicians. By relying on contracted labor, companies can cut down on training costs and technician downtime that results from the natural ebb and flow of business. What’s more, outsourcing services allow organizations to hire techs who have expertise in certain areas of service.
Shorter Waits to Get Paid
There are plenty of benefits for the technicians, too. Lucchini said approximately 700 technicians across the country apply to join OnForce’s database every month, though the majority aren’t accepted. The ones who are invited to join are vetted with a background check, among other safeguards to assume they do quality work.
Outsourcing services can lead to well-paid jobs, which aren’t always readily available for technicians.
“The best technicians are frequently the worst marketers,” said Lucchini. “If we can be their marketing channel, and then can do what they do best, it works well.”
And, almost as importantly, the payoff is often immediate as contract work orders often shortens the work-to-payment gap. By subcontracting through an outsourcing service, technicians that do quality work can get paid in hours, instead of waiting through lengthy billing cycles or having to track down payments that may never materialize.