Editor’s note: This post is from Michael Blumberg, president of Blumberg Advisory Group. Drawing from his recent whitepaper about the role of freelancers in field service, Blumberg examines why field service companies are turning toward freelance management platforms like Field Nation, which focuses on B2B, on-premises and field service industries, to source and manage talent. 

Field service management platforms help service organizations manage peaks and valleys in field service demand through a variable workforce model. By turning to a freelance management platform, service leaders can convert the fixed cost of maintaining a full-time staff into a variable expense.

Below are three companies that achieved tangible benefits by using freelance labor:

Direct (and Indirect) Cost Savings

SenSource, a manufacturer of electronic people counters found in retail establishments, had outsourced its on-site installation and emergency dispatch services to a third-party service provider. By cutting out the middle man and issuing work orders directly to freelance technicians, SenSource saved $50-$75 per work order, a significant amount considering the company expects to generate about 1,000 work orders this year.

Improved communication provided additional cost savings. Previously, while using a third-party provider, SenSource could not provide technicians the information they needed to accurately complete service requests. Now, the company is able to maintain direct communication with its contract technicians and is experiencing a 98 percent accuracy level, which equates into lower costs and higher customer satisfaction, according to Tony Valenzisi, project manager at SenSource.

Smart Staffing to Meet Demand

Cost savings are not the only benefit companies have found by using a freelance management system. The ability to scale a field service workforce — up and down — is also geographically paramount to many field service organizations. One example is Essintial Enterprise Solutions, an independent service organization that supports ATM and point-of-sale technologies.

The company, which currently supports more than 95 percent of the service events for a large big box, National Retailer with hundreds of locations across the country, has been able to extend its reach through freelance labor. Essintial also recently completed a technology refresh project at more than 2,000 locations for a very large retail customer. The retailer needed the work completed within an 80 days, a deadline Essintial would not have met without access to freelance labor, according to CEO Tom York.

Improved Workforce Utilization

Utilization is another major benefit of freelance management platforms. A major IT technology manufacturer was experiencing low utilization rates of 1.5 calls per day from its full-time field service workforce in select geographic areas. The status quo was untenable, so the company turned to Essintial to conduct a consulting project to understand where they had the most potential for savings.

Ultimately, the IT manufacturer ended up outsourcing underused technicians to Essintial, which hired its technicians to service areas where Essintial could offer additional work. Other technicians, who were not hired by Essintial, were directed to Field Nation’s platform. Essintial hired those technicians for ad hoc jobs, as needed.

The strategy allowed Essintial to improve utilization rates by 25 percent in certain geographies, and the technicians are able to earn additional income by accepting service requests from other companies.

As these examples demonstrate, field service management platforms offer real and measurable results for companies who desire to build and manage a variable workforce. These benefits range from cost and time savings, to efficiency and productivity gains, broadened reach and improved customer satisfaction.

To read the full whitepaper by Michael Blumberg, visit Field Nation‘s website.

ABOUT Michael Blumberg

Avatar photoMichael Blumberg is CMO of Mize Software and the founder & executive director of Field Service Insights. He is a leading expert on the design, execution, management and coordination of high-tech service and support operations within a wide array of industry segments, including information technology, office automation, medical electronics, building controls and consumer electronics. He has more than 20 years of experience in strategic planning, market research, benchmarking, enterprise systems design and strategic management of product support operations. He blogs at www.michaelrblumberg.com. Follow Michael @blumberg1 and on LinkedIn.