As health and safety is becoming more and more of a priority in today’s global business climate, it’s also getting more and more complex.

Here on the Texas Gulf Coast where I’m based, for instance, we have oil & gas companies that require their own training classes and annual recertification, courses and annual certification from the International Safety Training Council (ISTC), as well as Transportation Worker Identification Card requirements.

Training can be an alphabet soup of authorities, classes, and certifications.

Protecting employees and anyone working around them must obviously be a priority, but these types of systems tend to be incredibly detailed, encompassing every aspect of what a person does while at work – and in some cases at home – and require a significant investment in education, documentation, and training. And sometimes many companies even require a different combination of the alphabet soup depending on where the field service technician is physically based.

The question is: how does a service leader ensure they are sending the correct technician with the correct safety certifications and training, the correct technical training and experience, to the correct location? Certainly makes the job of a dispatcher that much more complicated.

The good news is today’s automated Field Service Management (FSM) platforms offer an opportunity to unify the tracking, scheduling, and maintenance of these various requirements in one location.

While not replacing a learning management system, a good automated FSM will tie specific skills, training, and certification to a Field Service Engineer AND make it a requirement for those requirements to match a particular location prior to dispatching.

While some solutions only focus on field service management scheduling and routing, today’s best-of-breed platforms are so much more than that. With the ability to configure fields in the technician record, customers can establish a workflow and calendar around the certification process, and filter and manage technicians based on their training and skill sets.  Setting up configurable training and certification fields, with associated time frames, allows dispatchers to see those technicians who meet specific site location requirements.

That means every member of your team can be visible to dispatch regarding safety training, external certifications (customized by customer account or location), and job skills training requirements. Annually recurring training can be set for expiration dates and tracked, with scheduled notifications to prompt scheduling recertification prior to expiration.

Having the ability to see, prior to dispatch, exactly who was certified for which location, who had what badge access, and who was current on their certification would have eliminated many situations where people were dispatched to a location, only to find out that they could not enter.

It’s not just better use of your time; it’s better management of your labor assets.

Merging the management and maintenance of your job skills and education training, behavior-based safety education and training, as well as your external certifications and qualifications allows for a comprehensive view of your entire workforce, as well as matching the correct technician assets to the correct work load, dispatch availability, and locations that they are authorized to work at.

Not only do you not send a person to a site that they are not allowed to enter, wasting time, effort, and money, but by uniting the tracking of technical competence and safety certification strengthens over all productivity and safety performance.

For more information, visit our treasure trove of white papers that examine a broad spectrum of field service topics.

ABOUT Joe Kenny

Avatar photoJoe Kenny is the vice president of global customer transformation & customer success at ServiceMax. His career spans over 30 years of leadership positions in Operations, Sales, Product Development, Product Marketing, and Field Service. Beginning his field service experience with the U.S. Naval Security Group Command (NSGC) as a mainframe computer technician, Joe subsequently lived and worked in Asia, the U.S., and Europe. Joe has focused on customer relationship management, using clearly defined and mutually agreed to measurements of success, and driving to continually exceed customer expectations, allowing for exponential business growth and client retention.