Accurate and efficient dispatching is solving more than half of the project management puzzle in a field service business. A project manager may spend a lot of time preparing dispatch schedules for the right field service technicians. This becomes more complex for a growing field service business that caters to different geographical job sites.
It is better to equip your field service teams with good scheduling dispatch software to improve business operations. We have covered the best practices for efficient dispatching by keeping the needs of field service businesses at the center.
Challenges to scheduling and dispatching for field service business
Getting scheduling and dispatching right is a huge bottleneck for a field service business, which results from the below-mentioned issues:
- No predictability with workloads: uncontrollable market fluctuations impact material, labor or equipment procurement processes. This results in unpredictable demand and supply, creating issues with dispatching on time.
- Constraints due to geography and time zones: If you run a global field service business, managing field service technicians’ dispatch schedules gets more tricky. One has to manage time zones and availability, while also staying updated remotely about on-ground execution.
- Lack of visibility: visibility, and the lack of communication that results from it, is a critical bottleneck for efficient dispatching. Project managers have to take extra efforts to overcome limited visibility on jobs done. Some ways include surprise checks, analyzing timesheets, reviews, etc.
- Limited resources: finding trained field service technicians at the job site’s location with the right skill set is not easy. If a project is not meeting its estimates, one faces constraints of time, manpower and materials or equipment.
5 best practices to overcome scheduling and dispatching challenges
The use of technology, streamlining communication and good project planning practices help with effective scheduling and dispatching. Sharing five best practices to work on these aspects for your dispatching workflows:
Use dispatch software for your processes
Dispatch software is better able to track your field service technicians based on their skills, availability, location, etc – at scale. You no longer have to manually search spreadsheets, make phone calls or send emails for your scheduling work. Such software is especially imperative for larger projects and remote teams.
At Zuper, we also help you communicate with your field service technicians and get updates from them in real time. Such features help resolve any issues on the field and not waste time in waiting for a response.
Have SOPs for task prioritization
An effective way to ensure you make accurate dispatch schedules is to work on how your business prioritizes its tasks.
Dispatch software like Zuper include features to color code your calendars. You can categorize your tasks based on urgency. Allocation of work based on volume, client or contract amount is also a good indicator for prioritization. A business should determine a prioritization checklist to ensure critical tasks are always taken care of on time.
Spend resources to optimize travel routes
Travelling is a major source of time consumption for a field service project. One way to make your dispatching efficient is to optimize travel time. This includes routes for your vendors, material or equipment procurement, and field service technicians.
Use dispatch software to ensure your field service technicians completes as many jobs as possible within a location. Optimizing routes also means less delivery time, improving customer satisfaction with quick service.
Ensure your dispatch software includes real-time location tracking to optimize routes better.
Implement measures for performance monitoring
It’s not possible to optimize something if you aren’t measuring it. Thus, ensure your business tracks job completion rates and customer feedback on field service technicians. It will help you can make better hire and fire decisions.
You should also track operations metrics like travel time, job completion time, software adoption, rescheduling requests by clients, etc to optimize further.
Use templates for assigning jobs
As you run field service operations, many tasks are repetitive or occur frequently. Make editable templates for creating jobs based on the various services you provide. Templating is also useful for customers as they get information about their job in a familiar format.
Templating jobs also makes communication about the job’s details very clear.
Get started on automating your scheduling and dispatching
Running a successful and hassle-free field service business means ensuring you get your dispatching right. Focus on optimizing field service technicians’ selection process and reducing manual tasks using the five best practices mentioned in this blog.
At Zuper, we take care of implementing these best practices into our dispatching software. Book a demo for your field service teams to know how we help optimize your scheduling and dispatching workflows.