Present-day field service businesses require high levels of automation. Automation is, in fact, considered a key driver for success in the area of field service today. Manually processing everything takes a lot of time and is not conducive for a business in the field service sector.
What does advanced field service automation include?
Creation of work orders
Finding an appropriate technician for the job at hand
Converting hard data into usable analytics, and much more.
Let’s discuss each to understand the impact automation has on field service businesses
Creation of work orders
The most important benefit of field service automation is that it automates the process of the work order. It can be difficult to create and manage work orders manually, especially when they are paper-based. Creating work orders without software is not just laborious but also time-consuming. And that is why modern field service businesses must consider automation through field service scheduling software in order to complement manual instruction.
The way software creates work orders is simple. An automated phone line or a specific email could cause the automatic generation of the work orders in the software. After that, any extra info can be filled in. And finally, the call gets scheduled. So, the best thing about automation is that the work order for every call gets generated automatically and a dispatcher simply schedules the call.
Automating the process of job scheduling
Automation helps find the right technician having the kind of skills required for the job at hand. There is no denying that you need compatible skills and certifications to do a particular job for its success and for customer satisfaction. But how easy is it to do this matching? Well, it’s extremely difficult manually, but with software, you will only have to do a skillset search, and your program will narrow down the available choices to help you find the right technician. This is a lot simpler than having to go through all the paperwork or asking around for the skills required.
After narrowing down the list, you can view their complete schedule and any other appointments. Field service automation allows dispatchers to change appointments with just a few taps. This makes it easier to maximize a technician's productivity.
Once the appointment has been set, you can use the software to route your technician to the site or change the route if needed. The routing functionality in an online field service scheduling software shows you directions taken by technicians in real-time. The system helps in the optimization of routes to save time driving from one job location to another. You will also be able to save fuel and other vehicle costs when your technicians will have to drive less.
An invoice is automatically generated when the technician has completed their work and closed the call via the field service app installed on their phone. Integration to ERP or accounting software allows work orders to be automatically converted into invoices. You can set your costs and prices in the software so that the labor time and rate calculation can be done automatically.
The integrations allow for error-free billing and tax calculations for each customer. With such advanced automation levels, technicians can instantly have a bill in their hands before leaving the job location.
Turning data into usable analytics
Every day, a lot of data gets generated. All of it must be converted into information that can be used. Imagine receiving a lot of work orders, and then having to manually convert them into usable information. It will become a never-ending task.
Field service automation can come to your rescue here. Data collected through the field service scheduling app can be converted into usable information with the help of automation, which helps you make better decisions for your business.
There is one more aspect to consider— mobility
How can you get work orders to technicians? Do they have to physically go to the office to pick them up from the dispatcher or are they able to do it electronically? Doing this without software can take up time that technicians could be using at their job sites. A mobile field service app automates the process, enabling the technician to receive a work order directly from the software. It is automatically sent to their mobile service app and contains all tasks, parts requirements, and checklists that the technician must complete.
This gives managers the ability to make changes as needed. If there is an emergency call for a technician, then it can be moved to their schedule. To accommodate this service call, another can be removed. You can assign this removed one later or pass it on to another technician. If it were a manual process, imagine how cumbersome this would be.
How important is field service automation?
Field service automation is the foundation upon which present-day field service businesses are built. It is essential to the success of any field service business. The software automates tedious tasks, making it simpler to create and manage work orders besides sending well-equipped technicians to customers.
Automation in field service is so vital that it's a constant industry focus. Hence, field service businesses that are struggling to complete service calls due to sluggish management should seriously consider automating their business.