5 things you need for excellent field service management

London - August 06, 2018: Modern buildings of downtown London, England

Field service poses unique challenges. Businesses need to empower their field service agents to provide the best possible experience, from any location. It also requires careful monitoring of stock levels and resource to ensure costs are minimised and customer expectations met.

Excellent field service should drive quick resolutions, satisfied customers and enhanced productivity. We’ve listed five things to consider to improve your field service provision.

  1. Inventory management

Supporting your customers means having the tools required for a quick resolution.

Field service agents need an accurate view of stock levels within your warehouse and in their vehicles. This enables them to have the right supplies before they arrive on the customer’s premises, rather than having to come back later.

Agents must know what customers need ahead of their visit so they can prepare. They need visibility of the customer’s information and on-site equipment, ideally through a platform they can review while on the go.

  1. Efficient allocation

To ensure a satisfactory fix, you need to send agents with appropriate skills to the customer’s site. This means understanding the customers’ requirements in advance, through data monitoring, to pinpoint the likely cause of the problem.

Once you determine the job that needs to be done, you can send the best person.

However, it is also crucial to allocate resource based on where agents are and when they are free. Tools like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service provide job routing to quickly match employees to customer jobs, allowing you to make the most of their time and increase productivity.

  1. Empower agents

Reducing repeat callouts will drive efficiency. As well as having the right skills among your field service team, you also need to make sure they have the appropriate tools.

While reviewing customer data can help you pinpoint the issue the site is facing, it may be that the solution can only be determined on-site. Agents need resources required to solve whatever the issue may be.

Mixed-reality tools can empower them to fix a multitude of issues. These tools can also be carried from site to site, allowing agents to quickly move between jobs and solve issues quickly.

  1. Prevent problems

Data is incredibly helpful in understanding issues with your customer’s equipment, allowing you to conduct preventative maintenance and quickly analyse the root cause of outages.

Many field service providers use sensors to get an understanding of when issues will occur. By leveraging data from these sensors, you can accurately predict when your agents will be needed and what inventory will be required.

It will also allow you to provide routine maintenance rather than emergency callouts, improving planning for your field service agents and avoiding disruption for your customers.

  1. Cost reduction

In today’s climate, cost reduction is integral.

To minimise costs, you need to avoid repeat callouts and ensure a first-time fix. Effective allocation and data monitoring can help you with this, allowing your agents to efficiently visit customers and then move onto the next job.

It is also crucial to stay on top of your stock. By tracking your inventory, both in your warehouse and in agents’ vans, you can make sure you have what you need to service customers. Data will also enable you to predict the inventory you will need, so you don’t over-order for total cost-efficiency