Gone are those days when scheduling and dispatching meant planning days ahead and filling diaries and post-its. Today, the skills, availability, locations, and workload ascertain the responsibilities allocated to each field worker. As field service operations increase their reach and customer base, having an optimized scheduling and dispatching infrastructure has become critical for companies.
5 Industries Needing Scheduling and Dispatch Software
A growing business needs more tools to keep up with the demand and technological advancements. In the global marketplace where software has got a strong grip on every other company, how can it leave behind field service companies? It only makes sense for business owners to use software to automate processes in field service scheduling and dispatch and simplify field service management.
Field service scheduling and dispatch software are in demand by companies that have tight deadlines and deliverables. A few industries which use this software are:
- Plumbing, electrical, and HVAC companies
- Cleaning services
- Fleet management services
- Maintenance services
- Field service businesses
5 Reasons Why Service-based Businesses Need Field Service Scheduling Software
Service-based businesses cannot market a product as their main business is providing service. The quality of those services needs to be always at its best, and downtime must be nil. Doing so and more is only possible when companies use software for their service.
- Service-based businesses need field service scheduling software to quickly manage workload and get technicians onboard quickly.
- The software helps improve customer satisfaction as it responds to service requests quickly and dispatches a team immediately.
- The software optimizes scheduling by planning schedules for workers well ahead of time, giving them scope to service more people and bring in more revenue.
- The software also automatically schedules recurring work orders and requests by evaluating the asset’s lifecycle.
- It prepares the entire workforce for seasonal workloads.
5 Features You Need to Look Out for on a Field Scheduling Software
1. Scheduling and dispatching
Scheduling and dispatching is a must-have feature of the software as it helps managers plan schedules and assigns technicians where needed. The software must provide this feature as the entire foundation of service-based businesses depends on it.
Consider one that enables you to:
- Use common scheduling platforms like Google Calendar as it requires less onboarding effort by users
- Optimize technician routes with a smart scheduling system that analyzes the skills and location of the technician.
2. Contact management
Your customers are everything for your service-based business. Without a proper communication channel with them, you will not get more work. Contact management means easy access to contact details and storing them to track past orders and anticipate future orders.
Look for contact management features on the software that enables you to:
- Automated outreach using email scheduling
- Send reminders to customers who haven’t contacted you in a long time.
3. Work order management
Service-based businesses need to track all orders, as one missed opportunity could mess up the entire system. The work management feature must be able to track your orders right from their initial inquiry to their completion. It should be able to store invoices and tickets in a centralized location for easy access.
For field technicians, this feature can be beneficial in the following ways:
- Easily record details about the job and the customer information with its mobile forms
- Organize details of past work orders in an accessible document that the worker can pull out for future use.
4. Easy billing and invoicing
The field service scheduling software must support payment services so that steady and timely revenue keeps the company running. Also, manually handling financials leaves room for error. With the software, there will be 100% transparency and accountability for the parties transacting.
Any software you use for scheduling and dispatch must support financial services in the following ways:
- Save customer payment data after each transaction and closing of the job
- Support mobile payments eliminating separate invoice creation.
5. Optimized for all devices
The concept of being “optimized for all devices” is crucial in today’s digital world. With the rapid growth of technology and the increasing number of devices, it’s essential to ensure that software and websites can adapt to all types of devices, including desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. This is particularly important in service-based businesses, where communication is key.
In the context of service-based businesses, it’s critical to have software that is optimized for all devices. Technicians are often on the move, and having access to their work information on a mobile or tablet is essential. The software must be able to update information in real-time from both ends, allowing the office team to track the progress of technicians and vice versa. This helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that work is completed efficiently.
To ensure that the software is optimized for all devices, it’s important to use cloud-based software. Cloud-based software allows the data to be stored in the cloud, which means that it can be accessed from anywhere, at any time. This also means that the software can be accessed from any device with an internet connection, making it much more convenient for technicians who are always on the move.
A-Z of scheduling and dispatch
Scheduling and dispatch are essential aspects of any service-based business. Proper scheduling and dispatch are vital to ensuring that your customers receive timely and efficient service. Whether you’re running a small business or a large corporation, scheduling and dispatch can make or break your success.
To help you navigate these critical components of your business, we’ve compiled an A-Z guide to scheduling and dispatch.
A – Automation: Incorporating automation into your scheduling and dispatch processes can save time and reduce errors.
B – Business Hours: Set clear business hours and ensure that your customers are aware of them.
C – Communication: Effective communication between dispatchers, technicians, and customers is crucial for a smooth operation.
D – Dispatch: Dispatchers play a vital role in assigning jobs to technicians and ensuring they arrive at the job site on time.
E – Efficiency: Efficient scheduling and dispatch can help you complete more jobs in less time, leading to increased profits.
F – Field Service Management: Utilize field service management software to streamline your scheduling and dispatch processes.
G – GPS Tracking: GPS tracking can help you keep track of your technicians’ locations and ensure they are on time for their appointments.
H – Helpdesk: A helpdesk can provide support to technicians in the field, ensuring they have the necessary resources to complete their jobs.
I – Inventory Management: Effective inventory management can ensure that technicians have the necessary parts and supplies to complete their jobs.
J – Job Scheduling: Proper job scheduling can help you optimize your technicians’ schedules and reduce downtime.
K – Knowledge Management: Implement a knowledge management system to ensure that technicians have access to the information they need to complete their jobs.
L – Logistics: Logistics play a crucial role in scheduling and dispatch, ensuring that technicians have the necessary equipment and resources to complete their jobs.
M – Mobile Apps: Mobile apps can help technicians stay connected with dispatchers and provide updates on their progress.
N – Notification: Automated notifications can keep customers informed about their service appointments, reducing the need for manual follow-up.
O – On-time Performance: On-time performance is essential for ensuring customer satisfaction and repeat business.
P – Planning: Effective planning can help you optimize your scheduling and dispatch processes and reduce delays.
Q – Quality Control: Implement quality control measures to ensure that jobs are completed to your customers’ satisfaction.
R – Routing: Routing software can help you optimize your technicians’ routes and reduce travel time.
S – Scheduling: Scheduling software can help you optimize your technicians’ schedules and ensure that they are available for jobs when needed.
T – Time Management: Effective time management is crucial for optimizing scheduling and dispatch processes and reducing delays.
U – User-Friendly Interfaces: User-friendly interfaces can help dispatchers and technicians complete their jobs more efficiently.
V – Vehicle Tracking: Vehicle tracking can help you monitor your fleet’s performance and reduce maintenance costs.
W – Work Orders: Work orders provide essential information to technicians, ensuring they have everything they need to complete their jobs.
X – X-factor: The x-factor in scheduling and dispatch is the ability to adapt to unexpected changes and delays.
Y – Yield: Yield management can help you optimize your scheduling and dispatch processes to maximize your profits.
Z – Zero Delays: The ultimate goal of scheduling and dispatch is zero delays, ensuring that your customers receive timely and efficient service.
Incorporating these scheduling and dispatch strategies into your business can help you optimize your operations, increase customer satisfaction, and improve your bottom line. Utilize field service management software to streamline your scheduling and dispatch processes and take your business to the next level.