Imagine a world in which everything was automated. Your coffee made itself in the morning, your clothes picked themselves out, and your car automatically drove to pick up your daughter from soccer practice in the evening. Sounds pretty great, right? Less thinking, less worrying, less stress.
Well, believe it or not, this automated fantasy can become your reality—at least for your field service organization—with a field service process automation system, or events manager. This post is the first of a four-part series, which will highlight the field service business benefits that alerts, escalations, and workflow features can bring your company. From work in the field to scheduling and back office, an automated alerts system will keep your organization informed and proactive as you work to increase profits and customer satisfaction.
Set it and Forget it
An events manager, complete with alerts, escalations, and workflow capabilities, allows busy service organizations to “set it and forget it.” With the events manager, service organizations can automatically monitor business activities or transactions, notifying employees with time sensitive alerts and helping them perform their tasks more efficiently and intelligently. “Set it and forget it” in this context means that managers can set alerts and workflows, designating who they go to, when they will be sent, and with the ability to search the database with certain queries. And once it is set, they can forget about it, knowing the information they want to be delivered will get to the right people at the right time.
Mobile Alerts in the Field
Mobile devices are becoming more and more common for field service technicians. And with that development, their jobs are becoming more about their work in the field and less about the time-consuming manual tasks they once had to do by hand. Mobile field service software helps techs automate their daily tasks like entering hours, looking up manuals and tutorials, and documenting work order information. With an events manager built in, they can also initiate alerts and workflows to the rest of the company. Here are few examples of how techs can use a mobile events manager to receive and trigger alerts, escalations, and workflows and how those alerts benefit the whole company:
1. Logging billable and non-billable hours to alert appropriate parties
Instead of reporting to a manager or returning to the office to document hours, techs can update their hours worked in seconds through their mobile device. As technicians document their hours, they categorize them as billable (time spent on the job itself) and non-billable (time spent traveling or performing manual tasks). With this information, the events manager can automatically send a timecard with all the tech’s hours (separated into billable and unbillable) to the service manager. Billable hours are automatically added to an invoice for the customer, so it’s clear how many hours will be charged. This technology keeps information on the invoice and timecard accurate and timely, creating a more efficient process, more accurate billing information, and happier customers.
2. Generate invoice alert when work order is closed
With their mobile device, techs can push a button to signal a work order is complete, eliminating the potential for error due to reentry and saving techs time. When the tech closes a work order, it will trigger an alert to the service manager instructing him to send an invoice to the customer. And with the tech’s hours already documented and in the service manager’s hands (through the logging hours process explained above), all the manager needs to do is put the invoice together and send it to the customer. Through this quick system, the customer receives an invoice as soon as the work order is closed, your company gets paid quicker, the customer is more satisfied with the timeliness of the service, and the organization is overall more time-efficient and profitable.
3. Generate reports for inspection results
Inspection software eliminates unnecessary manual tasks and paper in the field. With mobile inspection software, techs can simply create or pull up a preconfigured inspection form, perform the inspection, and submit the results to the back office. With an events manager, processes can move even faster by generating inspection reports for the service manager. These reports can be especially effective if inspections are deficient and need attention. After completing the deficient inspection, an alert is sent directly to the subcontractors who can immediately report to the site and fix the problem. Not only does this speed the process, make customers happier, and increase profitability for the company (by cutting time), it also creates safer job conditions for everyone, which is, after all, the most important reason for performing safety inspections.
Proactively manage your mobile features
The alerts, escalations, and workflow features of a field service events manager give you the insight to be able to identify and act on important business information. The mobile capabilities listed above streamline your business processes to drastically cut time spent performing manual tasks and keep the right people informed with the right information at the right time. You may not have a car that can drive itself yet, but at least your field service organization can stay ahead of the curve by automating its most important mobile tasks.
Be sure to check out our next post in the field service process automation series: “Field Service Scheduling: How Field Service Process Automation Can Keep Your Organization Alert (Part 2)”
7 Best Practices for Choosing New field Service Software
There are plenty of reasons that service organizations review, purchase and implement new field service management software. Regardless of what situations force your service organization to that tipping point, there are several tried and true methods you can use to organize the buying process, eliminate the unexpected and significantly increase your chances of success with your new software.
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