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Preparing your field service business for the ‘new normal’

May 12th, 2020

As governments prepare for changes in lockdown measures, now is the perfect time to prepare your business for the new state of society. No one knows what post lockdown will look like but getting ready for the ‘new normal’ will ensure your business is ready to meet the challenges and changes that may affect your day to day work.

Taking action now rather than waiting to see how things turn out will give you the advantage over those businesses who just want to ‘wait and see’. Are you working as agile as possible? For example, using paper and manual spreadsheets to manage jobs or your inventory won't give you the bandwidth to adapt and change quickly when needed. Streamlining these processes before any announcements are made means you can hit the ground running when new measures are announced.

Not sure where to start? Here are some simple steps you can take now to get your business ready.

simPRO on laptop

1: Plan your inventory requirements in advance

Knowing what inventory you have can help when planning up and coming jobs post lockdown. By running an inventory count through simPRO you can get a better picture of which materials move quickly through your warehouse and which items have been static. Checking which jobs you have coming up and ordering parts specifically for those jobs will reduce the need for field staff having to go to wholesalers half way through, and also means you can ring fence parts early on and pre-order items well in advance where possible.

warehouse

2: Get to know your supply chain

Once you have looked at your inventory levels and up and coming jobs, you may need to check in on your suppliers. Communicating directly with your suppliers will help you understand their lead times from order to delivery. This is also a good time to diversify who you purchase from. Shopping around may seem arduous to start with but if you plan far enough ahead you can ensure you are getting the best price with the shortest lead time.

It is also a great idea to enquire as to how inventory will be delivered. Will there be specific distancing rules applied by your supplier that you need to prepare for such as contactless delivery? It is also worth checking if fast-moving goods can be sent directly to your field staff to prevent them having to make more trips to the office.

hands holding mobile device

3: Getting your field staff ready to visit homes and offices

Your field staff will be visiting customers’ homes, sites and offices on a daily basis and will come across different types of challenges. The main one, of course, is adhering to social distancing rules both in homes and on site.

Putting all site details in one place
If you have special instructions for a site or a customer, you can place them all in one place for your field staff to see before they arrive on site. Having a system that updates in real-time means they can pick up any changes quickly via a mobile device and arrive on site prepared.

Pre and Post Health and Safety Audits
Enabling your field team to carry out pre and post health and safety audits while in the field gives them the chance to make the call on whether or not it is safe to proceed. It also means you can provide your team with all the information up front for each job i.e. correct working practices, PPE requirements, specific customer information, etc. Your field team can then feed onsite information straight back to the office to then take the appropriate action.

Contact tracing through simPRO
simPRO has developed workflows to support our users to record all customer and field staff interactions and adhere to any contact tracing conditions. Using a customized form in eForms allows to capture and record contact tracing information in PDF documents. Using a mobile connection, your team can then pass records between the field and the office simultaneously.

While we aren't sure how business will operate after lock down, we are sure that you can prepare your business for new restrictions and the increased workload.

To find out how simPRO can help streamline your workflows and processes head to our website or get in touch.

For more COVID-19 resources for the field service industry, visit our COVID-19 Crisis Management Hub.