Whether your company manages large commercial projects or focuses on residential service jobs, when you have staff working on different tasks it’s easy for teams to become divided.The administrative staff, the IT staff, the field technicians, and other teams, might all be working towards different goals or have different priorities. A divided team doesn’t necessarily mean your business is falling apart or that groups are frustrated with one another. It can simply mean that departments aren’t working cohesively.
This is where technology comes in. While technology is primarily used to help streamline operations within a business, it can also be helpful in unifying a company.
Here are three key challenges associated with company division in the field service industry and how technology can provide a simple solution.
Miscommunication between office staff and field technicians
In any business, miscommunication is inevitable. While you can’t avoid these miscommunications 100 percent of the time, you can decrease confusion by staying organized with software tools.
Solution: Field mobility software allows technicians to record information in the field on a mobile device or tablet and automatically store and share that information with office staff back in the main office.
Example: Technician #1 completes their part of a multi-stage project. Technician #2 will need to go in and complete that project in a separate phase. In simPRO, technician #1 can enter job details and attach images or files from the site for the project manager or office staff to review before the next phase begins. Then, technician #2 can retrieve this information easily on their own device before starting work.
Double data entry
No business intends for staff to double the work, but sometimes double entry occurs purely because different departments are unaware of processes or tasks in other departments.
Solution: Many business management software platforms allow you to turn on triggers or notifications to alert office staff or technicians when a task is complete and they can begin work on their part. Not only does this organize your workflows in one place, but it saves time by eliminating multiple conversations and lowering the occurrence of double data entry.
Example: Let’s say the administrative manager or accountant needs to collect payment for a completed service. If you are running your operations on paper, they would have to wait for the field technician to record notes of the completed job. Then, back at the office, whoever is in charge of payments would need to then enter those notes into an invoice. With a software platform to automate those tasks, you could eliminate the double and manual entry by having the technician record notes at the job site to then be automatically pulled into an invoice format for either the administrative or accounting staff or even the technician to send to the client.
Technology that doesn’t connect or share information
There’s nothing wrong with having multiple software programs to run operations in your business. The problem occurs when those programs don’t “talk” to each other, causing more manual information sharing for your team.
Solution: From the initial point of contact with a customer to the final billing stage, use a single software platform to manage all stages of your workflow. Rather than completing work in one program, and then transferring it to another, keep everything in one place. This will also solve the issue of double-data entry as listed in the example above.
Example: If you have one program for scheduling your technicians to jobs and a different system for dispatching the jobs and sharing job details, your technicians could miss vital information or encounter confusion around who is doing what. If you pull both the scheduling, dispatching, and quoting with job details into one platform, you decrease the chance of technicians missing information from the project managers or administrative staff and vice versa. You also help move these processes along much faster.
Would you like to use technology to bring together your field service business and eliminate gaps between different departments? Speak with a simPRO consultant today to learn how field service management software can unify your field service team!