In our continuing trend report series, we share findings from a discovery workshop and a field service engineer’s account of the everyday pressures they’re currently facing. As this technical service company has seen requests for field appointments rise, what has lead them to deploy FLS VISITOUR field appointment scheduling software; and how is this sentiment shared in the industry?
"I’ve been an engineer for thirty years and have seen my share of changes in the field service industry and with our customers. I’ve been with the company now for eleven years and things keep changing and evolving. The last six or seven years in field service have been particularly tough. Everyone seems to be under more and more pressure to do more for less. We get the message from management that overtime needs to be kept to a minimum and our productivity needs to be as high as possible; and I get that.
The biggest frustration for me is that the only control I’ve had is over the amount of time I spend on site carrying out the repair. I don't set my own service appointments schedule, I don’t get to determine my first or last job, start location or end location—in other words I have little control over the extent of my working day.
Talking to the other field service engineers it's obvious that they are feeling the same way. Sometimes we see each other going in the same direction on the motorway (at the same time). Other times we’re crossing each other knowing that with smarter appointment planning we could have done more work by one of us handling one area, and another engineer somewhere else.
Having said that I spend time in the office every morning and I've seen the pressure that the field planning and customer service teams are under and how difficult it is to meet all the growing demands. Our customers have increasing expectations, contract SLAs are increasingly strict, and field service appointments seem to be set only for response times. I haven’t had the answers for them but I have felt the pain out in the field".
With FLS VISITOUR real-time appointment scheduling software, field engineer diary management difficulties are eliminated. Businesses offer in-day, dynamic levels of service that modern customers expect.
Real-time scheduling optimisation means sick days, parts delays, traffic problems, time off and shift patterns can all be managed quickly and efficiently. Your business will maintain the level of service that your engineers expect, and can grow their productivity. Appointment scheduling software helps engineers increase their first-time fix rate, reduces the mean job time, improves service scores, reduces inventory inaccuracies, and controls cost. Automated cost-optimised appointments generate dynamic workforce scheduling for the best outcome.
Flexibilty means in exceptional circumstances, the appointment view of current and future scheduled jobs enables planners and despatchers to drag-and-drop jobs or request the ‘best candidates’ for a particular task.