MAKING SENSE OF SOFTWARE TO DEPLOY FIELD SERVICE TECHNICIANS
5 min. reading time
24 February 2022 ·
he scheduling of service technicians assisted by software is an industry standard. At least it should be. The right software for scheduling service technicians ensures your technical field service is more efficient and by design, improves your service experience.
Are your technicians often stressed because they can't keep up with work orders? Is the paperwork a growing problem? Do you have the feeling that you could do more with your technical field service—if only your processes were more efficient and you had more resources?
FIELD SERVICE TECHNICIAN DEPLOYMENT: OVERCOMING PLANNING ISSUES WITH SOFTWARE
The scheduling of technicians is in itself a complex planning task. SLAs, reactive time pressures, and sudden breakdowns or emergency assignments do not make it any easier. But without suitable software for technician scheduling, the task is twice as difficult:
Tedious manual planning with Excel, Outlook and Maps costs time and leads to errors.
An up-to-date view of the opportunities and risks of planned operations is not possible.
A running overview of which service technician is currently available is also missing.
All this leads to inefficiency in the work of the scheduling department as well as in the work of the service technicians. Processes are more time-consuming than necessary, and order potential remains unused. But fortunately, there is now professional software that is made precisely for overcoming the challenges of planning maintenance and service orders.
FIELD TECHNICIAN PLANNING SOFTWARE INCREASES VALUE CREATION
The right software is the key to making processes more efficient and maximising the added value of technical service. That's why FLS has, for over 30 years, developed solutions specifically for the scheduling and route optimisation of service technicians. With FLS VISITOUR field service no longer wastes head offfice resources and can concentrate on the work with the customer.
SERVICE TECHNICIAN SCHEDULING WITH FLS VISITOUR
What does FLS VISITOUR do? Above all, our solution raises potential savings. Dynamic planning via an algorithm significantly reduces the effort for scheduling. The scheduling of service technicians takes place within seconds - in real time. Even with unexpected, last-minute changes in the daily schedule, the software immediately reschedules and determines the best way to complete all orders optimally.
Behind this is the leading technology, the PowerOpt Algorithm, which continuously optimises field deployment and route planning. More than 10 years went into the initial research and development to provide the best possible answer to the logistical challenges in service and distribution companies. What's more, it continues to learn and grow.
Below you will find a brief overview of the advantages using dynamic scheduling of service technicians, with a software solution such as FLS VISITOUR.
YOUR DEPLOYMENT IS AUTOMATED AND ERROR-FREE
One of the biggest advantages of FLS solutions is automation. Lengthy manual processes can be accelerated enormously. While dispatchers need many minutes or even hours to plan the day by hand, with Outlook or Excel, the PowerOpt algorithm completes this task in a few seconds.
The check logics stored in the software ensure that you do not make any planning errors. The system automatically takes into account all restrictions of the assignment and route and tour planning such as fixed appointments, technician skills, working hours and much more.
Field Service Control for an Excellent Customer Experience
YOU MAKE OPTIMAL USE OF YOUR FIELD SERVICE RESOURCES
The efficient utilisation of staff is one of the most important tasks for scheduling and dispatch teams. With FLS VISITOUR, appointments and their routes and tours can be precisely timed so that the utilisation increases and is fair at the same time. Scheduling conflicts are avoided.
FLS VISITOUR schedules the right service technician and the right tools and materials for each job. In addition, technicians spend less time on the road and more time with the customer. Efficient route planning with street- and house number-specific route determination avoids unnecessary miles, thus unnecessary additional costs and CO2 emissions.
REDUCING FIELD COSTS AND TIME TRAPS
It becomes clear what a suitable software for the scheduling of service technicians leads to: the optimised use of available resources. Head office teams are relieved of pressures and has more time for other tasks, such as escalation management. Field service works more efficiently thanks to optimised scheduling and route planning. Technicians save travel time and fuel costs and can complete more assignments - in a less pressured environment, with the right tools and spare parts for the job.
Our customers' results show time and again that FLS VISITOUR can significantly reduce travel costs and throughput times, in some cases by up to 40%. Appointment windows can be reduced from (on average) 4 to 2 hours and the effort in scheduling is halved in many cases. See the results in our Case Studies.
"50% time saving in scheduling – that makes a difference."
Nicole Seidl · Dispatcher
WOLF Air Conditioning and Heating Technology Austria WOLF Case Study
INCREASE CUSTOMER SCORES IN FIELD SERVICE
The optimised scheduling of service technicians increases the adherence to schedules. The first-time-fix rate also increases because the orders are planned in a more targeted manner and are better prepared. And rescheduling orders becomes easier thanks to the new level of transparency. If you also introduce a self-service portal you can offer your customers (already cost-optimised) preferred appointments.
Automatic customer notifications with the estimated arrival time of the technician is also possible. The high planning accuracy and the many features of FLS scheduling software increase customer satisfaction through recognisable, easy to use tools.
TOOLS FOR BOTH DEPLOYMENT AND FIELD SERVICE EMPLOYEES
Optimised scheduling of service technicians not only promotes customer satisfaction, but also that of employees. Repetitive and monotonous work can be automated. Dispatchers and office staff have to do less administration and have more time for demanding and exciting tasks.
What also makes for more satisfied work: more transparency in the processes and improved, paperless communication between the dispatch desk and field staff. For example, via a mobile technician app:
If you use FLS VISITOUR with FLS MOBILE the result is the perfect interplay of central deployment planning and mobile companion for your service technicians out in the field with the customer. Your field service is then fully integrated into the real-time planning. This makes tedious coordination by phone between office staff and technicians a thing of the past.
MISSION PLANNING AND MISSION CONTROL
It would be wrong to consider FLS VISITOUR only as a software for scheduling. It is true that the system enables optimised scheduling, which in itself means that you can process more orders. But its strength also lies in deployment control during the course of the day.
The PowerOpt algorithm offers high flexibility in planning and optimisation. This means that if something turns out differently than planned - for example, if an order takes much longer than expected - the software reacts quickly and reschedules.
FLS VISITOUR in action - from the scheduling of service technicians to their mobile integration:
With just a few clicks, the system shows the optimisation potential and enables greater speed and efficiency in the scheduling of service technicians. And if new orders have to be scheduled at short notice, the system makes it easier to select the right technician who still has sufficient capacity. In this way, you maximise the added value of your order processing.
AVOIDING DISCONTINUITY BY NETWORKING OFFICE AND FIELD SERVICES
Especially in combination with the mobile application, your field service becomes more responsive and flexible. The app ensures that your technicians are always connected with you during their assignments, even if there is no internet connection in between. It not only saves paperwork and media disruptions in the processes. The technicians can also enter the changes on site directly into the system and receive feedback in the form of a newly optimised plan.
FLS VISITOUR clearly sets itself apart from alternatives with its dynamic, real-time responsiveness. It permanently displays current opportunities (and risks) of what is actually happening. Dynamic scheduling also saves you the safety buffers necessary in static tour plans.
SCHEDULING OF SERVICE TECHNICIANS = CONTRIBUTION TO BUSINESS SUCCESS
When you digitise the planning of your field service, you also choose to plan for business success. The potential that you can leverage with a suitable solution:
High cost savings and more efficient time management
Increased service quality and productivity (more orders realised)
Customer and employee satisfaction and loyalty
How do you achieve this? Through an intelligent planning algorithm; through a high degree of accuracy of fit of the software for your industry and your company-specific concerns; and through a seamless integration of the solution with your other enterprise systems (CRM, ERP, EAP).
Software for scheduling service technicians is no longer a 'nice to have'. Rather, it is a critical success factor. In short: dynamic scheduling plays an important role if you wish to operate your service profitably and sustainably.
DYNAMIC ROUTE PLANNING AND SCHEDULING FOR FIELD TECHNICIAN DEPLOYMENT