The field service industry has witnessed a rapid boom over the last few years. The global field service management market, according to Reportlinker.com, was worth USD 2.85 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 7.10 billion by 2026.
Nevertheless, despite technological development, field service leaders still face difficulties in their line of work, just like in every other industry. Hence, it has become more critical now than ever to identify potential problems and find appropriate solutions to solve them.
Consumers expect nothing but the best. This blog will consist of all the challenges in this industry and the possible solutions to overcome them.
What are the top field service challenges?
1. Restricted access over field service employees and subcontractors
Field service managers are in charge of monitoring field personnel to make sure that the work allocated is done properly. One of their primary tasks requires keeping information on the technicians’ current whereabouts, performance, and adherence to scheduled tasks and hours.
The overall operational effectiveness depends on how employees conduct their business. Hence, it is a crucial responsibility for field service managers to always keep a tab on what they are doing.
However, it is not possible to keep updated on each and every worker or contractor you have hired. This is why it can be difficult for employers to monitor their workers while they are working in the field.
The solution, however, is simple. Such tasks can be performed much more effectively if the tasks are completed and added automatically with just a single click.
In comparison to performing such tasks manually, relying on FSM technology, for instance, can be much more reliable. FSM software enables automation, transparency and optimisation across various service areas.
In comparison to storing massive amounts of documents, an automatic system can be accessed by anyone, anytime. Utilising FSM technology will enable field service managers to have transparent and efficient authority over field employees and subcontractors.
After all, scheduling and working on a plan are the backbone of any company.
2. Minimise the inefficiency of follow-up visits
Every field service business owner strives for a perfect first-time fix rate (FTFR), but occasionally calls are made for a revisit. Unfortunately, this is not just exhausting for technicians and frustrating for customers; it is also expensive for businesses.
When an employee repeatedly visits a property, for example, costs, asset availability, and, in some cases, response time will be impacted. This entire process is much more expensive than expected. Until recently, people conducted two-way communication in order to resolve such issues.
Technicians can call the client to get all the information they need before arriving. Rather than going to the job site to get a task brief. This reduces the time wasted and results in efficiency in work.
Nevertheless, it does not completely eliminate the problem of repeated tasks. This is where the problem lies. It’s simple to solve this.
Technological advancement allows the users of FSM software to:
- View asset/work history
- Process and workflow documentation.
- Make customer satisfaction score analysis.
- Track equipment inventory and scheduling.
- Remotely monitor client sites to provide accurate information.
- Determine factors that are most important in resolving customer issues.
So, why stick around in traditional modes when it is possible to handle all the issues? The use of internal software by all staff members could help save time and money. It could also promote unity among all stakeholders in the future.
3. Inadequate asset tracking and management
- Maintain a record of the current and out-of-date inventory, as well as the frequently and infrequently used tools.
- Schedule a field service technician based on the availability of tools.
- Plan to restock based on immediate and upcoming needs.
- Cut back on non-essential inventory spending.
- Save on storage costs.
- Fast track communication with suppliers.
4. Relying solely on manual documentation and following a centralised database system.
If everything you need is not in one place, switching between apps can become a chore in itself.
With everything stored on the cloud, means business owners can access anything at any time and have less dependence on the staff to gather information. In other words, they now have remote access to real-time reporting, inventory, technicians, clients’ locations, and work orders all from a single location.
In order to achieve this milestone, the necessity of transforming everything from manual to digital is mandatory. Manual procedures increase the possibility of human error, waste time, and prevent businesses from operating to their fullest potential.
Data and information stored can be accessed by anyone even after decades if it’s been stored properly.
The solution exists for digitising and reducing paperwork, thereby creating faster turnaround times for validated reports and shorter invoice turnaround times. A company’s operations can be managed effectively both internally and externally if a central database system is implemented.
After all, having such information can act as a guide for new employees in the future. Additionally, it can be used as a research tool to finish a project, contact a client, and much more. Start doing what you are supposed to do. The benefits will come along the way to surprise you in more than one way.
The key benefits include:
- Improved data integrity
- Reduced data redundancy
- Reduced cost and time
- Value insights for future reference
- Centralised reporting
5. Retaining employees and saving unwanted expenditure
People definitely have different gigs and freelance mechanisms to survive in this economy. People nowadays have the courage to leave a job if it is “toxic” or does not work according to their plan. Thus, retaining employees and contractors is a challenging task to perform.
This matters. It is because, contrary to what some employers might think, it’s very uncommon for workers to be “replaced” at work. No individual can bring the unique skills another possesses to complete the task at hand. Everyone has a different style of operating and getting things done.
Who wouldn’t wish to save money by retaining employees for a long period? Retaining staff can save many expenses that are spent on training and other programmes. In addition, employee absence may result in the loss of a company’s devoted customers, which could negatively affect productivity and revenue.
To keep your staff motivated to consistently produce their best work, it is important to acknowledge and reward their efforts. Or else, they could leave, resulting in you redoing everything from scratch.
The solution to retaining field workers and reducing employee turnover is to:
- Offer enticing compensation and benefits.
- Provide employees with clear expectations and objectives.
- Ensure growth opportunities.
- Encourage a good work-life balance
- Provide technology based solutions.
- Inspection and validation of the tasks allocated.
6. Lack of communication and networking skills
Field service personnel are required to work with clients, on-site and off-site. To grow their business and attract new customers in the future, it is essential for them to possess outstanding networking abilities.
Meeting client satisfaction should be considered the primary objective of any field service management company. Contrary to other industries, repeat customers in this one are more likely to stick around for a while if done right.
However, this is still an obstacle for many companies and their employees. For example, there is a lag in ensuring timely notifications or sticking to schedules that work best for customers. With one mistake, the possibility of losing the client is very high.
As a result, it’s crucial to establish realistic expectations for customers rather than make fake promises. Field service managers could install FSM software, which creates a seamless link between field service operations and customer engagement.
informed at every stage of the process, can boost their trust in the company. FSM software will undoubtedly address industry challenges, strengthen the role of technicians, and further enhance field service operations.
A simple smile while understanding what the client wants can result in making new connections across their network system. Remember, if trust is placed in an individual, that person can help you place the same trust in many others.
It is important to remember that communication skills and networking abilities are both essential for retaining current clients. The success of a business and the personal growth as a field management personnel depends on these two skills.
Field service management is a serious challenge for businesses. Effective strategies are required by businesses to meet customer expectations, balance the workforce, maintain profits, and satisfy all stakeholders.
The above mentioned challenges are the key issues. Unfortunately, the list of challenges does not end here, as it varies depending from one firm to another. Be prepared to face any and all of them in the future.
While the challenges may seem scary, the solutions, on the other hand, are simple. With technological advancements, companies are able to come up with solutions to any problem.
Businesses will have a difficult time in 2023 trying to find competent Field service managers. To overcome these difficulties, try out the i4T Business solution.
Finally, as the saying goes, “you see rainbows after a storm.” That’s how the industry of field management services is. If time and thought are invested in resolving the problems rather than concentrating on the challenges, the rewards are great!
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With our cutting-edge technology and in-depth knowledge of how the Field Service Management sector operates, the i4TGlobal Team loves to share industry insights to help streamline your business processes and generate new leads. We are driven by innovation and are passionate about delivering solutions that are transparent, compliant, efficient and safe for all stakeholders and across all touch points.