Why Your Field Staff Need a Field Service Optimization Tool
By The Custella Team
The field service industry has seen significant growth in recent years, and experts foresee growth continuing easily into the next decade. In fact, a study by the market research firm Markets and Markets projected a 14.7 percent growth rate between 2018 and 2023. However, with high growth comes the significant challenges of dealing with a larger workforce and diverse clientele.
Dealing with exponential increases would require the right tools. According to a study by market intelligence firm, Aberdeen, companies that use a Field Service Optimization (FSO) tool typically see service profits increase by 18%, customer retention increase by 42%, and service performance increase by 44%.
So what are the challenges of a growing industry, and how does an FSO tool address them?
A Minefield of Information
When you can’t physically see your employees every day, it can be difficult to track the amount of work they complete daily and all of their task statuses. Some of the questions a manager would ask themselves on a typical day are:
“Has the agent arrived at his location?”
“Is the job completed?”
“Will we need to follow up?”
On a more stressful day, such as when an agent calls in sick, a manager would have to deal with assigning another available agent in a hurry. This responsibility is not restricted to just a single agent, encompassing several teams carrying out individual tasks spread across a particular country for instance. To this degree, a manager’s job of keeping pace with so much information is made harder, without an effective FSO tool.
On top of all this data, it doesn’t help to be slowed down by pen-paper log sheets as well as Excel/Google Spreadsheets that have many significant disadvantages in a fast-paced environment. Imagine managers going through a long spreadsheet of job orders and work statuses to find a replacement agent, while cross-referencing their utilization and location during a crunch-time crisis. This manual process leaves the information unsecured and slow to process. In fact, it is difficult to get the information contained in such a format to the departments (such as finance) that need it. Analysis, reporting, and patterns will be further challenging given the unavailability of a single source of truth.
Communication Gap and Lack of Motivation
Communicating task status and updates are important factors not only for managers but also for employees. Constantly having to update managers, while keeping their heads focused on meetings set out for the day can be a challenge, especially when there are multiple tasks to juggle.
On top of that, if there have been updates to the employee’s schedule, they may need to manually re-plan their itinerary and routes, which all takes time.
Last but not least, how can employees determine how well they have been progressing with their tasks? In our previous article, we spoke about the presence of three types of employees in an organization: the slacker, worker, and entrepreneur. How can employees be rewarded in a fair manner according to their performance?
With the right FSO tool, employees can get access to optimized scheduling, automated route suggestions, real-time data, and a much quicker and efficient way to update task status! In fact, employees can be further motivated through the presence of a leaderboard that shows them how well they are stacking up against other agents, and gives them an idea on how well they are progressing.
Bid Goodbye to Headaches & Complexities!
Enter Custella, a field service optimization (FSO) tool. It is a mobile and web application built to alleviate operations complexities faced by managers and to resolve employee’s issues of scheduling, communication gaps, and low motivation.
1. Keeping Track of It All
With just a few clicks, managers can get a 360-degree view of their teams and task statuses, therefore alleviating the headache of checking in with their agents (including the ones in different branches).
Custella also gives managers real-time data on agent utilization, mileage claims, and performance, which permits them to make smarter business decisions that would impact the future of the company. This is an immense optimization tool when it comes to a rapidly growing business which aims to expand in a cost-effective manner.
2. Ease of Use
What managers may find most useful is Custella’s capacity to provide optimized task assignment. It factors in criteria such as availability, skill, location, and utilization of agents, therefore ensuring the right agent, with the right skill, gets to the right customer.
3. Reliable in Times of Crisis
Say an agent calls in sick or his/her vehicle broke down, Custella can help provide managers with a quick workaround. Using the live locations of field service agents and by looking at their task status, a replacement can be quickly delegated based on agent availability and who is nearest to the task location. In fact, Custella can do this without manager interference!
Custella also gives managers real-time data on agent utilization, mileage claims, and performance, which permits them to make smarter business decisions…
Boost Employee’s Performance & Productivity
1. Motivating the Worker bees
With anyone, it’s essential to establish metrics and goals. Adding a Custella leaderboard which underscores employee performance can bring about a competitive spirit to the organization. By gamifying the working experience, Custella can drive each employee (even the less hardworking ones) to vie for a healthy rating, to reap the organization’s rewards for the top spot.
Into the bargain, Custella gives employees real-time data in the form of reports which they can easily view and analyze. Using this data alongside the star-rating leaderboard for the company’s field agents, employees are motivated to perform their tasks well, therefore contributing to the company’s overall performance.
2. Bridging Communication
Custella also serves as the bridge that fills in whatever communication gaps there may be in the spreadsheets/traditional pen-and-paper methods that lead to redundancies. Employees won’t have to worry about scheduling conflicts, or being handed tasks that are too far away from their location as Custella would ensure that management gets the best available option after factoring in all the relevant criteria.
3. Optimizing their Time
In fact, with Custella’s intelligent scheduling function, employees don’t have to manually reshuffle their calendar if their schedule changes. With just a few clicks, Custella can do this according to time, distance, or priority, and even suggest an optimized route to take. This can be taken a step further with Custella factoring in buffer time taken to walk from the parking lot to the customer’s doorstep, therefore ensuring field agents are always on time and have no excuse to be delayed.
By gamifying the working experience, Custella can drive each employee (even the less hardworking ones) to vie for a healthy rating, to reap the organization’s rewards for the top spot.
In a Nutshell
As a mobile and web application, Custella can accomplish even the most valuable and time-sensitive tasks faced by managers and employees.
Custella focuses on solving issues faced by managers in real-time while reducing the need to undergo lengthy manual processes. Employees on the other hand, are benefited through smart task delegation, intelligent scheduling, and motivation to excel with the analytics provided.
Using automation, optimization, and real-time analytics, Custella can help companies address:
- the logistics of managing field teams
- reduce delays and stress in times of emergencies
- employee’s performance and motivation