The Field Service Heroes in the Aftermath of a Natural Disaster
In a recent article Steve Wellen, FieldAware CEO, talks about the critical role field service organizations play in the aftermath of a natural disaster and how the immediate, mid-term and longer-term impact of managing this kind of work affects a business.
When a natural disaster strikes, the speed of the initial response is vital and the more that can be done immediately after the event, the better the chance of improving survivor rates and reducing the danger from damaged roadways, buildings and critical infrastructure.
While we may not always think of them in this way, many field service organizations are crucial to this first response and are often needed to enable the emergency services to gain safe access through blocked routes or into damaged buildings.
Working in tough conditions and potentially in extreme danger, the efforts of field service engineers, technicians and construction workers can be nothing short of heroic. All this could be while working in their own neighborhoods and communities too, so they may have personal as well as professional tasks to undertake.
But often the ongoing work, which continues long after the headlines have disappeared, is where the real work for a lot of your teams starts. Communities need to be rebuilt, homes made habitable and businesses got back up and running, so that some kind of normality can return.
Mechanical, electrical and plumbing contractors (MEP), for example, will need to be on site to rebuild areas where buildings have been devastated and this kind of work can take weeks, months and even years depending on the severity and the type of work.
Any field service organization, such as MEP companies, needs to be able to ramp up accordingly, either by moving resources from other parts of the company or bringing in new recruits for the long haul ahead.
Before buildings are restored and businesses can move back in, facilities and property management companies may have to work closely with them to put contingency plans in place so they are able to have business continuity over an unknown future.
In the full article, we look at one FieldAware customer which provides generators for both back-up power and covering emergency service needs. Efficiency and speed of service are vital elements in responding to their customer needs in both planned and unplanned situations.
They use FieldAware to schedule service calls and notify technicians of jobs through their smartphones. The technicians get a parts list, customer history, and turn-by-turn directions to the customer site. They can use the system to deliver service, enter data, and complete job orders.
Because FieldAware is completely customized and presents technicians with only the fields and information they need, jobs are now documented much more quickly. The time required to close out each work order has decreased from 45 minutes to five minutes. Greater efficiency has increased schedulable hours by 17 percent, speeding customer response time.
Operations have been streamlined as well. Adjusting schedules now takes seconds, whereas before it took up to 45 minutes. Once a job is scheduled, technicians instantly see all the information they need to complete the job, and operations can keep tabs on jobs at all times.
Job information flows seamlessly into their CRM system, keeping all systems updating simultaneously. As well as response times, overall customer service has improved along the way. With complete customer history available, schedulers and technicians can make proactive recommendations for preventative maintenance. This allows the company to take a more proactive role in maximizing their customer’s overall equipment effectiveness and helps for future planning.
All work orders are now closed out daily—compared with up to two weeks previously—so customers can be invoiced faster helping manage company cash flow and with system reporting, the company is able to manage labor utilization, technician costs and revenue per hour in the event of planned and emergency work.
Click here to see the full article, looking at the implications of this type of work for your field service organization and how you can use technology as an enabler in how your field service organization handles disaster management.
For more information on how FieldAware can help your field service operations, register here for our 30-minute webinar.