Top Challenges in Managing a Mobile Service Workforce
Managing operational costs in a business that has field service workers can be a trying process. There are many variables that can affect profitability, so it’s imperative to optimize every opportunity to keep costs down. OPEX such as fluctuating fuel costs, high overhead and low first-time fix rates, and employee churn all make it challenging to maintain control of expenses.
GetApp Lab, research division of GetApp – the leading premium business app discovery platform on the web – has provided results from a panel of more than 100 US-based small and medium-sized businesses who operate a mobile workforce to determine what the biggest challenges they faced. The number one result is that these companies struggle to keep operational costs in line (25.7%).
To compensate for variable costs, a business can move to stabilize OPEX by reducing areas of revenue leakage. For example, a company that’s managing day-to-day operations with a paper and/or whiteboard process is missing opportunities to make their operations more seamless. Implementing a field service management system provides visibility for dispatchers to verify when jobs are complete, but they’re also able to schedule calls in closer proximity to one another to reduce travel time and fuel costs. This ability addresses the second top concern for small businesses, that of scheduling and dispatching.
Another area that may be improved lies in end-to-end, bidirectional communication between the back office and the field, which helps in the management of workflow and processes. Eliminating the need for data entry and the need to decipher the handwriting of field workers reduces errors and the amount of time spent translating paperwork.
Companies with a mobile workforce may experience high employee churn as a result of stress in the field. Multitasking behind the wheel with paperwork, low safety standards, and a low first-time fix rate all contribute to reasons for high turnover and ultimately, higher costs. Automation of the service chain through mobile technology enables the field service worker to function in a less stressful, employee-considerate environment, helping field service workers to feel more valued and less likely to leave. This environment also lends itself to being a recruiting tool for qualified new hire candidates.
Automating the service chain through mobile technology not only reduces operational expenses, but a less stressful environment will be apparent to customers. Field service workers and other employees that are customer facing can provide a better experience, which helps to improve customer satisfaction ratings, reduce customer churn and lay the foundation for customer referrals. Collectively, this will help to remove the stress from your business in managing operational expenses.
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