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Automate Your Field Service Management

Originally published: 07.01.16 by Joanna Rotter


Your technicians work out in the field, repairing equipment at various job sites, and each task requires documentation, scheduling and data entry.

Automating this service process can save time and mistakes while making your business more profitable. But, to make the transformation to service automation successful, you need a step-by-step plan.

The biggest benefits of automating service processes for your business include greater productivity, visibility and efficiency, which will infiltrate every area of your organization.

Get Everyone on Board

When you have a great idea, sometimes selling it to your team is half the battle. To get your team onboard for a big organizational shift like automating service, start by creating a vision statement.

It should include a clarity-of-purpose statement and concrete goals for what you want the organization to look like when the project is finished.

Assign Team to Take Charge

Understanding and implementing an effective change management program will require more than just a one-time meeting. Make sure the project is a priority by assigning an internal team to motivate the rest of the workers to take the project seriously.

The group should include a project leader as well as several user representatives from each operational area (e.g. field, scheduling, inventory, IT, etc.).

Begin With End

in Mind

Know where you want the project to end up before you take the first step. Technology isn't magic and it won't solve your problems without some planning and tailoring. Nail down the concrete KPIs you want the technology to help you meet.

For example, doing service on mobile shouldn't be the goal; the goal is to increase communication with field techs or reduce time from service ticket to billing by using mobile. The technology is just the tool you use to achieve your goals.

Create Timeline

Establish a clear Statement of Work with your software vendor and map out a concrete project plan and calendar. The plan you come up with should be visible to everyone involved and should outline individual responsibilities, assign project leaders, set deadlines, etc.

This will serve as a constant reminder about what's coming up next and tally specific accomplishments to date.

Model Out the Transition

You can think of this as the ultimate planning phase. Modeling current and future processes is a vital step because it forces you to evaluate where you are now, why you do what you do, and who needs to do what to move forward.

Understand Your Data

Before you make plans to collect new data, you need to understand your current data. From there, you can determine what information you want to be collecting in the new system, who you want to have access to what, and how you'll use the information to guide future decisions.

Set goals for what you hope to get out of the data, map out how you'll achieve those goals, and monitor your progress.

Regularly Train Your Team

Training is an incredibly important step with any new system. It's important to remember even the best software in the world isn't going to do your team any good if users don't understand how to use it.

Make ongoing training a priority with reminder courses, ongoing new employee orientation, and training to roll out new features as they're released.

Eye on the (ROI) Prize

The key to success with any new system is understanding the challenges while sticking to the plan.

Keep your eye on the goals you set early on and treat the vision statement as a mantra, reminding yourself why you underwent this journey in the first place.

Follow these steps to automation and you'll be well on your way to a huge return on investment, happier workers and customers and a more efficiently run your business.

 


Joanna Rotter is the content marketing manager at MSI Data, a field service management software provider and creator of enterprise field service app, Service Pro. For additional information, visit msidata.com.

 




About Joanna Rotter

Joanna Rotter

 

Joanna Rotter is the content marketing manager at MSI Data, a field service management software provider and creator of enterprise field service app, Service Pro.

For additional information, visit msidata.com.

 




Articles by Joanna Rotter

Automate Your Field Service Management

Technology isn’t magic and it won’t solve your problems without some planning and tailoring.
View article.