In the field service industry, it can often feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. Time is money, and every second is critical to your business. Inefficiencies at any point in the work order process will result in lost time, meaning more downtime for your customers and less productivity for your workforce.
Fortunately for you (and your bottom line), implementing a software-based work order management system puts you back in control of the clock. Here is what you can expect right off the bat:
- MRO inventory expenses will go down
- Immediate savings on maintenance budgets
- Equipment downtime will be reduced
- Materials costs will be lowered
- Maintenance productivity will increase
Those are some pretty compelling points, but it’s important to understand the how and why behind them. Let’s take a closer look.
Your bottom line depends on a number of different factors, but the efficiency of your work order process is one of the biggest. Even if you employ a large workforce of field technicians, when orders ramp up and things get busy, it’s easy to get buried under paperwork and fail to prioritize requests. This is where a work order management system becomes crucial.
Here are a few of the tasks a work management system can handle:
- Creating scheduled and unscheduled work orders
- Managing inventory
- Processing work requests
- Tracking downtime
- Data mining
- Warranty Tracking
- Closing work orders
A work order management system keeps your ship sailing smooth, even when the forecast calls for rough seas. And when your workforce makes optimal use of their time, the need for overtime hours goes down.
Real-time Inventory + Part Requests
Back in the days of yore, it took a fair amount of time and effort just to determine whether a needed part was in stock. Usually this process involved multiple phone calls, sorting through stacks of paperwork, and sometimes physically walking into the warehouse to check the shelves. Fortunately for us, modern advancements in technology mean you don’t have to do any of that. Your field service agents can now do the checking themselves, in real-time.
Modern day work order software enables efficient, real-time inventory management, giving your field service technicians the ability to order parts or send requests to alternative warehouses on the go. This reduces the number of missing parts and disorganized returns and increases your first-time-fix rate. Your customers will appreciate the level of transparency your field technicians provide, and your inventory costs will drop as you efficiently manage assets.
Maximizing Efficiency Through Advanced Scheduling
In addition to the added productivity that modern day work order management software provides, the benefit of having a more efficient workforce is the higher level of customer service provided to your customers. Truck rolls (dispatching a truck on a call) cost your business on average $430, so maintaining a high level of efficiency is crucial if you want to ensure those costs are recouped.
This also means you want problems fixed correctly the first-time. Modern work order management software incorporates flexible scheduling features to ensure that this is the case. Field techs can use these features to review customer work history, track assets, and document their own job notes, all while out in the field and from a mobile device, should they choose.
Another benefit here is the ability to shift from a reactive to proactive scheduling. Sooner or later, something is always going to break, so why not plan-ahead and schedule preventative maintenance tasks to trigger based on custom parameters set up by your experts? Triggers can be based on things like machine hours or future dates. By doing this, your team can prevent (or at the very least get ahead of) potential breakdowns and save a lot of time and money in the process by reducing both downtime and repair costs.
There is a lot more that can be said about the benefits of work order management to your bottom line, but what it boils down to is that both your bottom line and your customer base will thank you for anything you can do to minimize downtime and repeat visits. By continually positioning yourself to stay one step ahead, you reap the benefit of higher profit margins and better customer loyalty.
Tony Falbo is a contributor for TechnologyAdvice.com — a research company that connects buyers and sellers of business technology. He writes about field service, inventory, supply chain management, and other technology verticals.