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Combine SaaS and a mobile app for big benefits

Kieran Le Peron
July 12, 2018
5 min. read

To ensure that field service operations are as responsive and productive as possible, dispatchers must be able to plan the optimal route and schedule for each field technician.   Software as a Service (SaaS), combined with a mobile application, is the most effective way to realize these benefits.              

1. Scheduling software is the technician’s best friend

Scheduling software that optimizes technicians’ travel routes dramatically simplifies life for your maintenance and after market service technicians, after market sales personnel, auditors and delivery drivers.  

Use data to improve business operations

With intuitive field service management software, such as the solution offered by Praxedo, you can analyse route data to optimize every aspect of your business. Dispatchers can use a dashboard to view:

  • The number, type and location of service calls
  • Customer contact and availability information
  • Available technicians and their skill sets
  • The spare parts required to complete the service call
  • Current technician locations using geolocation technology
  • Real-time traffic conditions

The customizable software uses this data to constantly calculate and refine the optimal schedule for each technician. This improves time management by reducing the number and duration of technician trips. It also helps to maximize the number of billable hours by anticipating peak activity times and increasing productivity levels to match. Your teams can spend less time in their vehicles and more time focusing on the quality of service they provide without worrying about travel logistics.  

Increase responsiveness and motivate technicians

Employees with state-of-the-art management tools that provide them with all the information they need perform better in their jobs. They can keep track of schedule changes, including emergencies and unexpected events, in real time to improve their responsiveness. They can also contact the service centre in just a few clicks if they encounter problems or have questions. And they can use instant messaging to quickly coordinate and collaborate with dispatchers when they need support in the field. Managing remote teams is one of the main challenges for service companies. With SaaS software , you’re in a better position to build strong relationships with your employees by providing:

  • Personalized attention to each technician
  • Permanently open communication channels
  • Optimal responsiveness from dispatchers

2. Scheduling software optimizes route management

Perfect dispatching

Cloud-based software that incorporates artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms is the ideal tool to help dispatchers plan technician routes in just a few clicks. With more intelligent scheduling capabilities, dispatchers can save time and consider the effects of customer and technician constraints on schedules. A task that was once considered to be a real headache, becomes a breeze.  

Get real-time visibility

Staff in the service centre can follow the status of service calls on a map as technicians update their status from the field. And you can collect data related to key business performance indicators such as response time, technician punctuality and first-time fix rate to more accurately manage operations.

3. Scheduling software improves performance

A mobile app increases productivity

When you can closely track technician activities in real time, you can dramatically increase responsiveness. For example, you can react instantly when a technician is unable to make a service call by identifying the closest available technician with the right skill set. The ability to almost always send the right technician to the right job at the right time automatically improves your performance. This fact was confirmed in a 2015 Aberdeen Group study that says leading companies are reaping the benefits of optimizing their services:

  • 17% increase in employee turnover
  • 19% increase in customer satisfaction
  • 27% increase in productivity

Source: Aberdeen Group, Evolution of the Field Service Business: Optimizing the Field Service Chain, July 2015.    

A mobile app saves time and money

Time is money. But, the time saved with optimized technician schedules also reduces:

  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Fuel costs
  • The number of return trips between the service centre and customer sites thanks to more efficient travel and better spare parts management

These benefits reduce operating costs at all levels, including paper and equipment costs that are saved with the move to paperless processes. They also increase productivity.

4. Scheduling software improves customer satisfaction

Attract and retain customers

Last, but not least, the fourth and final benefit of good scheduling software is that it improves your customer relationships. With online software, you can develop a key quality: agility. With the ability to analyse your business in real-time, it’s easy to continually adapt your actions to provide the highest possible quality service.   Your customers are always notified of activities related to their request, including the estimated technician arrival time, and receive detailed reports at the end of the service call. They can also use your software to schedule their own service calls and rely on your responsiveness and agility to meet all of their needs. A field service management solution, such as the one that Praxedo offers, allows you to achieve this goal and build a trusted relationship with your customers to increase loyalty.   The ability to successfully plan technician routes depends largely on your SaaS field service management solution. The software must be innovative and able to provide you with all of the data needed to increase responsiveness and accuracy. With these capabilities, the software becomes an indispensable tool for technicians and dispatchers. And your investment pays off in savings and in higher productivity.