Watch and CalendarHow long have you been using those Excel sheets for scheduling? Don’t even tell me you’re still using paper and a tack board. With the growing availability and functionality of advanced scheduling software, sticking with these manual strategies to perform scheduling and managing other field service tasks is about the equivalent of forfeiting victory to your competitors. I know it’s tough to hear, but failing to adapt to today’s growing technological climate will mean watching your competitors out-perform you year in and year out unless you decide to make a change.

Steps to Success

Your first step towards becoming a front runner in your industry should be determining scheduling KPIs. Where are you struggling now and how could you improve in the future? Be specific. Use numbers and determine the areas that you want to see become faster, more efficient, or automated.

Next, start researching how you can accomplish the goals you’ve established. What is the best solution designed to meet your specific goals? Then, once you’ve figured out the tools you’ll need to succeed, choose a software provider that will deliver the appropriate tools to overcome shortcomings and meet the goals your company has established.

It won’t be easy, but once you’ve taken the steps to really understand your scheduling operations, how you’ll improve them, with what tools, and with what software provider, you’ll be well on your way to earning the gold medal for field service scheduling excellence and outperforming the organizations in your field that haven’t taken the time or effort to seek out the right solution.

The Far Reaching Benefits of Improved Scheduling

When you sit down and think about all the benefits an automated scheduling system brings to field service organizations, it’s shocking every organization doesn’t use one. The benefits reach well beyond easing schedulers’ jobs and even beyond basic scheduling improvements. Just some of the company-wide benefits you’ll experience with integrated, automated scheduling software include:

  • Improved communication with technicians
  • Improved first-time fix rates due to the ability to filter technicians by location, availability, and skill-set
  • Better prepared technicians due to inventory integration
  • Less technician idle time and lower fuel costs due to decreased drive times
  • Automated schedules to reduce workload and errors as well as promote the sale and renewal of PM contracts

With scheduling software integrated with the rest of your field service management system, you’ll see nearly every area of your organization come to life. Create a plan for future success and watch the gears in your organization start to turn faster and smoother than ever before.

Managing to KPIs for Schedulers: What to Look for and How to Make Improvements

Okay, so it’s clear that scheduling software improves business processes throughout the organization. But you may still be wondering: “how can I measure and analyze the strategic decisions I make with my new scheduling technology?” In other words: how do I manage to KPIs to make sure I’m getting the most out of my visual scheduler?

Well, after making improvements and investing in FSM software, it’s key that you use the tools at your disposal to measure outcomes that will dictate future strategies. Using KPIs for ideal scheduling outcomes is a great way to fine-tune your field processes and continue improving profits and service levels year-after-year. It’s crucial that your KPIs are specific enough to be measurable. Did you successfully manage to them or not? There shouldn’t be any grey area.

Some examples of scheduling KPIs you could use to measure your success over a 12 month period include:

  • Automatically schedule, without human interaction, 70% or more of work orders
  • Reduce overtime by two hours/week/technician
  • See reductions in truck roll by $10,000/month
  • Realize improvements in SLA compliance by 50%
  • Increase visibility into service vans to reduce the parts and inventory errors by 50%
  • Reduce fuel costs by $5,000/month with GPS and mapping technology

Once you’ve determined the specific list of KPIs you’ll be measuring and to which you’ll be managing your scheduling operations, you’ll need a way to collect data and analyze the results. That’s where the rest of the integrated field service management system comes in. Technicians can collect data through a mobile field service application in the field while service managers and executives analyze that data through web service portals. With the tools in place to sync, integrate, and analyze exactly how well you’re performing due to improved scheduling processes, you can start to make the upward climb toward improved scheduling accuracy and, as a result, better-quality results in the field

Your Next Move

So, you’ve seen the improvements scheduling software can produce for your organization; you know some ways you can analyze data to manage to KPIs and make appropriate improvements; now what? This is where the ball falls in your court. Will you choose to invest in the technology that can hone in on your scheduling processes, speed up the process and iron out any kinks, or will you stick with your manual system that makes it nearly impossible to keep up with competitors? The choice is yours.

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This article originally appeared on MSI Data and has been republished with permission.