The role of flexibility in field service and fleet management is becoming more prevalent in optimizing the workflow in mobile operations. Not long ago, the general consensus among companies operating fleets seemed to be: Schedule the technician, dispatch, and hope for the best. That vision has changed, as companies with large fleets, owned or leased, are discovering the need for adaptability in fulfilling service commitments and meeting customer demands. The importance of flexibility in increasing productivity is how you leverage it to improve service, profitability, customer satisfaction and ultimately your bottom line.

Service excellence

No matter what size your fleet, it all comes down to service excellence, which ultimately leads to higher profits. When flexibility is built into the workflow, processes are in place to easily deal with the unexpected so last-minute changes don’t throw everything off. You have the ability to identify the vehicle closest to the last-minute appointment, quickly dispatch that tech to the site, and make the necessary adjustments to cover for him. Scalable tools and technology that foster productivity are fundamental here. Aberdeen says field service leaders achieve first-time resolution 4.7 times more often thanks to the ease of the right technology. That level of service lowers operation costs and leads to happy customers. Happy customers keep coming back, and that translates to higher profits.

Increased Response

No matter how much planning and organizing a field service or fleet operation does, field services by nature are subject to some level of uncertainty. If a customer calls with an emergency or a vehicle malfunctions, you have to adapt and respond. The more flexible your operations are, the better you are able to address unknowns without driving up costs, wasting time or degrading service quality. The goal is to respond to an issue easily within an acceptable amount of time without making a customer wait for days or letting that critical piece of equipment cause excessive downtime. The benefits are clear: business agility, better service and the ability to outperform less-flexible competitors.

Well-leveraged ROI

When you build flexibility into your field service operation by providing the appropriate equipment and leveraging the best technology you enhance remote workers, and one of the most important outcomes is first-time resolution. This leads to improved staff and vehicle utilization and savings in time, assets and resources. For instance, fuel and vehicle wear and tear costs are significantly reduced. And that’s where the biggest ROI is.

Enhanced productivity and performance

Technology plays a key role in providing the flexibility to make critical decisions on the spot. The right solution will adapt to the situation to deliver real-time information to techs in the field while assuring they are well-equipped and keeping them connected with the back office, customers, and colleagues. Geographic obstacles are removed because workers don’t have to keep going back to home-base to get more information. The same is true if they need assistance to resolve an issue, their vehicle breaks down, or they need a part or tool from a co-workers truck to complete a task. You’re removing time-consuming activities by cutting down on the need to make phone calls or extra trips to the office or warehouse, and that leads to significant gains in productivity and performance.

Increased adaptability

As your business grows, so do your requirements. For instance, you may deploy a basic fleet management package to fulfill immediate requirements and then later expand it to incorporate more comprehensive functionality such as workforce management. You’ll want to use a provider that offers a package with the flexibility and scalability to keep up with your growth without charging too much for the initial deployment. Adaptability is important because it helps protect the initial investment, without needing to start over.

The key in selecting a fleet management provider ultimately is to focus on value, not necessarily the lowest price. Remember what’s at stake – workforce and asset optimization, operational costs and customer satisfaction. By investing in these goals with the right fleet management solution, you will benefit in the long run.