push pinsDo you ever wonder why some organizations have their calendars booked and service appointments scheduled months in advance, while others are surviving on day-to-day appointments, dependent on break-fix calls to keep them afloat? Obviously, it’s better to work for an organization with stable, regularly scheduled work orders. But how do you set up and manage recurring preventive maintenance orders when there’s so much other work to do?

A big part of the answer to that question is efficient scheduling. In this post, the second of the three-part series, Focus on Preventive Maintenance, we address questions surrounding PM scheduling efficiency and how to get your scheduling software and scheduling team up to the challenge of managing your PM work orders in order to get them booked ahead of schedule.

Follow along and start enjoying the freedom to sit back and relax once in a while by stabilizing operations and automating an effective PM contracts program.

Improve Customer Satisfaction by Focusing on Tangible Returns

We often measure customer satisfaction and how to improve customer satisfaction through “soft” criteria for ROI, such as service policies, tech/agent tone with the customer, and product reliability. None of these improvements, however, have anything to do with advanced scheduling. Therefore, when measuring the benefits of investing in an advanced scheduling solution, it’s important to consider the tangible ways you can improve customer service by using field service scheduling software (and believe me there are plenty), such as:

  • Tech routing—Getting an available technician on site who is skilled for the job and near enough to get there on time is extremely important for customer satisfaction. With the ability to see a map, work orders, and technician location through a visual scheduler, scheduling the best technician for the job becomes second nature.
  • Overtime reduction—When techs aren’t wasting time unnecessarily driving or trying to fix a problem they aren’t trained to fix, they get their daily assignments finished within the allotted work day. And with improved tech productivity comes less overtime pay.
  • Improving first time fix rates—First time fix rate is the most important factor for improving customer satisfaction and when the right technician gets to the job site on time with the right parts, that rate goes up significantly.
  • Reducing truck roll by ensuring inventory availability—Limit the distance techs drive and the number of times they return to the office by scheduling based on who has what parts available in his/her truck.

Automating PM Scheduling with Software: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Now that we’ve determined some of the ways scheduling software can improve customer satisfaction and company productivity, let’s move into how you can automate those very features for PM contract management, setting your company up for recurring revenue with little planning on the scheduler’s part.

Focusing on preventive maintenance as a major part of your scheduling plan gives you the benefit of booking appointments on a recurring basis. Once techs and managers set up the length of service and calculate when the contract will start and how long it will go for, schedulers can get to work setting up automated appointments and alerts for that customer. Some of the features that are associated with a recurring schedule include:

  • Reminder sent to technician and manager informing them of customer and job information like location, inventory needed, and what to do and look for while on site.
  • Alert sent to customer, reminding them of their upcoming service and letting them know who to expect and when to expect them.
  • Alerts sent to technician, manager, and scheduler when a service contract is about to expire.
  • Complete integration between scheduling software and mobile application so whenever changes are made on either end, the system automatically updates.

Automated integrations and alerts reduce the number of extra steps schedulers and technicians need to make, reducing errors and improving scheduling effectiveness. When you apply these automations to preventive maintenance contracts, you’ll quickly find that a more informed team is a more profitable team. Technicians have all the information they need to appropriately service equipment, bill customers, and sell or renew contracts, while schedulers have the tools necessary to book appointments far in advance without worrying about remembering details down the line.

Efficient PM Scheduling: An Important Service Growth Consideration

As you become more comfortable and rely on advanced scheduling software to manage the assignment of PM work orders, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief as you watch your preventive maintenance success stabilize and eventually grow. Of course, you can still perform break-fix orders, but focusing on PM makes it so those break-fix orders aren’t your only life source. By preparing yourself for dry spells by setting up work orders that provide dependable, auto-generating profits, you enable your organization to continue growing and improving instead of just hanging on and surviving.

7 Best Practices for Choosing a New Field Service AppFocus on Preventive Maintenance: Schedule Your Way to Field Service Excellence

Deliver on your preventive maintenance promises by investing in scheduling software that will help you follow through. Use these tried and true methods for organizing the field service software buying process. Eliminate the unexpected and increase your chances of success with your software in the new year. Download the white paper now.

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