Last Updated on July 8, 2021 by Rashid Hassan
Productivity is a broad term that covers various aspects ranging from speed to accuracy in technicians who go on-field. It is essential to understand that arming your workforce with technological assistance is not going to magically improve their overall performance if they are not ready for the change. You need to define what productivity means to your organization and then undertake relevant measures to track it and improve upon it.
Why does productivity matter?
Logically speaking, you can only expect desired direct returns on the investment you make on your field service technicians if you make sure that they spend minimal time on non-billable activities. Make sure you trace specific metrics so that you can measure your profits and their productivity accordingly. Although it might seem like a daunting task at first, I am here to share my top tips to calculate and improve technician productivity. Follow along to know more.
How can technicians improve efficiency?
Whether your goal is to keep your operations running at peak productivity or understand aspects that will help you track the correct metrics, the pointers below will guide you through it all:
- Identify goals for productivity: To refine your productivity strategies, you must assign a formal feedback system, measure progress tracking parameters, and maintain timelines for regular updates. In addition to measuring the current work rate of your field technicians, your goals should also test the capacities on which your business is presently running. You can make use of the wide range of technologies available at your disposal to manage all these aspects easily.
- Technician tracking: Tracking performance is not necessarily a measurement of profit generation. It is also a powerful tool to increase staff performance. Employees who know that their work is being tracked for progress tend to perform better. Your back office team can track the location of each of the on-field technicians continuously to measure the time spent on driving from one location to the next so that their productivity isn’t hindered and the nearest technician is assigned the task immediately.
- Prioritize scheduling strategy: Previously set schedules are an incredible way to save time and resources in addition to improving employee productivity. But remember to incorporate flexibility in your scheduling to count the uncertainties which come with the industry you are in. Yet another window of opportunity that opens up when you track your scheduling strategy is utilizing the customer to improve technician productivity. By offering incentives you can ask customers to schedule appointments during low-volume hours to fill in the gaps.
- Easily accessible inventory: If your technicians or administrators spend innumerable hours rummaging through extensive inventories looking for the required parts, tools, and other components, know that it is hampering their productivity. So, my next tip is to invest in an organized formal system of inventory management that tracks earlier purchases from suppliers with the current status.
- Hire the right people: The right team of on-field technicians might cost you a bit more initially, but their experience and highly productive output compensate for that. They carry a wide range of skills and require minimal training to manage their time well, fix equipment or diagnose issues on their own.
- Provide suitable training: Your field service technicians might be making errors on certain types of jobs or taking longer than average to complete a work order due to the lack of necessary training. Investing in a precise training program guarantees productive outputs since it allows your technicians to know what you expect from them and their performance.
- Streamline customer approvals: To reduce the wastage of productivity on the waiting periods before customer approvals, you can make use of a fully integrated work order management system. The software automates field mobility and allows technicians to capture customer approvals in real-time to receive updates on authorizations so that they can quickly proceed to the next set of tasks.
- Choose your communication equipment wisely: With loads of smart devices to choose from, you can easily transform your employee productivity simply by building the right communication channel. Efficient management software will share all the required information with the technicians to regularly track work orders, receive driving directions to the on-site job, and ensure the availability of all the required tools for each customer’s issues.
- Incorporate field service management software into your workflow: With various measuring parameters for your backhand team and physical assistance for on-field technicians to investing in the technological advancements is surely a great idea. With data being managed and recorded online via cloud storage, entering, storing, and retrieving all the required information for a work order will become easier for the workforce, in turn, their expanding productivity.
Begin by quantifying any of the above strategies that suit your business goals as a means to improve field service technician productivity, business performance, and eventually profitability.