5 ways to decrease operational costs with Field Service Management software

  • 01/09/2023

Services are becoming an increasingly important source of revenue for manufacturing companies. Your field service department should be a profit center rather than a cost center. Nevertheless, good services also cost money. Just think of rising labor costs, transportation costs or energy costs. If you want to keep your field service department profitable, you need to get your costs under control. Field service management software  (9A Field Service and D365 Field Service) can help you do this, in at least five different ways.

1. Digitalization increases efficiency

It seems like a no-brainer in today's digital world. Yet a lot of companies are still drowning in the paperwork. Work orders are filled out manually, documents are scanned, data is entered multiple times into systems, and papers shift back and forth from desk to desk. With all the consequences: orders get lost, technicians lose time with complicated forms, the same data appears in different places, with or without errors in it. Such human errors are the recipe for misunderstandings and poor communication.

With Field Service Management software, you can digitize and automate a lot of administrative tasks, such as work orders, invoicing and reporting. That saves field technicians a lot of time and effort. The administrative burden is reduced, saving costs, and service personnel can focus more on helping the customer. Not only does this benefit the customer. Digitization also ensures that the same number of employees can perform more service interventions and teams can go from order to invoice faster, thus improving Days Sales Outstanding (DSO).

2. Real-time information increases first-time-right ratio

How often does it happen that field technicians are sent off without sufficient information about the customer or the problem to be solved? Very often, information does not flow from the back office to the field service technician, or does not flow sufficiently, or the field technician does not have all the necessary materials with him. As a result, more follow-up visits are often needed, which in turn cost time and money.

With Field Service Management software, all customer information is available digitally anytime, anywhere via mobile devices, including the customer's profile, preferences, history and overview of assets, with accompanying manuals. A service engineer can even talk through the problem with the customer in advance using video call. Field Service Management software also ensures that an appointment is only scheduled when all necessary spare parts are present.

Because all necessary information is available anytime and anywhere, the service employee can reach a solution much faster, without having to schedule additional interventions. Based on the customer history, the employee can provide a more personalised service, to the greater satisfaction of the customer.

3. Improved planning of personnel and resources

Planning is often inefficient because it does not take into account travel times, the nature of the problem, the expertise of the service technician or the available spare parts. Poor planning leads to frustration, both for the service technician and the customer who does not get a on time solution to their problem.

Field Service Management software allows you to better schedule both people and resources to avoid costly inefficiencies.

For example, in real time you can:

  • Check the availability of service staff and equipment
  • Link the service job to the most suitable technician, e.g. the one with the right skills and who is geographically closest to the customer. In fact, many Field Service Management packages also include GPS tracking functions that allow you to track the location of field service workers in real time.
  • Schedule an optimal, cost-efficient route for that technician

By efficiently assigning technicians to the right jobs, you can minimise travel time, reduce fuel costs and even increase the number of interventions per service employee.

4. Better stock management

Parts that are not in stock lead to delays, expensive rush orders, and eventually dissatisfied customers. But too much stock of spare parts that are never used also cost you money.

Field Service Management software should be seamlessly integrated with your inventory management system (which is often in the ERP). This gives field service staff real-time insight into the stock levels and location of your parts. Materials should be present when the intervention is scheduled. They should also be able to be registered, reserved and ordered in real time in the field. In this way, you achieve a short DSO, optimised order planning and maximum FTR, and avoid overstocking or stock-outs.

5. Optimising services

Field service management software allows you to collect data about your field service activities. You can then analyse that data and use it to identify inefficiencies, optimise processes or make data-driven decisions. It really pays to do an analysis of the difference in average Cost Per Resolution (CPR) between your least and best performing service technicians. By using the software's insights, you can continuously optimise your processes and interventions, eliminate bottlenecks and significantly reduce operational costs.

Where can you reduce costs?

Field Service Management software is an essential tool that allows you to optimise your field service activities and save costs. Thanks to digital and automated administration, better planning, better communication, more efficient stock management and higher first-time-right interventions, you can already book efficiency gains in a relatively short period of time.

Wondering what Field Service Management software can bring you?

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