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The Key to Maximizing ROI in Field Service: Optimal Workforce Field Scheduling and Dispatch

Field service dispatch

Field service organizations need strategic ways to control service costs and increase growth by creating unique experiences. Optimize workforce field scheduling and dispatch management to maximize service value.

As in-person field service increasingly becomes a competitive differentiator, every moment and every interaction represents an investment in your customers and – in many cases – their assets. Operational labor to schedule, dispatch, and manage the work and mobile workforce add to that investment. And responding quickly, potentially at a greater cost to send a field worker from far away or during overtime hours, creates another layer to this investment.

Field service organizations need strategic ways to control these high levels of service costs and maximize growth while inspiring loyalty with a unique customer experience. Companies often find the first and potentially the most value, when they optimize workforce field scheduling and dispatch management.

How to maximize ROI for the customer

The ability to maximize the return on this investment will define which companies emerge as leaders. Whether an organization started as a service company or as a manufacturer, as products are commoditized, field service provides a continuous way to acquire and retain customers.

The most obvious and direct influence on the customer experience is the ease, convenience, and speed with which service is provided. This is where workforce field scheduling and dispatch management play a critical role. Starting with the initial commitment to the customer through to visit resolution and follow-up, field service organizations must execute every step with precision in these ways:

  • Give customers the ability to schedule service via any channel of their choice (from social to call center to SMS/text).
  • Ensure response times, whether explicit or implicit, are always met.
  • Update customers automatically of any delays and an ETA of their assigned field worker, similar to the updates they would receive from Uber.
  • Provide field workers with mobile access to customer information, job details, and task lists from their field service app. Include offline capabilities for field workers to maintain access to this crucial information in remote areas.

Real-time workforce field scheduling and dispatch operations

On the day of service, there’s no time for slow decisions or long searches to accommodate longer-than-expected service visits, VIP customers with urgent problems, unexpected traffic, problems with site access, customer cancellations, or the myriad of other challenges that can arise. Even the best planned schedules invariably change as jobs start or end out of line from the schedule. In most organizations, these minutes are lost and considered part of the “average” which works out at the end of the day.

But there’s a better way to deliver a seamless and exceptional customer experience by optimizing a mobile worker’s route. With route optimization, the right field worker gets to the right job at the right location at the right time. It considers all the variables that can impact travel, including:

  • Turn-by-turn directions
  • Predictive traffic
  • Live traffic updates

Optimal routing integrates these factors into intelligent schedule optimization. The speed of the real-time approach enables instant reshuffling of schedules without interrupting the work of dispatchers or technicians. Field service organizations gain back minutes lost, which aggregate into hours of gained productivity each day.

A holistic approach to field service management

The unexpected will always happen, but with agility and visibility from a connected field service solution, fast decision-making is seamless and reduces its impact.

Connected field service management solutions, like Field Service Lightning, create a harmonious relationship between dispatch operations, field workers, management, and technology in these ways:

  • Combine a sophisticated algorithmic approach with practical input from dispatchers, managers, and field workers to create and maintain schedules.
  • Optimize every type of work and resource across multiple lines of business with a single implementation.
  • Handle everything from short-duration jobs to longer work with indepencies and the need for teams and crews.

The solution provides market-leading responsiveness and productivity for the simplest and the most sophisticated service organizations. To learn more, discover Field Service Lightning.

Yaron Dror

Director of Product Management at Salesforce, Field Service Lightning

More by Yaron Dror

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