Automation in field operations is not ‘good-to-have’ it is a ‘must-have’
Managing field-job-dominated businesses is difficult, especially, those businesses wherein for a single day job, the field agent(s) require making multiple visits or tours to different locations. Plumbing service is one such business, as the plumber sets out on the field with multiple schedules in his pipeline. His route planning; time management with each job so that he can reach the next job site on time without offending the client; in between managing the ad-hoc scenarios, self-services, etc. may look manageable at the surface level, but when then it comes to execution, the difference between poor and good execution can make or break a business.
Let’s take the example of job-scheduling, which is a very critical process of a plumbing business. Here is a permutation, suppose you need to schedule 6 jobs among 6 plumbers, then there are 720 possible schedules for this. So, when it comes to manually manage the everyday schedules of a bigger team of plumbers or any field agents, then scheduling conflicts such as duplicate schedules, overlapped schedules or missed schedules, etc. are sure to disturb the efficiency of the process.
But, incorporating automation in the process of job-scheduling can remarkably sort out the complexity, streamline the process and make it measurable. This automation can be achieved with the aid of plumbing business software. It is a great and must-have tool to manage the scheduling and dispatching of the on-field plumbers or technicians. However, the capacity of plumbing scheduling software is much elaborative. It allows the manager or the supervisor to do a lot more with field workforce management:
- The manager can schedule the jobs among the plumbers based on different filters like the availability of the plumber on a particular time, or day, the location proximity to the job site considering the travel time, the skill sets, etc. This way, the manager can always assign the job to the nearest available and rightly skilled plumbers, so that the service can be delivered at the earliest.
- The manager can assign the schedules among the plumbers or make alternations in their schedules with simple ‘drag & drop’ methods or just by a few clicks. As soon as the schedules are made, the software sends automated notifications as well as timely reminders to the technician to ensure that everyone sticks to the plan.
- Besides, the software also allows the manager to maintain the calendar of the job-schedules, through which he can keep a holistic tab of the work staus such as which job is pending, which plumber is tagged for which job, which job is in progress, which job is scheduled for next day, week or even month, which job got canceled, likewise, there are different filters or provisions possible.
- Also, the manager will find it handy as plumbing estimating software, as he can use it for the route planning and GPS tracking of the on-the-field technicians. This way, the manager can always know the live locations of the on-field agents, he can use the web mapping technologies and estimate their travel time to the next location, accordingly can make service commitments to the clients, and also keep a track of the field agent’s performance.
Plumbing business software suites are comprehensive field service tools, that are designed to offer end-to-end solutions. Apart from facilitating the basic processes of field jobs that are scheduling, route planning, tracking, etc., these tools also have advanced features like centralized storing of data for on-the-move data collaboration, smart analytics, invoice generation, e-approval, and sign-offs, ready to use reporting templates, etc.