Mobile Workforce Management Blog

How Does Your Mobile Workforce Management Software Handle Conflict?

Posted by Dolores Fallon on Feb 27, 2013 9:00:00 AM

How Does Your Mobile Workforce Management Software Handle Conflict

Field Service Calls…or Calls to Customer Service?

Nothing annoys a customer more than having to sit and wait for hours for a technician to arrive for a service call.

The 4-hour time windows, missed work, cancelled appointments and no-shows can drive a customer to call your customer service line or call your competitors.

The Flexible and Smart Mobile Workforce Management Software

Customers shouldn’t feel like they’re at the mercy of the technician’s schedule. You want your mobile workforce management software to improve efficiency, keep customers happier, and leverage better customer service as a competitive differentiator.

You need mobile workforce management software that’s flexible and smart enough to manage competing priorities across many platforms and business units, and built to meet the needs of many, often competing, important business objectives.

Every service organization has a different view of customer service. And that’s reflected in how truck rolls are deployed. You may value customer appointments with small wait times. Or you might value sending the same technician each time a particular customer has an issue. But drive time is a primary focus for operational efficiency.

Mobile Workforce Management Software and Conflicting Objectives

You can do more by optimizing several goals together and balancing those business objectives when they’re in conflict. When you automate scheduling, drive times can be reduced by 30 percent. You can schedule more calls and reduce travel time, while balancing minimized travel time with better service.

Conflicting objectives are the inherent contradiction between customer-friendly planning goals, for example:

  • quality of service
  • the impact of a network failure
  • the risk of missing a commitment

And resource efficiency planning goals, such as:

  • minimizing travel time
  • load balancing the work

Mobile workforce management software that supports conflicting objectives can help improve your service organization.

With more rigid mobile workforce management software, some days the schedule optimization is good. Other days it’s bad, depending on changes that must be accommodated throughout the day. But you want mobile workforce management software that can adjust to changing scenarios, like busier days or days with frequent calls from disparate locations, to keep the system running at peak efficiency.

A mobile workforce management solution that has a dynamic configuration and is built for continuous improvement is flexible enough to allow your service organization to experiment with the goals that work best for you. You may prefer to balance the work among your employees. Or you may value scheduling efficiencies.

There are different schools of thought on how to maximize a field service technician’s time and effort. To ensure customers have the undivided attention of the technician, some dispatchers don’t reveal the next job to the technician until they’ve completed the current job. Others want technicians to account for the number of calls they’re able to answer in a given day. You need a mobile workforce management solution that can adjust to the evolving needs of your service organization.

Define Success for Your Field Service Organization, Then Improve

The key for any field service organization is to start with well-defined service objectives. In particular, it’s important to strike the right balance between cost of service and quality of service.

A framework to support continuous improvement can be achieved by continuously measuring your service metrics and relating those measurements to process changes. To attain or maintain best-in-class status, you must monitor your progress towards your business objectives (which may change with time) to continuously improve.

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