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- Jun 19, 2017
- by Trevor Carlsson
Reporting, quoting, and achieving growth
The quality and ease of preparing reports is one of the most critical elements of any field service business. Even more so, is the speed at which we can report issues and faults, and turn these into billable work through preparing timely quotes.
In order to remain competitive, the tools we use on a day-to-day basis should ideally enable us to scale and deliver more service without the restriction a manual administrative overhead like compiling reports off paper-based job sheets presents.
Ways to improve your reporting
Selecting a software solution that provides you with more flexibility and strong reporting capabilities is one way of ensuring your business can continue to grow while keeping administrative tasks at a low.
One of the great benefits of field service solutions that incorporate full customer relationship management (CRM), is that these solutions often include more complete tool sets and a flexible framework to take advantage of. A good example is the strong checklist building tools in Fieldmagic, which will allow you to build very specific job checklists to capture asset-specific data in the field. Now this could be meter readings, voltage readings, machine running hours, or any unique attributes you'd like to define and capture data on. This part of the picture is what we call the 'data collection' aspect.
Make Your Checklists Electronic Where Possible
By capturing this information in an electronic means via a mobile app solution, where your checklists can easily be made available to field workers, ensures that the information your workers capture, is instantly available for reporting back to the customer. This is the 'ease of reporting' part of the picture - instantly delivered reports for review.
There are a number of key benefits of electronic checklists:
- Electronic checklists often save a great deal of time by presenting defined options to select from - meaning single clicks.
- They ensure stronger adherence by workers if certain checklist items are marked as 'required' and thereby reduce the risk of missing key items.
- By capturing this data, it becomes instantly available in the office for review, completely removing the need to compose time-consuming reports.
- Electronic checklists are very easily updatable and a lot easier to maintain.
Turn around quotes faster
If you're in the business of maintenance, chances are, repair work is going to be a large part of your revenue stream. Identifying, processing and delivering quotes in the most time efficient manner will ensure your pipeline of upcoming repair work will continue to chug along nicely.
One way of delivering a quicker turn around of quotes, is by ensuring your systems in place are set-up in such a way that we can easily identify all quotable repair work from a service report quickly to a customer once we have carried out a service.
The best way of doing this is by leveraging electronic checklists which we covered above, in order to categorise and easily identify repair work as part of the maintenance service. An ideal process we've implemented at Fieldmagic which has been the result of quite a bit of customer feedback and input, is the ability to bring in these faults and repair recommendations into a quote with a single click. What this means is no more searching and reviewing the report endlessly, trying to bring together the various key repair recommendations. The quote generated and then ready for to be sent to the customer via email, or accessed in their portal. Once accepted the quote is then converted into a job and the relevant repair technician assigned to complete the repair work.
Executing on an exceptional customer service experience
One of the most time consuming aspect of any field service business that can consume endless resources is providing compliance and service reports to customers. While field service software allows you to instantly provide these reports to your customers, a customer portal can further empower customers. The benefit of this is twofold – it frees up your back office resources to focus more on managing resources, and areas such as customer service or business development, and second, it empowers customers to access their own compliance history, drill down on job and compliance information for each asset, review and approve quotes, and pay invoices online.
From the point of view of the customer, this provides the customer with the choice to liaise with someone in your organisation, or access the data themselves, which is often preferable for organisations that have a lot of assets to manage. Finally, this gives you as an organisation a strategic advantage over your competitors that aren’t able to provide this level of ease of access to their customers. This can be a valuable tool the next time your largest customer goes out to tender.
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