How Field Operations Automation Can Increase Your Business’s Field Operational Efficiency

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( — May 20, 2022) — Maintenance service is a field-based business, and managing field operational difficulties in maintenance services has become much easier thanks to field automation. However, as in other industries, not all players in the maintenance domain adopt the same technology. For their digital transformation, some players have proactively shifted to field automation technology. However, some maintenance service providers, particularly small businesses, continue to manage their field operations using manual methods or other low-profile technologies.

The Consequences of Postponing Field Automation

One of the primary disadvantages of not adopting modern technology is low or substandard operational efficiency. Simply being able to carry out operations is insufficient for any business. The degree of operational efficiency as measured by measurable metrics is the primary differentiating factor that determines a company’s success over its competitors.

A segment of small-scale maintenance service providers fails to adapt field automation due to execution constraints such as budget, a lack of proper IT infrastructure, a lack of awareness, and others. Even if they recognize the value of automation and the need for digitization, they fail to take the necessary steps.

Small-Scale Maintenance Service Providers Can Benefit From Digital Transformation

How can small maintenance service providers embrace field service automation and transform their operations digitally for greater efficiency? The solution lies in the adoption of affordable field service management software for efficient service operations. Field service management software is a comprehensive solution that is powered by technologies such as automation, AI, data mining, and IoT. There are various types of maintenance management systems, each with its own set of features. However, at its core, Field service management software is a tool that transforms field operations by automating repetitive, mundane and time-consuming manual processes. A field team can overcome operational challenges with the help of service management software.

How Does Field Service Management Software Help to Reduce Operational Difficulties? 

Here’s an example of how service management software can help your team become more efficient and productive by reducing operational challenges.

Assume you are in charge of a team of 30 technicians, and you have 90 service requests (jobs) to distribute among them. Let’s go backward now.

First, determine what you want to achieve by scheduling jobs among your technicians.

A. Is your goal simply to ensure that all jobs are completed?


B. Do you want to schedule the jobs so that they are completed with maximum resource utilisation, low operational costs, and a high first-time fix rate?

Surely, your goal is to get to point ‘B.’ Now, how should you approach job scheduling if you do it manually?

A. You call each of your technicians and confirm their availability for a job before assigning them three jobs for the day (90 jobs/30 technicians).


B. You take your time creating the schedule calendar, taking into account variables such as technician availability, skill sets, proximity to multiple job sites, travel time with traffic congestions, customer availability, and so on.

Using these matrices, you try to find the closest available rightly skilled technician for a job, and then divide the jobs among the technicians using the skill-task matching approach. The greater your accuracy in these metrics, the fewer the scheduling conflicts and the better the skill-based job distribution. As a result, you can improve first-visit effectiveness, reduce travel time, accelerate service delivery time, and reduce travel expense, resulting in an efficient throughput.

The bottom line is that both methods ‘A’ and ‘B’ can be used for job scheduling. But how you do it makes all the difference in defining your team’s true operational potential.

Without a doubt, method ‘B’ is a more effective way of scheduling jobs, but implementing it manually is difficult. If you spend all day manually assessing all the variables for 90 jobs and 30 technicians, you won’t have time to do anything else. Your entire day will be spent coordinating and managing the field workforce and their schedules.

Field Service Management Software to Address Field Job Scheduling Issues

Using effective field service management software for service profitability has received industry-wide acceptance. A service management software is a multi-tasking software with various automation modules that help to simplify a variety of field operational challenges such as job scheduling, location tracking, route planning, team communication, time-stamping, data collaboration, analytics, reporting, field data recording, invoice generation, inventory management, work order management, and others. 

Each of your field agents’ current locations can be tracked by the software. It can also track traffic movements, calculate the proximity of each technician’s location, check existing schedule commitments, and search the database to assess the skill sets of your team members. As a result, it loops through various metrics and quickly determines who is the closest available rightly skilled technician for a job. 

  • It ensures maximum first-visit effectiveness by dispatching the most qualified technician to the job site.
  • It eliminates scheduling conflicts such as duplicate or overlapped schedules.
  • It improves the speed of turnaround.
  • It evenly distributes work among the team members.

Final Words

Other features of the software include built-in data analytics, automated standardized communication such as job schedule reminders/notifications, and automated invoice generation for tracking in-field monetary transactions.