Has the pandemic affected your work order completion? Have you seen more dispatching logjams and service gaps than usual in 2020? If so, you are not alone.
Today, most businesses are struggling with scheduling and dispatching field technicians for customer service tasks. And it’s way more challenging to streamline these activities without dispatch management software. Let’s see how this technology is proving to be a force for good.
Why you need dispatch management software
The coronavirus outbreak exposed the existing vulnerabilities of business supply chains worldwide, including their logistics flow and dispatch management operations. More than 40 percent of US consumers reported that they encountered delays in pickup and delivery of their online grocery shopping. And that’s just one instance.
Many businesses took these issues in their stride and decided to take a closer look. Could the delayed response be avoided using technology and automation? Enter the new-age dispatch management systems.
These software takes care of field service tasks like vehicle tracking, scheduling, and dispatching work. Along with it integrating inventory tracking software will minimise the amount of inventory that businesses must have on hand while also boosting order accuracy. Billing and other back-office operations are also typical in businesses that provide installation, maintenance, and repair services.
3 reasons why dispatch tracking has become increasingly challenging in 2020
While dispatch tracking systems have been around for quite some time now, several new supply-side problems have cropped up in recent years. We have listed some of the leading issues and solutions below. Read on to be better prepared in tackling them.
Growing demand for home deliveries and professional services
As more people prefer home deliveries than going out to shop, businesses also feel the need to step up their dispatching mechanisms. They want to track the parcels after they have been issued to avoid any obstructions in delivery. This is often hampered by the lack of information visibility, which increases the chances of inefficient decision-making and late last-mile arrivals. If you are a service provider, like a home nursing company or a Packer & Mover business – your field staff should reach the destination within a stipulated time. In both cases, the end goal is to achieve on-time delivery and appointments that keep the customers happy.
Advanced dispatch management programs allow you to keep tabs on your fleet operations in real-time. All the dispatching information is available in one place and neatly arranged in the form of a scheduling dashboard. This feature can transform the way you manage service tasks. Here’s how it looks:
As you can see, a dispatch management system offers a holistic view of your technicians’ calendars and assigned jobs. It’s a convenient way to monitor your workflow and create optimized schedules. You can also generate performance-related and other actionable insights to strive towards better customer experience (CX).
Increased same-day service requirements
For businesses that sell products requiring on-site support from technicians, disengagements between support agents and field workers can give way to a series of problems and delays. Nowadays, customers expect instant responses and sloppy customer service can have a damaging effect on your brand image. The situation can get even more complicated when appointments have to be arranged on the same day as the requests.
McKinsey reports that in a time of crisis, customers’ interactions with a business can have a lingering impact on their trust and loyalty. And a dispatch management software can accelerate positive experience with efficiencies like automated task allocation and job management. Take, for instance, a company providing plumbing services. Individuals with a leaking tap in their household may not want to wait for long to get it fixed. If this business uses technology to manage its field service operations, there’s a good chance that professional help would reach in due time, thanks to the powerful task tracking functionalities.
In this scenario, internal support teams won’t have to create spreadsheets manually. They will be able to create tasks with a few mouse clicks, capturing all significant details like issue descriptions, status of appointment, and priority. The software will introduce context to the task assignment process, distributing jobs based on field agents’ skill sets. Once service is dispatched, they can see who is doing what and on which time slots. Other features like progress tracking and performance review will further rationalize workflows and boost team productivity.
Scheduling conflicts in service dispatching
Efficient routing is a crucial part of service dispatch operations. Your effort should be to execute spot-on dispatching while balancing factors like fuel costs, transportation, agent productivity, delivery or service urgency, among other things. This only goes to highlight that route planning is a complex affair.
If you don’t chalk out an optimum route before the dispatching commences, you may run into bigger problems later. The driver may take a wrong turn when traveling to the site or your poor logistics arrangements may lead to scheduling conflicts. So, it helps to be proactive.
With the right dispatch management tools, you can get a clear picture of your technicians’ schedules, locations, availability, etc. You can also track the nearest job and work out the fastest route to the customer support site. This way, the decision-making process at your service helpdesk becomes much more streamlined.
According to Forrester Research, helping your employees deliver superior CX in a time of uncertainty is as important as improving the service itself. Dispatch management technologies offer a novel way of empowering your agents and customers, adapting your service for 2020 and beyond. As explained above, a dispatch management software simplifies the entire process by:
- Automating task assignment and management and organizing workflows
- Allocating work orders to technicians and service groups based on location, job type, etc.
- Setting business hours, tracking time spent on each task, and reaching technicians via quick notifications
- Minimizing the chances of scheduling conflicts, overlaps, and repeat visits, thereby reducing costs
- Organizing performance metrics and benchmarks in a single place and creating customizable reports to enable continuous improvement
With this, we have given you an overview of the current challenges of field service management and why you need to pay attention to service quality in 2020. We primarily focused on the capabilities of dispatch management software in revolutionizing support operations and making them more efficient and customer-centric.