For companies in the field service management industry, emphasizing the importance of the work order process is a no-brainer. After all, successful and efficient completion of something as critical as work orders can make or break your company. It’s that impact on a business’s bottom line that has managers like you constantly looking for process improvements. And one tactic many companies find beneficial is integrating a work order app. The term “app” has become so commonly used today that we sometimes forget it’s short for “software application.” So, when we talk about a work order app, we’re referring to a cloud-based software solution that you can access from multiple devices.
Successful and efficient completion of something as critical as work orders can make or break your company.
Whether you’re selecting a work order app or a solution focused on another part of your business, it’s important to analyze your needs first. In fact, one business consultant included it in her byline piece on how to choose the best apps for your business. Companies like yours can find a tremendous amount of value in using a work order app. While employees throughout the company can share in that benefit, it can be particularly helpful for field technicians. To illustrate, we’ve recapped three ways your techs can use a work order app to their advantage.
One of the more recognizable boosts to your business you can see with a work order app is improved communication. The structure of the app not only enables two-way communication, but it can make it easier than ever. And that goes for much more than just shooting the breeze or exchanging water cooler talk. The communication channels available in a work order app can help techs remain compliant with standard operating procedures. In some cases, following those directives may even keep them safer. For example, you may use your work order app to upload specific reminders for techs to read before starting a job. These reminders could include notes reinforcing protocols like mandatory use of eye protection or how to handle hazardous materials. Without these prompts, your techs may forget about these policies or be so focused on the job that they overlook them.
You could also use the work order app to upload step-by-step instructions on how to tackle a specific part of the job. Again, this can contribute to compliance and safety by ensuring the tech completes the task the right way. Whether you’re warning a tech about safety measures or standard operating procedures, the delivery of that information can be seamless. From your office, all you’d have to do is upload the notes into the work order app record. Once entered into the system, the notes can instantly sync with the mobile device of the tech in the field.
In addition to keeping techs safe and on task, a work order app can actually help to improve production. No, the software can’t perform the work for the tech, but it can keep them accountable. Because the work order app is cloud-based, techs in the field can remotely upload images or videos to the record. This means that visual documentation displaying exactly what the tech did—and how, if you choose—is available for you.
When viewing these images and videos, you can make notes on the work performed and use them for coaching. For instance, you may notice that one of your techs is consistently leaving debris and mess at the job site. Or, perhaps the tech is struggling to hide wires the way you (and the customer) prefer. There are now visuals in your work order app that you can use to drive future training for the tech. In turn, this tailored feedback and potential improvement plan can make your tech’s production that much better. That’s likely to make your customers happier, too.
Because the work order app is cloud-based, techs in the field can remotely upload images or videos to the record.
In its Small Business section, one of the south’s largest newspapers covered the difference between efficiency and effectiveness in business. Though both are important, it’s the combination of the two that can really make a company shine. We’ve already described how a work order app can make techs more effective, but the software can make them more efficient too.
Unlike paper-based methods, software can cut out a significant number of unnecessary steps from the process. With an automated solution, your tech can do things like generating an invoice directly from the field. This functionality can help the tech avoid wasting valuable time by driving back to the office to pass an invoice on to a billing representative. Also, it probably results in the customer sending payment to your company sooner. Depending on the software you select, your tech may even be able to schedule a customer’s follow-up appointment on the spot.
In its advice on improving efficiency, the newspaper article proposed that inefficient employees simply don’t have access to the right tools. For field service management organizations, there can be an easy fix to address those problems. As you’ve read here, there is an abundance of advantages for a tech to use a work order app. This robust software platform can truly be the conduit to that sweet spot between efficient and effective. As part of our customizable solution to field service management, EnSight+ offers a work order app. If you’re interested in learning more, reach out to us today to request a live 30- or 60-minute demo.
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