When responding to an emergency, few age-old clichés are still as relevant as “time is of the essence.” Reports show that shaving just one minute off 911 response times could save 10,000 lives every year. And while the difference between life and death in humans is an extreme example of the importance of timely emergency response, one can say the same for the type of mechanical equipment or infrastructure managed by field service companies.
Whether it’s an ambulance racing to the scene of an accident or a crew of gas utility technicians responding to a leak, technology has played an instrumental role in improving those efforts. More specifically, cloud-based software solutions have revolutionized the way that field service companies conduct business. As these utilities, construction, and home services organizations have migrated away from paper-based processes, they’ve been able to reap the rewards that technology offers. Today, we’ll talk about how modernizing your field service operations with software can result in better emergency response.
It’s hard to fix something if you don’t have the right tools. Imagine electric utility technicians arriving at the scene of an emergency, checking the truck, and realizing they don’t have enough high-voltage cables to restore power. Modern approaches to field service operations can eliminate that concern through asset and inventory management.
Field service software helps companies retain full control and visibility into assets like those cables, but also essential tools like wrenches and personal protective equipment. The software keeps tabs on asset quantities and can alert leadership when it’s time to reorder before the entire supply becomes depleted. Most field service software solutions also integrate work order management modules, so that technicians can receive assignments or daily reminders to stock fleet vehicles with appropriate assets each night at the close of business.
Remember that whole “time is of the essence” thing? It’s obvious to say, but the fastest way to address an emergency is typically by dispatching the nearest technician. For field service companies that lack a cloud-based software solution, that might include using a radio or a telephone to ask each technician for their respective location. But, in a real emergency, you may not have that kind of time to waste.
On the contrary, cloud-based field service software usually works in lockstep with mobile devices carried by technicians in the field. Those devices are embedded with GPS functionality that provides dispatchers in the office with the exact location of technicians in real-time. In the event of an emergency, a dispatcher can quickly and easily scan technicians’ locations and communicate with the technician who can get to the job the fastest.
In the old days, the only information a technician had at their disposal was on their clipboard. The problem is that papers become ripped, wet or lost, and sloppy handwriting can cause errors. Plus, a true emergency means there’s no time to plan, so that clipboard is likely to be empty. That means the technician is going into an emergency with little to no information to rely on.
More modern methods involving field service software alleviate that concern since the solution serves as a hub of information. The technician can access historical documentation via mobile device that may provide context about a previous site visit. Additionally, dispatchers in the office can add facts to the work order which are instantly visible to the technician. These details help to better prepare the technician and can lead to a more controlled situation faster.
If you’re interested in modernizing your field service operations for better emergency response, you should consider the EnSight Plus field service software solution. Curious about what our custom solution can do for you? Book a free demo today.
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