In field service operations, many companies are up against challenges that result from complex logistics and poor resource allocation. And although the latest field service management technology can help to address these issues, it can also create new ones like low adoption rates.
We’ll repeat it again: Orchestrating a field service team is no easy feat.
From scheduling resources, creating work orders, monitoring inventory, and addressing customer issues — it takes a lot of coordination to make it all work. Depending on the process, field service teams may need to use more than one system to manage their work. When systems are used in isolation or are not configured to communicate with other systems (such as CRM, ERP, or invoicing software), it hinders team collaboration and efficiency.
For some field service teams, they are often at the mercy of systems and processes bogged down by outdated technology and mountains of paperwork, which not only slows down operations, but creates more room for human error, and unfortunately, bad data.
For example, if a technician needs to manually enter paperwork after completing a service appointment, there’s a risk that they will accidentally enter duplicate or inaccurate data into the system. When this happens, the data quality suffers. Although this won’t necessarily shut down a field service operation, bad data will make it difficult for technicians to deliver high-quality service since they’ll constantly be questioning the validity of data.
Likewise, bad data also prevents technicians from resolving issues during their first visit. If inventory or equipment data is inaccurate or up-to-date, the technician is forced to schedule another appointment. The first-time fix rate — a performance metric that indicates how successful a technician is in addressing the issue during the first visit — also suffers.
Without integrated systems and coordinated processes, the technology company struggled to manage their large network of field service technicians, documents, and other important assets on a global scale.
Poor resource allocation
Field service managers and technicians rely on proper scheduling to complete service appointments on-time and on-budget. When manual methods are used to schedule and manage service appointments, however, it becomes difficult to proactively plan for unexpected shifts in time and resources. It not only becomes a threat to productivity, but customer satisfaction as well.
For example, if a technician arrives late to an appointment because his previous one ran over by an hour, they may realize that they will only be able to attend to five service appointments instead of the scheduled eight for the day. Now those customers will have to be alerted that their appointment will either be late or rescheduled. When these situations happen, field service teams need to be able to quickly adjust schedules to compensate for the delay and reduce impact to other customers.
Without an automated and optimized scheduling system, the technology company was always on their toes to ensure that resources were allocated adequately to service appointments.
Low adoption rates
Change — despite how great and transformational it can be — often creates resistance. As the field service industry experiences a disruption in new technology, many companies will have to adapt to new ways of working and doing business. For field service teams transitioning from a paper to a paperless world, it can be quite the struggle to not only get technicians and managers onboard with using new systems and processes, but fundamentally shifting their mindset about their job, company, and industry.
Without a process in place to properly support and manage change, teams will become frustrated and confused, causing them to turn against the new technology and cling tighter to old processes and behaviors. This resistance not only leads to low adoption rates, but has the potential to cause far worse in the grand scheme of field service operations: revenue loss, higher costs, low morale, decreased productivity, and customer dissatisfaction — just to name a few.
How Galvin Helped
To address the challenges of complex logistics and poor resource allocation, the technology company sought assistance from experts who knew a thing or two about field service management technology. And since other areas of their business were already running on the Salesforce platform, it made sense to partner with Galvin’s team of certified Salesforce consultants for help.
Understanding the current state
As with any implementation of new technology, it’s essential to thoroughly understand the current system to plan a successful transition to the new system.
Galvin analyzed the technology company’s current processes and workflows to understand the ins and outs of their field service operation. This analysis not only allowed Galvin to identify opportunities for improvement, but spot potential workflow gaps between the old and new system. Likewise, Galvin also analyzed how other teams were currently using the Salesforce platform to understand what, if any, existing functionality or data they could leverage into the new solution.
By understanding the current state, Galvin was able to develop a strategy for implementing Field Service Lightning. However, to ensure a smooth transition and rollout, the strategy needed more than just business and technical requirements.
Setting up teams for success
Success starts with managing the process of getting teams from A to B.
To prepare field service teams for the transition to Field Service Lightning, Galvin worked closely with the technology company to not only understand where they were, but where they wanted to be. By assessing current company culture and Salesforce adoption rates, Galvin was able to determine the depth of education, support, and training that teams would need to fully transition to Field Service Lightning. Likewise, they provided strategic direction to leadership on how to navigate cultural change before, during, and after implementation.
Once an implementation and support strategy was in place, Galvin was ready to start the process of implementing Field Service Lightning.
Implementing Field Service Lightning
Although the deployment timeline was tight, Galvin was able to successfully design, configure, and deliver a solution that provided field service teams with access to the full suite of Field Service Lightning features, including scheduling service appointments, tracking equipment and inventory, managing documents, and more.
To show proof of concept that Salesforce could be adopted as an enterprise-wide solution, Galvin helped to roll out Field Service Lightning to a controlled number of markets. With a pilot program, they were not only able to contain any issues during the implementation process, but provide adequate support and training to teams.
After a successful implementation of Field Service Lightning, results were evident in several areas, including improved technology, increased customer satisfaction, and accelerated culture change.
With Field Service Lightning, the technology company is now ready to manage field service operations with:
Smarter scheduling. There’s no more guesswork when it comes to resource allocation. Automated and intelligent scheduling makes it easy to assign resources to work orders based on time, skill, location, and more. Likewise, teams can trust that schedules are optimized for maximum efficiency — no more dread when an appointment runs over!
Paperless integration. Field service teams can access and manage scheduling, inventory, and customer data from one place, enabling them to deliver the right service to the right customer, every time. Likewise, teams don’t have to worry about filling out stacks of paperwork — customer contracts, service agreements, and other important documents are just a click away.
Real-time collaboration. For field service teams, the ability to work together at the same time is powerful. Technicians can alert managers to customer issues as they happen, allowing additional resources or equipment to be allocated as needed.
Seamless mobility. When field service technicians are traveling from site to site, they can’t afford to be offline. The mobile app allows teams to stay connected and up-to-date, regardless of location.
Increased customer satisfaction
By improving technology, the quality of service improves as well.
Field Service Lightning streamlines many clunky and paperwork-heavy processes with intelligent and automated tools, enabling field service teams to focus less on administrative tasks and more on service delivery. Likewise, by connecting scheduling and inventory systems, field service technicians are literally better equipped to succeed in resolving customer issues on the first visit. First-issue resolution not only makes customers happy, but keeps field service technicians more engaged with their work. When teams are engaged, it leads to higher performance, and consequently, higher quality service.
Implementing field service management software was a game-changer not only for scheduling service appointments and managing field assets, but keeping customers satisfied — again and again. In an age where the customer experience is a competitive advantage, this technology company is confident they’ll be able to stand out in one of the fastest growing industries with Field Service Lightning in their Salesforce arsenal.
Accelerated culture change
For many companies, one of the most significant challenges of implementing new technology isn’t getting it to work — it’s getting everyone to use it. To do this, it requires more than just changing systems and processes, but changing culture as well.
With Galvin’s trusted guidance and leadership, the technology company was able to fully prepare their field service teams for the transition to Field Service Lightning. Likewise, they were able to properly support teams as they adjusted to the new way of scheduling service appointments, managing documentation, and more. By minimizing resistance, Galvin was able to increase confidence in the new system and accelerate the adoption of new technology for a company that genuinely needed a better way of managing their field service operations.
Field service companies must rethink the service experience to meet rising customer demands and stand out in an increasingly competitive market. Customer satisfaction is no longer optional or an afterthought — it’s required. With the adoption of field service management technology, more and more field service teams will be able to manage complex logistics, improve first-time fix rates, and deliver higher-quality service experiences.
With disruption comes innovation. And for the field service industry, it’s about time.