Cloud-based field service softwareOur blog 6 ways to increase productivity while decreasing costs for your service business
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  • automation
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6 ways to increase productivity while decreasing costs for your service business

Tania Piunno
Tania Piunno
November 4, 2021
6 min. read

Today, most service organizations recognize that the right software and paperless processes are vital in reducing operating expenses. All it takes is the right technologies working together to make it happen. Transformation is necessary in a world where unprecedented events like the COVID-19 pandemic can happen at any moment.

According to McKinsey & Company, the pandemic forced businesses everywhere to go digital to become more flexible and agile. Today’s leading service companies rely on technology and automation to lower operating costs and increase productivity.

Emphasizing how these technologies can minimize operating costs is critical. Efficient use of digital tools helps minimize operating costs and enhances operational efficiency, allowing businesses to maintain competitive advantage even in challenging times. Here’s how:

1. They eliminate unnecessary operating costs

While some costs may seem essential to get the job done, the new technologies that emerge daily can dramatically improve a business’s operations.

Most service companies have now moved to entirely paperless processes. They’ve recognized that paper-based processes put the security and life expectancy of the data they collect at risk. They’ve also recognized that tasks involving paper come with many extra costs. With the move to fully digital business operations, all of these expenses — printers, paper, ink cartridges, physical storage, and postage, to name just a few — reduce operating costs significantly. So, how to lower operating costs?

Efficiency is critical to lowering business operating costs.

Costs associated with no visibility into critical information like schedules, travel routes, and spare parts management can all be avoided. With field service management software, service companies have the automation capabilities to address these challenges by making critical data available to technicians through their mobile phones, effectively reducing operational costs and keeping business operating costs down.

2. They increase their technicians’ productivity

The automation capabilities that become possible when you go digital also help teams optimize productivity. When technicians no longer have to fill out paper forms and deliver them back to the office, they can spend more time serving customers onsite and less money on fuel required to get them there. This is a prime example of how businesses can increase productivity.

If the field service management software includes instant messaging capabilities, you can save money on phone bills. Now, everyone in the organization can easily collaborate and share information with the help of an easy-to-use mobile app with integrated features that promote open communication. This is particularly beneficial for companies that use technology to increase productivity while decreasing cost, enabling faster decision-making and enhanced operational efficiency.

3. They solve the planning puzzle

A dedicated field service management software that integrates with third-party applications and other existing systems quickly becomes an indispensable tool that simplifies operations and helps improve operation costs. Praxedo includes geolocation technology that gives dispatchers the ability to have real-time access to location information for each field employee to optimize travel times and enhance cost productivity.

For example, office dispatchers can instantly send a nearby technician on the road to a customer site that requires urgency without making a phone call. This efficiency represents better productivity but also aligns with the strategies of companies that use technology to increase business productivity. Additionally, they can easily update schedules while considering traffic volumes along specific routes and the tools each technician carries with him/her.

Only a cloud-based solution that supports full mobility can deliver these benefits. With software-as-a-service (SaaS), technicians can use their mobile devices to access schedules, customer history, and other details in real time from anywhere. They have all the information they need at hand at all times.

4. They improve the experience for technicians and customers

How to increase technician productivity? When service technicians spend less time traveling to customer locations, on the phone, or dealing with last-minute changes, they experience lower stress levels, are less exhausted, and enjoy a better overall work experience. Efficient and worry-free operations help technicians become more productive and empowered, optimizing technician productivity. In turn, this impacts the service they provide to customers, ensuring better quality and enhancing service technician productivity.

Customers also benefit when business operations are streamlined and more efficient. With the right software solutions, customers are always fully informed about the service’s status, utterly aware of delays, and immediately updated about changes to technician arrival times. 

Through automation and better response times, the likelihood of a service business meeting maintenance and repair times and complying with contractual commitments increases, thereby boosting field service technician productivity and helping to optimize productivity overall.

5. They use real-time data to anticipate potential issues

Monitoring activities in the field in real time prevents problems. The Praxedo Cockpit dashboard is an excellent example of having vital information at hand to take corrective actions before an issue occurs proactively. You can configure it to provide the analytics your business needs to track your operations, including correctly measuring the productivity of service workers.

Indicators allow you to keep tabs on how jobs are progressing in the field, and customer alerts can be set to increase response rates from mobile teams, thus enhancing productivity in customer service. For example, suppose the dashboard displays a high number of urgent service calls coming in at once. In that case, the dispatcher can reallocate technicians on the fly to ensure the right expertise is provided for each situation.

Being proactive with the data collected

Using data to analyze service management operations helps companies proactively address potential issues and understand operational productivity with a higher degree of accuracy. This approach is essential for increasing productivity and reducing operational costs.

As more connected devices are deployed and the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes more widely used, preventive maintenance will become more important for service companies than last-minute repairs. Analyzing data and implementing the required maintenance measures before problems occur will help service companies cut operating cost, avoid emergencies, and increase customer satisfaction.

6. They go deeper

Understanding technician productivity and technician efficiency in the field is not as simple as knowing how many work orders a technician completes daily.

A service company needs to understand:

  • Why a service call took longer than expected
  • Why the issue could not be resolved
  • Whether or not the technician was missing crucial information
  • Whether or not the technician selected to do the assignment lacked certain skill sets
  • Whether the initial time estimate for job completion was realistic or overly optimistic 

With access to centralized data, you can better productivity by evaluating progress against key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs are a valuable way for service companies to assess and track their efforts against performance targets to improve productivity in business and raise productivity over time. However, they have high customer satisfaction and retention. Aberdeen Research explains how service companies that track KPIs experienced a 6.1% growth in revenue.

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