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Key advantages of mobile apps for work order management

Tania Piunno
Tania Piunno
March 15, 2022

Companies that manage mobile teams and field technicians face multiple challenges. The mismanagement of work orders can seriously affect productivity and impair organizational performance. This is why a SaaS-based (hosted in the cloud) mobile workforce app is needed to intelligently create, schedule and manage the various work orders your business receives every day. As experts in work order management solutions, we’ve compiled some of the many compelling benefits to service organizations with multiple technicians in the field.

Mobile solution adoption drives efficiency across service company operations

An Aberdeen Group report on service mobility reveals how the first strategic approach to work order management is the integration of field data into an organization’s information system. The report also observed that leading Field Service Management (FSM) companies are 71% more likely than their competitors to develop a standardized mobile strategy across their organization.

These findings indicate that mobile solution adoption and the speed at which qualitative information is transmitted, are two primary factors that differentiate a successful service company from the rest. Furthermore, they appear to be essential to work order management success in the following areas:

  • Route optimization
  • Instantaneous data transmission
  • Collection and processing of reliable information captured in the field
  • Development of relevant performance metrics
  • Customer satisfaction

5 major limitations affecting mobile technicians today

Every day, field technicians must manage multiple tasks and demands, while making sure they keep customers happy. Competition is stiff in the service sector, therefore many players are continuously developing ways to optimize their performance to be able to provide the best possible experiences all around.

A question that tends to arise around work order management is how to keep up with the growing demand for outstanding service. Many field service management professionals today believe that customer satisfaction is the most important metric for quality of service. This puts extra pressure on them to meet those expectations.

Challenges of work order management without software

Often, the problem with work order management isn’t in the lack of expertise or complexity of the work but rather in everything else.

  • Route planning issues: Oftentimes the driver or technician requires optimization in the face of changing traffic conditions. Customers expect their service to be done on time, every time. Additionally, vehicle-related breakdowns and maintenance can cause tardiness and of course, work order cancellations.
  • Missing information: Field technicians don’t always have all the pertinent work order information at hand including customer location, accessibility, type of operation, necessary spare parts required to fix it, etc.
  • Paper-based problems: Paperwork isn’t easy, especially with multiple service jobs being worked on at the same time. The data collected by the technician may be incomplete, subject to interpretation, or illegible. A paper work order can get lost or misplaced on its way to the office, where the data would be manually entered by an administrator.
  • Spare part complications: Without real-time insight into inventory status and availability of materials, technicians must call multiple people to figure out where their equipment is before they can bring it with them.
  • Unforeseen circumstances: In the event of a canceled appointment or emergency job, the technician must be informed as soon as possible. A new technician might need to be assigned and his/her route must be quickly re-optimized according to these new parameters.
  • Problematic communication with the customer: A technician that doesn’t have access to accurate contact information, job history, or clear instructions on the task being done, directly impacts customer satisfaction. Customers also want to be notified when the technician is on the way, or when the work has been completed.

4 benefits of a mobile work order management application

A SaaS-based field service management solution allows you to achieve significant efficiency and productivity gains using a single mobile application.

1. Increase the efficiency of your field technicians

A field service management solution like Praxedo provides your technicians with real-time access to all the work order information they need to complete the job at hand successfully. A mobile application goes everywhere with them and supplies them with critical tools and features on-the-go, such as:

  • Their schedules: available online, 24/7, and on all end devices (e.g., phone, laptop or tablet, Android or iOS).
  • Their routes: always optimized in real time (e.g., work order details, best road to take, traffic info, contact details).
  • Work order information: address, schedule, customer details, list of actions to be performed, equipment and parts required, as well as inventory status are all available.
  • Data accessible online and offline: working in an area without cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity isn’t a problem. The mobile app is functional and syncs as soon as the network connection is re-established.
  • Electronic forms: Technicians complete online forms with work order descriptions that can be enriched with images and sent immediately to the service center. This dramatically improves reporting accuracy, promptness and invoicing times.
  • Instant messaging: Field personnel can contact the service center or dispatcher/scheduler at any time, using an integrated instant messaging module.

2. Reduce operational costs with digital communications

In any industry, saving on unnecessary costs helps tremendously. With automatic route optimization, travel times are reduced, saving the company money on fuel and mileage. Since the majority of field techs now use instant messaging, money (and time) is also saved on phone calls to the service center. Today, digital communications make it possible to dramatically reduce the costs associated with paper-based transactions – paper, printers, and ink. And that’s on top of the storage space eaten up by files and archives.

3. Boost productivity while being more responsive

In a nutshell, a mobile application saves considerable travel time while increasing quality of service. When field technicians have all the necessary information in an app with them 24/7, they can:

  • Increase their first-time fix rates
  • Create work orders themselves while on the road
  • Manage their own schedule
  • Communicate better with customers thereby improving loyalty and satisfaction

4. Reach new heights when it comes to customer satisfaction

In the service industry, you want to increase your chances of a customer referring you to their friends or returning to do more business. Superior customer experiences provide a competitive edge. In fact, according to PwC, 17% of people surveyed wouldn’t give a business a second chance after experiencing a single negative experience.

However, more efficient scheduling and being more responsive with superior route planning helps to increase customer satisfaction ― especially when your platform helps you:

  • Generate custom work order reports to fit your requirements or those of the client
  • Inform your customers in real time of their work order status through notifications and alerts
  • Acquire electronic signatures from the client at the end of a work order
  • Track your contractual commitments (punctuality, response times, recovery times) in order to improve it even further the next time
  • Grant customers access to a portal that allows them to plan their own work orders

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