Effective job scheduling is a hallmark of a successful Australian field service business, but it’s not something you should do manually. Organising your team’s schedules involves having a thorough understanding of everyone’s skills, current workload, location, and other factors. Job scheduling also requires you to work quickly when there’s a high volume of incoming requests and last-minute changes.
Automated scheduling optimises the way you assign work so you don’t have to do everything by hand. It utilises artificial intelligence to instantly process incoming work orders and select the right field technician for the job. This offers several unique benefits to your business operations.
Reduce administrative burdens
Traditional job scheduling is often repetitive and time-consuming. When a work order request is received, it’s up to back-office staff to process that information and search the company roster for an appropriate technician. Then, they’ll need to compile the right documentation, develop a project plan, and print out job forms for technicians at the dispatch desk. All this can take the most organised team hours to complete, especially if they have to coordinate a workforce across many jobsites.
By automating job scheduling, your staff won’t have to spend time on these tedious processes. Scheduling software searches your database for technicians with the certifications and availability who meet work order requirements. Once the software finds a match, dispatchers can select the most qualified technicians and provide them with all the forms and instructions necessary for completing the job. Technicians can then see their new assignments on their mobile devices, eliminating the need to travel between jobsites and the dispatch desk. Additionally, automating job scheduling gives back-office staff more time to focus on tasks that require their creative input and help the business grow.
Increase service calls fulfilled per day
Time spent travelling to jobsites can affect your company’s earning potential because it’s time that you can’t bill clients for. Meanwhile, field technicians are still on the clock when they’re on the road, and they’re accumulating maintenance and fuel expenses to boot. The best way around this issue is to organise your field technicians’ itineraries so that there’s minimal travel time between jobsites.
What’s great about automated scheduling is that it instantly determines which technician should take a service call based on their distance to a jobsite. That means if a request is coming from Sydney CBD, automated scheduling software dispatches the best available technician nearby. Automated scheduling also leverages route mapping and optimisation features to cut travel time and expenses.
It’s also important to note that selecting the most qualified technicians ensures that service calls are completed as efficiently as possible. This allows your business to carve out extra time to serve more clients and earn more in a day. Plus, prompt arrivals and stellar service generally translate to better customer experience and lead to repeat business down the line.
Improve response times
No matter how meticulously you’ve planned job schedules, unforeseen changes are par for the course in field services. On any given day, there could be cancellations, urgent appointment requests, and technicians who’ve suddenly become unavailable. Manual scheduling processes and outdated communication tools will hinder your response to these complications, resulting in even more issues. For example, failing to reassign jobs when a technician calls in sick can result in delays and client complaints due to unreliable service.
Automated scheduling software enables your team to be more proactive and responsive when changes occur. If there are client cancellations and technician absences, the software instantly notifies dispatch managers of scheduling issues. Managers can then access their technicians’ schedules to remove cancelled work orders or select a new technician who is available to meet an urgent appointment.
From there, field technicians get real-time updates of scheduling changes so they always know what’s happening and where they need to be. Some automated scheduling software can even track a technicians’ distance to a jobsite and relay that information to clients to give them an estimated time of arrival.
Balance technician workloads
Setting unfair workloads to your technicians is a common pitfall in manual job scheduling. On one hand, overbooking your high-performing technicians can result in elevated stress levels, burnout, and increased risk of injuries. On the other hand, a technician whose skills are underutilised may quit your company because they’re not being challenged or given enough opportunities for professional development.
Automated scheduling software helps you strike the right balance when managing people’s workloads. It provides a centralised dashboard where you can monitor everyone’s schedules and evaluate whether their workload is excessive or restrictive. You can then balance your team’s workload by setting mandatory breaks and assigning technicians to more jobs where they can put their expertise to use.
At the end of the day, incorporating automation into your processes can dramatically improve your business operations. This doesn’t just apply to scheduling either. With WorkBuddy, field service businesses can not only reap the benefits of automated scheduling features, but also streamline compliance, invoicing, and subcontractor management. Request a free demo today to see how WorkBuddy can support your business operations.