What should technology be doing for you?

maxoptra multi route planning and optimisation software

As I prepare to go to the 2014 “Field Service Europe” event in Amsterdam this October, I re-read “The 2014 European Services & Trends Report” based on the survey results of their 2013 conference attendees. The results, published were both interesting and detailed. What I found most interesting was the fact that 29% of respondents felt that technology held the biggest opportunity for cost reduction, while 41% felt that technology was the biggest opportunity for revenue growth.

With cost efficiency and growth sitting as key drivers within the Field Service sector, there is a third and if not more important characteristic that needs to be given full management attention: Customer Satisfaction.

Is it possible that technology can service all three of these forces?

  • Cost Reduction
  • Growth
  • Customer Satisfaction

In a nutshell, I feel any solution in consideration should bring advantages in all key competitive areas, with routing and scheduling being a good example of this, It seems it’s no coincidence that scheduling was the second highest priority for technology budgets after mobile in those surveyed.

In my opinion, this is how scheduling software can support these three key areas of competitive advantage for a field service organisation:

Cost Reduction: probably the most commonly cited benefit of scheduling solutions, but it is a big one and can be supported in a number of ways, here are just the top two:

  • Fuel efficiency – smarter route planning with real time adjustments means fewer wasted and circuitous routes from job to job.
  • Compliance fines – efficient routes means less driving and therefore lower carbon emissions as well as less stress on the drivers benefiting health and safety compliance.

Customer Satisfaction: This all comes down to the real time information that should be derived from the system. Who wants to wait at home for a 5hr window for a delivery? Your system needs to be able to provide significantly smaller time slots with real time communications in the event of changes to those expectations.

Growth: Not to steal the thunder from our new free e-book “5 Ways Dynamic Scheduling Enables Growth” (click here to download) but simply put, scheduling, or to be more precise, dynamic scheduling benefits growth by:

  • Getting the same jobs done with fewer cars and fewer people
  • Puts field service teams in front of more customers per day
  • Increases customer satisfaction and therefore less customer churn

Finally, I’m looking forward to the insights and trends from the team at Field Services Europe. Our development and sales team found invaluable insight into market trends and issues from the 2014 report, and I will be there again in person this coming October to hear more about what’s going on for the coming years. Why don’t we meet each other at the event?

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