Field workers for utility companies understand their work requires them always to expect the unexpected. Each call they get has a wide range of possibilities and even more potential solutions. It makes it critical for utility companies to stock their fleet vehicles with the right tools and equipment for maximum flexibility and fast responsiveness.
The primary challenge with field service management in utility companies is optimizing and standardizing the inventory. Mobile access is a practical solution to this challenge, and GoldFinch ERP paired with Salesforce’s Field Service Lightning helps facilitate it. Read on to learn how field technicians for utilities can monitor inventory levels in their service vans and why it’s essential.
Field Service Management Explained
Field service in utility companies involves servicing customers in their homes or tending to utility infrastructure and services like electrical systems and sewers. Generally, the work your employees complete away from the company property is field service.
Field service management refers to the approach an organization takes to practice. It is a comprehensive process that includes organizing, tracking, and monitoring people, equipment, and infrastructure outside company walls. The ideal approach should optimize every field resource and make the most of outside-office assets.
Are There Benefits to Controlling Inventory for your Utility?
Implementing an effective field service management configuration is the best way to control inventory for your utility. There are several benefits to having a structured process in place, and this section looks to explain some:
Instead of letting issues linger and worsen, field service management equips your team with the right tools to solve them. You’ll find your team executing more tasks daily with improved accuracy and efficiency. It also significantly reduces customer waiting, making fast team dispatch easy and providing a better customer experience.
Real-time employee tracking is also a reason that contributes to increased agility. You can track your team’s movement, check their invoices, and see their executed tasks. Employee autonomy also improves as your team no longer waits hours to get directions or parts.
Controlling inventory in the field service for utility companies is crucial to ensure they complete their tasks effectively. A field service management module will help standardize your processes and optimize your teams.
A good example is switching to a mobile-friendly process to help technicians perform their tasks. Asset tracking helps with equipment identification, allowing your technology to access the maintenance history, work order, and other crucial details.
Most utility companies look to increase their revenue by reducing expenses. Implementing ideal field service management will help boost margins and reduce costs while completing tasks faster.
The program ensures your field service teams utilize the tools and equipment more efficiently. It also saves money by guiding technicians on the most fuel-efficient route to take to a site and ensures you maximize utility on van capacity.
Modernized systems are more effective and efficient than traditional configurations. Recent research shows 89% of utility customers prefer modern technology when scheduling appointments. Some are even ready to pay a premium to get these services.
Implementing a field service management module makes delivering products that meet customer expectations easy. It also provides an interface to help keep tabs on their account and overall experience. The visibility achieved also provides a layer of control and transparency to the customers, maximizing their satisfaction.
The benefits of controlling inventory in field service units extend to the employees. Recent research shows 75% of field technicians claim their jobs continue to grow in complexity as their careers progress. The complexity claims result in a tremendous labor shortage in field servicing, making it necessary to support the technicians in their complicated environment.
Field service management increases employee satisfaction by making their work easier. It would help to understand that empowering your field workers will improve their happiness, which is vital for employee retention.
Best Practices to Control Inventory for your Utility
Tracking inventory for utility companies with field service teams is an ever-changing, dynamic process. Here are some best practices to consider to ensure your implementation is compelling enough for the modern era:
Track the Right Data
Accurate information is crucial in making effective business decisions. Collecting the correct field service data and getting a bigger picture of opportunities to benefit your business is essential. You can focus on matching your KPIs with company objectives to maximize efficiency.
Instead of asking your field service technicians to handle everything, you can empower them using automated programs. It would help to understand that techs have much to do, from delivering premium customer service to utilizing their technical skills to solve issues. Try implementing a field service management module that takes away as many tasks as possible from the field service workers.
Gather Customer Feedback
The biggest challenge for 56% of field service operators is meeting customer demands. Customer expectations are high, making it necessary to find approaches to mitigate the challenge through inventory control. You can send standardized feedback forms to customers after each service to help evaluate your reputation. Try incentivizing responses with a discount or gift card to get more replies and interactions.
Finding the Ideal Field Service Management for your Utility
GoldFinch, native to Salesforce, is the best ERP to consider for inventory management in your field service teams. GoldFinch complements mobile access by providing Field Service Lightning from Salesforce CRM. Some of the benefits of integrating GoldFinch with Salesforce for inventory management in field servicing include the following;
• Real-time customer updates
• Real-time visibility for all field operations
• Faster service calls response
• Automated scheduling and management of technicians, agents, and dispatchers
Salesforce also helps manage customer interactions and looks to achieve solid relationships with all stakeholders. Effective customer information management gives you a deeper understanding of your audience and helps provide more satisfactory service. These solutions seamlessly work together to provide efficient inventory management for your utility.
The field service management implemented streamlines everything when providing outside-office services. With the solution, you’ll gain greater visibility, accountability, and innovative features to help simplify your field service functions. Contact us today, and let’s get started.