Online tracking and monitoring of field teams have become a mandatory part of field service operations. However, working with a geographically dispersed team is not easy. On the one hand, service managers must remain in contact with them to provide necessary guidance and share information, while on the other hand, they must give them freehand to make decisions in the field.
At first, it seems contradictory. However, if you take a deeper look, you will know that it is more about balancing objectives and intentions. For example, what is the aim of tracking the field team? The business objective of tracking is to ensure the effective use of time to drive productivity.
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Until now, there has been no problem with the tracking. Every service company wants its field teams to become more productive so that We can maximize operational efficiency and profitability. However, search becomes a problem when service managers get distracted from the objective. In most cases, field service professionals complain about excessive monitoring of tasks, which leads to microscopic scrutiny of the work.
It reflects a distrust in field service professionals that affects the overall work culture and the service technician’s mindset. Here are three critical factors service leaders must consider when tracking and monitoring field activities.
Always remember that you are not tracking the employee. Instead, you are following the tasks. As a field service manager, what comes under your responsibility is to ensure that operational processes and associated charges are completed on time. Once you allocate the resources and assign the tasks to field service technicians, you hand over the next step of the processes to the technicians.
That next step starts and ends at a particular time. They are consistently pestering field service technicians about the task before the time and then interfering with how and when they perform. They must avoid the job at all costs. These habits create frustration in them and show your lack of trust in them. Because of these habits, field service technicians can never connect with the company. It affects employee morale and leads to a high attrition rate in the long run.
What actually should be tracked and monitored are the field activities. For example, suppose the technician has consistently completed the training in time and has maintained a high first-time fix rate. It should not bother the service managers how many breaks the employee has taken.
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Digitized operations that come with field service scheduling software have many benefits. One of the important benefits is visibility into operations. Service managers can track “w” o is doing what in the field with deeper visibility into field activities.” ”
However, there have been cases where these facilities are exploited. Many service managers put unnecessary restrictions on field service teams, including their movements or how they spend their time in the field. All of these aspects are part of the job. However, it does not mean to be restrictive to a point where it begins hurting the employee morale and creates frustration.
The best way to avoid unnecessary employee restrictions, provide the flexibility to work in a comfortable and accessible space, and ensure that jobs are completed on time is to define and set metrics. Many online field service scheduling software solutions enable users to define KPIs and established metrics. That takes the focus out of the employee and puts it on the field activities.
An easy and widely recommended way to make field service technicians more accountable for their work is by providing them with advanced tools to manage themselves effectively.
Instead of supervising people at every step of their tasks, field service organizations must empower their technicians to track their schedules, get automated reminders and notifications for their jobs, and add, view, upload, and download documents as and when needed.
Modern-day cloud-based field service applications are full of capabilities that make field technicians much more accessible. For example, they could track and fill their time log, manage their visit-in and visit-out timings, create and send reports, follow their performance to be more accountable, and take corrective actions.
Time has changed how field service teams work. In the modern era, field teams want more flexibility. They want their employers to trust them for their jobs and skills. However, since there are a lot of factors associated with the job, employers can take more sustainable routes that, on the one hand, let employees do their job with complete confidence and, on the other hand, allow employers to track and monitor tasks effectively.
In an industry struggling with a talent shortage, employers should not give more reasons to employees to turn their backs on them. Moreover, field teams are exposed to many uncertainties and in-the-field challenges, which are often frustrating.
Too much scrutiny of everyday tasks makes them more vulnerable. An effective way to deal with the problem is to empower the teams to manage themselves more effectively and be accountable for their jobs.