A Stitch in Time: Ignore Timely Field Service Requests at your Own Peril!

Jul 12, 2022 4:00 PM ET

By the time expensive plant and equipment start “crying out” for help, it’s likely past the point where timely maintenance can save the day! Effective field service management is all about ensuring businesses don’t get to that point – where breakdowns and work stoppages are inevitable. Once operational assets show signs of poor maintenance, repair costs increase dramatically. That’s the bad news. The good news is that, by planning, scheduling, and better coordinating field service delivery, that eventuality doesn’t have to be inevitable!

The Perils of Ignoring Service Requests

From simple devices like a paper shredder, to complex oil rigs and atomic power plants – they all need tender love and care (TLC). And all manufacturers of these assets provide detailed service instructions and recommended maintenance schedules. Unfortunately, when a business has hundreds of pieces of assets, located remotely, and geographically dispersed, scheduling that TLC is challenging. And that’s where field service management software can help.

These intelligent service planning and management tools aid busy field service staff in:

– Keeping track of upcoming scheduled service events

– Stay abreast on emergency service requests from the field

– Manage parts and components inventory

– Plan the logistics of ordering and direct-delivery of service parts to coincide with service technician visits

Sure, service teams can try to do all of this using paper plans, Excel spreadsheets, and emails. However, those “manual” based processes risk important service requests falling through the cracks. When your company is responsible for guaranteeing specific Service Level Agreements (SLAs), ignoring even a single service request can spell disaster. In some cases, SLA’s hold service providers financially responsible for work stoppages and production losses resulting from missed service calls. 

Lower Costs and Increased Productivity

With the help of full-featured service management software, businesses can drastically reduce overall operational costs. These can come in several forms, including:

– Less costly proactive maintenance, as opposed to costly reactive repairs

– Cost-efficiencies through better inventory management, including avoiding paying higher cost to order parts and components on an emergency basis

– More efficient use of service teams, by scheduling the right skills for the right job

– Fewer missed scheduled service requests, requiring less costly maintenance later  

But there’s more…much more, to the use of automated service management tools and software. Along with cost-saving, these tools also bring operational productivity enhancement synergies to bear, including:

– Reduced downtime due to ineffective service and upkeep

– Higher quality of goods and service produced by better maintained assets

– Labor and materials efficiencies as a result of wastage and idle-time elimination – which typically follows frequent breakdowns or equipment malfunctions

Productivity gains are also delivered through vastly improved mobile communication, and remote collaboration features that field management software offer. By making virtual ad-hoc, impromptu expert advice and support available to service technicians, in-field maintenance teams can receive higher-levels of technical and service expertise, without the need to reschedule or cancel an ongoing service call. This On-site Remote Assist feature not only saves cost, and increases productivity, but it also goes a long way to enhancing customer and brand loyalty. 

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