Michael Stornelli, principal of myFLO (pictured above) explains why having the right field service software can reduce business inefficiencies and costs, while adding value.
There is no doubt, that in order to compete and be profitable in today’s 24/7 business environment, a business must out- compete its competitors in efficiency and customer service. This is particularly so in service based businesses which rely on field staff.
Such businesses face common challenges, especially in the industries which also have stringent compliance issues, such as pest control.
The first key challenge is one of price, or more accurately value. Clients are looking for increased service value and expectations at a lower price. Even long-standing, happy clients are shopping around, looking for other providers that may quote the same or similar service at a lower rate.
The second key challenge with staff in the field operating in a regulated environment is keeping a firm hand on quality management. When confronted by the price challenge, many businesses simply resort to telling their customer that the comparison is not an ‘apples for apples’ comparison and leave it at that. However, it’s important to listen to the customer and develop improved solutions to meet the customer’s needs.
By examining the efficiency of your business processes, it can often result in identifying significant cost reductions, giving you the flexibility to be more competitive with your pricing without sacrificing profit. In many cases this involves the transition from a paper based system to business management software.
There are a number of business tasks that can waste a surprising number of man hours:
- Managing the information flow to and from the field staff can be a big challenge with the double handling of information transfer and paper work, between administrative staff and field staff, being a major cost multiplier. Even searching for lost documents can account for wasted administrative time.
- Accessing historical knowledge for a customer or job is vital for an efficient operation. Time spent by field staff trying to locate and access this information increases the time spent on a job, reducing the number of jobs that can be completed each day. A similar situation can arise where incorrectly qualified or experienced field staff are sent to site and find that they cannot perform the work without assistance.
- Inefficient timing and sequencing of jobs can lead to multiple lost hours, travelling to and from the office or between jobs. It is vital to increase and optimise the number of productive hours for your field staff in a working day.
It is all about minimising the labour time spent by field staff and internal support staff on a particular job, from receipt of the job request through to invoicing.
But looking at ways to improve efficiencies and speed up the business should not be at the sacrifice of quality. It is important to ensure that compliance standards are met and the desired quality standards are achieved.
Reducing costs and adding value
These issues can be overcome by implementing an appropriate job management system. The challenge is to choose the correct solution for the business. Choosing a system can be an overwhelming and painful experience. The key is to know the issues you need to resolve.
Our experience has shown that the best outcomes are achieved by following a three-step assessment process:
- Map the work flow of the various jobs performed
- Identify the business processes where staff time inefficiencies exist
- Match the processes and targeted improvement areas with various job management packages, to draw up a short list of options that may fit the bill.
In many situations we believe myFlo order management system will provide the best option, delivering a range of benefits:
- Reduce administration expenses
- Real time information flow
- Real time KPI measurement
- Integrated staff, client and contractor portals
- System wide tracking of quotes and orders
- Up to date status on jobs for clients
- Quick client/job look up
- Budgeting and forecasting assistance.
With the ability to save significant administrative costs and organise your business processes, myFlo can become the backbone of your business.