Service Managers face significant challenges in their work. One challenge is having a clear idea of what their technicians are actually working on in the field. The other challenge is how to organize a team of technicians when task assignment or progress is not clear, as described above. Shepherd CMMS has the Mobile Application: a means of eliminating these problems and, at the same time, increasing the autonomy of the technicians. This, in turn, reduces the demands on the service manager.
Mobile devices give field staff options
Shepherd’s Mobile Application is a major part of Shepherd’s overall solution for field-service companies. It offers a wide range of functions, the main being tracking scheduled and free-to-grab services: in other words “Service Orders”. To illustrate this topic, we would like to share the experience of James Adams, a technician using the ability to grab a Service Order, once he’s chosen the most important or convenient job to begin working on from the list available.
By opening Shepherd’s mobile application using his phone, tablet or laptop, James can filter Service Orders by any of the criteria related to the service, such as priority, promised date, equipment, or location of the service, which can be tracked on the map in the application. This allows him to conveniently plan his workday and choose his next service.
Exploiting flexibility in the field
After finishing a service at a customer’s site, James is free to filter the Service Order list by Unassigned Orders and sort the list by the previously mentioned criteria. Depending on his current location, he can grab the next service order which is closest to his current address, or pick a different one if, for example, he is more familiar with the equipment that must be serviced. In this case, James chooses a Service Order which requires him to provide a maintenance service for a diesel injector.
Opening Service Order “SO00019085”, he can see all the necessary details regarding that service. James knows that he is going to do a preventative maintenance service for an Equipment type: Injector, Make/Model: Diesel, with a Serial Number: V8. This ensures that he is already prepared for the service, before arriving at the customer’s location. The Mobile Application delivers a user-friendly method for grabbing the service order and will instantly notify the required users that the service has been scheduled and will automatically apply changes in Netsuite’s ERP. If a technician appears to be in a location with no network service, the changes will apply as soon as the Technician connects to the network.
Upon arrival at the customer’s site, James has all the required information about the job, and can start working on the required steps provided in the app. Those required steps in the app can also include required safety prechecks or other necessary documentation as well as the exact requirements of the Work Order based on precisely which tasks the client agreed to with the sales team when the job was logged.
The Problem description states that he should also schedule an inspection service the following day, which he can schedule himself using the mobile application after finishing the service.
More than just a list of tasks
Overall, this allows technicians in the field, like Jamnes, to have more control over which jobs they do based on where they are at a given time and what their competencies are, both of which would be tasks previously decided by the service manager.
This reduced pressure on the manager scheduling the services then means that the manager can oversee a larger team of technicians for the same degree of effort than their previously smaller and more dependent team required. This also ensures that a single technician will not be overloaded with work during the day, while other field employees have time to spare since they can distribute the workload themselves, as per their personal capacity.
This translates into greater efficiency in the field, less waiting time for clients, a more manageable work structure for managers and reduced costs for the company.
To request a demo of the Shepherd Mobile App in action, get in touch with a sales representative of Shepherd here: