Allocated Orders are a new feature that’s now offered by Shepherd, bringing flexibility to the management of repeat jobs.
The field servicing a given company may offer its customers can be only for emergencies. It might also be only certain aspects of an asset’s maintenance schedule that the customer cannot do themselves. It can also cover everything that a customer could possibly need to keep an asset running.
All that means that a given company can find themselves raising Service Orders for very similar or repetitive jobs and at the same customers, time and time again. When this happens, it is very likely that a given technician may be the logical choice for the needs of a particular customer.
Be it because of their experience with the equipment in question, their familiarity with the site or staff, or even the nature of their working relationship with the customer.
Greater flexibility in planning ahead
The Allocated Order feature that this blog covers makes this possible without affecting a technician’s ability to plan their time to best effect. The Allocated Order essentially tells the technician has a job to do. It’s in their name, and they will perform the service. While who will do the work, where, and on what is all agreed upon, the defining detail is when the job will be performed is left open.
The technician can decide when they will do the job.
This may sound like a minor detail, but the implications can be far-reaching. If, previously, a Service Order could not be raised with an exact date and time, that meant there would be a practical limit to how many Service Orders could be generated in advance. And a Service Order is money earmarked for your company. You know that this job will be done and billed for. The customer knows the job will be done, and they will have to pay for it. The sums involved are known, at least to some extent.
Therefore, it becomes possible to make reasonable predictions about what money might be earned based on the Service Orders that exist.
Now, if more Service Orders can be raised than previously because the precise “when” is not a criterion that is immediately necessary, it means a company can have an even longer-term idea of likely revenue. This, in turn, makes planning further ahead more feasible.
Estimated budgets are now easier to devise
If you know that you are likely to have a full quota of billed services with your top ten accounts for the rest of the year, thanks to Allocated Orders that will be booked in due course, you can make realistic predictions of what money might be available. And with that, you can at least consider who that money might be invested once earned.
It also means that the field service management will be able to tell with greater accuracy which technicians may be stretched thin and arrange support for them by other means. Similarly, they will be able to foresee sooner if there are any service contracts whose requirements might not be met, , or perhaps even exceeded based on the current orders raised.
This information can also allow the managers to work toward resolving this discrepancy between what is likely to be done and what is actually required sooner. Any time problems or unusual situations can be foreseen sooner, the chances of avoiding problems are greater.
Greater workforce planning means fewer bottlenecks in labor
Meanwhile, the technician will have a means of planning their own time in a way that reflects the conditions in the field so they too can feel the benefit of things not being set in stone. That flexibility may allow them to adapt to unexpected situations more readily than if they have no room to maneuver in their schedule.
Service Orders can exist with no set details beyond the customer and their location. Meanwhile, a fully booked Service Order will have the place, time, and named technician. The Allocated Order is an intermediate step, where only the time is missing. The rest is set. The ability to do this greatly impacts the administrative pressure on the maintenance manager.
They can process more Service Orders, knowing that the timing of the job is not on their shoulders but will instead be decided by their technician. Meanwhile, the customer is reassured by knowing that their need for servicing has been acknowledged and planned for, possibly months in advance, and, if relevant, could be done with their preferred service technician.
This arguably reduces the chances of headaches and the possible need for putting out fires for all concerned, as well as greater customer satisfaction. If you want to enjoy this degree of flexibility for your maintenance department, ask for a Shepherd demo.