Workforce management software is a sizable investment. How does a field service organization maximize the ROI on the investment?
Maximizing ROI begins before the implementation of workforce management software. It starts in the sales-cycle. workforce planning software solutions can have a fundamental impact on culture and the way people work so key stakeholders should be involved at the beginning and throughout the duration of the process.
Once workforce management software is deployed, it’s critical to maintain it and the associated processes, to maximize the ROI, for instance:
Offer continual training.
Once your field service organizations has invested so much time, cost and effort in implementing a workforce management software, you must take active steps to ensure the knowledge to use and optimize its performance is retained.
To combat the loss of knowledge:
- Hire workforce managers and empower them to address employee issues, such as non-compliance to a scheduled route, quickly.
- Offer certification classes to employees most involved with the software, and incentivize them to complete the process.
- Offer opportunities for employees to gain additional knowledge through vendor or industry events, like user conferences and webinars.
- Develop policies that dictate employee interactions/utilization of the software.
- It’s critical to create policies and procedures that discourage ‘breaking the software’ or manually circumventing the software.
- Policies, especially those that are supported by executive buy-in, minimize misuse of the software, such as making manual schedule moves, or disregarding the automation and optimization logic of scheduling software.
- Perform regular health checks & system upgrades.
It’s not enough to simply implement workforce management software. All software vendors issue updates. These updates may be simple (or complex!) updates that handle bugs or security issues, but in many cases, include new functionality. New functionality, especially in a SaaS environment may not be critical or even helpful for every field service organization, but, because workforce management software tends to be used across many different industries, new functions can be adapted for use in your organization, providing opportunities for improvement.
There are common key performance indicators, KPIs, which all field service organizations should monitor, to determine how the organization is operating, and ensure it continues to operate at desired levels. Common KPIs include:
- First time fix rates
- Jobs scheduled per day
- Jobs completed per day
- Mean time to repair or cycle time
- Travel time
- Mean time between failures
- Truck rolls per job
- Parts per call
- Missed customer appointments
Baseline your KPIs before you implement the software. Continually monitor your KPIs throughout the lifecycle of the workforce management software with robust, business intelligence software, which can provide not only real time data, but data from across the operation, including mobile field techs. Use the data to continually improve your operations.
Overall, invest time in your human resources and the software itself, to ensure the highest return on your investment.