5 challenges facing field service managers
Business success relies not only on the development of policies but also on the implementation of the policies and ideas. In many instances, managing staff and operations in the office is a walk in the park. However, the same cannot be said about field operations.
A field service manager experiences a set of unique challenges compared to his comrades back in office. This is usually due to the different and unique environment that they operate in.
Field operations not only rely on the policies that are developed to ensure a smooth running but also on the general environment out there. Some of the most common problems reported or observed include:
Allocation and reallocation of resources
Field operations require resources such as equipment, labor, and power to be continuously mobilized depending on need. This is because most field services are required from one place to the other.
It is extremely hectic for a field service officer to ensure that all operations are served with all the resources they require. Keeping track of the key people and key equipment is not easy either. Unlike an office operation, key resources such as engineers are always on the move. Ensuring that the resources are well distributed is hard because the nature of most field jobs is unpredictable on how long a certain person or equipment is needed at a certain site.
High expectation from the customers
Although the number one aim of the business is to offer impeccable services to the client, the company has to minimize the amount of time spent on each job and be as efficient as possible.
Many clients when they receive a visit from a field service officer, they tend to take the visit casually. This provides a unique challenge to the field team because they are usually on a schedule but have to try and maintain a good relationship with the client. Many clients may also provide the technician with extra duties that even though they are not what the field team came to do, they are somehow related to the job.
Aligning all the processes
For field operations to be successful, a certain process has to be followed. The process begins right from when a service call is made. The customer order has to be processed and forwarded down the chain of command to the relevant person.
It might take some time before the actual instructions and details reach the intended team player. For the team player to execute a service call, there are issues that must be resolved. Such issues include transport and co-coordinating resources such as equipment that may be away that have to be aligned and work together so the service can be executed smoothly.
High operational cost
Due to the number of variables involved in service delivery, the cost of operation is usually high. The high cost of business can lead to the company losing money or even losing clients because they cannot be able to deliver services to the customer.
A field service management software is required to be able to monitor and pinpoint areas that drain the company of resources and the areas that consume more resources compared to others.
Field operations are at times required to operate in abnormal work or environmental conditions that require them to use more resources than regular or access resources at a higher cost compared to other places
Ensuring that the field staff is motivated
The core of any field operation is the staff. Some of the conditions under which this staff operates in are not what you can call comfortable, or even friendly. Field staffs are usually exposed to extreme weather such as too much heat or rain.
Sometimes no matter the atmospheric conditions, the staff has to work to ensure they meet their goals and deliver services to the client. This takes a beat at their health and their morale. Anyone in charge of field service management, you have to make sure that your guys are motivated and don’t feel overworked or exploited.
Part of how you can manage your staff is by having service management software that tracks what kind of job is allocated to whom. This ensures that all staff members feel that the duties are shared equally. This ensures the staff that there is no member is overworked or feels victimized by being allocated the more demanding tasks.