Inventory Management in a Field Service Software

Field Force Tracker provides integrated inventory management functions. It allows you to maintain inventory in the office and service vans.  It lets field technicians to  manage inventory in the field.

Impact of Inventory Management on Field Service

The service operation is complicated and must have a number of different and disparate functions work together to deliver a successful end result. When it comes to service delivery, the more visible and customer facing the function is, the more likely it is to get all the glory or blame.

The attention that customer facing service functions receive translates into a good amount of “buzz” in the media surrounding the new trends associated with exceptional service delivery, such as cloud-based applications, social media, and multi-channel tools.

Exceptional service delivery does not rely solely on field service technicians. Even though service parts haven’t received the same level of attention as field service, the importance of the individual parts of service execution cannot be overlooked. As shown in Aberdeen’s 2016 Field Service research, 51% of respondents reported that the most common reason why an issue cannot be resolved on the first visit of a field technician was due to part unavailability. Since more than half of all visits required a part, the report found that the rate of unresolved visits would likely negatively impact metrics for customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Inventory Management is very Important

The impact of efficient parts management on the customer cannot be overstated. Top performing organizations understand the important role that parts play in service delivery. In order to mitigate the risk of not having the right part when it is needed, nearly half of all top performing organizations (48%) in Aberdeen’s 2016 Field Service research have implemented tools that are used to link real-time updates of parts usage from a technician’s stock to their scheduling criteria.

In a recent Aberdeen research study on Service Parts Management, top performing organizations were 64% more likely than all other organizations to have a senior executive in place with oversight of service parts. This is not an idle position by any means. A senior service executive or Chief Service Officer with parts management responsibilities is integral for leading the strategic vision for parts operations, monitoring the revenue implications and opportunities of service parts, weighing the costs and benefits of carrying service parts versus new ones, and ensuring that parts operations seamlessly works with other functions within service and beyond.

Best Practices for Inventory Management

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In order to derive the type of gains from parts that these service leaders expect, top performing organizations have implemented a few best practices:

  • Field service organizations have access to parts inventories
  • Parts data is captured and analyzed to aid in forecasting service demand
  • Early warning processes have been put in place to alert management of stock-out situations
  • Service quality or continuous improvement programs (i.e., Six Sigma and Lean tools) have been implemented

These are just a few of the best-in-class practices that have helped drive higher part fill rates, improved first-time fix rates, lower inventory costs, and more accurate part inventories.

Understanding ROI of Mobile Field Service Solution

When you wish to deploy a Field Service Solution, like Field Force Tracker, it can improve productivity of your system.

When you think of mobile field service solutions, what’s the first topic that comes to mind? Is it how your organization is currently managing your mobile workforce? Or do you instantly think of your current bring your own device strategy & how it aligns with your 2017 goals? No matter what you may initially think of when the term mobile field service solutions comes up, it’s safe to say that as an executive, the most important aspect of any investment is the ROI.

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Field Force Tracker – A Great Fit For Mobile Field Service Solutions.

As an overview, the type of solutions we are talking about are those that help you maintain your entire workforce, from mobile field technicians, to customer service representatives, to dispatchers in the office who monitor it all. These types of solutions are detrimental to an advanced organization in exceeding customer expectations in the ever changing digital age. With such solutions comes change, infiltration of current process and adjustments to your entire business. This along with a heavy price tag can take some time to swallow, but let’s discuss how these solutions can more than make up for their cost in both the way they revolutionize your business and how they can more than pay for themselves in less than a few years.

What happens to your bottom-line without a Field Service solution in place?

Let’s first take a look at what happens when you don’t have a mobile field service solution in place and what it could be costing your service organization. Perhaps you are a municipality or home services organization that has around 100 field technicians. Each technician is earning around $45,000 per year, accounting for labor costs of $4.5 million annually. Let’s say on average, 1 technician is able to accomplish 3 jobs per day, which is 300 jobs per day total, and 1500 jobs per week  for your entire workforce (if your techs are working 5 days a week). That’s pretty good right? Considering you don’t really have all the visibility into cost of travel, time to travel, break time, lunch time, fuel costs and all of the unknown factors when you don’t have visibility in the field.  So, things could be worse, but it’s not enough to convince the entire organization that it could also be a lot better. Your organization stays in the dark with some of these metrics, wondering perhaps if there is an easier way to track all your costs and cost reductions.

What happens to your bottom line with a Field Service solution in place?

Considering the numbers we discussed above, a below average service management solution could increase each of your technician’s ability to complete tasks by 5%. A mediocre solution would give you a drastic 10% ROI on the first year.. And a top of the line solution, a whopping 25% ROI. If it’s just 5%, you’re already looking at paying back the cost of your solution in 1 year, 10% will double that and put you at almost half a million, while 25% will put you well over $1000,000.

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How to get started measuring ROI before and after you purchase of A Field Service Solution

We know this may still be hard to visualize, so that’s why we recommend starting simple. You’ll want to try and draw a baseline of what your costs are prior to beginning to look at any solution. From here, start to account for new KPIs where you can to provide benchmarks. Most mobile workforce management solutions provide out-of-the-box reports to help you see ROI.  By starting with the simple questions, you’ll be able to keep this baseline to improve upon year after year & to continue to justify the cost and maintenance of the solution. Try asking:

  1. Is my field workforce being utilized evenly and at the same level?
  2. How much time does my field workforce spend driving?
  3. How many jobs per day do we complete each day?

We know it’s not just about the numbers when it comes to implementing a groundbreaking solution for managing a mobile workforce, but we know it’s one of the most critical parts of finally saying yes to full visibility for your organization. To better help you realize ROI for your own organization, contact Field Force Tracker.