BOOST EFFICIENCY by fdjerue7eeu


 THE           bottomline                         BY ROB SOMBACH

                     You're staring a global economic crisis in the eye –

                      and you're surviving. It’s now time to break out of
                       survival mode, re-charge your engines and catch
                       the worldwide wave of renewal. Challenges
                      abound and so do opportunities for the shrewd and
                     the bold. In our industry, as in most others, the key to
                  renewal is greater productivity. Service providers must
       boost customer satisfaction, while keeping costs to a bare minimum.

     Here are 10 tips to make your company            costs while speeding up
     more productive, competitive and prof-           the billing cycle.
     itable and better equipped for growth.
     These strategies can be achieved through         3. Boost worker
     the automation of your field services               productivity.
     department, using a high-quality copier              Even small efficiency
                                                      gains from improved dispatch
     dealer software solution (such as Miracle
                                                      and technician productivity add up
     Service/Service Accent, etc.).
                                                      to big savings. When dispatchers have
                                                      up-to-date customer, contract and service
     10 Tips for Service

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                                                      information at their fingertips, this          Watch your
     Departments                                      allows them both to process calls faster       company's productivity

                                                      and to ensure more efficient scheduling        increase when you use remote solutions to
     1. Don't let billing slip.                       of technicians.                                free up valuable human resources.
          Invoice every job promptly. The
     most reliable way to do this is through          4. Share information to
                                                                                                     6. Automate your parts
     automated billing. Old-fashioned manual             work smarter.
     approaches are error-prone, leading to pay-          Enter information once into a cen-
                                                                                                         Service technicians need ready
     ment delays or even failure to invoice at all.   tral database and instantly share it
                                                                                                     access to the right parts to be
     It’s easy to overlook an invoice, especially     with your sales, service and parts
                                                                                                     effective. But an overstocked warehouse
     when the job is small.Those small mistakes       departments and contract administrators.
                                                                                                     can be money down the drain.Automation
     add up. When you generate invoices               Thereby, you significantly reduce – or

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                                                                                                     software geared to service company needs
     automatically, your billing stays ahead of       even eliminate – repetitive functions to
                                                                                                     enables you to achieve that important
     the game.                                        increase productivity.
                                                                                                     balance between parts supply and demand.
     2. Don't let high fuel costs                     5. Boost efficiency through                    It will reduce inventory loss and lower

        burn up your profits.                            mobile communications.                      inventory carrying costs, adding up to
         Driving paperwork back and forth                 A business that fails to communi-          increased profits.
     to the customer site can send profits up         cate with its field staff and clients in
     in smoke. Instead, have your technicians         real-time is at a serious competitive disad-   7. Plan your preventative
     complete work orders in the field, entering      vantage. Nowadays, a variety of wireless,         maintenance wisely.
     data instantly through their laptops or          Internet and e-mail-based solutions allow         Set up your PM schedules
     handheld computers. This starts the seam-        for fast, accurate exchange of information     according to the contract terms and
     less process of generating invoices right        and with fewer misunderstandings. More         generate the jobs automatically, when
     away. You save on technician time and fuel       time for your staff to get things done         required. A good system also informs the

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                                                                                                     of each individual contract to determine

                                                        Service providers                            where the profits and losses are, so you can
                                                                                                     respond accordingly.
                                                        must boost client
                                                                                                     10. Know your team.
                                                        satisfaction, while
                                                                                                            Do all your team members work
                                                     keeping costs to a                              as effectively as they could? Weak per-
                                                   bare minimum.                                     formers can drag the company down. Service
                                                                                                     software will give you valuable data about the
                                                                                                     productivity of each technician, including:

                                                                                                     average times to complete service calls, aver-
                                                         8. Pay attention to                         age response times, parts used, call-backs, and
                                                            existing customers.                      revenue generated per technician. Such infor-
                                                             A customer in the hand is               mation helps you determine the strengths
                                dispatcher         worth two in the bush. It’s always easier         and weakness of your staff to generate
                               taking a service    to keep a customer you already have than find     improvements and make needed changes.
                               call about any      a new one. Service software will help you to           There is much to be gained by exploiting
                               PM due, so it       anticipate your customers’ needs, improve         technology's extraordinary potential to the
                                can be sched-

                                                   responsiveness and reduce callbacks, thus         fullest.Automated tools geared to your busi-
                                 uled at the       maintaining a solid customer base.                ness needs can help you work harder and
                                  same time.
                                                                                                     smarter, seize opportunities and be ready for
                                   This     will   9. Know the value and the                         a brave new world.
                                   raise both         cost of each contract.
efficiency and customer satisfaction. Extra tip:       In these challenging times, you
Don't forget the non-contracted customers.         can’t afford to loose money on an                       Rob Sombach is VP of Development of Nexent
Set up all PM’s in the system then call non-       unprofitable service contract. Does               Innovations Inc., a provider of field service software
contract customers whenever a PM is due to         each of your contracts actually cover the cost    with thousands of users in over 44 countries. Visit:
generate added business.                           of providing service? Analyze the profitability


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