Downtime is the enemy of most organizations, particularly manufacturing and industrial equipment companies. IndustryWeek estimates unplanned downtime costs industrial manufacturers $50 billion annually. Whether it is scheduled or unscheduled, setup or changeover time, minimizing machine downtime is critical for organizations to be successful. Additionally, disparate systems, manual processes and poor communication make minimizing downtime more difficult. Traditional tools such as pen and paper combined with disconnected systems further exacerbate the situation.
Field service software enables manufacturing and industrial equipment organizations to streamline maintenance, automate the service process, and connect field technicians to the office and customer. Improvements in any one of these areas will have a significant impact on productivity, customer satisfaction, and ultimately revenue.
Maintaining equipment is labor intensive! Plant Engineering found scheduled maintenance takes an average of 19 hours per week. In order to minimize machine downtime, organizations need improved planning for both their technicians and equipment. Whether it is corrective, preventative, or proactive, equipment maintenance needs to happen! Dispatching the right technician, with the correct skills and equipment is crucial. Additionally, it is important to effectively manage equipment information, warranties and service contracts.
Field service software enables you to manage equipment maintenance in real-time. Empower dispatchers to make smart decisions by providing them with the all of the information they need in one place. It provides real-time visualization of key parameters for scheduling work orders, such as job completion status, estimated travel, technician skills, geo-location, and more. This not only enables dispatchers to easily schedule and dispatch jobs, but also track time, materials, warranties, service contracts and other important information. Allow dispatchers to schedule and send the right technician, with the correct equipment to do the job right the first time. Improved planning for technicians and equipment shortens machine downtime for customers and increases production uptime, ultimately improving customer satisfaction.
Your work orders are on sheets of paper, your customer information is in a Rolodex or maybe a CRM system in the office, warranty coverage and entitlements are in a contract filed in a cabinet at the office. This makes tracking parts and repairs or managing warranty coverage difficult and time consuming. Automating this service process has significant business benefits.
Field service management software can help you eliminate many of the manual processes in your business. It connects your field technicians with your office staff and also with your customers. Information is easily shared and updated in real-time. Paper is eliminated by using electronic forms and reports that cannot be misplaced, ripped, or rained on. Efficiently track part usage, repairs, and manage warranty coverage. Field technicians can quickly access the information they need using their mobile device. Updates and changes are easily shared with both the office and the customer. Customers can use the portal to quickly and easily communicate about scheduled visits, confirm their availability and schedule future visits.
Disconnected systems are a nightmare for any organization and create a host of communications issues and inefficiencies. Integrating front office and back office systems is critical for manufacturing and industrial equipment organizations. Field service software enables both employees and customers to easily access information. In the case that another repair needs to be made on the same service order, customers can communicate directly with front office and consequently front office updates service technicians. This boosts productivity, improves satisfaction and enables service teams to operate more efficiently.
Organizational efficiency is improved by streamlining service operations. Having to request a repair or accessing past invoices of an installation is a hassle and time consuming. One way to streamline operations is by providing self-service options. These include a self-service portal, enabling users to directly request service jobs, see status of a job, view past invoices, pay invoices online, and view past service orders and reports. Self-service portals not only streamline service operations, but also significantly improve customer satisfaction.
Office staff and technicians:
Technicians are at multiple job sites daily, exposing themselves to different environments. It is critical that companies ensure there are systems in place that allow them to communicate effectively, while minimizing in-person contact. Field service software allows planners and dispatchers to easily schedule and allocate resources digitally. Technicians can view scheduled jobs on their mobile phone or tablet. Additionally, technicians can access other important information such as previous work orders and customer history from their device, ensuring they are prepared before starting a job and minimizing the number of trips they make between the job site and office.
Technicians and customers:
Ensuring technicians always have complete and correct data about their scheduled jobs is important. Disconnected systems make communication between customers and technicians difficult. When technicians are in the field and an unexpected change regarding a job occurs, updating them is essential from a productivity point of view but also for their safety. A service portal provides a way for customers to communicate with technicians. For instance, if there is an update to safety protocols that technicians should be made aware of, customers can communicate this information to the technician via the service portal. Enabling contactless service minimizes the number of in-person interactions between customers and technicians.
Customers and office staff:
Ensuring there is a way for customers to communicate digitally with staff is critical. A service portal enables companies to provide customers with a self-service portal which allows them to request service, see the status of a job, view past invoices, pay invoices online, and view past service orders and reports. Self-service portals that are available 24/7 allow customers and staff members to communicate effectively and virtually.
Streamlining the maintenance of industrial equipment is key to improving productivity and reducing downtime. Field service software provides many ways manufacturing and industrial equipment organizations can automate processes and improve communications.
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