Building a case for investment in FSM systems: Better Staff Retention

Nov 19 • Features, Management • 454 Views • No Comments on Building a case for investment in FSM systems: Better Staff Retention

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Oftentimes field service directors and managers can see the importance of investment within a dedicated Field Service Management (FSM) ahead of their colleagues in the boardroom. In this series of articles Kevin McNally, Sales Director, Asolvi outlines how to build a case for investment to drive your field service operations forwards.

In the first instalment in this series, we looked at how FSM systems can deliver easy Return on Investment. Now in the second part of this series, we look at how investment in FSM solutions can help you achieve better staff retention.

Want to know more? There is a full white paper on this topic which is available to fieldservicenews.com subscribers. If you are a Field Service Professional you may qualify for a complimentary industry application and by using the link below you will receive access to this premium content instantly!

Click here to apply for a subscription to fieldservicenews.com and we will send you a copy of the full white paper ‘Building A Case For Investment In Field Service Technology” instantly!

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Not too long ago we lived in a world where things were expensive and labour was cheap. That dichotomy in most regions of the world has now pretty much been flipped upside down.

As it is, the most valuable asset in a field service organisation is widely perceived to be the field service engineers themselves.

Add into this the ageing workforce crisis that many organisations are facing, leading to dramatic increases in costs to replace those experienced engineers leaving the workplace across the next five to ten years, and the importance of good talent retention should definitely not be overlooked.

Neither should the positive impact that the implementation of an FSM solution that empowers your field service engineers.

Let’s now take a look of just a few of the ways that implementing a new FSM solution can help you keep your field workforce happy and staff turnover in this mission-critical operation low…

Offer A Better Work/Life Balance:

One of the key fundamentals of most FSM solutions is some form of scheduling solution. Often when we look at the benefits of scheduling we tend to focus on the business benefits. As mentioned above ROI is a clear selling point for investing in such a solution for example.

Yet, from the engineers’ perspective, a well-planned job schedule within their working day can be a huge positive. By utilising an FSM system you can factor in things like the engineer’s home so their work schedule across the day can bring them closer to home as they approach the final few jobs of the day.

When a field service engineer finishes their last job at 5 pm on a Friday the difference between being close to home or being stuck two hours away in rush hour traffic can have a huge impact on their work/life balance.

Keep Them Doing What They Signed Up For Not Endless Mountains Of Paperwork:

While there are invariably exceptions to every rule, in the main, there are some key attributes that field service managers share. They enjoy problem-solving the ability to work autonomously and solving technical or mechanical problems.

What they tend not to enjoy is the endless filing of reports and administrative tasks – which can be necessary for a business granted, but would certainly rank near the bottom of a list of tasks the majority of field service engineers relish most about their work.

Fixing stuff and solving problems is what field service engineers are paid to do and largely it is also what they excel at. Admin is not.

As the late, great Peter Drucker outlined, we are far better off focussing on what we are good at so we can become excellent in that field than trying to improve areas where we are weak – as no matter how much we focus on our weaknesses, we will only ever become average in these areas at best.

This is a major area of improvement to the engineers’ day to day enjoyment of his work that an FSM solution can bring. By automating many of the essential yet mundane admin tasks such as sending completion reports, tracking parts inventory in and out of their van stock, or even sending invoices – the engineer is able to focus on what they do and enjoy best.

Make The Engineers The First-Time-Fix Hero:

Our field service engineers are the frontline of our businesses and very often the most frequent face-to-face interaction that your customers’ may have with your organisation.

As such when things go wrong, it is your engineers who are in the firing line.

The flipside of this, of course, is that when things go right, they may as well walk out of your customer’s premises with a cape around there neck and their pants on outside there trousers – the standard uniform for every superhero who has just saved the day.

It is fairly self-evident which of these is the preferred scenario for the engineer, and a good FSM solution can help him achieve that more often in a number of ways.

For a start, an FSM solution can be harnessed to provide the engineer with all the relevant history and information available for the job he is about to undertake, including things like previous maintenance carried out, potential likely failures on the asset and even if this is a regular fault or if this is the first time service has been required on the asset.

In addition to things like asset history, many FSM solutions can be integrated with knowledge banks, so should the issue fall outside of the engineer’s current experience, he can access detailed information on how best to tackle the problem.

All of these pieces of information can not only allow the engineer to diagnose the issue swiftly but also to gain an understanding of how best to approach the customer – for example, if this is a regular fault that has already been repaired on numerous other occasions, then the customer may require a more delicate and empathetic approach compared to a customer who has had a more favourable previous experience with your organisation – who may be a prime target for potential upselling.

In addition to things like asset history, many FSM solutions can be integrated with knowledge banks, so should the issue fall outside of the engineer’s current experience, he can access detailed information on how best to tackle the problem.

Similarly, engineer-to-engineer communications are something we are beginning to see become included more often in FSM solutions, which can also give an engineer access to the knowledge of one of their peers who may have encountered the problem, they face before.

In fact, engineer-engineer communication can be vital in providing a support network for engineers so they don’t feel isolated and disenfranchised from the business.

Finally, you should remember that investment in tools for your engineers is an investment in your engineers – and when someone understands you are investing in them and that you do so because they are respected and valued within your organization, you will more often than not engendered much greater employee loyalty. In fact, every time you roll out a new aspect of an FSM solution you can reinforce this point simply by establishing change management champions from within your field workforce.

And if your engineers’ feel valued, you can guarantee your staff turnover will be below the average.

Want to know more? There is a full white paper on this topic which is available to fieldservicenews.com subscribers. If you are a Field Service Professional you may qualify for a complimentary industry application and by using the link below you will receive a copy of the white paper instantly!

Click here to apply for a subscription to fieldservicenews.com and we will send you a copy of the full white paper ‘Building A Case For Investment In Field Service Technology” instantly!

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