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Employee or Contractor – or Both?

Nov 23 • Features, Management • 1168 Views • No Comments on Employee or Contractor – or Both?

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Marne Martin, CEO ServicePower explains the benefits of an integrated dedicated and freelance workforce and why scheduling them shouldn’t be a chore…

Service is going through an exciting change as businesses are finding more productive ways to satisfy the needs of their customers, while also improving their bottom line. We aren’t talking about “just” overflow or managing seasonality, we are talking about executing on a strategy that can fundamentally change how and the speed at which you provide service to your customers. As business moves forward, more and more companies have come to realise the benefits of a labour model that can really harness both productivity and customer experience advances.

In the past, technology, work flows and field service management techniques weren’t particularly reliable at managing a labour model that wasn’t either a dedicated workforce or a freelance workforce.

In the past, technology, work flows and field service management techniques weren’t particularly reliable at managing a labour model that wasn’t either a dedicated workforce or a freelance workforce. But times are changing.

The capabilities of software that can handle the complexities of using both a dedicated and extended workforce are here. Having done this now effectively for more than a decade for many of the best known enterprises, here is our advice on such “hybrid” labor models, ensuring the highest productivity and customer satisfaction levels.

Let’s consider the reasons many organisations deploy a labour model utilising both a dedicated and extended workforce.

Availability

Customers want service now. An extended workforce enables expectations to be met when demand is high, and also buffers cost when demand is low. Using a mix of labour resources with appropriate credentialing and training expands your capabilities at a lower cost while also getting service to your customers sooner.

Cycle time management

Using cycle time calculations from business intelligence applications, businesses may distribute work to the mobile resources with the lowest cost or most desired cycle time metrics, both of which may fluctuate between employed and contracted resources, given current conditions, to meet customer demand. Cost can also be factored into this understanding that time is money.

Quality control

Organisations which deliver field based services may manage job distribution based upon quality of service metrics. Maximise your customer experience by ranking well liked technicians higher so that if they have capacity, they get the job.

Seasonality

Being able to simultaneously search and book employed or contracted mobile workers enables you to manage your workforce consistently, while also meeting KPIs during demand fluctuation.

Catastrophic events

Catastrophes are happening at a higher rate than ever before. It’s critical in those catastrophic situations for feet to hit the ground immediately to provide care and services, for instance to insurance policy holders. If you are a business that handles catastrophes, if you don’t have an extended workforce and also one that is tied into your core technology solutions, you should.

Extraordinary territories

The cost of expanding the reach of service where there isn’t significant and steady job density is high. To decrease costs and improve productivity,it’s best to schedule and route mobile workers to jobs in the closest proximity to each other, to the mobile worker’s start and stop locations, and within the areas they know best. If jobs are infrequent, the cost of credentialing and training a freelancer may well be more efficient.

Infrequent or out of the ordinary jobs

The same can be said for ‘out of the ordinary’ jobs. Consider smart home system installation or customer product education visits commonly associated with outcome based services. Both type of job requires special skills. Do you employ uniquely skilled individuals and wait for work to come in, or contract a scalable workforce able to provide these services as needed? Clearly the latter is the best choice for many businesses.

Cost control

Similar to quality or cycle time control, using business intel to derive job cost by labour channel enables organisations to evaluate the least costly mobile worker for a job, depending on skills, travel, and salary for instance. The least costly resource may be a contractor rather than an employee.

We suspect one or more of these scenarios apply to your business.

Intelligent, integrated dispatching

Mobile workforce management software traditionally, especially within the field service industry, meant scheduling. There are several flavours of scheduling, however folding contractors into the mix requires more than attempting to plug them into those existing scheduling solutions.

Utilising an aggregated dispatching software platform provides those same jobs sources with the ability to send their work alongside other aggregated work, improving operational efficiencies and reducing costs, for every member of the service delivery chain.

Adding an integrated platform with a robust, intelligent and real time scheduling algorithm to intelligently and quickly determine the best routing scenarios, while also having the ability to ‘reoptimise’ the schedule, moving the jobs in time as well as between employees and contractors based on real time conditions, is a major plus.

Scheduling mobile workers to meet customer demand is far less complex when you have a partner that understands the needs of your business and technology that supports an integrated dedicated and extended workforce.

ServicePower has been instrumental in the deployment of integrated, mixed labour strategies since 2004 including the configurable options through our broker product to fully automate the intelligent and dynamic scheduling of either employees or contractors through a robust, fully configurable rules engine, enabling our clients to seamlessly provide the best, fastest and least costly services within their industries.

ServicePower Unity takes that one step farther by providing our entire mobile workforce management platform via a SaaS deployment, for one low cost. We’ve taken the ability to dispatch any field resource and made it simple to deploy and easy to pay for whether your labour force are dedicated or freelancers

Scheduling mobile workers to meet customer demand is far less complex when you have a partner that understands the needs of your business and technology that supports an integrated dedicated and extended workforce.

ServicePower processes more than three million job interactions a day with proven ability to drive customer experience whether your technicians are your employees or freelancers. Let us help you to make it easier for your teams to evolve your workforce strategy and customer experience.

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