Managing Large Field Teams: Unique Challenges in FY23–24

Systems overload: why SMEs need to step up their tech game to improve productivity and customer experience?

It used to be possible to manage a field service business with a patchwork of different tools bolted on, or even with simple spreadsheets and word processing documents. But as the pace and complexity of the industry increases, and your business grows, these solutions start to cause more problems than they solve. Those problems include: 

  • Templated idiosyncrasies. Cobbled together systems are set up according to how various people like to work and their idiosyncrasies. These variations in behaviour can create disconnects between individuals and departments, further complicating your systems.
  • Training. The process of training staff members in such a setup can become a significant challenge. When relying on a disparate and disconnected custom network of tools, each staff member must be individually trained in the system by your own bespoke training processes – there are no external experts on your particular patchwork approach.
  • Time consuming and confusing. The multitude of tasks involved in managing a growing business, such as handling parts, invoices, quotes, reports, scheduling, and follow-ups, can quickly become overwhelming. When these tasks are scattered across separate systems and files that don’t communicate with each other, maintaining and cross-checking data becomes a time-consuming and confusing endeavour in itself.
  • Delays. Delays are a common issue faced when operating with a fragmented system. Waiting for each team member to manually enter and share their information, as well as duplicating and cross-referencing data, significantly slows down the efficiency of the business. ‘Unexpected’ delays can arise due to staff absences, errors, inconsistencies, and oversights, further slowing your business’ velocity.
  • Failing to meet customer expectations. Digitalisation has drastically changed customer expectations when it comes to data and service delivery. Customers now expect quick access to information and services, along with high-quality and comprehensive responses. ‘Cheaper’ systems that mean a business fails to meet these expectations can have huge costs through negatively impacting customer satisfaction and loyalty.

It’s all about your customers

Technology is rapidly changing the way we live and work, and the Field Service Management (FSM) sector is not immune. It’s not only the technology that’s changing; so are the make-up, skills and experience of our teams. The growth of diverse field technician teams presents unique challenges for businesses. Coordinating different skill sets, ensuring effective communication, and maintaining a customer-centric culture become paramount within a large and disparate organisation. With proactive change management, expert support and the right tools, you can turn these challenges into a competitive advantage for your business. With a strategic approach, every hour and dollar you invest in modernising your team will reap your business rewards. And if you don’t embrace change, you risk falling behind your competitors who are responding to client needs and managing the experience through the latest technology. Embracing change and adopting a customer-centric approach are pivotal for success in FY23–24. Customer satisfaction is not just about delivering services; it is about creating an experience that leaves a lasting impression. A customer-centric culture ensures that all decisions and actions are geared towards meeting customer needs and expectations. Field service businesses can drive customer-centric innovation by:
  • Prioritising Customer Needs. Understand customer pain points and preferences to tailor service offerings accordingly.
  • Empowering Technicians. Equip field technicians with the tools and information they need to provide exceptional customer experiences.
  • Emphasising Continuous Improvement. Encourage a culture of continuous improvement and learning, enabling teams to evolve with changing customer demands.
  • Leveraging Technology. Find the technology solution to automate processes, streamline workflows, and enhance customer interactions.

Find and implement the right ERP

Use these as your guiding principles when selecting your team management solution. Updating your technology will turbo-drive your business’ future success – if you focus on finding the right tools for your teams and thus your customers. It’s not about the software; it’s about the wins that software can deliver for you – and your customers.

  • Templated consistency. Look for an enterprise resource planning platform (ERP) that systematises processes and data structures, ensuring that everyone within the organisation works in a standardised manner, using uniform terminology. The best fit will be one that was specifically designed for the field service industry, like Next Service + NetSuite.
  • Ongoing support. Klugo believes strongly that our duty to customers begins, not ends, with the implementation. Our customers benefit form support from our Australia-based team, from training and fixing bugs, to customising upgrades. Our team handles all deployments and support, our customers work with Industry experts who embody a service-first philosophy.
  • Frictionless and streamlined. Next Service has been designed to be frictionless experience, with a consistent and intuitive interface and functionality. Really intuitive and easy to learn. This approach allows your staff to focus their attention on meeting customer needs rather than struggling with a complex system.
  • Dynamic and instant. Keeping up with the modern demands of field service management, Next Service is dynamic and instant. It is optimised for mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, ensuring that technicians can access the platform regardless of their device. With dynamic and customised forms and templates, organisations can ensure that technicians follow proper procedures and always have clear guidance on what to do.

Kickstart your ERP implementation project.

In the fast-evolving landscape of the FSM industry, it’s essential to consider kickstarting your ERP implementation project. As automation allows for onshoring and the industry becomes more automated, your key to growth is investing in leading technology, like NetSuite + Next Service, that will enable you to be leaner and can grow with you.

ERP projects catalyse cultural transformation and operational enhancements within organisations, particularly advantageous for large teams. ERP can streamline processes, promote data-driven decision-making, enhance collaboration, and foster a customer-centric focus. By embracing change, driving customer-centric innovation, and leading through transformation, field service businesses can optimally manage large field teams.

Australian service companies embracing such changes have more chances to achieve market leadership. According to Deloitte, companies prioritising digital transformation are 26% more profitable. ERP implementations, however, pose challenges like complexity, data migration, costs, and customisation dilemmas. Overcoming these hurdles through careful planning, effective change management, and an expert implementation partner like Klugo can lead to success, positioning field service businesses for sustainable growth and competitive advantage.

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