Paper work orders are the “norm” for many field based service organisations. But while paper work orders may seem like the easiest way to communicate information about a repairs or maintenance assignments, using them can create big inefficiencies and cost your organisation money.
Imagine when the phone rings with a call for an emergency service. Your call centre agent takes the customer’s call and writes up all the details of the work request on a piece of paper. Then enters those details into your computer system.
Your call centre agent looks at the schedule and says, “Joe can do this today at 9 a.m.” So when Joe calls when he’s done with his earlier appointment, he now gets the details about the new call. Joe’s got a blank work order, and starts filling in the form with all the information he needs to do the call.
While he’s at the call, he writes down on the work order a few of the things that he does, but then he wraps up the job and calls the office to get his next assignment. He doesn’t finish writing down his notes from the 9 a.m. call because now he is being rushed to the next location. He thinks, “I’ll just write this stuff down later.”
But we all know that later never comes, and Joe doesn’t think about all his calls until he’s back in the office the next Monday morning. He sits down with a cup of coffee, and starts trying to remember exactly what he did during not only the 9 a.m. call from last Tuesday, but also from a bunch of other calls last week.
From the time the customer called in on Tuesday morning, through the next Monday when Joe sat down to finish his paperwork, there were two big ways that your organisations use of a paper-based system wasted both time and money.
- When Joe received all the details about his next call was 5-10 minutes out of your service call agent’s life and 5-10 minutes out of Joe’s life. A total of 20 minutes of wasted time for each call. Think about that multiplied by all the other call centre to field conversations throughout the day.
- There’s no way Joe is ever going to remember everything he did on a call a week after the fact. Sure, he’ll remember the big things, like he installed an air conditioner. But does he remember that he used Freon? Or solder? Incomplete lists of materials used also messes up your inventory. If you’re using paper processes, at the end of the year, what you have got listed in your inventory report probably differs quite a bit from what you have actually got in each of your vans.
Our customers who have moved from paper to mobile solutions typically see improvements in many other areas as well: improved data accuracy, greater data visibility enabling everyone in the company to make the best business decisions, and more. Paper work orders and other paper-based systems just can’t compete with the types of efficiencies that mobile solutions can provide to help businesses compete in today’s marketplace.
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