Everything You Need to Know About Service Scheduling Software

Apr 12, 2022

Managing a business is a challenging task. Leading groups of people in any capacity demands that you inspire them to do their tasks and make sure that they are doing those tasks correctly and efficiently.

The challenges are doubled when employees need to take to the field and are often split into sub-teams to take on specific client needs or projects. How then can you manage your staff that is not always in the same place at the same time?

The answer is surprisingly simple. Use a service scheduling software.

Definition of service scheduling software

To understand what a service scheduling software does and how it helps an organisation, we must define what service scheduling is first.

Service scheduling is the process of finding the most efficient way of assigning your operational resources. When used in a field service management tool, service scheduling means efficiently assigning field staff to existing work orders.

Service scheduling software or service delivery software is the technology that helps you keep track of and stay connected to your staff on the field.

Why do you need a service scheduling software?

If you do not use an efficient, dedicated system to schedule job requests, service delivery staff would often be bombarded with last-minute requests. When service delivery tasks are given out without proper notice, field staff would be unprepared or not make it to their assigned destination on time.

There would also be a lot of back-and-forth communication between customer service agents, your field service providers, and customers – which will cause unsatisfactory and delayed solutions to your customers’ concerns. This then, will negatively affect your team’s overall productivity. In addition, not having a streamlined process has a negative effect on customer experience.

What a service scheduling software does is help automate the key processes in field managements like: dispatching, scheduling, managing purchase or work orders, invoicing, and other service processes done in the field.

Using a scheduling software, managers are bel to schedule work orders when it is convenient to the customers and the availability of the technicians. What happens is this minimizes – if not eliminates – last minute service requests. It also optimises your technicians’ schedules since they are given clarity about the work order. The result is your team consistently provides a positive customer experience.

What does a service scheduling software do?

One of the most challenging parts of everyday work in the service delivery industry is – *drum roll* – Scheduling. Allow us to explain.

To provide customers with a positive, timely service, they need to properly organise what their field staff will do, where their field staff will go, and how they will get to where they are going. They need to do this for days or even weeks, and they need to get the details sorted down to the last second.

Not to mention that customers often must reschedule appointments, sometimes with little to no warning. This means your field service providers would need to reorganise itineraries and schedules to accommodate these changes.

Now, given all that and a bunch of other issues or concerns that need their own in-depth article to discuss, it is quickly evident that traditional scheduling processes and tools are just not capable enough to efficiently and effectively stay on top of the constantly changing needs of a field service team.

A real time, service scheduling software changes all of that.

Service Scheduling System Features

Is there more to real time service scheduling software than just being able to make sure your field service staff get to their appointments on time? Of course, there is.

Advance service scheduling has a wide range of features that can be used by any organisation that want to optimise their field service processes. Some of these features include:

Mobile-friendly design

Do you know that 61% of employees say that they work out of the office at least a few times a week? Of course, when they do so, there is a good chance that they are using their mobile phones or tablets to do work. That said, it is not surprising that most business-related tools or applications or systems are designed to be compatible for use on mobile devices.

But – just because a system is designed to be compatible with cell phones or tablets does not mean that it is optimised for these devices. As a matter of fact, there are many tools that have reduced functionalities when they are accessed from a mobile device. And even the programs that do not, most of the time have navigation and user interface issues.

Automation

There are several tasks that comes with creating and following field service scheduling and while many of these tasks are simple enough, they can be very time-consuming. By choosing to automate these tasks in the form of service scheduling software, the repetitive, time-consuming tasks are eliminated.

The system automatically creates the work orders, assigns staff to respective jobs based on their skills and availability, and even goes so far as data collection for analysis so users can use the time to focus on other important business matters.

Cloud based operation and storage

As a cloud-based software, these applications are “stored” in off-site servers that you access over the internet. Meaning, this makes it possible for all users to access to system’s full functionality without having to install expensive, maintenance-hungry hardware. You do not even have to maintain an on-site server.

In addition, cloud-based systems provide the freedom to use the software regardless of what device the users have. They can use mobile phones, laptops, desktop computers or tablets, as long as they have internet access. They will have complete functionality of the tool wherever and whenever they need it.

Best of all, since applications are off-site and stored in the cloud, data is automatically updated and synced with every change, so users are always provided with updated information.

Advantages of service scheduling software

Here are some of the ways that service scheduling software is changing the game for field service organisations:

Access to real-time information eliminates errors and boosts efficiency

Most of the work that comes with managing a field service team is done via texts, phone calls or chat messages in an app. Meaning, it is easy for information to be misunderstood and get turned around.

Being able to access real-time information using a service scheduling software or field service system eliminates miscommunications. You and your team will spend less time trying to work out what you meant to say and spend more time to completing the work.

Additionally, since you know where any of your staff are at any time, it is easy to update them when something about their work order gets changed. And because your field service team understands that you can see the big picture, they trust your judgment more and adjust as needed.

Staff become more proactive

Service scheduling software empowers staff members to make common-sense, proactive decisions while they are on a job, which for you – the business owner – means:

  • Your team appears more trustworthy and professional. If your field staff would have to call back to headquarters and ask your go-ahead for every decision, they would look inexperienced and under-trained to your customers. Not only will customers second-guess the quality of your team’s work, but they are also likely to start calling in for complaints.
  • You save time by cutting down on back-and-forth communication between you and your field staff. You save time, you get more work orders done, you earn more, everybody’s happy.
  • The need to rely on supervisors for simple decision-making is significantly reduced. Your staff’s leadership and critical thinking are honed on-the-job, which is helpful in hour company’s growth.

Automation makes your scheduling process more” intelligent”

Quality service scheduling software allows you to create processes and rules, which are then automated. This takes a lot of work out of scheduling and research.

For example, you do not want your field staff working more than 40 hours a week. You may be trying to stay within a certain budget and limit overtime pay as much as possible. Or you just do not want to overwork your staff or do not think it is safe for them to go on field work after hours. Whatever your reasons, you can set rules using your service scheduling software that makes it impossible for any field staff to get assigned too many work hours.

Other ways that automation helps and makes your rostering process smarter and more efficient include:

  • Assigning the right person to the right job. Work orders can be coded by skills, certifications, experience level, number of staff needed to complete the job. You can also tag your team with matching skill sets, years of experience, training or certifications completed. The service scheduling software is then able to match and assign the best person with each work order.
  • Easily add to your inventory. The ability to add to your inventory and put this data into your planning and scheduling is crucial. You would not want to schedule work orders when you do not have enough equipment or there is no vehicle to transport your team.
  • Efficiently assign routes. Your service scheduling software will have enough data to prioritize work orders to maximise efficiency, given the available resources and routes.

Invoicing and payment processing is faster

Having real-time data and easy communication means that creating invoices becomes more accurate, which means you get paid faster for completed work. In fact, service scheduling software allows your field staff to process payment on site using mobile phones or tablets.

Moreover, digital documents from the software makes it possible to create invoices on the same day. Most importantly, management spends less time going over handwritten job orders and having to convert them to official invoices to send to customers.

Automating the invoice and payment processes saves so much time. Allowing you to focus on more customer-facing tasks like customer service or marketing.

Industries that benefit from field service management software

Many industries benefit from using a field service management system, particularly for small to medium sized businesses. Each industry of course, have its own requirements. These industries include:

  • HVAC services
  • Cleaning Services
  • Automotive
  • Landscaping
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical

If you do not see your industry in the list, you can speak with field service management experts here to find out how this software can add value to your business.

Introducing Quicta service management software

Quicta is a field service management solution that allows companies to efficiently assign their operational resources where it is needed the most. From deploying field service staff to digital interactions with customers, Quicta helps drive business efficiency in a world where timing is everything.

What makes Quicta different?

Quicta is a 100% customer-centric organisation based on 5 core values:

  1. Customer first
  2. Act as one (Respect and teamwork)
  3. Live above the line (Be responsible and take ownership)
  4. Make it happen (Make decisions and always deliver)
  5. Be passionate

We also speak your language with in-house multilingual capability.

What features are available on the Quicta platform?

  • Calendar
  • Dashboards
  • Geofencing
  • Time Tracking
  • Enforcing Compliance Forms
  • Three-Way Chat Communications
  • Built-in Payment Processing Capabilities
  • Route Optimisation
  • On-Site Invoicing

There is no limit to the number of transactions entered in Quicta as it is a cloud-based solution, so you can scale on demand. If your company has storage needs that exceed 20GB per year, you can speak to one of their consultants to accommodate your specifications.

Quicta is also designed as a mobile-first service management software. It can be accessed using a smartphone, laptop or tablet. Moreover, it can be integrated with third-party software including accounting, CRM, HR, and ERP systems. This makes it very useful to streamline the service processes, especially if it incudes equipment, inventories, invoicing and payment processes.

Quicta, as a cloud based solution, access can be set up with immediate availability. Whether you are looking for more information, a demo of Quicta or to simply share feedback, we look forward to hearing from you. Get in touch with us here.