What-We-Heard-This-Week-From-the-FieldWe hear so much from the field because we work with field service, home service, facilities management, construction and even farm & ranch organizations every day.  Some challenges we hear over and over, and other challenges or solutions seem like they could help everyone in the field.  Our goal with this weekly blog is to provide some insight into how to solve issues you might be facing by seeing how others are doing it.Talking to hundreds of managers from the field service and facilities management industries all the way to power companies, we saw that the issues many of you are facing are universal.

Every company struggles with inefficiency and disorganization in daily operations. Many believe that if they could save time on tasks, their business would save money and stress everyday. If you see the same inefficiencies in your business, comment below or keep reading to find out how to improve or eliminate them completely. Here are some of the most frequent business pains of the week:

“We use pen and paper and hand off the work orders to our guys, they use their phone to communicate with us.”

Doesn’t it seem like the days of running your business with post-it notes, paper work orders and invoices should be long gone? It hurts to think about what this day looks like for the crews and managers. Just imagine how much paper gets misplaced on a day to day basis, without mentioning the work orders from months prior that you need to somehow find for reference.

Messy Desk

Let’s be honest, every business starts with paper. Using a pen and paper to create work orders gets it done in the moment, until your business starts getting busier, or you're weeks or months or more down the road and you need to find job details from that location. The biggest issue with conducting business out of a filing cabinet is that as your business grows, so does the amount of paper and clutter. And I assure you, the answer is not to get another filing cabinet.   

I envision a messy pile of papers and trying to run your business like those bankers in old movies with 2 phones on their desk. Crew managers spending their days hollering for help and the crews shaking their heads and leaning on shovels while someone is figuring out the details of the work order. This is an absolute catastrophe waiting to happen, and we have seen it happen time and again.

The confusion caused by managers filling out work orders as fast as possible, rather than accurately leaves the crew in the field scratching their head about what they’re supposed to do, also potentially leaving the customer dissatisfied. The snowball effect...no one is getting what they want, including the customer, and everyone is busting their ass day and night just to get back on track. Waking up every morning knowing that you’re already behind seems to be a pretty discouraging way to start your day.

There has to be a simpler way, right?

Absolutely. Of course clear communication and documented directions are key to operating and managing field workers. If you can also store and automate repetitive processes, you can capture everything with the added bonus of providing clear direction, direct communication, make sure everyone is clear -- plus clear up some office space.

Technology is your friend here. One-source-of-truth tech like GPS-enabled field service management software allows you to:

Show crews what the job is

Where to go to do it

Give crews direction on how to get it done

Send questions, updates and photo evidence right in the app

And for crew leaders and managers, verify completed work from anywhere

Communication in one place assures that nothing gets lost and everything is documented. You’re probably thinking, that is a lot to handle, but that is the point. You’re trying to do all this now, but with a field service management app you can get all these things done in a matter of seconds and sent to crews or management instantly without the doubt and concern you have today.

Think about how this helps you and your company. Work is now finally completed on time to company and client standards, and verified by management to ensure that re-work is virtually eliminated.  Customers are more satisfied, and your ability to assure success means you can offer something your competitors can’t — peace of mind. A crucial advantage in this customer climate. Lastly, you and your team have peace of mind, and are all connected on a platform that gives your crews the confidence and direction to do their best work and prove it. That -- and you know -- a clearer desk, and clearer mind. More sleep and less stress.

“We have guys who we wish could get to the job site earlier.”

We’ve all heard the quote “Time is money,” but this statement is even more true in field service because of the direct connection between crew work time and money. For example, if you can get your team to the jobsite earlier and meet your schedule, you’re saving money by eliminating wasted labor time. Another issue is that it is not uncommon for workers to show up late, or not at all with no warning (or a creative excuse — which is a whole other blog!). This can hamstring your team, and without a way to recover quickly, causes you to miss deadlines.

Getting to and completing the work more quickly will not only help your company become more profitable, but will also allow your workers to have confidence everyday going to work. How much in lost labor could you recapture if you solved this problem?  Is it worth plugging in a field service management solution? If you could get your crews to the jobsite even just 30 minutes sooner, like Watkins Erosion Control, how much money would that save your company? The answer to all these questions are ultimately what will make the decision for you. Why keep bleeding money when you could save it instead?

OK. I get the value, but will my crews use it?

Adoption is the biggest concern of every company, right? “Can my people handle this change?” the questions most often asked. Still, we’ve seen so many teams adopt this change quickly, and wonder, “How did we ever get work done before?”  

The best software for field management enables your crew to get work done sooner and with better quality, allowing them to get home sooner. For managers, you can get the schedule written quicker and have more flexibility to shuffle the deck when absences happen. If any given worker doesn’t show up to work, you can be sure you have a backup plan that won’t add additional ‘sitting around time’ to your payroll. Your crew is better, customers are happier and you are a leader in this competitive market.

In Conclusion:

This week has been one for the books and we have seen far too many managers and crew leaders dealing with struggles of disorganization and chaos that reduces their productivity.

There is no reason to keep feeling this pain, so if you see these problems, spend a few minutes identifying your 1 to 3 biggest pains today and focus in finding a solution that tackles those problems simply. Simple works best when you intro a new process or tech and the biggest key is to get people to use it, so look for something so easy that crew leaders can interact quickly to get sh!...er, uh...stuff done.

There are many possible ways to combat these problems though the most bang for your buck will come from an easily adaptable technology that your team can begin to implement the same day, cutting down on your wasted labor costs, and your advil costs for your daily headaches. Get started today making these mandatory changes and watch your business begin to not only become more profitable, but also expand before your eyes.

It has been a pleasure having you tune in this week. To subscribe to this weekly blog series simply click here and we’ll see you next week to share the industry scoop and our findings as well as tips to improve your business.


About Curo

Curo delivers game-changing productivity to field and home service crews. The company’s cloud-native, mobile tools manage millions of work tasks for micro-business to Fortune 100 projects. The application’s Simple Gets Work Done design helps Curo customers regain a full hour of productivity for every single crew member, every day, and eliminate 2/3 of the time managers spend scheduling and verifying work. The company’s patented technology and GPS worksite pinpointing enable predictive maintenance, project or emergency work while defining precisely how the work is conducted to meet quality or compliance standards. Curo has been recognized by Hypepotamus and Venture Atlanta as a top player in the field service management solution marketplace.  Find more information about how Curo enables field and home service companies to get time back, verify the work and make more money at https://curoglobal.com/.

Topics: Insider, Featured, preventative maintenance, technology, Facilities Managment, Hospitality, property management, home services, "Field Services"

Peter Heflin

Written by Peter Heflin

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