Route optimization is not a priority at many field services companies—and that is costing them money on multiple fronts. Navigating congestion costs the average American driver 97 hours and $1,348 per year. Consider that field services technicians drive much more than average, and the cost of time and money starts to become clear. But the expense of additional time spent driving and idling isn’t the only compelling reason to implement a field service management app. Read on for more reasons that optimized scheduling and route planning will do nothing but improve your business.
Why Should We Use Field Services Route Optimization Software?
Field services route optimization software improves efficiency and customer satisfaction. Just look at these findings from a survey by SoftwareAdvice:
- 95% of field services businesses see an improvement in technician punctuality after implementing route optimization with GPS tracking.
- 95% of field services providers report that their technicians complete more work orders per day after the field services company adopts GPS-connected route optimization.
- 89% of businesses spend less money per work order on fuel after implementing a field service route optimization app that includes GPS.
Using GPS tracking to monitor your trucks in the field creates visibility of what remote workers are doing and implements accountability. It also allows technicians insight into the traffic conditions between stops and lets them re-route to arrive faster. Since 37% of customers will not hire your business again if the technician is a half-hour or more late, even a few minutes can make a big difference. This is why efficient scheduling and routing is essential.
What is the Best Way to Plan a Route with Multiple Stops?
The best way to plan a route with multiple stops is connected to optimizing the field services work schedule. Field services technicians should work a route where all the locations are as close to one another as possible, as much as each technician’s skill set and capabilities allow. It’s also important to schedule the work orders as they come in to be in alignment with the most efficient route. If two locations are close to one another, it makes sense to schedule their jobs one after the other before sending the technician to the next neighborhood. Using a scheduling software that provides insight into route optimization allows customer expectations to be managed even for emergency calls.
For the 52% of field services organizations still using pen and paper to maintain the schedule and assign jobs for the day, this probably sounds like far too much work to be efficient—and you are correct. But realizing these efficiencies using field services management software will save thousands of dollars per technician per year in time and fuel alone. Those savings are in addition to the benefits of customer retention and increased referrals.
What is the Best Route Planning Software?
The best route planning software for field services comes as an integrated part of a full field services management software platform. Using a free route planner like Google Maps or MapQuest might seem like a good start to achieve some efficiencies, and it’s true those tools can help field services technicians identify better routes between jobs.
But how can operations staff and managers be certain the truck is actually following the most efficient route? How can dispatchers add new stops to the route in the most efficient fashion? And how can work orders be updated in the same platform to give real-time insight into the progress along the route?
Since free route planners are developed for use by lots of different types of people, they lack many of the integrations that achieve efficiencies for field services providers. This is why you want a route planning solution that incorporates not only GPS, but the client history, work orders, warranty information, and real-time inventory insights.
Improve Field Services Route Optimization Techniques and Other Operations
Circle City Software Solutions stands by the Acumatica platform as the best field services management software available. Acumatica is the fastest-growing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software on the market today, because so many businesses are realizing its amazing features and benefits. These include integrated route optimization through a mobile application that has integrated GPS tracking, as well as transparent technician availability, credentials, certifications, and real-time location so dispatchers can manage and update the schedule for today and the future.
Historically we have seen field service companies get underserved when it comes to business software. Rather than a tailored solution that fits your needs and workflow, it’s all too often you have to accept a product and change your work style to match.
We believe Indiana’s field service organizations deserve a product that serves them, which is why we stand behind the Acumatica platform. Contact Circle City Software Solutions today to schedule a demo and see how this field services software will help you stand out from the competition.