This is a guest post by Arrivy.
Coordinating with your customers, dispatch, and crew can be time-consuming without the right tools in place. On average, most companies lose a lot of their critical time and resources due to inefficient crew and equipment management.
Managers often spend time managing their teams through the same mundane tasks every day. Micromanagement of this nature can be tedious, repetitive, and bound to failure. The day's situation should ideally be fluid, but having disconnected systems and manual processes makes this incredibly difficult.
In the end, managers are left with an overburdened, exhausted, and unmotivated field crew and some not-so-happy customers. If you want to avoid this, here are five pro tips for you to become the boss of your scheduling, dispatch, and routing.
ProTip #1: Keep your team informed and empowered
For any scheduler, the task of getting all your teams dispatched on the day of service with complete information can be highly stressful, especially when you have to metaphorically duct-tape different tools and platforms together. Every operations manager has their own array of preferred tools, whether it's wall or online calendars, email or SMS groups, and even sticky notes or note apps.
However, using tools that aren't built for this age and time can be downright torture. To optimize your operations, you need to equip your team with the right kind of information to power their day. Your crew should be able to clock in and out, view job details, and be in direct contact with the customer and dispatch. The easier you can make this for the crew, the better their job execution will be.
ProTip #2: Enhance your day of service customer experience
Knowing your field crew's exact location on the day of service is crucial to staying in control. To ensure a good customer experience, you should stay up to date with your crew throughout the day along with real-time status updates that can help you pinpoint your team's location on the map, see what routes they are on for the day, and the progress of each job. This helps the dispatcher stay in control and avoid any delays.
ProTip #3: Stay on the same page with job journals
A complete and comprehensive job history comes in handy if an escalation arises. Some managers use spreadsheets, others use good old-fashioned notebooks, but most maintain a journal demonstrating a record of the job process. These journals allow you to note job progress, and in case things go awry, you will be able to come back to your notes and see where the problem originated. The more elaborate the journal, the more useful it is, but the more time-taking it becomes. Managers have to strike a balance here and try to keep a reasonably detailed journal.
ProTip #4: Optimize your routes
Another tip for optimal operations management is to create and optimize routes to get the most out of your team's day and save money on gas while you're at it. But rearranging tasks in routes to balance them between your field teams can be tricky, especially if you have multiple routes. You should try to schedule jobs closer to each other for one team on the same day so that you can get done with more in little time.
Planning routes on the basis of skill level is also a beneficial exercise. For instance, you could schedule your fastest crew member to work in job-heavy locations and send the less experienced workers to the outliers.
ProTip #5: Check your report card
Reports are the bread and butter of any field operations business. They help you calculate the average time spent on a job, in transit, and the mileage covered by the team. All these data points are critical when it comes to invoicing and planning jobs for the next day. Reports can help set appropriate customer expectations as the promises made to them are backed by data. With the help of specially curated reports, operations managers can offer a better customer experience.
Connect sales, operations, and customers seamlessly with Arrivy for Zoho CRM
Operations management platforms like Arrivy help you stay up to date with your teams throughout the day, optimize routes, enhance customer engagement, maintain history, calculate work hours, generate performance reports, and do so much more. With the Arrivy extension for Zoho CRM, your sales teams can now cooperate smoothly with your operations or dispatch team on Arrivy and hand off tasks seamlessly while providing an engaging customer experience.
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