Busy service organisations have to balance a range of scheduled and reactive work. From planned maintenance and larger-scale projects to urgent fixes. As such, scheduling software can help service companies to serve their customers and run their businesses better.
But, with a plethora of options out there, how can you be sure to choose the right workload scheduling software for you? Here are some top tips to help you get the most out of your IT investment.
Figure out what you want it to do
Workload scheduling software can help you to balance your work schedule, so you can deliver the best service possible, to all your customers. But before you choose a supplier. Consider what you might need the software to do.
For example, at Service Geeni, our software can help you to:
- Assign tasks to the right engineers using location and scheduling data. For example, by automatically calculating the distance between the job and the nearest available engineer
- Optimise routeing functionality. Efficient scheduling requires more than simply planning daily dispatches according to location. To maximise your operations, invest in software that also takes time-of-day, traffic patterns, etc., into consideration
- Integrate with Google Maps. With map functionality, you can enable live location tracking that provides real-time job updates, so you always know where your engineers are
- Prevent double-booking with alerts for overlapping
- Facilitate self-appointment booking. Allowing customers to schedule appointments with your engineers online (and increasing satisfaction levels)
- Provide engineers with a clear view of their scheduled work every day. So there is no need for them to come into the office
- Book group assignments for allocation based on data such as location or customer
- Manage reactive and contract jobs
- Drag and drop. To boost effective job management, you want to be able to book directly into your engineer’s diaries.
- Enable users to view the status of any job (including its history)
- Provide automated progress updates to customers
- Automate processes to improve speed and accuracy through the use of mobile technologies. Significantly reducing administration and paperwork
- Eliminate the wasted time that results from poor scheduling decisions
- And more!
Make sure it is usable
It doesn’t matter how many bells and whistles your dispatch software has if your engineers and other employees don’t know how to use it. Look for a solution that comes with an attractive, user-friendly interface to make sure it’s easy to understand and simple to use.
At the same time, if your new solution won’t integrate with your existing IT setup (assuming you are not starting from scratch) people won’t use it. The best workload scheduling software should augment and support your various mission-critical tasks (e.g. invoicing, sales, CRM, etc.), not hinder them.
Embrace the power of the cloud
While most service-led businesses have invested in some form of workload scheduling technology, all too soon systems can become outdated. At the same time, engineers and support staff get frustrated with less-sophisticated solutions that simply take offline tasks and replicate them online. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Rather than doing the same old things in new ways, by capitalising on the power of the cloud, businesses can create an interconnected system that monitors and shares information. So, software can be used to perform everyday tasks and processes can be standardised and streamlined. It’s about working smarter not harder.
Crucially, with the cloud, you pay a subscription (usually monthly or yearly) to use the workload scheduling software. And it can be implemented at a fraction of the price of an on-premise solution without any large-scale infrastructure investment. Delivering a more stable cash flow, as your business grows, your new scheduling system can be quickly and easily scaled up to meet your changing requirements.
Think about how it will support the way your organisation works
Your workload scheduling software should provide your engineers with real-time access to all the information they need. On any device, from anywhere. So, make sure you choose software that supports mobile working.
Make sure it is safe
With data breaches rarely out of the news, it is no wonder that businesses are nervous when investing in any new IT that will handle sensitive customer and employee data. Your system needs to be able to withstand the growing cybersecurity risk.
Cloud providers have to create secure IT environments. It’s in their business interests to do so. The reputational damage to a cloud vendor that fails to protect its customers’ data adequately is likely to be massive. As such, appoint a vendor that makes security a top priority and has a reliable, secure infrastructure in place.
Look out for advanced reporting functionality
As well as supporting your day-to-day dispatching and scheduling operations, invest in workload scheduling software that also provides on-demand operational performance analytics. So, you can rapidly recognise and respond to trends and even identify revenue-generating opportunities.
About Service Geeni
At Service Geeni we’re not about technology for technology’s sake. Instead, everything we do revolves around helping our clients to increase productivity and work smarter. This approach means we continue to set the benchmark for customer service, with proven products designed to meet business requirements.
Our service management software can help your business work smarter. Contact us today to find out more.