When Subcontracting, Avoid An “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” Mentality
Field service organizations are under pressure to deliver exceptional service, but in the midst of almost-daily changes in customer expectations, technical toolsets, regulations and other workplace variables, it’s increasingly difficult to keep up. Factor in the aging workforce, and delivering excellent customer service becomes an even more complicated road to navigate.
With all these fluctuating dynamics, field service organizations must stay ahead of the curve to continually meet (or exceed) customers’ already-high expectations. But precisely how to stay ahead of the curve depends on organization-specific challenges and strategies.
One popular strategy that many companies use to meet or exceed high customer expectations is the use of subcontractors to complete at least some of the daily tasks carried out in the field.
How to maintain control
When field service organizations outsource work, they struggle with different challenges:
- How do you know subcontractors are following the correct safety procedures?
- Are subcontractors aware of rules and regulations governing work in different regions?
- Do subcontractors follow your procedures for delivering best-in-class customer service that in-house employees follow when executing work orders?
- Can subcontractors collect and register the specific information from the field that you need in order to optimize and improve your services?
Because you outsource tasks, do you sometimes feel that execution of those tasks is out of your hands? Do you sometimes feel you’re no longer managing effectively? Are you losing control?
To stay fully in control on the path to meeting or exceeding customer expectations, field service organizations must be proactive throughout the service process, no matter who’s doing the work.
Give employees and subcontractors the same tools
Outsourcing work doesn’t mean you outsource management of the work, too. In fact, it’s imperative that you manage – and measure – subcontractor performance. You need visibility into all field resources, both in-house and outsourced, to maintain service quality.
You must balance the use of in-house technicians and subcontractors. In-house technicians offer more control and flexibility. Outsourcing helps when your internal workforce doesn’t have the bandwidth or skills, and when there’s no business justification to recruit full-time employees.
- Whether technicians in the field are employees, subcontractors, or both, your mobile workforce management software should allow you to easily schedule, optimize and manage the total workforce.
- Giving subcontractors the same tools, rules, and training that in-house workers receive helps ensure customer satisfaction, regardless of who performs the work.
Equip your organization with mobile field service software
Tried-and-true ways to successfully work with a “hybrid” field service team include the following:
- Create a standard process for service execution. Offer your hybrid field service team clear guidelines for completing tasks. In this way, both employees and subcontractors know what to expect and can deliver better service to customers. With the correct Field Service Management solution, you’re flexible enough to follow the standard process/workflow, and you also give your subcontractors the freedom to make changes so the process/workflow works for not only your organization, but also for the subcontractor’s.
- Capture and make data accessible across the organization. Provide your entire workforce with the ability to capture and transfer information seamlessly, allowing for real-time decision-making and faster resolution of issues. But is your Field Service Management solution able to share pertinent information with your subcontractor, without sharing too much? You need a solution that not only captures and shares necessary data, but one that can also protect sensitive, company-specific data.
- Plan for future demand. Anticipate future demand and plan your resource response to that forecasted level of work, to ensure that the appropriately skilled staff is available to handle anticipated peaks and valleys in demand. Forecasting future demand also gives your subcontractors the freedom to plan, schedule and dispatch orders optimized for their own organization.
Here at Gomocha, we understand the challenges inherent in integrating subcontractors into your organization to ensure a “good fit” for everyone in the organization and to ensure that your customers stay happy and loyal. Contact us today to see how we can help get your hybrid field service crew up and running quickly with our ‘zero-coding’ approach. We’re experts at enabling service organizations like yours to collect performance data, analyze it and act on it. Call 240-403-6001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a “test drive” of FMP360. We’ll even customize it for your specific environment!