The world of Field Service is changing and at Field Nation we aim to be ahead of that curve. Our CEO Mynul Khan sat down with MobileReach’s Podcast host Dan Dillon to talk about the top priorities for companies in the field service space.
As the industry changes, there are many trends that arise that inform the way companies use contingent labor. Dillon asked Mynul how these trends are changing and what businesses can expect from the evolving workforce.
“There has been a lot of consolidation happening and I think it’s coming from the rising economic pressure,” Khan said. As larger organizations buy up smaller companies, there is an expansion of service requirements happening as well as an expansion of hardware and capabilities.
“A lot of companies are looking to optimize their service margin by using the contingent workforce,” Khan said. As the use of contingent labor grows, having a large base of full-time technicians isn’t friendly to budgets or project turnaround times.
Responding to Economic Pressure
With the expansion of a company’s capabilities and network comes the added pressure of completing work in more places, in less time. This pressure is leading companies to rethink the way they complete work and manage their existing workforce.
“One major economic pressure for field service organizations is having a field workforce. But how do you optimize it,” Khan said. “The solution is not to go all contingent or all full-time. Knowing how to blend it…properly to respond to customer need is really really critical.”
Many companies respond to this need by operating with a blended workforce–a mixture of full-time and contract technicians. This allows companies to expand their service’s reach without impacting their bottom line. Rather than sending a technician across the country to perform a job, they can hire a contractor to go on-site to save money as well as time.
The Future of Contingent Labor
As companies adapt to the growing needs of their end-clients, the workforce must continue to evolve. But how can businesses use the contingent workforce to the best of their abilities?
“This is the mega-trend,” Khan said. “In 2005, there were about 14 million contractors in the U.S., and today that number is 60 million.”
This growth is only going to continue in the coming years, so in order for field service organizations to adapt, they must adopt contingent work in order to scale.
“Companies are depending more on contingent workers,” Khan said. “There are a certain class of technologies that are enabling the field service companies to identify the right skillset in the right place at the right time.”
As companies seek quality work with a quick turnaround, it will be paramount for them to adopt technology to aid them in their execution of fieldwork. This means scaling their workforce outside of their full-time capabilities so they can expand their geographic reach as well as their ability to respond to work orders faster than their competition.
But How Can Companies Ensure Quality Work?
Quality is king when it comes to service work, and ensuring that the technicians that represent a field service company are up to the job is essential to that company’s success. So how can companies vet their technicians to make sure they’re sending the best person to do the work?
“There are some technologies out there like Field Nation that are mastering technician’s experience data, skill data, and work history,” Khan said.
For instance, within the Field Nation marketplace, companies can view a technician’s profile and history to ensure they are the best match for the job. This is a good first step, but it’s not the only step that’s needed to develop a network of skilled contractors.
“What’s really important for these companies,” Khan said, “is to build up a trusted network of technicians and engineers across the country that they have a relationship with.”
Building those relationships makes companies more agile in their ability to scale work. It also allows them to cut down on lead-time between the creation of their work order and the work being carried out by a qualified contractor.
“A platform like Field Nation can make that connection really easy and help manage that relationship on an ongoing basis,” Khan said.
Why Are Organizations Struggling to Meet Multi-Site SLAs?
There are many reasons why companies are struggling to expand their services–and expand them well–to perform multi-site work with quick turnaround time. These issues, however, can be fixed with a few key changes.
“The first major issue is communication and coordination,” Khan said. “When it comes to multi-site, large-scale rollouts throughout the nation, it’s a lot of coordination between your customers, the end-users, and the technicians in the field.”
Optimizing your workforce across these functions is critical to a company’s success. Especially because communication is so important while a technician is on the field, representing your company.
“Because of that scale and the unpredictable nature of when and where you’re going to need the technician, it makes finding the qualified talent at the right time and place very very difficult,” Khan said.
For many field service jobs, there is little lead-time between opening the work order and when it needs to be completed. A customer can’t always wait two or three days to have their problem solved, so finding a way to optimize a workforce to respond to those jobs is essential.
This is where platforms like Field Nation allow companies to maximize their efficiency and manage a complex database of contingent workers across the country while cutting down on their expenses and their hassle.
You can learn more about the field service industry and hear from experts on MobileReach’s 5 Questions for a Field Service Expert podcast.
Reach out to learn more about how Field Nation can optimize your blended workforce without hurting your bottom-line.