Meet Laura: Helping Clients Use Data to Improve Field Services

4 min read

laura-quist-field-nationMeasuring and acting on data in the world of field services can be a whirlwind. With time-sensitive projects, competing demands, and technicians onsite across the country, it is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.

We sat down with Laura Quist, a Senior Account Manager at Field Nation, to understand how she helps her clients achieve operational excellence based on real-time data:

I started working at a company called FieldSolutions in 2011, which was acquired by Field Nation in 2015.  Post-acquisition, I worked with the sales team to transition full service accounts to a self-service model. I then moved into a business development role engaging prospect companies and training new clients. Now as a Senior Account Manager at Field Nation, I have the opportunity to work with a select group of accounts and provide ops support, consultative best practices for workflow efficiencies, platform utilization and management of contingent labor, as well as strategic planning to help our clients achieve their service operations and business goals.

 

  1. What data should field service businesses look at?

It’s a good idea to take a high-level approach to each client’s revenue and work trends. Many businesses get bogged down by day-to-day revenue and costs, which doesn’t show the whole picture. By looking at data from a higher level, I help clients find inefficiencies and areas for growth. Field Nation’s dashboards help by showing show  total spend, top types of work, and highest performing service providers.

  1. How should field service companies use reporting for pricing jobs?

Our platform is great at suggesting pricing information that is fair and accurate. Clients can post work orders based on the market price of labor in each geography given a specific skillset. I like to compare clients’ average hourly rates to market averages in each industry. This helps clients understand if their costs are too high or too low.

We also look into the pay structure clients use, including: fixed rate, hourly, blended, and per-device. I then convert this information to see what is most effective for their technicians and cost effective for their business. One metric that indicates success is amount of time on site.

  1. How can clients ensure quality technicians are going onsite?

Often surprising is the correlation between quality outcomes and service providers. Many clients pay more for preferred technicians than non-preferred because of their relationship. Preferred technicians often request more money, inflating their rates. Meanwhile, quality outcomes are often the same – if not better – with other technicians from the marketplace.

To ensure quality, I look at reports that show quality events per month. Specifically, I look into monthly trends on types of issues. One of the most common issues is “the service provider did not complete the full scope of work”. When this data comes through, the client can look at their internal processes. For example, a scope of work issue is probably related to the thoroughness of the work order. This often suggests that clients should add clarifying information to the work order

  1. How do you help clients analyze the success of a project?

Project level reporting is important to view workflow efficiency, issues specific to the project, provider statistics, and pricing insights. Project level reporting also helps businesses better prepare for upcoming projects with accurate timelines.

For example, I often view nationwide projects on a regional basis. By isolating areas that took a longer time to find talent, we know to price work orders higher in that area to attract talent faster. This also helps clients better estimate SLAs including response time and average time to completion.

  1. How can businesses make changes to their operations with this data?

Very easily. The data in Field Nation shows operational inefficiencies in real time so businesses can make changes quickly. Some common changes I see are:

  • Improving workflow inefficiencies: viewing how long it takes to assign or pay a service provider shows that dispatchers need to assign faster once requested.
  • Accurate pricing: track pay rates and reset pricing in different markets. Inaccurate pricing can delay service provider request times, or result in paying too much in a market.
  • Eliminate manual process: automate assignment processes through talent pools and selection rules with auto-dispatch. This takes a lot of manual time out of a dispatcher’s work day.
  1. What advice do you have for businesses who are just getting started with reporting?

Oftentimes, businesses use reporting on a reactive basis. With Field Nation, you can be proactive in using best practices with contingent labor. Most clients are so busy reacting to current demands, they miss opportunities for improvement.  This costs many businesses thousands of dollars.

Having a QBR (quarterly business report) with a Field Nation representative is a great way to manage upcoming opportunities. QBRs can include, but are not limited to:

  • Diving into location-based pricing to help accurately price bids
  • Checking out scheduling tools and auto-dispatch to ensure manual processes are minimal
  • Looking at current bottlenecks in internal processes to produce better outcomes

In the end, taking the time to analyze reports may take a few extra minutes a day, but clients who make the time investment will see excellent returns.

Are you ready to leverage data to take control of your business? Contact your representative today to learn how Field Nation works for you.