It’s already time for our second product release update of 2021 – where does the time go? Don’t forget to check out our Q1 recap if you haven’t already.
We’re back with Field Nation’s EVP of Product Management, Wael Mohammed to talk about what the product team has been working on this quarter, and how those enhancements are helping customers boost top-line growth, drive bottom-line efficiency, and maximize profitability.
Can you quickly summarize the Product team’s three key investment areas for 2021?
“Absolutely, that’s a great place to start. At the end of the day, service businesses want to maximize profitability, and you can do that by growing the top line and/or optimizing your bottom line. With those objectives in mind, we focused on three areas of investment for 2021: intelligence, talent, and workflow automation.
By intelligence, we mean harnessing the billions of data points flowing through our platform and packaging them so customers can make informed decisions about pricing and coverage when they’re bidding on and planning projects.
With talent, we want to make it faster and easier for customers to find, vet, and assign the right technician for the job. Customers tell us they spend up to 2 hours (or more!) on the phone vetting a tech before the first assignment because it’s critical they know and trust the person they’re sending on-site. We don’t want to eliminate that process because it’s so important – but we do want to streamline it.
And finally, with workflow automation, we want to expedite the review and approval process by allowing dispatch teams to get through work that was performed as expected and manage the exceptions.”
Starting with talent, the idea of finding “the right tech for the right job” is easier said than done. How are we actually enabling companies to do that at scale?
“I’m glad you mentioned the word scale because that’s key. When you’re using on-demand labor for hundreds of jobs a week, or for a project with thousands of sites, spending 2 hours on the phone with every single tech before they go on-site is cost-prohibitive. It would destroy your margins.
And like I said earlier, our objective isn’t to eliminate the high-touch vetting process so many of our customers use – it’s to make it more efficient.
One thing we heard from customers is that it’s hard to gauge a tech’s skills and experience just by looking at their profile. He or she might say they do networking or POS work, but how many jobs have they actually done on Field Nation, how recently, and with what ratings from other companies?
The Advanced Technician Profile, a new feature now available to Field Nation Premier customers (like Vology, Sendero Cloud, and Sagent), displays field-verified metrics by type of work. Now, customers can see how many jobs a tech has done by type of work, their last assignment date, star rating, and average pay. So dispatchers don’t have to spend time talking to a tech who doesn’t meet your minimum criteria.
Another new feature now available to Premier customers is Provider Assessments. It’s a pre-assignment survey you can customize and attach to a work order to evaluate skills, experience, site readiness, and more. Again, it’s not intended to replace phone calls or interviews or whatever process you have in place; it’s to help ensure you’re only spending time on the most qualified candidates.”
From an intelligence perspective, how do “billions of data points” as you mentioned earlier help customers who are bidding on and planning work?
“The challenge customers tell us they have when they’re bidding on work is that they know their historical cost for the same or similar projects, but they don’t know whether that’s high or low relative to the market. And they don’t have one place to assess and plan coverage.
That’s where billions of data points come in. Over 1 million work orders are completed on Field Nation every year. And each of those work orders contains valuable data about the type of work, technician experience and qualifications, location, pay rate, and more. By serving up this data to customers, they can see pricing and coverage information at a glance across every site in the project.
We provide this information through a new tool called MarketSmart™ Insights – which is only available to Premier customers. You can upload a project plan (or site list) to MarketSmart™ Insights, and within seconds see a pay range by type of work for each of your sites. And you can also easily identify which sites might have coverage challenges.
Customers who use MarketSmart™ Insights tell us what used to take them hours now takes them seconds. They can respond to RFPs faster, and they can be confident up front about what their costs will be and where they can expect margins to land – versus bidding blindly and hoping for the best. That’s the power of on-demand, market-wide intelligence.”
The last question is around workflow automation. What’s new in Q2 that customers should be aware of?
“Great question. I’m excited to announce our new out-of-the-box Document Storage Connector for Dropbox. Customers tell us that it’s extremely costly to store deliverables related to the work order on their FMS. Think photos and documents like PDFs.
Now, with this new integration solution, customers can have all work order deliverables posted by the technician into Field Nation be automatically copied and stored in their Dropbox account. That way, if their end customer requests proof of service, or requires those deliverables be made available, customers can simply share a Dropbox link.
Dropbox is the first Document Storage Connector we have available, but there are several more planned. If customers use solutions like OneDrive, Google Drive, or Box and would like us to prioritize one of those next, we’d love to hear from them. They can reach out to their Field Nation account rep who can then share that back with the product team.”
Keep up to date with our latest enhancements during our quarterly New & Now product webinars. And don’t miss our robust industry insights at our next Field Intelligence webinar or through our Field Intelligence reports.