Skip to content

9 ways to successfully manage break-fix work on Field Nation

April 23, 2024

By Sandra Williams, Field Service Delivery Manager

One of the key things I’ve learned as a field service delivery leader is that being a great buyer has a ripple effect on your success. When you’re a good buyer, it’s easier to staff tickets, meet tighter SLAs, and satisfy clients. If there’s one piece of advice I’d give to other companies, it would be this: strive to be the best buyer possible to attract the best techs.

Break-fix is 99% of our work on Field Nation. Most of our clients have sites all over the U.S. and in Canada. We support networking equipment like access points, cradle points, and switches. We also dabble in supporting security cameras and alarm panels and provide managed services for one of the largest logistics companies in the U.S. 

Here are nine ways we draw in top-notch techs and consistently deliver quality client outcomes, especially when it comes to break-fix.

1. Craft an effective work order

Our work orders used to be somewhat wordy, but I’ve learned that clarity and conciseness are essential. This approach helps technicians understand exactly what’s expected without sifting through unnecessary information. 

We never create a new work order from scratch. Instead, we use work order templates customized for each client. For example, the scope of a client project might change, but the check-in/check-out process is always the same. Using templates, you can fill out an address, type in the scope, and call it a day. Also, templates are a great backstop to make sure techs get the information they need for a project.

2. Optimize pricing strategies

We started our journey to optimize our approach on break-fix pricing when we landed a client with a four-hour SLA. Our pricing is tiered based on the urgency and complexity of the work. So the higher pricing on a quick-turn project is designed to attract a technician who can respond within the client’s timeframe.

We also have a client with a standard two-hour rate for each break-fix project. Whether a tech is on-site for five minutes or two hours, we charge the client for two hours. This ups the ante for the techs and makes them want to take the work.

Also, it’s important to realize when you need to increase your prices and when you need to have a pricing conversation with clients. Recently, due to increasing costs in gas, parts, and other expenses, we implemented our first price increase in four years. Keeping our pricing competitive helps us meet tighter SLAs and find better technicians. Given the rising costs of everything, clients recognize when a price increase is the right thing to do.

3. Trust your gut

When it comes to vetting, vibes matter. Vetting is about more than just qualifications. Over the years, I’ve noticed that what techs say on the phone can be a sign of their quality. You get a lot of insight from how technicians respond to your questions. Short responses are a red flag and may indicate a lack of engagement or expertise. On the other hand, when you find the right tech, you’ll have the feeling they know their stuff. 

I also take into account things like whether techs confirm their work orders promptly. Little indicators like that go a long way.

4. Overcome client hurdles

In the rare case when we can’t fulfill a client need, it’s critical to maintain an open dialogue. We keep clients apprised of what we’re trying and the status of finding the tech they need. We try to offer our clients options, such as telling them when the next tech is available and can be on site. It’s important to always show clients you’re giving their work your best effort.

5. Optimize project check-in and check-out

One of the things we’ve worked really hard on is our check-in and check-out process. We make it easy for techs to check in on-site and start their work while making sure we have the information we need.

We have a dedicated phone line where techs do a checkout call. On the call, we verify that they submitted the right sign-off sheets, completed the scope of work, and uploaded all photos and deliverables. This step has saved us so many times. It protects us and the technician in case any issues arise with the client later on.

6. Offer flexible arrival windows

We avoid giving clients a specific start time, and instead give them time ranges (such as between 8:00 and 10:00 a.m.). That flexibility gives techs more options and prevents them from being late.

7. Speed up assignments and approvals

We’ve fine-tuned our process so that we approve jobs no more than three days after completion. A quick turnaround in approving assignments and processing payments shows techs they’re valued. And when they feel that respect, they’re more eager to jump on our next work order and deliver the quality our clients expect.

8. Maintain accountability

I’ve found that consistency cultivates mutual respect. Maintain good relationships with techs by holding them accountable to their commitments. Use penalties for late work, incomplete tasks, or failure to meet specified work order requirements. However, ensure these penalties are fair and clearly communicated from the outset. 

9. Leverage Field Nation resources

We leverage Field Nation’s capabilities, like Talent Pools and GPS check-ins, in our daily operations. Regularly engaging with Jack Cushing, our dedicated Field Nation account representative, has been invaluable. His insights about the platform’s robust features have significantly contributed to our standing as a leading buyer, continuously improving our processes and outcomes.

If you’re considering Field Nation for break/fix work, you’ll be in great hands. Field Nation has helped us be a more successful and competitive business, and they can help you do the same.


About the author

Sandra Williams has built a dynamic career at a leading nationwide IT field services company over the past five years. Starting as a Help Desk Technician, she rapidly advanced to become the Field Services Delivery Manager, where she leverages her CompTia Network+ Certification to drive excellence in service delivery and team leadership. Before transitioning into IT field services, Sandra honed her customer service and operational skills in the cosmetology industry.


More from the field


6 ways to incentivize field service teams to stay within budget and maintain quality

For businesses

Incentivizing your teams can help them meet expectations and drive customer satisfaction. In this blog, we offer six key tips to help you effectively motivate your project managers, dispatchers, and broader teams to help boost results and maintain a quality experience for your customers.



5 top vetting tips from Field Nation customers

For businesses, Field Insider, Quality

Choosing the right technician at the right time and place can be complex. However, through years of experience placing work on Field Nation, some of our customers have mastered their vetting processes.



Understanding labor shortage trends in the field service industry

Labor shortage, For businesses, Field Intel

The field service industry faces a range of employment trends, including a persistent labor shortage and an increase in retired workers. In this blog, we’ll analyze these trends and explore how on-demand labor can help you overcome workforce challenges and embrace change to thrive in the field service industry.


Tap into the #1 labor marketplace for IT field service