The term ‘paperless office’ is quickly gaining momentum with everything going digital in today’s world. And in an industry like field services where employees are always on the go, a paperless work order system may not be such a bad idea. But for someone very used to paper-based processes, the idea of working without it may seem unnerving.
Luckily, to help you with the transition, a field service management software could be a great first step as you can rely on it for everything like scheduling, dispatching, inventory management, invoicing, etc. With all the data stored conveniently on one cloud-based software, you can focus on improving the bottom line – no paper required.
Here are the top 9 benefits of going paperless in field services:
Reduction In Operational Costs
A part of speeding up your profitability is reducing costs. And working paperless can eliminate more operational costs than you think – the cost of buying paper, printing, storage, disposal, etc. reduce automatically. All records can be maintained digitally, namely, estimates, timesheets, customer details, reports, and invoices.
All you need to do is make a one-time investment in building a solid field service scheduling software. The economic gains thus received can be used towards achieving customer delight and improving employee welfare.
Efficient Team Management
If you rely completely on paper-based processes, tasks such as scheduling and dispatching would require a couple of dedicated employees and a lot of documentation.
With mobile field service management, scheduling and dispatching can be fully automated. Once you feed in the data and set a working algorithm, the system will assign and dispatch a field technician based on their availability and proximity to work. It can also give the best route to maximize productivity.
Efficient team management can further translate to improved customer satisfaction, reduced fuel costs, and fewer overtime costs.
Easy Breezy Customization
Think about the stress when top-level management suddenly asks for customized reports. How tedious would it be if done manually! The long hours it would take to sort out duplications and errors sounds painstaking.
But with digital forms and tools, you can get customized reports with just a few taps on your PDA. You can also give respective stakeholders access to download the report they want on their own.
Sometimes field technicians need more to explain about the field job they are at. With field service management software installed on their mobile, they can simply take photos, add notes, make sketches, and store it all digitally in an organized way for the purpose of reporting.
Improved Customer Satisfaction
It is not possible to carry heaps of inventory files or make multiple calls from the job site to check on stock. Luckily, with the availability of digital data, it is easy for field technicians to find out the inventory status and reach the job site with all the necessary equipment. This prevents delay in repairs and closes work orders with minimal to-and-fro, thus ensuring optimal customer satisfaction.
Decluttering makes lives easier and working paperless can ease a good amount of disorder and confusion that comes with paper files. You can start with scanning important documents to store them digitally or simply feed all the necessary data into the system.
Soon your cabinets will start to look clean and you will have more floor space in the office.
Access Data on Your Fingertips
Spending hours trying to search for the files you need can slow down the business and make resources less efficient. According to the article The Paper Monster vs. The Paperless Office, a typical employee spends 30-40% of their time looking for information locked in email and filing cabinets.
If you choose to go digital, you can access any data you want with just a few taps on your mobile or simply by typing in the keywords related to your search.
Transfer Knowledge in Seconds
Communicating or passing on information to your employees or co-workers through letters, posts, and couriers is redundant in today’s world. With electronic mail, chat features, and messengers; you can simply attach large files and send them to your co-worker in a couple of minutes. This comes in very handy in a field service business where all the employees are dispersed at different locations.
Employees can work together by collaborating online, thus improving team dynamics in the organization.
Quicker Invoices, Faster Payments
There is too much room for error when working with paper invoices. Not to mention the time they take to be generated and delivered. Using field service management software, customer invoices can be generated on the go, verified by the team, so you can get paid faster than ever. Convenience and win-win for everyone!
The benefits of going paperless in the field service business range from saving time, money, and client relations to helping you tackle data loss and security issues better. Your customers will be happier as their issues will be resolved quicker. What’s more, you will be doing the environment a huge favor by saving hundreds of trees that get cut down to produce paper.
Akhil Rajan is a Customer Success Specialist at Zuper, an intelligent workforce management platform for service-oriented businesses. Working with customers on a daily basis, he has a deep understanding of their needs and pain points and so he is able to contribute to the marketing strategies for Zuper with the content he writes. He writes on topics like how to increase workforce utilization, how to reduce the service turnaround time and increase workforce efficiency, customer adoption, cost reduction strategies, etc – to name a few. He is often found buried in books or playing chess in his free time.