Work Force Management

800px-OSU_Bucket_TruckI don’t do a lot of specific vendor recommendation in my blog. But I ran across a software system that companies can use to bring a whole suite of useful tools to your field technicians that is affordable and easy to use. The product is called Service Proz. This software can be used as an add-on to any legacy OSS / billing system to make your field technicians more efficient.

Service Proz brings you the same kinds of tools used by big companies like FedEx. You can use any or all of the Service Proz features, making it very flexible to meet your needs. The program works by installing an app on a smartphone or tablet.

Following is just a sample of the features that come with the software:

  • Tracks the location and schedules of your field techs in real time.
  • Gives you the ability to communicate with field techs at all times (instead of getting voice mail).
  • Provides an easy clock system to log time spent at each customer.
  • Synchronizes with your OSS system to give your techs changes in real time.
  • Interfaces with Google Map to show the location and most efficient route to the next appointment.
  • Tracks inventory and hours in real time, meaning that techs don’t have to come back to the office and transcribe their hours and materials from a clipboard.
  • Allows a field tech to view a customer’s history. They can see a log of past trouble calls or other pertinent information to make their trip as productive as possible.
  • Allows you to transmit documents to the tech via cell phone or tablet. If a technician is missing a piece of paper, a contract or other key document you can get it to them immediately.
  • Allows for electronic signatures from customers that approves an installation or the purchase of an additional product.
  • Allows technicians to modify the work order on the fly. The best use of this is to allow a technician to upsell a customer to an additional product while at their premise.

Why should a company consider this kind of software? Maintaining and operating a fleet of field technicians is one of the biggest costs of operation for most carriers. This software brings a number of efficiencies to your field staff that is going to let them operate better – and time is money. They will be more productive at the customer site since they will have access to all of the documents they need to understand the customer’s situation. With Google Map they should save fuel by taking the most direct route to the next customer. And giving them the ability to upsell customers on the fly means that this software can pay for itself immediately. Probably the biggest advantage is that it can take paperwork out of the field tech’s life, providing them more time to interface with customers.

And it’s affordable. It costs $25.95 per month for the dispatcher and $10.00 per month per field technician. This seems like an incredible bargain. Competing software systems are going to charge tens of thousands of dollars up front for similar features plus require an expensive integration. I would think that the efficiencies in even the first month are worth far more than the cost of Service Proz, and this comes pretty close to a no brainer to me.

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