It doesn’t matter how big your company is; dispatching your team efficiently, without hang-ups, is at the center of profitability. Scheduling errors can completely stop your operation, leaving techs sitting idly by as money slides down the drain. At the same time, efficient dispatching doesn’t just increase productivity and bring in more money. It keeps the whole operation running in the right direction.
Today, with new field service technology bursting onto the scene, it’s easier than ever to clean up your scheduling and deploy techs efficiently. Here are the best ways to improve your field service dispatch team and the best HVAC apps to do it with.
1. Get a Head Count for Your Field Service Dispatch Team
The first step in organizing any team or project is understanding what kind of ammunition you have in your arsenal. That means taking stock of your team and its capabilities.
Start by sorting your team members by their roles. For instance, how many techs fit into each of these categories?
- Apprenticeship or internship
Each position has its own restrictions and advantages. By starting with a head count, you’ll know what your team looks like.
However, you don’t have to stop there. It also helps to know your employees’ availability. Take stock of any specialists or employees with schedule restrictions. These black sheep with stricter time restraints can be a great jump-off point when you’re setting up dispatch schedules.
Helpful App: Asana
Asana is a free app that’s all about keeping your field service dispatch team organized. It lets you create to-do lists and reminders. At the same time, you can create and track the progress for each job you have on the docket.
2. Plan for the Future
Dispatchers know that no schedule can be set in stone. Still, planning as much as you can in advance will help the field service dispatch team avoid last-minute chaos. One way to do this is to set up and release tentative schedules at least one month in advance.
Sure, dispatchers will still have to make changes on the fly, but this cuts them down. When a tech has an upcoming conflict, they’ll be more likely to let dispatchers know ahead of time. That means there will be fewer last-minute changes and day-of decisions that cause problems.
Helpful App: My HVAC Events
My HVAC Events is designed specifically to keep HVAC pros organized. It pulls all your meetings and upcoming events into one place. More importantly, it lets you attach custom notes and details to events. That means if a tech has a time conflict, you can add a reminder to work it into your scheduling or pass it along to dispatchers.
3. Schedule More Strategically
All right, it may be easier said than done, but taking time to reinforce strategic scheduling can grease the wheels of the field service dispatch team. For instance, you can make room for same-day appointments by scheduling jobs in the mornings when possible.
Additionally, you can simplify your scheduling by encouraging techs to suggest recurring appointments. That way, dispatchers will have a big chunk of consistent time blocks that fill up the calendar first. This also gives customers a reliable schedule they can work around.
Helpful App: Evernote
The days of scribbling on sticky notes and scrambling to keep track of them are long gone. Evernote lets you organize digital notes and schedules in a way that’s easy to see and tough to lose track of. It also makes it easy to share notes about projects or a tech’s scheduling preferences with other teammates who have the app.
4. Build an Effective On-Call Policy
In many operations, a strong on-call policy can be crucial—even if it’s something that draws grumbles from techs at first. The more you focus on building a stellar on-call policy, the happier techs and dispatchers will be. Here’s what to consider when setting up on-call schedules:
- Make sure expectations are crystal clear: There’s nothing worse than scrambling to find backups when on-call techs don’t understand the seriousness of their role.
- Be hyperaware of employees’ time commitments: Try to cut the number of on-call techs to the bare minimum to avoid burnout.
- Make sure your on-call policy is fair: Pay close attention to the on-call rotation and make sure nobody is getting extra time that isn’t deserved.
Helpful App: Slack
Slack provides one online spot to communicate with the whole team. It uses dedicated channels, so you can quickly chat with other team members. Even better, it organizes messages by urgency, so team members know what needs action now and what can wait for another day.
Pair HVAC Apps with All-in-One Field Service Management Software
Combine these tips with HVAC apps, and your field service dispatch team will be moving in the right direction. However, if you want to completely streamline your processes, simplify your scheduling, and connect the whole team, you may want to consider all-in-one field service management software.
Our platform lets you dispatch across multiple locations and is built for companies of all sizes. Essentially, it pulls the whole team together, on one digital platform. That means everyone—inside and outside the office—stays connected and productive. Dispatchers can access real-time updates on where techs are, techs have on-the-job tools in their front pockets, and leaders can streamline work for higher profits.
Want to see exactly how Davisware technology can help your organization accomplish its goals? Schedule a demo today!