“Dispatching” is a term used to describe the procedure of sending a technician to a job site. Every company has their own dispatching procedure, but traditionally dispatching by phone or email are the most common.
On the surface this seems fine, but there are lots of issues and challenges with this process, that can create bottle necks in your business process. To better understand some of the challenges involved, let’s look at the steps involved in dispatching a tech using traditional methods.
Traditional Dispatching Process
What are some of the inefficiencies of traditional dispatching?
Step 1: Call comes in from a client requesting a service call
Step 2: Admin records the job details in a excel or a work order book
Step 3: Admin forwards information to service manager (call/emails)
Step 4: Service Manager evaluates priority level of job.
Step 5: Service Manager determines which technician Is best suited based on skill required, location of job, and technician availability.
Step 6: Service manager calls technicians in the area to get updated job statuses on current jobs.
Step 7: Service Manager gives instructions to technician (by phone call or email or text message)
Step 8: Service manager updates job status (typically in a spreadsheet or on whiteboard)
Step 9: Admin notifies client that a technician has been dispatched and gives an estimate time.
In the 9 steps outlined, there are 3 points in which the job details are potential relayed via telephone. Do you remember playing the game “telephone” in primary school? The more often a message is relayed verbally, the more likely it is to get miscommunicated, inadvertently providing incorrect or inaccurate information to the tech (think wrong contact number, wrong address), resulting in additional phone calls to rectify.
This more traditional method also puts a heavy reliance on the service manager to be up to date on the status of other ongoing jobs. Often, when an emergency calls comes in, he has to call multiple technicians to find out where they are and what the status of their current job is, which can be quite time consuming.
What ways can a software dispatching system help improve these inefficiencies?
Software can reduce the risk of miscommunication and eliminate the need for back and forth phone calls entirely. A dispatching tool, this greatly simplifies the process. The steps would look more like this:
Efficient Dispatching Process
Step 1:Call comes in from a client requesting a service callAdmin records job details in the software system and clicks a button to notify service manager.
Step 2:Service Manager reviews job and available technicians as well as current job statuses (all available within the software system). Service manager clicks a button to send job details via text message to the selected technician.
Step 3: Technician confirms receipt by responding to text with “ok” software automatically notifies the client that a technician has been dispatched.
Not only does software dispatching save steps, but the transfer of information is digitized, reducing the likelihood of human error. The time the service manager has to spend evaluating each job and updating job statuses is minimal, making the whole process much more efficient.
Additional ways Software dispatching can help
One of the best things about a “digital” dispatching system is that job updates are immediate. A technician can send and SMS or text with a simple job status update. Those updates will be immediately visible to Project managers, service managers and the business owner.
Technicians can even send images via text. Images sent in are attached directly to the work order, so they are organized and easily accessible.
There is even the option of a smart phone or tablet app for your more tech savy contractors. They can use the app to receive and accept dispatches, update statuses and upload pics.
There is nothing necessarily wrong with using a manual dispatching system. Many businesses use a manual system and function quite well. However, if you are looking to take your business to the next level, upgrading to a dispatching tool is the best way to increase efficiency and productivity.
SnapSuite is focused on helping businesses in the construction industry across North America improve their existing business processes. To find out how we can help your business, schedule a call with us.
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