The importance of successful Operational Management of Field Service

Field Service Engineer management

This article is about the importance of operational field service engineer management, which, when done effectively, is the set of behaviours that will ensure quality, excellence and well-being for customers and field engineers.
In order to be successful, operational field service engineer management needs to be supported by some basic pillars such as process, partners and a team of high-performance engineers within the organisation.

Bruno Nogueira

Operational management of field services

The operational management of field services is the coordination of company resources such as equipment and engineers in activities and operations that occur in the external environment. In general, the coordination of these services involves sending equipment, parts, and engineers to different locations to carry out installations, maintenance, or repair of equipment. It is up to the manager of these services to effectively monitor these resources that provide specialised services.

Demand scheduling

Currently, there are several service management activities and the main one is demand scheduling. Demand scheduling involves the allocation of resources and the scheduling of services.

Travel scheduling

Another important point is the travel of the field engineer to the customer’s destination. This activity involves issuing tickets and hotel reservations. It also involves researching the infrastructure of the city where the customer is located so that the needs of the engineer can be met, and the engineer stays safe.

Work orders

When each engineer arrives at the customer, the system assigns a work order. This means that the supervisor monitors the engineer and the process from its creation through to invoicing the customer.

Bruno Nogueira in factory

Field service contract management

Field service contract management is the process that manages the contracts and ensures that service levels are met.
Effective Field Service contract management requires a database of the activities carried out. This is because it brings a lot of benefits to the control of external resources.

Examples of Effective Field Service contract management

Identifying repairs earlier for customers to ensure continuous operations.
Avoiding wear and tear of the equipment.
Making sure the engineer is on task.
Providing engineers with the right data and full maintenance history on a single platform.
Providing remote support and mobile capabilities to engineers to help them work safely and troubleshoot customer issues.
Using data to perform maintenance on time and efficiently.
Ultimately increasing customer satisfaction by responding to unexpected problems and delays quickly.

The challenges of managing field service

Nowadays it is common to find many challenges in managing field services. These challenges include:
talent retention,
sourcing properly qualified professionals,
increasing operating costs,
and lack of technology to manage complex assets.

The challenges of being a field service engineer

Field engineers also face challenges. Examples of challenges faced by field engineers are:
scheduling conflicts,
the ability to obtain critical data,
and miscommunication about assignments.

The solution

To overcome these challenges, the ideal solution is to keep up with technology and automate this information through management software. Then field engineers can find maintenance histories, access technical specifications, and examine service orders. This then increases productivity.

The future

With the advancement of technology, companies need to keep up with changes and evolve. This is because the future of service management will be related to supporting connected engineers. Engineers will be able to use solutions that will offer useful information on how and when equipment should be maintained. Then with automation, mobile capabilities and AI support their productivity will be better and the customer experience improved.

The author

Bruno Nogueira off duty outside

Bruno Nogueira has an MBA in Strategic Service Management and Business Administration. He has experience planning and coordinating field services in diverse market divisions such as Marine, Oil and Gas, Chemicals and Food and Beverage Production. Bruno is based in Sao Paulo in Brazil.

Further reading

Bruno Nogueira, Field Service Coordinator at Alfa Laval in Sao Paulo Brazil
Four Key Qualities for Field Engineers

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