Similar companies: Landscaping, pest control, security
Core Functions: Repair, servicing, installation and maintenance
Typical types of workers
Service Techs: Spend their days traveling from one customer location to another to do their job
Field service technicians apply their set of training and professional expertise on a job-by-job basis and tend to be paid hourly.
Field service technicians often visit their corporate office at the beginning and end of each work day to check in, get their daily work orders, and pick up the company car, van, or truck.
In other cases, many of them keep the vehicle at their house at night and then go straight to the first job at the beginning of the day
These workers typically have some type of pre-scheduled work day planned out in advance based on prior customer requests. They may be responsible for a certain territory, but normally do not have defined routes, except in the case of maintenance companies where that is more common.
During the day they may receive calls for new (urgent) jobs in addition their scheduled ones.
Top Key Challenges
Lack of visibility of where their service techs are
Managers without a mobile location technology find it difficult to determine where mobile employees have been, where they are and where they are headed next
There is no way to know for sure how long employees were at a location, whether they arrived on time, or how much time elapsed between stops
For residential projects, job completion is something that can be challenged after the fact when payment is requested
Accurately Tracking and Managing Payroll
For tech that take their vehicles home they either have to:
Drive to the office to punch their timecards first which is time consuming, wastes gas and decreases productivity.
Or, their time has to be manually recorded, sent to the home office and keyed into the payroll system.
The time card “honor system” creates opportunities for employees to record, “not completely accurate” time entries. Most employees (companies) round to the nearest 15 minute interval.
Job Costing and Billing
Tracking time spent driving to, and performing jobs is critical for being able analyze job performance, customer billing, employee payment and profitability.
Other important challenges
Field service techs typically receive their jobs list first thing each day. For techs that check into the office at the beginning of the day, their jobs list typically comes in the form of hard copy work orders. For those techs that leave directly from their home those work orders have to be faxed or emailed.
Creation of work orders can be time consuming and often pick up errors as they are manually created. Inaccurate work orders often cause late customer visits, and unneeded mileage put on the vehicle. Once they have been issued, updating them with new or additional information can be overwhelming and time consuming for the dispatcher, causing delays in dealing with other jobs. Dispatch typically has to call the techs in the field with the updates, distracting the driver and causing further delays.
Managing urgent customer requests
Although service techs typically have an assigned set of customers to visit, which they receive at the beginning of each day, they often receive new “urgent” job throughout the day as well
In these cases dispatch needs to be able to quickly identify which techs are closest to the customer and then need to reach out to them to communicate the new plan which often requires calls back and forth to the techs.
Other times, customers may call just needing to get an estimate of when their tech will arrive on location forcing dispatch to call the driver to find out when they will be on the job site and then they have to call the customer back
Reducing Mileage and Fuel expenses
Most field service companies provide their employees with company vans/vehicles. Employees are responsible for tracking mileage and fuel costs
Companies have no way of knowing if employees are being efficient in their vehicle use and not wasting gas or exposing the company to lawsuits on side jobs or for personal usage
Field service techs are typically armed with clipboards and forms. Whether it’s providing a customer with an estimate, generating an invoice or collecting specific job information.
Filling out and delivering paper based forms is not only time consuming for the field rep, but the information has to be processed by the home office as well creating opportunities for human error and delays in the home office receiving the information.
How Xora Can Help
Providing Visibility to where service techs are
With Xora location services, a dispatch manager can see on a Google Map where mobile employees have been, where they are and identify who is closest to the next visit or job.
This information can be used to improve job routing and dispatch and help dispatch managers respond to customer questions.
Provide Proof of Services
Xora’s GPS-based location services enable companies to document when an employee has arrived at a location and when they leave. Plus, employees can take photos to prove they have completed their service task and collect customer signatures as well.
All this information can be easily accessed in and can be sent to the customer as proof of service
With Xora Mobile Timesheets employees can clock in, clock out and record breaks, all on their mobile device. No more time wasted driving into the office to punch a time card or spent filling out timesheets that have to be faxed to the home office and manually keyed into the payroll system.
Xora’s Timesheets are ‘GPS’ stamped, providing the exact location and time that the employee clocked in or clocked out. This feature, and the knowledge by the employee that it exists, usually brings about a dramatic increase in field timesheet accuracy.
With Xora GPS location services, employers can set the system to automatically trigger timesheet entries when an employee enters and leaves a job site.
Employee time data can be electronically pulled from Xora and then integrated into your existing Payroll system, helping to streamline the process and reduce data entry time spent by office employees
Tracking Mileage and Fuel Expenses
Xora’s GPS location services make it easy to analyze routes taken by service techs, giving managers clarity to where they have been and how many miles were driven.
This information can be used to streamline driving routes, more accurately track mileage and determine if vehicles are being used for unauthorized purposes
For those employees, who expense mileage on their own vehicles, Xora provides mileage forms to make it easy to record odometer readings which then can be verified by the GPS location services
Job Routing and Dispatch
With Xora’s GPS location services, a dispatch person can easily see where all of their field employees are using Google Maps. When a new customer call comes in, they can quickly see which employee is closest and route the appropriate one to them
With Xora’s Mobile Jobs Management function, dispatchers can easily schedule their day and accommodate and any additional jobs that might come up to the field employee’s mobile device. Field employees can instantly access this information and update it as the job progresses.
Collecting Customer and Payment Information
With Xora’s Mobile Forms, field employees can reduce time-consuming manual paperwork by filling out customer and job forms (work orders, site assessments, invoices, etc) on their mobile device.
Forms can be configured for most any business need including expenses, inspections, surveys, estimates and invoices.
Help reduce overall payroll and overtime costs
With mobile, GPS-stamped timesheets, employers can more accurately track employee time, thereby helping to reduce overall payroll. Plus, they can set up alerts to warn them before employees incur overtime so they can take appropriate actions to avoid it.
With Xora Mobile Timesheets and payroll integration services employers can greatly reduce the office time by up to 50%* or more spent on processing payroll
Customers can see up to a 10%* or higher average reduction in overtime and overall payroll
Xora provides detailed reporting and information around delivery routes, time and mileage spent between stops and time spent at each location. This information is commonly used by customers discover ways to cut costs and increase productivity.
With Xora Mobile Forms and Timesheets, field employees can process information customer and time information with their mobile device saving them time from manually capturing this information and sending it back to the home office. Plus, this reduces the manual data processing time for office staff.
Customers have seen up to a 20-25%* increase on average in overall field productivity
Reduced Fuel and Mileage expenses
With Xora’s GPS location services employers can better route service techs to new jobs, track accurate mileage and ensure that trips were made for business purposes.
Customers have seen as much as a 15%* reduction or more in overall fuel and gas expenses.
Increased Employee Safety
Every call from dispatch to a service tech behind the wheel creates a dangerous situation with possible liability exposure. Xora enables managers and dispatchers to make decisions without the need to check in with the driver over the phone or via text message.
Plus, in the event a service tech gets lost or has a car problem, dispatchers can quickly see where the driver is and provide updated directions or send help.
Increased employee accountability
As Xora is rolled out to the field workforce, employees quickly realize that the job tasks, hours and mileage they report are verifiable by management. This realization tends to lead them to be more accountable and productive, helping responsible employees shine and helping managers know where to target employee skill development.
*Based on input provided by Xora customer case studies.
Xora Customer Quotes
Prior to implementing Xora, it took our technicians eight minutes on average to communicate the necessary job completion information via phone back to the office after every service call. With Xora, this step is now done automatically and it takes less than three minutes. This means our technicians are able to complete more jobs every day.- Steve Poppe, CIO, Roto-Rooter
In the first year we saved more than $350,000 from implementing Xora, and that’s based only on the automated time cards capability. Add another $30,000 or so we expect to save by reducing data entry with the scheduled exports feature, and the cost of the solution more than pays for itself. - John Rucker, CIO at Del-Air
Most other providers will offer clients a check point system (after the fact) report of the security guards tour of duty. Well, we go one step further; clients can view security officers online, anywhere, anytime they have an Internet connection! - Southern Protection Agency
In the first month after adopting Xora, AHI’s fuel bill dropped from over $6,000 to $4,515, a realized savings of 25%. “The gas savings in a single month pays for the cost of the phones and then some - Kim Williams, Service Manager, Accurate Heating, Inc.
GPS TimeTrack™ enables us to better use resources, so we get the greatest possible production
from laundry associates and delivery drivers. The results speak for themselves: We have decreased
office staff downtime by more than 4,000 man-hours each year since we began using GPS TimeTrack..
— Mark Clark, transportation manager for Marriott Textile Services