By Brian Albright, Field Technologies magazine
Field service is, in many ways, a reactive function. When a piece of equipment breaks, service managers have to be able to place the right technician with the right tools at the customer location in a timely fashion. But how do you know if you have the right number of technicians available on any given day to respond to customer requests? When it comes to labor forecasting, many service companies have played a guessing game, using a mix of limited metrics and gut feelings to build schedules.
That was the case at Safelite AutoGlass until the company deployed an automated labor forecasting solution that works in tandem with its mobile field service software. The company has boosted its forecasting accuracy to more than 90 percent and, by increasing the number of available technicians during peak hours, expects to increase the number of customers it services, boosting revenues as well.
In business for more than 65 years, Safelite is well-known for providing mobile windshield repair and replacement services. The Columbus, OH-based company employs 3,500 mobile technicians and also operates traditional repair shops across the country. The company has used a proprietary mobile work order management system called Mobile Resource Management (MRM) since 2007. Each technician accessed the solution on a BlackBerry phone, entering customer information and accepting payment in the field.