What Does Optimization in FSM Actually Mean?

The Pressures of Field Service Modernization, Part 4

Welcome back to our Field Service Modernization series. In part 4, we’ll be looking at optimization in Field Service Management (FSM), which we’ve previously defined as:

  • Refining and improving processes and operations to meet an organization’s individualized needs.

The word optimize gets thrown around a lot, as do the majority of the terms in our series. Consequently, those words can start to lose meaning. When we talk about optimization we’re really talking about:

  • Understanding processes better.
  • Improving those processes with that knowledge.
  • Making better business decisions based on our improved knowledge and understanding.
  • And lastly, the big one for FSM, better-quality mobile work completion.

What does optimization look like in relation to FSM? What exactly can it impact?

Optimization in Modern FSM

To illustrate what modern optimization looks like, we’re going to take another look at the graphic we used in blog 2, “How to use visualization for positive change”. All of the topics we’re covering in this series connect, which is an example of how today’s FSM solutions can be used to meet multiple demands.

Above we see performance, job, and technician information in Field Service Lightning. Optimization is all about making the best out of this improved information. For example, your FSM solution is telling you that one technician is routinely running behind on jobs. As a result, you can optimize operations to deal with this issue by:

  • Automatically rescheduling some of that technician’s jobs as appropriate, within the service territory
  • Pinpointing the technician’s issue(s) to see if it’s a more widespread problem.
    • Providing training, or assistance when the issue arises.
    • Improving existing training.
    • Improving existing scheduling.

What Exactly Can it Impact?

Optimization, in short, impacts productivity. Namely, it provides Field Service organizations with the opportunity to improve processes and operations, or productivity, across the board. With this in mind, let’s break down optimization’s impact in more detail. It means:

  • Field Service management teams
    • Have the ability to set up more intelligent route and job assignments based on location, qualifications, experience, etc.
  • Dispatchers
    • Can more quickly respond to emergencies and coordinate resources.
  • Service territories
    • Can be planned based on real-time information to maximize scheduling.
  • Technicians
    • Have access to up-to-date: inventory, step-by-step instructions, safety/regulatory standards, customer information, contract information, etc.
    • Furthermore, this information can be accessed offline when needed.
  • Billing
    • Time is shortened when everything can be done onsite and is connected.
  • Customers
    • Can give and receive instant feedback.

If we look at the examples above, what impact could you see optimization having on your own organization? How could you optimize each of these areas with your existing FSM solution? Is modern optimization something that could positively impact your business?

Additionally, we can look at optimization as a way to achieve continuous improvement. Again, let’s look at what we’re talking about:

  • Understanding processes better
  • Improving those processes with that knowledge
  • Making better business decisions based on improved knowledge and understanding
  • Better-quality work completion

Modern optimization provides the ability to go beyond meeting short-term goals. In other words, it works towards continuous improvement as organizational needs evolve. As a result, it allows for goals to be based on maximized performance and current business drivers.

For parts 1 to 3, you can follow the links below: