Rising fuel prices likely to break some maintenance firms
None of us can control the cost of fuel, even the government’s duty cuts are having little impact, so you have to focus on the stuff you can control, which means reducing visits, less trips means less fuel, less time, less costs.
Sadly for many maintenance companies first time fix rates are very low, does this sound all too familiar? Engineers travelling far to appointments only to realise they don’t have the parts, the training or the valid certificates or Health and Safety records for the job and site they’ve been sent to; so someone has to come back the next day or week! All this waste, costs you time, labour and fuel. This really hits maintenance companies hard because whether you complete the job in one visit or 3 the fee is the same. Not good for your budget, your customers, your stress-levels or the planet!
The key is scheduling, and with the fuel crisis you really can’t afford not to make your scheduling more efficient. Perceptions are different from reality, as so many maintenance companies rely on spreadsheets and WhatsApp groups with their engineers, this just isn’t good enough. Firstly if you don’t track engineers training/ qualifications, their availability and valid dates on site assessments and of course their van stock / parts then you just don’t have good visibility for scheduling.
If you think this can be remedied by calling around Engineers for urgent jobs or posting a plea for help of the nearest engineers on WhatsApp you are also fooling yourself.
Service management systems give a live view of every Engineer, exactly where they are and importantly where they are up to on a job. You can see which qualified Engineers are available and which parts they have with them. Even if it means telling a customer you can’t come today as you won’t be able to fix the problem but you will send an Engineer tomorrow with the correct part, it’s faster and more efficient all round. Real visibility of information make scheduling so much more effective and the result is more first time fixes, less repeat visits, less costs and happier customers.
Rising prices aren’t predicted to fall soon, and every day your scheduling is likely costing you money. Maintenance and service firms who improve in this one area will save fuel and labour costs whilst achieving customer satisfaction.
So the question is, can you afford not to look at scheduling?