If you are managing a flooring business with field service operations, you might have come across many challenges that would have caused profit leakages. Most companies in similar situations have taken support in technology, however, technology alone cannot solve all your operational problems. Effective operational management requires putting the right person with the right tools at the right place at the right time. Are you capable of doing that?
In many segments of the flooring industry, small businesses are up against tough competition from big stores. The number one challenge that small flooring businesses are facing today is that they have to be more than a flooring business. They need to be insightful and fast, convenient and comprehensive, accurate and personalized. When every aspect of service has a cost, which impacts the profit by huge margin, how can flooring business in these circumstances remain efficient and profitable?
Most flooring businesses today aspire to manage planning, cost-estimation, and resource allocation processes from one place. This practice not only increases the accuracy of the project but also speeds up the turnaround time. However, it cannot be achieved through paper-based processes. Having the right technology solution that allows us to perform end-to-end operations management processes in one place is imperative.
Deep-diving into operations and technology solutions available to streamline operations lead us to various ways technology can help flooring businesses transform their operations. Automation that is provided by technology is an answer to most of the problems operational challenges, a list of which goes as:
- Manage Everything from One Place
Automated flooring software solutions enable service managers to manage every aspect of the operations from one place. The software has many modules to automate different processes, at the same time, it keeps a record of every activity happening with the operations. Since this record could be tracked and managed online, service managers get end-to-end visibility into operations.
With much deeper visibility into operations, managers can track who is where at what time and working on what project. Managers can schedule and reschedule effectively as and when needed, while informing the team in advance with all the relevant details in their hand. They get to see real-time status of material availability in the inventory and set thresholds for stock-out. Digitized operations also enable them to automatically trigger the alert when the stock reaches the thresholds.
- Faster Turnaround Time
Scheduling and dispatch processes are prone to many complications, ranging from overlapping of schedules to double-booking. These problems are not only costly, but also lower the morale of field service teams. Consider for instance, the motivation of field service crew members who reached the client location only to learn that the meeting has been rescheduled. Imagine the frustration of the service manager whose crucial resource has traveled so far, only to raise the fuel cost of the company.
Most of these problems happen when scheduling and dispatch processes are manual. According to a report, 50% of companies with field service operations are still managing their business operations on paper, leading to reduced turnaround time, lower first-time fixed rate, and high cost of service operations.
By optimizing field service scheduling and dispatch processes, flooring businesses can drive operational efficiency to the next level. Most flooring software applications are equipped with auto schedulers that provide an end-to-end view of the work order process, allowing managers to track the calendar of every member of the team and select the best technician for the job. Auto schedulers backed by AI and machine learning technologies run algorithms on the job-skill-location-availability based criteria to recommend the best technician to perform the task in seconds, thus saving time, assuring faster turnaround time, and higher first-time fixed rate with increased accuracy in scheduling process.
- Data Analytics and Reporting
Data is the new fuel to business. Collecting operational data and utilizing it to generate proactive insight has become a common practice among successful flooring businesses.
Data analytics capabilities in flooring software could help capturing data from a variety of sources. Data stored on cloud servers could be accessed anytime, anywhere, thus allowing field teams to upload field data, documents quickly for record-keeping. This data can further be processed to generate information about operational performance, teams’ performance, and material and inventory management processes.
Market is flooded with software solutions for flooring businesses. While standalone flooring software solutions are available in the market with much cheaper rates, it is recommended to choose an integrated flooring business software that covers all aspects of service operations.
Technology is reshaping businesses at a great pace. The exponential growth in technology is not only welcomed by the business fraternity but by consumer segments as well. This has increased the adoption of digital techs among companies with service operations. Flooring businesses, being one of that kind, are gradually shifting towards digital tools, however, speeding up adoption for having greater success is necessary.