Here is my perspective on the biggest mistakes that companies make when hiring & managing Field Service Contractors:
1. Failure to fully vet individual technicians doing the work – Don’t assume that that every technician your contractor dispatches has the skills, training, and experience necessary to complete the work properly and in a timely manner. Insist on viewing background checks, certifications, and credentials of every contract technician assigned to your company.
2. Failure to train and on-board contractors - Quite often companies issue work orders without training contractors on how they'd like the work to be performed. For example, they do not explain how they'd like the tech to greet the customer and/or notify the customer when the work is complete. Fortunately, internet based learning systems make it possible for companies to train and on-board contractors in a cost effective and rapid manner.
3. Failure to communicate with contractors – This is the biggest mistake that a company can make is hand off work orders as if they were tossing a hot potato over a brick wall. This will result in issues with respect to key service performance metrics such as SLA compliance, First Time Fix, and No Fault Found. It is important that companies provide contractors with detailed and specific instructions about the activities they need to perform on each assignment. At the same time, contractors also need to communicate with the companies that hire them on the status of calls, issues or problems they are experiencing, and results of their actions.
4. Failure to integrate contractors into their service delivery process – Problems can occur when there is too much of an arm’s less relationship between the company and the contractor. In other words, there is little accountability, visibility, and control between the company and contractors, and vice versa. The key to success lies in treating contractors as an extension of your company. Companies can achieve this outcome by leveraging communication technology, collaboration tools, and workforce automation software. Relying on these systems will ensure the company achieves best in class service performance through its contractor network.
Michael R. Blumberg is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and of Blumberg Advisory Group, Inc (www.blumberg-advisor.com). His firm focuses on providing strategic and tactical assistance for improving the overall profitability and quality of field service operations. Michael is a results oriented, business leader with unequaled background in the Field Service & Reverse Logistics arena. He is highly skilled at developing innovative business strategies that effectively respond to industry trends and market requirements, and leverage internal systems and processes resulting in improved financial and operation performance for his clients. Mr. Blumberg is a prolific author and frequent speaker at industry events and conferences. Michael may be reach at 855-643-9060 ext. 703 or via email at micha[email protected]. Michael’s blog is accessible at www.reverselogisticstoday.net. Follow him on twitter via @blumberg1.