04/11/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/11/2024 07:40

What Is Dispatch Management? Tips for Efficiency

Dispatch management is the process that helps your dispatchers schedule, manage, and track the resources needed for field service requests. Our research finds that 72% of consumers say they'll remain most loyal to the companies that provide faster service. That's a lot of pressure for your dispatchers who must make sure every customer gets the right help when they want it.

It's not easy to be a dispatcher. They sit at the intersection of customer experience and field service management, making it one of the most demanding jobs in field service. Their job is hectic, fast-paced, and stressful.

There's a lot that can go wrong everyday. Dispatchers have to juggle different types of appointments, may have to find multiple contractors and specialists for a single job, and even handle requests for emergency situations, like floods. Managing all of this efficiently is hard.

You can make your dispatchers' jobs easier and less stressful with the right field service management software that includes key dispatch management capabilities. This solution streamlines the entire process with automation, AI, and data. Plus, your dispatchers get a full view into the availability, skills, and proximity of the mobile workforce - both employees and contractors - in a single dispatch console.

What you'll learn:

What is dispatch management?

At a high level, dispatch management is the process of overseeing the scheduling, planning, and tracking of resources to ensure timely, efficient, and effective field service for a range of functions. These include repairs, installations, maintenance, emergency response, home healthcare, insurance claim assessments, deliveries, and much more.

Resources are people, tools, parts, equipment, vehicles, and more. Use cases vary from fixing a burst pipe in a home, to installing solar panels for a business, to performing preventative maintenance on an ultrasound machine in a hospital, to rerouting technicians and emergency personnel to assist with natural disasters and utility outages.

No matter the request or industry, the goal of dispatch management is to maximize resources, minimize costs, and deliver exceptional service to customers - when they need it. This starts by connecting the right field service technician to the customer. Remember: "right" means the assigned mobile worker has the right skills, tools, equipment, vehicles, availability, and other requirements to make sure your customer gets fast, complete service - the first time. (Back to top)

The importance of dispatch management

Nobody wants to wait - whether they're in a real hurry or not. What if your strategy for managing service requests was first come, first serve? You could wind up with all your field service technicians handling low-priority jobs in one section of your service territory when a high-priority request comes in from the opposite side.

Dispatch management helps you:

  • Prioritize service appointments based on customer needs and resource availability
  • Identify, plan, and execute efficient routes for field service technicians
  • Modify schedules and re-route mobile workers based on real-time events
  • Increase customer satisfaction with on-time, complete service
  • Boost mobile worker satisfaction by reducing time on the road

Successful field service is tied to effective dispatch management. It's the difference between jumping from job to job as fast as you can and using your team for maximum efficiency and customer experience. (Back to top)

Dispatch management benefits

Dispatch management offers several benefits. Let's look at three:

  1. Improved operational efficiency: Making sure the right resource is assigned increases productivity, reduces downtime, and boosts first-time fix rates. This process helps you deliver more effective service.
  2. Cost savings: By optimizing routes, minimizing travel time, and reducing idle time, you save on fuel costs, overtime expenses, and other operational expenses. When you reduce time on the road, you improve field service sustainability.
  3. Enhanced customer satisfaction: Faster response times, accurate arrival times, and complete service results in better customer satisfaction scores (CSATs) and customer loyalty. This can lead to new business opportunities.

.To summarize: effective dispatch management improves overall operational performance and customer experience. (Back to top)

What is the dispatch process?

The dispatch process touches every aspect of field service - from taking initial requests to analyzing post-delivery data - and aims for high efficiency and maximized usage of resources. Dispatchers must balance shifting and competing priorities to make sure everything operates smoothly.

At a high level, here's what a typical dispatch process includes:

  • Request intake and assignment: The dispatch process begins with a customer request for service. The dispatcher first collects all necessary data: request type, location, and any specific requirements. Then they look at technician availability, skills, proximity, and capacity to assign the best resource and ensure a speedy response.
  • Scheduling and routing: Dispatchers create schedules for the assigned resources, taking into account factors like time constraints, priority, and efficiency. They also determine the most efficient routes for technicians to take, considering factors like traffic patterns, distance, and weather.
  • Communication and monitoring: Dispatch management remains critical when field service technicians are en route, at a customer site, and when the job is done. By maintaining communication with technicians, dispatchers can help with field service appointments in real time by providing important updates. Dispatchers can monitor key field service metrics, including time to site, first-time fix rates, and CSATs, to help identify ways to improve performance, boost efficiency, and drive more revenue for your business.

These are a lot of steps and factors to get your dispatch process right. Let's look at how field service management software with dispatch management capabilities can improve ease, efficiency, and effectiveness. (Back to top)

How field service management software improves dispatch management

The right field service management software has key dispatch management capabilities that benefit your dispatchers, customers, and business. This solution works by automating and streamlining the process of assigning, optimizing, managing service requests, resources, and schedules.

Your dispatchers have a full, real-time view of the mobile workforce in a dispatch console and can use automation and AI to optimize schedules. This lets them get your customers the right help when they need it. Generative AI helps your dispatchers be even more efficient.

This solution can adapt to your changing business needs, allowing you to scale your operations and handle increased field service volumes effectively.

Let's look at this solution in action and what it does to improve dispatch management:

  • Boost dispatcher productivity: It's easy to manage resources in the dispatch console. Your dispatchers can create and update absences and organize workers by availability and skill to identify the best technician for the job.
  • Automate scheduling: Dispatch management relies on inputs such as skill sets, availability, job data, warranty info, work experience, location data, and service level agreements. Dispatchers use automation based on these inputs, specific business objectives, and processes to create schedules.
  • Increase efficiency with generative AI: Your dispatchers can do more with with a conversational AI assistant in the flow of work. They can simply ask the assistant to quickly find and schedule appointments that haven't been scheduled yet, create summaries of service appointments, and generate answers from knowledge base articles to resolve customer questions faster.
  • Optimize daily schedules for mobile workers: Each day, your dispatchers launch an optimization program to sync schedules with real-time information from mobile workers and customers. The result is an optimal schedule that improves service delivery and productivity by reducing travel time, downtime, and overtime.
  • Automate decisions: Dispatch management automates the decision-making process with actions consistent with business rules and optimization goals. If there is a conflict with existing guidelines and parameters, the software issues a warning indicating it's detected a conflict. Final decisions defer to the dispatcher.
  • Forecast and plan. Real-time data lets dispatch managers quickly assess the impact of global or in-day optimization on travel time and resource usage. When refining your scheduling policy, your dispatch managers get an instant view of optimization results and KPI changes.
  • Reduce time to and between job sites: Dispatchers can immediately respond to changes, which reduces delays and improves service levels. Route optimization enables them to build realistic routes with predictive analytics. Patterns and street-level routing break down travel segments for precise scheduling.
  • Enable mobile capabilities: Field service technicians can receive updates from dispatchers on scheduling changes, job status, customer information, and more - no matter where they're located in the field. Technicians can log updates their mobile devices. This allows dispatchers to revise schedules accordingly. Bonus: automation takes care of tedious tasks, such as capturing expenses and submitting time sheets. (Back to top)

Set up for success with dispatch management

Bottom line: there's a lot involved to get dispatch management right. But the right field service management solution with key dispatch management capabilities makes the process easier, more efficient, and effective. You'll improve dispatcher and customer experience and get your business ready for the future of field service. (Back to top)

Elevate every field service experience

Make sure your customers also get fast, complete service - when they need it. This starts with the right field service solution with dispatch management capabilities.

Yaron Dror contributed to this blog article.