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What does an automated and “mobilized” work order system or service ticket dispatch and management system look like?  Here is a scenario – A customer calls in to report a broken heating system. The office staff takes the phone call, enters the relevant information into the work order application on the desktop computer which then creates a unique work order and number.

The work order database application, with GIS integration, can compare the location of each service technician to determine which service technician is closest to the work location. The dispatch system can also look at the estimated time the nearby service technicians are committed to completing their existing assignments. Once the appropriate service technician is identified, the work order is dispatched to the handheld computer used by the service technician. Included in the electronic work order is driving directions from his/her current location to the next job location. In addition to the work order information, warranty, repair, users manual, maintenance history and product information on file can also be dispatched to the handheld computer for reference and parts inventory management.
Once the service technician arrives at the location, he opens the work order on the handheld computer. Opening the work order automatically captures the service technician’s name, the date/time stamp and the GPS coordinates of the jobsite and enters them into the mobile application’s work order.
Next the service technician examines the broken heating system and determines which parts need replaced. He can pull out his handheld computer and check whether he has the needed parts in his vehicle inventory, if not, it can automatically search for nearby service vehicles that may contain the part (GPS tracking enables this). If another nearby service vehicle is determined to have the required part, then driving directions can be sent.
When the service technician arrives at the service vehicle with the needed part, then the part is scanned using a bar code scanner in the handheld computer to log its removal from the vehicle’s inventory and assigns it to the appropriate work order number.
Back at the work site, the service technician runs into a challenge. He has never worked on this model before and needs advice. He snaps a digital photo of the equipment and synchronizes it back to the office. His supervisor reviews the photo and calls him with advice.
Once the work is completed, the service technician signs his name on the handheld computer screen, and has the customer sign the work order screen as well. The service technician prints an invoice on a mobile printer and collects the payment or swipes the customer’s credit or debit card. The collection is noted on the mobile work order and synchronized back to the office.
As soon as the work order is completed and synchronized, the mobile application reminds the service technician to promote a 2 year service contract. The service technician reviews the details with the customer and signs them up for a 2 year service contract. Next, the work order system reviews job locations and priorities and assigns the next optimized work order to the field service technician.
Slow economic times motive each of us to become more efficient. Self-evaluation can help us understand how we can become smarter business owners. Mobile solutions can be purchased, leased, subscribed to on a monthly basis, or customized specifically for your needs. The ROI (return on investment) is quickly realized and quantifiable.
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