Any supervisor in construction field operations will tell you that managing crews and teams in the field is tough. The biggest challenge this job presents is trying to bridge the distance between the field and the office. Supervisors are managing teams over an extensive area from a central office. It's difficult to track the efficiency and productivity of distributed teams out in the field. If your employees aren't doing their best possible work, the quality of your projects is jeopardized.
Obstacles that Stand in the Way of Good Field Service Performance
Work performance problems specific to a field service setting are pervasive. Some of them might seem clear-cut, while others are more subtle. There's no question, though, that all of them will need to be addressed in order to set the right course for your team. Let's take a closer look at the variety of problems that can negatively affect your crew's results.
Communication and collaboration are sticking points for distributed teams. Collaboration among field operations employees can be challenging, especially for older employees who may not fully embrace mobile apps and other new technology. Another communication issue is that managers don't have the proper communication tools to supply feedback to field employees in a timely way at every stage of the project. Safety, Risk, and Compliance
When you have workers spread out among various projects, creating and maintaining safety documentation should be a priority. If it's not, your troubles are just beginning. The hazards that go unrecorded make it more likely injuries on the job site could increase, resulting in more worker downtime...or worse. The penalties that result from subpar or limited safety documentation can hurt your operational budget and put your company's reputation at risk, too.
If you want to elicit customer feedback regarding your team's performance in the field, you may not be able to if customers can't share information with you or your team on a website or portal. And when the field ops team can't send updates or other notifications to the customer, then that too is problematic.
Data Collection and Analytics
There may not be much incentive for field crews to collect data that can increase customer satisfaction and encourage repeat business at the worksite, especially if the technology they are using for the task is limited. It might be difficult to obtain the right data to identify failures of service in the field and to avoid repeating them. Gathering data to generate KPIs to improve worker efficiency, reduce unnecessary downtime, and trim billable hours may be beyond the capabilities of your current enterprise system.
Bridging the Gap between Field and Office
Given how so much depends on bringing your field crew and your office into alignment, what is your best option for solving these problems? One word: tech. You need a solution with features that aid communication, make collaboration easy, track project progress, helps to build on customer relationships, and more.
Do you say you want a flexible solution? We're listening. LaunchCloud's integrated software solution has the modularity you want with the features you need to boost field service results. To elevate your crew's performance, put it to work in the following 9 ways:
- Boost business by using templates such as the New Customer Information form developed from the Form Builder feature, making it easy for field crew members to collect information about new and prospective customers.
- Help field employees build good customer relations by using customer service forms from Form Builder to help gather data to improve customer satisfaction.
- Reduce worksite injuries and resulting worker absences by using Form Builder for safety checklists and other documentation that allows you to build an audit trail for compliance. Also, employees can use the Mobile Access feature to capture safety-related data or photos.
- Streamline e-mail communications between field employees and management using the Automation feature. Employees receive notifications when forms or other documents have been attached to accelerate the sign-off process.
- Improve data collection and analytics using the Reporting feature for actionable insights to improve field employees' performance with KPIs and benchmarking.
- Use the Reporting feature to gather enough of the right kind of data to avoid field service failures, especially repeat ones.
- Share forms securely on the field team's website or portal using the Sharing & Security feature, keeping all project members on track. You can set permissions as applicable to project segments.
- Deploy Mobile Access services so that employees can take advantage of Apple and Android apps to do more both on-site and off-site. Customers can also use these services to check the progress of their projects.
- Combine the power and ease of Mobile Access with the versatility of the Reporting and Form Builder features to help you and your field service team to:
- Access documents and collaborate with other team members.
- Improve communications between field ops employees and office staff.
- Get up-to-date project schedules.
- Check up on work orders.
- Enter real-time service details like time, materials used, and notes.
- Develop new quotes and take pictures while onsite with a customer.
- Create new purchase orders to send to a local supply house for quick pickup.
- Enter a customer's location and instantly map the directions.
- Give other departments such as sales more visibility into what's going on in the field.
- Trim wasted billable hours with better project tracking.
In the construction industry, tech solutions can be successfully leveraged to improve the way field service teams work on a day-to-day basis, and Launchcloud's flexible, customizable features can boost the work results of your employees in the field.
Launchcloud helps construction operation professionals effectively communicate and improve operations visibility. Launchcloud's customizable forms and reports enable better construction site workflows by increasing project visibility and improving field communications.
To see how your construction company can have a better workflow, schedule a 1-on-1 demo with one of our construction operations specialists now.