Field Service Technology to Increase Productivity & Reduce Costs

By Laraine Geddes

When thinking about field service, typically private sector examples spring to mind, such as electricians, plumbers, or other types of contractors performing work in our home or place of business. We typically don’t think of field workers being associated with government, yet this is a vital component of public service. Organisations, whether public or private, are leveraging field service technology to improve their customer experience by making the journey less about how they interact with customers and more about the relevancy and context of why customers need to communicate with them.

The objectives of field service work in the private sector are the same as the objectives of public sector field service. Ever present is the need to reduce wastage at the same time improve real-time visibility and communication between the field based employees and their headquarters, and field based employees and their customers. It’s imperative for field service technology to allow real-time communication; otherwise important decisions could be made based on older, non-relevant information. At the same time, customers need to be kept informed throughout the lifecycle of a field service interaction.

The rise of social media as a customer contact channel for service enquiry and compliant means private and public sector organisations must ensure they are delivering a service excellence. People expect the same levels of service whether that’s Amazon or their Council.

Improving Services at North Lanarkshire Council

Kirona have enabled public sector organisations such as North Lanarkshire Council to improve their quality of service and save in excess of £1.5m by implementing Kirona’s field service automation solutions across its Housing Property Services and Home Support Services. Together with the impressive cost savings the council has improved the service for patients receiving care at home via the Home Support Team, as well as their social housing tenants.

Substantial Cost Savings Made at South Gloucestershire Council

Another example of field service technology enabling impressive savings is South Gloucestershire Council. The council serves a community with a population of approximately 270,000 in the South West of England. As with many public sector organisations in recent years, the local authority has faced the significant challenge of maintaining service levels whilst undergoing spending cuts. Seeking to make cost efficiencies the council implemented Kirona’s Job Manager mobile worker solution to 90 of its Street Care team. Job Manager enables the council to reduce paperwork, reduce drive time and phone calls, and automate job allocation and increase real-time job visibility. The council has reduced Street Care costs by £500k per year and response time now averages 3 days compared to 7 day prior to implementing Kirona’s software.

Achieving a 34% Increase in Sales at Carpetright

Now, compare these outcomes to those of Carpetright, the leading flooring retailer. Carpetright introduced dynamic scheduling and field service automation to its team of 320 Home Estimators. Service improved with customers being able to book convenient appointment slots, estimators travel time reduced to reach customer appointments and estimated sales increased by 34%.

These examples show how field service software solutions in both the private and the public sector are being used to increase productivity, reduce costs, and significantly improve customer satisfaction.

However according to techUK adoption of field service technology for public services is being held back due to lack of skills despite civil servants agreeing technology is critical. “Technology has a key role in helping the government deliver more for less and it’s great to see such widespread acknowledgement of the benefits technology has to offer,” said Julian David, CEO of techUK.

Simplifying Public Sector Procurements With G Cloud Framework

With the creation of the Crown Commercial Service G-Cloud Digital Marketplace, adoption of field service technology is set to increase. The G Cloud framework simplifies procurement for public sector organisations, with organisations such as Kirona being selected as approved suppliers, thus speeding up the procurement process for many organisations within the public sector.

Field service technology can enable public sector organisations meet the challenge of delivering services with reduced budgets, and keep abreast with today’s customer-centric approach to business, which sectors such as retail have traditionally championed. All hail the customer is king!

For more information on G-Cloud or the technology employed by North Lanarkshire Council, South Gloucestershire Council and Carpetright, take a look at our website or email us.