What is scheduling and dispatching software?

Scheduling and dispatching software is a business resource for managing field service jobs and communicating with field technicians in real time.

Field technicians and other field service personnel are the ambassadors of service-related industries. When they travel to a customer location, they carry the company brand with them, and are responsible not only for performing their assigned maintenance or repair tasks, but also for ensuring that the customer has a positive experience. Unfortunately, when appointments get missed, field technicians arrive late or unprepared, or task details are miscommunicated, it reflects poorly on the business itself.

Scheduling and dispatching software (also called service dispatch software) is designed to ensure that field technicians have the support they need to provide exceptional service, while also optimizing time management for a more-effective approach. As an essential tool for field service management, scheduling and dispatching software empowers organizations to provide their customers with a seamless and efficient field service experience.

Scheduling and dispatching software centralizes vital aspects of field service management. As such, businesses that integrate effective service dispatch solutions into their field service strategy enjoy many advantages:

Increased efficiency

Managing multiple technicians can be difficult, time consuming, and inaccurate. Delays and downtime cost organizations significant amounts in lost revenue, and even minor changes in scheduling (either on the part of the customer or the service provider) may force entire calendars to be reshuffled. Scheduling and dispatching software allows managers to assign and reassign work orders at the click of a button and communicate with in-field technicians in real time. This means less downtime, fewer delays, and a more efficient use of valuable resources.

Graphic outlining the benefits of scheduling and dispatching software.

Optimal visibility

Scheduling and dispatching software provides complete visibility into work orders, schedules, and field engineers. Knowing exactly where every in-field technician currently is, what they’re working on, and what future tasks may be scheduled allows businesses to better evaluate workloads and performance. Managers can receive notifications whenever a service request is completed or other action may be needed, and field staff can easily access customer work history, job documentation, and other relevant resources while on-site—all through their mobile devices.

Improved quality

Not every technician is the right fit for every work order. With scheduling and dispatching software, managers can see at a glance available field personnel and their skill sets, and then pair those experts with the tasks they are best suited for. The end result? Better performance and improved quality of work, as the right people are assigned to the jobs that need them.

Enhanced flexibility

Some tasks are more urgent than others and must take priority over ones that may already be scheduled. Scheduling and dispatching software can identify high-urgency requests and automatically revising schedules so that priority tasks may be addressed quickly.

At its core, scheduling and dispatching software exists to help businesses and their field technicians coordinate work efforts to provide a better customer experience. Top service dispatch software solutions tend to share the following features:

Scheduling

Automated capabilities within scheduling and dispatching software take into account multiple work orders and technicians to create working schedules for entire teams. Likewise, the software can be set to send out notifications to relevant parties in the event that changes are made to the schedule.

Dispatching

Incorporating data visualization, scheduling and dispatching software assists with the planning and assigning of field technicians to specific work orders. The software can also automatically assign personnel to specific tasks based on their expertise and skill sets.

Work order management

Scheduling and dispatching software eliminates the need for large amounts of paperwork. All work-order details, along with customer and field-technician information are automatically recorded, and any additional notes, information, or additional files may be added directly. Additionally, scheduling and dispatching solutions track work order progress and status.

Billing

Service dispatch software gives in-field personnel the capability to create quotes and invoices on-site. The software may also be integrated with existing accounting systems and apps.

Routing optimization

Effective field service depends on the technicians’ ability to find service locations and arrive to handle work orders when scheduled. Scheduling and dispatching software helps by providing navigational assistance and traffic updates, guiding in-field technicians to their destinations via the shortest route.

Location tracking

Scheduling and dispatching software incorporates GPS tracking. This not only makes it easy for technicians to find and verify client locations, but also gives managers an up-to-the-minute view of where field personnel are currently located.

Technician management

Automated capabilities within scheduling and dispatching software ensure that service requests are being assigned to the technicians best suited to individual jobs, creating schedules that allow organizations to perform more and do higher-quality work.

When choosing a scheduling and dispatching software solution, there a several considerations to keep in mind:

Mobile app availability

Native mobile apps for scheduling and dispatching software give field technicians the resources, data, and guidance they need, all at their fingertips. But this should also go further, allowing in-field personnel to make changes and updates on their end as well.

Deployment options

There are multiple deployment options to consider when evaluating service dispatch software. Software deployed on-premises gives users more control over the data itself, but often includes higher upfront costs. Alternatively, cloud-based solutions tend to demand a lower initial investment but are more accessible and scalable. Understanding the needs of the business and the advantages of each option is vital in selecting the best fit.

Ease of installation

Scheduling and dispatching software should simplify field service management, not make it more complex. Top service dispatch software options are easy to install and configure, and ready to be used out of the box.

Integration ability

Scheduling and dispatching is an important part of field service management, but it is still only one part. Any scheduling and dispatching solutions should be capable of integrating with existing systems and allowing users to continue using the various other tools they depend on.

Field service technicians are the foundation on which customers build their opinions of service-industry brands. ServiceNow combines IT service management with field service management, bringing advanced automation capabilities and seamless integration to managers and field technicians. 

Built on ServiceNow’s industry leading Now Platform®, Field Service Management empowers users with complete visibility, improved data availability and consistency, automated task scheduling, and a range of tools and resources designed to improve customer and employee satisfaction.

Give your most-visible brand ambassadors the support they need — get ServiceNow Field Service Management today.

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