Timesheet registration of service technicians should go quick and easy and not cause you too much concern. But how should you organize and automate this?
It starts with the right (field) service management software
Everything stands or falls with having the right tools to properly automate the timesheet registration of service technicians. Preferably as a fully integrated part of the service management software or, even better, as a fully integrated part of your dealer management system. You can read more about this in the blog '4 field service department automation rules’.
Work with ‘statuses’
You can choose to register the timesheets using pre-defined statuses. That means your field service staff enters – on their laptop or mobile device – when they are on their way to a service job, when they start a work order, when they take a break, etc. Working with statuses does not take much time for your people and provides a real-time insight into the activities of your people, accurate up to the minute. It does require a lot of discipline to always change the status. Another drawback is that in practice it is not the most convenient method. Think for instance about a technician working simultaneously on two work orders; it is then very difficult with statuses to keep track of the time worked on each work order.
"You are looking for a detailed insight into the activities of your field service department without impeding them in performing their primary tasks."
Fill in your time
The hours of your people can of course also be entered into the system at the end of the day. The technician fills in the starting time and finishing time of all activities he or she has performed. The big advantage of this method is that during the day your technician can fully concentrate on his primary tasks rather than on administrative matters. But it does not offer real-time visibility into the activities of your field service staff. An alternative could be to let the technicians fill in their hours several times a day.
Balance between control and flexibility
There is no 'best' method for timesheet registration of the field service department. It depends on the type of organization, your people and the type of service jobs they carry out which method is the most appropriate to use. You will notice that it is often compromising between on the one hand having control over what is going on and on the other hand applying a flexible and convenient business process. Or to put it in other words; you are looking for a detailed insight into the activities of your field service department without impeding them in performing their primary tasks. Whichever method you choose; digital timesheet registration is guaranteed to provide you more efficiency and less headaches than the traditional paper and pencil.