How to Solve Field Service Labor Shortages With GPS Tracking
Maybe you’re feeling the same crunch as many service businesses we work with. For the last few years, service businesses have been telling folks variations of the same story.
We want to hire.
We have open positions that pay well, but we can’t find experienced people.
We have to turn down jobs and scale back our operations.
Field service labor shortage data will tell the same story
- 55% shortage of plumbers are available for work
- 81% of contractors are having trouble filling positions
- 430,000 construction workers are in demand for the industry
What’s going on here? A few things are happening at once.
1. Replacement needs aren’t up to par
The skilled workers in these fields are getting older and retiring, while not enough new people are entering the profession to replace them, leading to labor shortages. For example, the National Association of Contractors Electricians states each year 7,000 new electricians join the field, but 10,000 retire.
2. Increase in demand leads to labor shortages
At the same time, the supply of field service technicians has been shrinking. However, the pandemic sent demand for these skills through the roof. For example, the roofing industry is facing the same challenge. In fact, 88% of roofing contractors report difficulty finding skilled labor in 2021.
The overall demand skyrocketed over the last few years for several field service business industries including HVAC repairs, landscaping, plumbing services, and other skilled work.
3. The competition for skilled workers poses hiring challenges
The high demand for service technicians is enabling the experienced ones to shop their skills around, demand higher salaries or hourly rates, and take their time committing to an employer.
Even at the apprentice level, open positions in construction, roofing, and carpentry are staying unfilled for unusually long periods of time. According to research by the industrial staffing company PeopleReady, jobs for electrician helpers take an average of 27 days to fill.
How GPS Tracking Helps Labor Shortages
Although GPS tracking can’t help you find more experienced field technicians, it can help you operate more efficiently and cost-effectively with the staff you have.
1. Optimized routes and utilization
If your dispatchers don’t have a real-time view of where your field techs are, how do they know if they’re assigning the right tech to each new order that comes in? Choosing an employee who will take 45 minutes to get to the next job means your company can’t handle as many jobs that day.
With GPS tracking in place, your dispatchers have a clear view of every vehicle and field service tech in the field every minute of the day. They can keep the map view up on a display in the office—as many of our customers do. When a call comes in, your dispatcher will know where the closest vehicles are to the job site, how long each tech has been at their current jobs, and which are the most likely to be finished with their current assignment soonest.
Armed with all that information on a user-friendly map, your dispatchers will be able to route more techs to more jobs each day. And that means more revenue going to your bottom line.
2. Increased protection against unearned revenue overtime
When you send your techs out into the field, you have no way of knowing where they are, how long a job takes, or whether the hours on their timecard are accurate.
Plus, when you’re already struggling through labor shortages, you’re not going to be as eager to question a field tech’s timecard. And if you’re working with fewer people in the office, they’re probably overwhelmed as well, and won’t have time to manually review every timecard.
With a GPS tracking system, you can automatically track every minute of your techs’ time out in the field. You can even generate an automated timecard—accurate to the minute. Just like that, no more paying unearned overtime.
3. Remove ROI-crushing problems with GPS Tracking
When you gain visibility into what’s happening with your fleet, you’re better equipped to spot small issues before they affect revenue.
If you have a tech who drives aggressively, a GPS tracking app will let you know. You can talk with the tech and correct that behavior before it becomes a problem that hurts your business. There's nothing worse than having labor shortages and having damage to your vehicle that requires downtime for costly repairs.
From vehicle dashcams, equipment tracking, and integrations with apps like ServiceTitan, the right fleet tracking provider can help your team do more with less. Let’s chat about how ClearPathGPS can help you better manage the labor shortage within your unique industry. Talk with a product expert today by requesting a demo.
At ClearPathGPS, we are focused on helping our customers improve their operations and bottomline. Our top-rated GPS fleet tracking solutions provide real-time data insights and tools needed to more effectively manage the vehicles, people, and assets businesses send into the field everyday. Can ClearPathGPS help your operations get better results? Let’s find out – request a demo or contact us today!