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Mobile fleet maintenance technician retention tips

Nov. 28, 2022
Investment in field service management technology can help to provide mobile technicians with the tools they need to improve productivity, performance, and retention.

Because more fleet maintenance technicians are retiring every yearin tandem with the effects of the Great Resignation and a long-time struggle to attract younger, tech-savvy technicianslabor shortages are impacting customer success, technician satisfaction, and overall profitability. And this trend is hitting the mobile fleet maintenance  sector particularly hard.

A recent poll conducted by the Service Council found that nearly half of the respondents indicated they either weren’t sure they’d keep working in the industry or do not plan to. Furthermore, it looks as though nearly 40% of field service engineers will plan to leave their job within the next four years. This all poses great risk for an industry that’s already experiencing issues with supply chain shortages and evolved customer expectations. Something must be done to strengthen employee retention, as the entire commercial vehcil

Overuse, excessive wear and tear, and frequent failures are all possible outcomes of the challenging conditions in which fleets work. The primary goal of mobile maintenance is to help customers prevent equipment downtime due to breakdowns or maintenance difficulties, hence extending the life of the asset.

While attracting new talent is always important, a slightly more significant goal is figuring out how to maintain your current workforce. Going through the process of hiring new technicians can be expensive and time-consuming, which can take a toll on business revenue and customer service.

Strengthening your existing workforce

Mobile fleet maintenance technicians are critical in ensuring businesses achieve maximum uptime through performing maintenance wherever fleet vehicles are in need of repair. Because of this, field service companies must do what they can to get more out of their workforce, through higher utilization rates, more jobs per day, and more worker power invested in efficiency.

Upkeep of mobile assets intended for use in field service is a massive task. Owners and operators of the assets cannot afford to have them out of commission for an extended period of time since it could negatively impact their business and the people they serve during emergency outages or infrastructure repairs. Providers of mobile fleet maintenance services are aware that the huge volumes of data involved in the upkeep of their customers’ equipment and vehicle fleets present a formidable and time-consuming problem. When the number of customers increases without corresponding increases in the number of workers, keeping up with the data and the need for more employees becomes increasingly challenging. When technicians aren’t happy, productivity in the back-office drops.

Steer techs towards success

Mobile technicians have specific work that needs to be done when they’re in the field. They don’t have to be digital tech experts—they need to understand how to service vehicles and maximize uptime for fleet operators. Field service management (FSM) tools give technicians what they need so they don’t burden themselves with back-office administrative tasks. Instead, they can turn their focus to what they signed up to do and do it more efficiently. This bolsters retention by not overwhelming staff with busy work, giving both digital-native and more seasoned fleet technicians an easy interface they can utilize to eliminate the need for back and forth by putting customer work history, asset tracking capabilities, and job documentation at the field engineer’s fingertips.

Additionally, technicians want to understand their overall performance, and how it stacks up against their peers. FSM tools track these metrics and provide opportunities for feedback, coaching, and incentives—all extremely important components to boosting employee morale. FSM solutions can help technicians to identify specific issues or product lines they are struggling with, and in turn, help them to improve their skills.

Pay competitive wages

There’s no question that competitive pay is the most enticing incentive to any employee. It is one of the biggest reasons an employee will stay with a company. If managers think they cannot afford to raise salaries, returning to the drawing board and figuring out ways they can do so will give the organization a leg up not only for hiring new techs, but hanging on to the ones they have already invested in. The bottom line is that organizations must lower other costs to continue offering competitive pay. FSM can help by monitoring idle time to reduce fuel costs, along with better management of scheduling, dispatching, invoicing, and reporting in the field.

Give your techs what they need

There are numerous challenges that come with running a field service company, and with those complications comes acquiring new talent and retaining current employees. Therefore, mobile fleet maintenance providers must invest in solutions to retain the skilled technicians they already have. Adopting innovative field service management software will lighten the burden on mobile field technicians. The investment in FSM technology shows workers that managers are committed to providing them with the tools they need to improve productivity and performance.

About the Author

Enda Hennigan | Senior Product Manager | GPS Insight

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