When done properly, fleet dispatching can enhance your revenue and allow you to scale operations. Here, we show you how to improve it.
HVAC Dispatching Best Practices
Find out the best HVAC dispatching practices and how they can help you improve the quality of your services and your HVAC business.
Today, we’re going to show you how HVAC dispatching best practices can help you improve your business.
Specifically, we’ll explain what HVAC dispatch software is and how HVAC service businesses can improve their operations.
All by using software and these dispatching best practices.
So if you want to get a deeper understanding of HVAC dispatching, and how you can use it to make your operations easier, you’ll enjoy this article.
What Is HVAC?
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. HVAC applies to the many systems used for transporting air between indoor and outdoor spaces, as well as heating and cooling.
They are also the systems that keep humidity at optimal levels by filtering and cleaning indoor air.
What Is HVAC Dispatching?
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning dispatching is the process of planning, scheduling, and routing service requests for companies that repair HVAC systems.
The task of HVAC dispatching includes:
- Assigning technicians to specific work orders
- Directing them to customers’ locations
Why Is HVAC Dispatch Important?
It’s critical to maintain an impeccable dispatching protocol as your teams continue to make their endless service calls.
An effective dispatching system instills confidence and organization in your service staff, reducing their everyday stress.
With almost flawless dispatching protocol, your customers’ HVAC systems will be serviced on time.
What Is the Role of an HVAC Dispatcher?
HVAC dispatchers have a critical role to play.
They are in charge of ensuring that the field-service activities of an HVAC company run efficiently.
Some businesses choose to hire an experienced dispatcher to oversee field operations, while others may delegate dispatching to senior management.
HVAC dispatcher determines which clients require system repair/installation and sends specific service experts to each job.
They also schedule shifts and assign appointments for technicians
Dispatchers also route the best way to get to the customer’s place of business or home, so they have enough time to get the job done and make it to other appointments.
They troubleshoot any problems that happen while technicians are on the job, such as an appointment running late.
How Can You Dispatch HVAC Technicians?
You can dispatch HVAC technicians either manually or automatically.
If you are dispatching automatically, your dispatchers will have to spend a lot of time on tasks such as:
- Scheduled maintenance jobs
- Time tracking for jobs
- Customer self-bookings
However, by automating these tasks, your technicians and other staff can focus on some more valuable tasks.
Automated software can be the difference between frustration and freedom for your business.
You’ll be able to keep track of technicians and meet your customers’ needs with ease if you use HVAC dispatch software.
What Is HVAC Dispatch Software?
HVAC software allows your business to run more smoothly and successfully.
With easy-to-use estimating and invoicing templates, this important tool:
- Organizes and records client conversations
- Integrates HVAC work scheduling and tech dispatching
- Empowers your team to enhance sales
With this software, you can improve customer service and increase HVAC income.
How Does HVAC Software Work?
Equipping your team with HVAC dispatch software will give them clarity when scheduling and dispatching field professionals.
That will help them manage all of the incoming services.
Many organizations are now integrating their installers and maintenance technicians into one team using HVAC software.
This is because the dispatcher now has a better view of the entire organization thanks to the HVAC software.
When using HVAC software, dispatchers can view which projects are currently being worked on, how far along they are, and which technicians are assigned to them.
They can see what else is scheduled for each technician in the coming week or month.
They may also examine each work order that has been created and begin to plan how to best utilize each technician’s time.
The ability to drag and drop appointments into a technician’s schedule is one feature of good HVAC software.
It allows dispatchers to optimize each technician’s schedule to squeeze in as many service appointments as possible in a single day.
The ability to optimize route planning to save travel time, which reduces driving time, is another advantage of employing HVAC dispatch software.
The Benefits of Using HVAC Dispatching Software
HVAC dispatching is a difficult job, but it can be a lot easier if you have adequate tools.
Dispatching software automates the technical aspects of dispatching, allowing you to focus on your field technicians and providing excellent customer service.
Here are some of the benefits that your business will have when using dispatching software:
Plan Better Schedules Ahead of Time
When using software, you can plan up to a few weeks ahead of time to quickly adjust to seasonality.
During their busiest seasons, many businesses hire HVAC contractors to help them.
Based on the number of work orders, the software shows you when those extra workers must begin.
Routes and schedules can be changed as needed to meet new orders.
Dynamic replanning allows you to reroute technicians even after they’ve arrived on the job.
You can make any required modifications, then send the amended route to your technicians’ phones via the driver app.
Optimize Routes for Technicians
The goal of route optimization is to determine the most efficient routes.
However, efficiency varies for each business.
Each HVAC service company’s needs are unique.
So the software allows dispatchers to pick how routes are optimized—for the lowest transportation costs, evenly distributed workloads, or a mix of the two.
The software determines the most effective routes for your team in seconds.
(No matter how you balance your technicians’ tasks.)
Technicians Can Use Their Own Phones
Allowing technicians to use their own cell phones has numerous advantages.
It makes driving from appointment to appointment less stressful for HVAC specialists.
The software integrates with each driver’s preferred mapping software, eliminating the need for them to learn a new system.
When you send technicians routes, they get turn-by-turn directions using the mapping application they’re used to, whether it’s Google Maps, Waze, or something similar.
Customize Field Service Constraints
Some HVAC jobs are very simple and can be done by any technician.
Other jobs can be more complex such as partially removing a wall or recharging a gas chamber.
Those tasks that are more complicated require technicians with special skills.
Dispatchers are in charge of connecting qualified technicians with each job, which is simplified with the software.
That’s why this type of system is sometimes called field service software.
You can simply input skillsets for each employee into the program.
That way, you can save them so that all future orders requiring those capabilities will be assigned exclusively to qualified technicians.
You can also set working hours limitations to avoid overtime, as well as overtime work restrictions to avoid working too much overtime.
You can set technician limitations for holidays or time off, as well as limit the number of miles driven for insurance purposes.
Keep Customers Up to Date
HVAC dispatching software keeps your customers updated.
So you can focus on directing technicians to their next destination.
Real-time driver tracking and up-to-date ETAs are included in the software’s customer notifications.
You can reduce the amount of inbound customer service calls drastically while improving customer satisfaction.
HVAC Dispatching Best Practices
It’s very important to have the correct HVAC software, but sometimes it’s not enough.
To get the most out of your software and to guide your team in the field, use these best practices:
#1 Know Roles and Job Requirements
Dispatchers must have a thorough awareness of what goes into each type of job.
If you haven’t worked as a technician before, you may need to shadow your technicians to understand their job.
Some simple jobs like minor repairs might only take 15 to 20 minutes.
Other jobs like complex installations can take all day.
That’s why it’s so important for dispatchers to know how long the job will take.
They also need to know what type of tools and skills are required for each job.
You can help your technicians and boost efficiency by arranging similar short jobs on the same day.
By doing that you will avoid overbooking or scheduling appointments too close together.
#2 Add Breaks to the Schedule
It may seem obvious that you shouldn’t overwork your team.
However, some dispatchers that are not there to see how their technicians are doing, find this challenging.
Dispatchers are partially responsible for technicians’ safety.
That’s why they have to take steps to ensure that technicians do not become fatigued.
HVAC technicians frequently work long days in very hot or cold conditions, and they are exposed to serious hazards.
Dispatchers have the authority to set breaks in the days of their technicians.
Set realistic schedules to help out your techs.
As a result, your technicians will be less likely to make a mistake due to exhaustion or stress.
You should make sure to follow federal and state guidelines when determining your employee’s rest period.
Your technicians will be grateful and trust you more if they know you are concerned about their safety and well-being.
#3 Maintain Control Under Pressure
Let’s start by making sure your service dispatching software is up to date.
After that, the dispatching desk’s efficiency is determined by the people who work there, or in some cases by a single person.
That’s why it’s important to have a strong dispatcher.
A dispatcher can make or break a technician’s day, and that is why you should have a dispatcher with strong skills.
Even if you are using the best software, you still need a dispatcher who works well under pressure and has strong communication skills.
#4 Set the Priority for Service Calls
To ensure that clients with potentially life-threatening crises are served first, organize service requests into priority levels.
This can be as basic as low, medium, and high priority.
Dispatchers prioritize which service calls are the most important and which can wait.
That’s why you should teach each emergency dispatcher how to master the dispatch process by clearly outlining which calls demand priority service during the training process.
#5 Create Goals for Your HVAC Teams
Goals are an excellent motivator.
According to research, setting group goals can affect group performance in a great way.
As a dispatcher, you can take advantage of this.
Set monthly, quarterly, or annual goals with your team.
To improve performance and foster skill-sharing among technicians, cultivate a team spirit.
Despite the difficulties of the job, the dispatcher needs to support and motivate their technicians.
So that they can provide outstanding service to every customer.
Support Your Team with HVAC Dispatching
For your HVAC business to grow, you need to provide your team with adequate HVAC dispatching software.
So is it time to support your team with better routing, dispatching, and HVAC management?
If the answer is YES, we’ve got you covered: