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How to use Dispatch on Android Business Apps for Service Tickets & Work Orders

By Jason Good on February 12, 2014
Tags: Data Collection

Service tickets and work orders are two of the most common paper forms used by field service professionals today.  Many of these same folks also carry around an Android smartphone. By using mobile work orders and service tickets with a dispatch service, businesses can leverage the power of these devices and streamline their operations even more.

There are two common mistakes small and medium sized businesses make when deploying a dispatch service:

1)      Not Going Far Enough  

Many businesses stop short with dispatch and simply text or email job information to their service technicians. Today, this is the most common form of dispatch used.  It’s definitely an improvement over phone calls. 

However, this process still has issues. Typically, the technician then drives to the job and copies the information in the text/email onto a paper work order or service ticket.  But texts and emails can easily become lost, requiring extra time for communication with the office. If all goes well, the technician adds whatever information necessary based on the job, a customer signature is captured and they head to the next job.

2)      Going too Far

 There are some very nice dispatch systems out there with a wide range of functionality. They include mapping functions, turn by turn directions, automatic job assignment by geo-location and much more. These systems are very expensive and like Microsoft Excel, most companies use a fraction of the power that they have paid for.  These systems are great for the very large companies with large numbers of field technicians and an IT department to run it. But when small and medium sized businesses move ahead with one of these systems, they often bite off more than they can chew.

For SMBs, a middle of the road solution is best.  Android business apps make every step electronic to dramatically reduce costs without breaking the bank on a big system.  A successful light dispatch runs in 3 simple steps:

  1. Employee in the office sends job-specific information to proper technician’s mobile device pre-populating the work order or service ticket.
  2. Technician gets notification on mobile device, reads job information, drives to job, and completes the work order/service ticket including a customer signature and photos if desired.
  3. Technician sends completed work order/service ticket back to office for access via the cloud. A PDF copy can be sent to the customer and stored in the cloud for access anytime.

This route allows SMB's to have the clear communication channels, without the heavy burden of IT or specialized phone. You can have this light dispatch with an Android business app, providing you hundreds of options in both phones and tablets. No coding, or IT required.

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