Welcome back to our three-part blog series on labor costs for Field Services operators. Last week we dove into the question, where does all the time go for techs currently on the payroll? Now we will dive into the second question, how many people do you really need to do the job, now and in the future?

Without the data resulting from what we discussed in question #1, it’s difficult to get precise with estimating your future capacity requirements. If you have timely and accurate data, then you are well positioned to build a capacity planning model or use a similar software tool that takes historical data, combines it with forecasts for future needs, and provides granular estimates for future workforce needs to drive your strategic and tactical workforce planning. A properly designed model would look something like this:

  • Categorizes the types of work to be done, typically things like installs and service calls, broken up by the type product where the work is being applied
  • Allows for inputs of historical data for how long different types of work take, to then be combined with a forecast of future work to be done to arrive at a capacity estimate
  • The model should provide for ‘what if’ analyses to build a range of required capacity over a given planning horizon
  • The model should accommodate any planning variances that may be due to work policy or norms by geography
  • The model should be compatible with your broader workforce or resource management processes and systems for managing the daily, weekly and monthly dispatch or allocation of techs to installs, service calls, business development efforts and the like

Similar to question #1, if any of the above are not in place, I would ask yourself the question, do I really know?

Come back for our look into question #3 – How can we get more from our existing workforce? In other words, can we do with fewer people or grow without hiring more people?

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