Workforce Optimisation Strategies & Tools For Creating High-Performing Service Teams

Find the Best Field Service Management Software to Address Optimisation Challenges In How Your Workforce Operates

What Type of Field Jobs Do You Do?

Why Workforce Optimisation Is More Than a Buzzword

Workforce optimisation is exactly what it sounds like; optimising how service teams perform in the field. This is the outcome of taking a more data-led approach to job management.

Some workforce tasks can be optimised with manual fixes such as improving communication through mobile devices and shared spreadsheets. 52% of field service providers still use manual methods.

However, more successful approaches to workforce optimisation are achieved with Field Service Management Software. This digital integration enables FSOs to deploy strategies such as:

  • Data-led decision making
  • Dynamic scheduling and dispatching
  • Prioritising customer needs

There are several reasons why field service managers choose to implement workforce optimisation strategies. Such as keeping up with competitors and improving KPIs such as first-time fix rate (FTFR).

Ultimately, FSOs typically opt for workforce optimisation tools when they see a drop in customer satisfaction scores or when they want to increase the productivity and efficiency of their field workers, which directly affects customer retention rates. 90% of surveyed customers identified customer service as a key factor when working with a company over competitors.

Obvious Signs of an Underperforming Workforce

Failing to Meet SLAs

Service Level Agreements are put in place as assurance for the customer. They detail what customers can expect from their service provider and are important for building trust. For example, a company may promise a customer that a technician will be at the job one business day after a work order is raised.

If SLAs are not met, the company’s reputation and customers’ trust is damaged. This has an impact on future business and customer retention. Providers that offer and meet SLAs have an 18% higher customer retention rate.

Not Meeting Set KPIs

Key Performance Indicators are, in a way, similar to SLAs in that they’re goals set to be accomplished. KPIs are set by FSOs and indicate their workforce optimisation efforts. An example KPI is achieving a CSAT score of 80% or having an FTFR above 75%.

As a reference, companies with an FTFR of over 70% achieved customer retention rates of 86%.

Tracking first-time fix rate KPIs

If KPIs are continuously being missed, it’s likely because of:

  • Under-qualified workers are being assigned to jobs
  • A lack of allocated resources required for a job
  • Multiple delays to the completion of a job
  • Poor customer experience due to a lack of modern tools (like digital job sheets and mobile tracking apps)

Increase In Poor Customer Feedback

A telltale sign of an underperforming workforce is receiving bad feedback from customers. Dealing with customers is an integral part of any field service operation, therefore the customer experience needs to be good at the very least. Poor feedback can be a result of:

  • Field workers arriving late to a job (45% of customers complain about engineers arriving 15, 30, or 60+ minutes late)
  • Customers experiencing a no-show
  • The final cost of a job is higher than expected/quoted
  • The work is not completed to a high enough standard

Customer experience is measured by a Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) score. Best-in-class field service providers with a 90% CSAT score are more likely to increase their revenue margins by 30%.

Being Left Behind By Competitors

To succeed, companies need to offer a better service experience than their rivals. This relates to both local and nationwide businesses. The biggest gap between successful and unsuccessful service providers is their use of modern technology. 89% of customers expect modern, on-demand technology, including technician scheduling and real-time tracking.

3 Workforce Optimisation Strategies For Field Service Managers to Adopt

Service management tools enable managers to utilise data and deploy successful workforce optimisation strategies. Each strategy is unique to a business or operation, but three strategies are proven to increase the production and efficiency of field service teams.

1. Data-Focused Decision-Making

Data doesn’t provide all the answers, but it ensures leaders and teams that they’re going in the right direction. In terms of workforce optimisation, reliable base data allows field service managers to understand:

  • How long a job should take
  • What technician should be assigned to a specific job
  • How many workers are required for a specific job
  • How long it takes to drive to a job site
  • What SLAs are in place before the work begins

2. Dynamic Scheduling and Dispatching

Dynamic scheduling capabilities optimise how a workforce is assigned and dispatched to jobs. This aims to reduce wasted time, eliminate delays and no-shows, and improve the customer experience.

By working with real-time data, managers can dynamically adjust schedules when required by seeing:

  • When technicians are available
  • The location and route plans of field workers
  • A job’s requirements (skills, equipment, etc.)

The data used for dynamic scheduling is only as good as the data provided, which can come from experience. For example, an engineer raises the issue of not being able to reach a job in the Highland Islands, Scotland, due to travel time disruption in the winter. Therefore, before setting SLAs, the data will highlight potential delays in arrival times for that location during the winter period.

3. Prioritising Customer Needs

The main reason why workforce optimisation strategies are put in place is to improve CSAT scores and enhance the customer experience. While managers may optimise their field service operations by cutting back on wasted equipment and limiting the number of workers assigned, the focus here needs to be on the end result. For instance:

  • What level of service is the customer expecting?
  • What is the minimum FTFR a customer will expect?
  • How can route optimisation reduce waiting times?
  • Is the customer being provided with the right job-tracking data?
  • How easy is it for customers to contact technical support?

Find the Best Field Service Management Software to Build Your Workforce Optimisation Strategy

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What Type of Field Jobs Do You Do?

What Are the Best Software Products For Workforce Optimisation?


Improve workforce optimisation with Klipboard

The Product

An all-in-one field service management solution with a simplified user experience, fast setup and a focus on compliance-orientated industries.

Ideal For

10+ Users

Industry Fit

HVAC, Plumbing and Heating, Utilities, Waste Management, and Buildings & Facilities


From £25 per user, per month


Field service management system by TotalCTRL

The Product

An easy-to-adapt field service management solution with strong workflow management capabilities.

Ideal For

15+ Users

Industry Fit

Utilities, Service Management, Telecommunications, Fire & Security, and Buildings & Facilities


From £1,000


pro-Forms tool for workforce optimisation

The Product

A flexible and scalable job, form and asset management solution with low TCO.

Ideal For

Companies with a total first-year budget of at least £500

Industry Fit

Buildings & Facilities, Engineering, Construction, and Manufacturing


From £12 per user, per month


Alloy service operations system

The Product

A cloud-based asset management solution that specialises in place-based asset, maintenance and service operations.

Ideal For

Companies with a total first-year budget of at least £25,000

Industry Fit

Government & Public Sector, Engineering, Construction, Transportation, and Utilities


From £12,500 per year


JobStaq service management system

The Product

A young, cloud-based solution for domestic field service and maintenance.

Ideal For

Organisations with up to 10 engineers

Industry Fit

Buildings & Facilities, Real Estate & Housing, and Domestic Services & Trades


From £7.50 per user, per month

How Field Service Management Software Is Used for Optimising Workforces

Software is just one tool in a long line of field service tools used for workforce optimisation. However, it is the most effective and is a proven benefit for the majority of service providers that use it.

Before software, technicians were assigned to a job via text message or phone call. But unreliable network signals (or black spots) meant most workers missed calls and jobs were cancelled. Next came PDAs, which, although provided more information and worked via a shared calendar, were also susceptible to unreliable signals.

Now, almost 85% of service teams use mobile applications. Which, when combined with Field Service Management Software, amplifies access to features and capabilities such as:

  • Dynamic job scheduling and dispatching
  • Tasks management
  • Job tracking
  • Route optimisation
  • Performance management

In a recent Comparesoft podcast, Adam Neale, former Field Engineering Director at BT, explained the importance of using software for field service management:

“Without [software tools], I think now we will probably be needing four or five times the amount of people, which means obviously your costs go up to the customers. And that means the end customer pays more.

If they’re implemented in the right way and you’ve got the right culture, the people trust in using the software.”

How AI Is Being Used In Workforce Optimisation

The integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) with software is widespread, and Field Service Management Software is no different. By 2025, 90% of customer interactions will be through generative AI channels. FSOs also believe AI will have the most impact on improving CSAT.

Where AI will have the most benefit for workforce optimisation is in job and work order management, with capabilities such as smart scheduling improving the efficiency of assigning and dispatching field workers (as the image below shows).

Using smart scheduling and AI for better workforce optimisation


Adam Neale also touched on the use of AI for improving workforce optimisation and the customer experience:

“Now, we’re moving into a world with AI. It’s becoming even better as well because the AI would quite often look at it and go, we know the M42 by Birmingham Airport is gridlocked between three and six normally, so that engineer might look like he’s only five minutes away, but truth be known, he’s going to be two hours.”

Essentially, AI’s integration in field service operations is inevitable, alongside other tech such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), which 40% of field service technicians believe are most helpful for completing their jobs.