Shortage of technical staff

The cause of the shortage of technically skilled staff

The shortage of technical staff is and has been one of the biggest challenges for service managers over the last couple of years. The demand for technically skilled personnel is growing as assets in the field become increasingly complex. Additionally, after-sales service is becoming increasingly important for companies to generate revenue. At the same time, the workforce is ageing, and there is a shortage of young entrants to replace experienced technicians who are leaving. Research shows that 70% of service organizations see their workforce shrinking within 5 to 10 years due to this shortage.


Software to support the service department

Software can help service managers address the shortage of technical talent. Good service and field service tools ensure that attention is given to the issues that require the most attention and increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the service operation. By using the software correctly, problems can be solved remotely more often, and field work orders can be better prepared. In addition, the tooling helps with scheduling and optimization to deploy employees with the right skill set and the least travel time. With software, the efficiency and effectiveness of the service organization can be increased, and the impact of the shortage of technical staff can be minimized. We highlight two functionalities that can help with this challenge.


The capabilities of Visual Remote Assistance

A functionality that can support the service organization in addressing the shortage of technically skilled personnel is Visual Remote Assistance (VRA). This is a functionality that allows experts to remotely video stream with the customer or a colleague during a problem. VRA works online and fully integrated from Salesforce. During these VRA sessions annotations can be made to point out the specific problem to the users. Furthermore, screenshots can be made, shared and stored on the work order. Last the VRA also has Optical Character Recognition (OCR) capabilities wherefore text on the screen can be directly converted and used within Salesforce.

Remote problem-solving

Thanks to Visual Remote Assistance, the problem can be solved remotely, and technically skilled personnel can help more customers a day. This leads to less travel time and lower service costs. If the problem cannot be solved remotely, the expert has gained a better understanding of the problem during the live session. Subsequently a technician can be dispatched with the right information and materials, increasing the first time-fix-rate. 

Onboarding and training technical staff

Companies often find it difficult to find people with the right experience to perform complex work in the field. Because the ageing of the workforce will only increase in the coming years, it is important to invest in the education and onboarding of new employees in a timely manner. VRA can be used to set up a session with a colleague when performing installations, repairs or inspections. In this manner, new employees can be supported by the more senior engineers from within the office and the experience that is present within the company can be used efficiently.


Using contractors in service

The use of contractors in service can offer companies a lot of flexibility. By using external staff, companies can quickly scale up or down their capacity based on customer demand. The use of contractors can be particularly useful for companies with seasonal work or sudden peaks in demand.

Contractors in the dispatching Gantt 

With the contractors functionality, companies can quickly and easily schedule external contractors and display them on the dispatching Gantt. Contractors can be displayed as full named resources with all available information, but also as capacity-based resources where only available hours and skills are considered. In this setup, the contractor is responsible for allocating to the right named employee. Scheduling external staff on the dispatching Gantt gives the planner a better overview and more control over the outsourced assignments and enables automatic scheduling of external staff during optimization. 

The use of a contractor portal 

The use of a contractor portal via Salesforce Experience Cloud can help improve the deployment of contractors in the service organization. The portal makes it easy to share documents, training materials and other data and streamlines the onboarding process for new partners. Contractors can use the portal to schedule their own employees through a Gantt chart, confirm jobs or exchange knowledge. This allows businesses to use contractors without compromising on information provision towards customers or the back office.

Want to learn more about the functionalities?

Our consultants are familiar with the challenges of the shortage of technically skilled personnel, and they know how software can support you in addressing these challenges. Contact us and we’ll be happy to tell you all about it.