How to Achieve Productivity Improvements for Field Operations

Unipartblogimage.jpg

Optimising field service productivity continues to be a key challenge within Field Operations. With continuing pressure to reduce operating expenses and achieve increased customer satisfaction levels, it is increasingly important for business leadership and operational management to address productivity improvements. Here, we talk about 4 core elements that will help deliver sustainable change and achieve significant productivity improvements for Field Operations:

1. Training Field Operators

Training should be a long-term ongoing commitment to ensure field operators gain and retain proficient working knowledge, which is being continually updated and challenged. Training in areas such as problem solving methods and standard work techniques provides reassurance that operators have the ability to resolve field issues on their own, allowing them to carry on their work at a faster pace and at a reduced cost. Empowering field operators with new knowledge will deliver lasting change and improve overall productivity for the organisation.

2. Engaging with Field Operators 

Your organisation’s ability to achieve productivity improvements for Field Operations will rely heavily on your field operators’ level of engagement and reaction to any changes. Prior to initiating any improvements, managers should engage the whole team in the process. User adoption is critical to the successful implementation of change initiatives; therefore if decisions are carried forward without the engagement of the field operators themselves, there may be high resistance to any change. Managers must trust their employees’ knowledge and create an open environment whereby their ideas are utilised to solve productivity issues. As an example, management could set Field Operations’ goals for the year, and then fully involve field operators in generating ideas for streamlining and improving the processes they use every day in order to achieve those goals.

3. Consider an End-to-End View

Field Operations is a complex process, and productivity improvements cannot take place until the entire holistic operational process is properly analysed and understood. Improvements made in one area could cause problems for other parts of the process, unless a full end-to-end view is considered. Detailed and robust planning is required to approach productivity improvements in a logical fashion, drilling down on the root causes of specific issues and how they impact the entire operation.  The wider logistics network, involving 3rd party suppliers and offline support processes, must also be considered. All these elements must work in tandem with core operations, in order to deliver true productivity improvements and efficiency gain across Field Operations.

4. Strive for Continuous Improvement

It is our experience that organisations who actively nurture and cultivate a culture of continuous productivity improvement are more likely to reduce waste and effectively improve their processes. There is no ‘one best way’ to continually improve Field Operations productivity, but there are some recommended best practices that should be followed.

It is critically important to encourage a shared responsibility for productivity improvements, to motivate all stakeholders to work together. In the current world where technology is constantly changing and operations continuously evolving, there will always be a need to assess the productivity of Field Operations. Field teams need to collaborate together in a constructive manner, and have a platform in which they can openly voice any concerns and share all their suggestions. This involves having strong communications from the top down and the bottom up, with a strong feedback loop and an attentive field management style to oversee the entire end-to-end process. Keeping these guidelines in mind will help your field operators to initiate change more efficiently.

Are you struggling to improve the productivity of your Field Operations? Learn more about utilising these key elements to transform your field operations in our whitepaper:

The Field Operations PuzzleThe Field Generation Puzzle

This article explores the challenges within field operations, including the ever-increasing requirements of both the regulator and the customer, and how they could be met. 

Access the Guide

 

Simon Everidge

Posted by Simon Everidge

Director of Utilities at Unipart Expert Practices

The Unipart Way: performance improvement that sustains.

Get in touch

Please fill in the form below and a member of our team will respond to you shortly.