Vendor dispatchers have a tough job. Not only do they need to keep operations running smoothly, they also need to ensure a level of quality assurance with every step of the process. When you’re working with so many clients, projects, and technicians, juggling them all and still producing consistent, top-notch results isn’t easy, especially if you’re not fully equipped to handle it all. Just as a professional juggler has a routine, and it’s backed with practice, juggling all the components of your workload is something that requires a routine and plenty of practice.
If you’re struggling to keep up with your current dispatching processes, it’s a good time to take a step back and allow yourself some time to breathe and get a refresher on some simple ways to keep it all together, like…
Vetting technicians should never just be another notch on a project’s check-list. Every project will present a need for a specific set of skills. If you’re simply looking for any technician who is available without paying attention to their skill set, you may be setting the entire project up for failure from the get go. There’s a lot of technicians out there, so it’s important that you take your time to talk with possible candidates for a project. Here are a few questions you can ask them:
- Are you available for this project?
- The project requires skills in [X], are you qualified?
- What experience do you have?
- What certifications do you have?
- What will you require in order to successfully complete the job?
These questions will sort out qualified, certified technicians and will help you get a better glimpse at what you can expect out of them. In many situations, the project itself will require someone with a specific certification, mandated by the client. Even if they’re equipped with the expertise to work with Cisco equipment, if they don’t have CCNA certification, they shouldn’t be brought in to do the work.
A successful project will really only be as good as the workflow backing it up. Fumbling along through many different projects and trying to stay on top of their timelines and the tasks associated with them isn’t going to be easy if you don’t have a clearly defined workflow. This means a basic, but detailed step-by-step process for each and every project. The workflow should outline exactly what happens during each step, and clearly details the associated dispatcher tasks for them.
A clearly defined workflow not only helps you stay on track of all of your projects, but it can also enable your team as a whole to jump in and out as necessary. A workflow should establish enough detail that anyone can take over at any point and know exactly what had happened, what is happening, and what needs to happen in order to successfully complete it. Let’s fact it: we can’t always be everywhere at once. If you’re in the middle of a project, but have a long-awaited vacation ahead of you, that workflow will allow you to confidently leave knowing that your coworkers will be just fine in your absence.
Managing a Lot of Work
When you’re at your very busiest, it’s easy to mix everything up, especially if you’re relying solely on your mind to make sense and differentiate everything. We’ve all seen some project details meshing together with another. This is simply a part of the job, but in order to avoid confusing project details, it’s good practice to document everything as it happens. If one project enters another phase of the workflow, then document it and any details that pertain to the transition. That way, you’ll have notes to refer back to when someone asks about a project a week later.
In addition to documenting as you go along, communicating with the client every step of the way will keep them updated. This will ensure that the proper details are getting to the client when they should and enabling them to understand the process and what’s being done at each point.
When all seems lost, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Lean on your coworkers when it seems like there is just too much to handle. If the whole team is up to their necks, it might be time to bring in another company to help you sort out your process and streamline everything. At DiverseNet, we’re workflow experts, and we can help your dispatch team become more productive, more efficient, and more successful.