Overcoming Maintenance And Repair Talent Shortages

See how field service management (FSM) software can help mitigate these issues.

By Brad Hawkins
From the April 2023 Issue

Even though the real estate market is cooling down in 2023, the facility management industry remains strong. Experts believe property management will see a compound annual growth rate of 9.3%, showing promise for the market.

However, the bad news is that facility executives are still faced with talent shortages across maintenance and repairs. If left unchecked, these shortages will lead to slow property turnover times and delays in tenant service requests. As a result, both owner and tenant satisfaction plummet along with profits.

Maintenance And Repair Talent Shortages
(Photo: Adobestock/ Blue Planet Studio)


Facility executives should consider field service management (FSM) software to help avoid shortages and improve the bottom line. Leveraging an FSM platform enables improved tenant satisfaction and drives revenue.

Drive Profitability With Field Service Management Solutions

1. Consumer Self-Service Portal

It begins with a repair or maintenance request by either your tenant or property manager. In today’s fast-paced world, people expect quick and efficient service, but would prefer not to dial the phone to submit a request. Consumers want self-service options and real-time visibility into the process.

FSM software offers self-service portals that allow tenants and property managers to easily schedule appointments, check on the status of repair requests, and directly communicate with the service provider in real time. The transparency and control provided by self-service portals enhances tenant satisfaction.

2. Maximize Your Current Technician Workforce

Artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere these days, and field service management is no exception. Real-time AI schedule and route optimization ensures that the most qualified technician arrives with the correct part, on-time, improving first-time fix rates, reducing costs, and decreasing turnover time. In addition, field employees should be armed with instant access to relevant job information while on the road via their mobile device. With FSM enablement tools they can easily access and manage parts, inventory, and pricing, as well as view daily job schedules and receive live GPS updates, all from the palm of their hand. Improving the efficiency of your current workforce can have a major impact on turnover times and thus, profitability.

3. Augmenting Your Existing Workforce

A key strategy to avoiding talent shortages is to expand your existing repair crew with contractors to create a blend of employed and contracted workforces. Leveraging a network of contractors ensures there are no gaps in coverage when staffing shortages arise or a servicer takes a personal or sick day. This blended workforce can support service quality standard as well. A recent IDC study found that “delivering quality work is becoming more critical as customers evaluate which organizations will retain their business.” The right FSM software provides access to vetted and highly skilled contractors who will ensure job requests are fulfilled in a timely and efficient manner.

4. Data Analytics

Keeping track of repair and maintenance data can be daunting. But with the right tools, facility managers can leverage analytics to make better decisions and optimize operations. One of the most valuable data sources is a facility’s maintenance and repair records. Keeping track of the appliances, fixtures, and equipment, along with their service histories, can identify patterns of breakdowns, determine the most cost-effective maintenance schedules, and even predict potential issues before they arise.

Perhaps the most significant advantage of FSM software is the ability to leverage AI and machine learning to analyze data and provide insights. These platforms take mere seconds to mine data for trends, patterns, and anomalies, which means FMs can make near real-time decisions on things that impact the bottom line and tenant experience. For example, analyzing technician productivity, travel times, and fix rates can surface areas for improvement.

These ideas and more can be brought into companies through corporate real estate and integrated facilities management to improve efficiencies, drive cost savings, and improve the sustainability efforts of the company, its occupants, and the community.

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Realizing Your Growth Potential

The success of your property management company hinges on the ability to maintain and grow revenue streams over time. To capitalize on the expected revenue growth in the property management sector, invest in tools and technology that overcome talent shortages by improving maintenance and repair operations.

The right FSM software will help maximize employee productivity, leverage a blended workforce and cultivate better communication with tenants. The result is greater tenant satisfaction and reduced property turnover times, ultimately leading to greater profitability and success for your business.

Maintenance And Repair Talent ShortagesHawkins has been with ServicePower since 2004, where he currently serves as Senior Vice President of Products and Solutions and oversees operations, development, and product management. A longtime veteran in the world of field service technology, Hawkins brings more than 20 years of experience in workforce management software. 

Do you have a comment? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below, or send an e-mail to the Editor at jen@groupc.com.

Check out all the facility management topics covered in Facility Executive magazine’s Services & Maintenance articles.