Here's a simple question: "Are you ready for anything?”

Sounds simple – but it can actually mean a couple of very different things. It could mean “Are you prepared for any unusual circumstances that might crop up out of the blue?” But it can also mean “Is there anything that you’re truly prepared for?”

It’s easy to get overconfident about what kind of business disruptions you think you're really prepared for. For many, their experience with the COVID-19 outbreak was a wake-up call. For many, their contingency plans simply weren’t enough. And this pandemic is hardly the first time field service teams have had to deal with harsh and challenging realities.

In 2003, a series of seemingly minor incidents in the northeast cascaded into the largest blackout in American history. Two decades later, there’s a lot we can all learn from what happened in 2003. What caused the blackout? What might have prevented it? How did a lack of visibility across the electrical grid escalate a glitch into a nightmare scenario?

Today, many of us have an urgent mandate to maintain – and improve – uptime and other key metrics. Telecom carriers are in the middle of an aggressive build-out of 5G networks, facing competitive pressures to deploy quickly and deliver flawless service levels as the number of tower locations grows exponentially. Energy companies need to accommodate a new remote workforce that suddenly has expectations for professional caliber services at home, a new and complex challenge that nobody anticipated a year ago.

We can all learn from major events such as the 2003 blackout and the current pandemic. But how often do we take stock of the more frequent glitches we bump up against every single day? They may not be catastrophic, they may not grab the headlines, they may not get on the CEO’s radar – but they definitely drive down our efficiency, uptime, and other key performance objectives. For example, if you still take a manual approach to scheduling and dispatching, you may be experiencing problems ranging from low levels of technician utilization to SLA violations.

The good news is that, unlike the extreme and rare business disruptions that sometimes monopolize our attention, these everyday challenges often have simple and straightforward solutions. Replacing manual scheduling with AI-driven automation can save your organization time and money, reduce risks, and improve performance – day in and day out.

When you’re not consuming all of your bandwidth struggling to keep up with your scheduling and dispatching needs, you’ll finally have the bandwidth to deal with the truly unexpected disruptions when they crop up. In other words, you’ll not only be delivering better performance – you’ll actually be ready for anything. Find out what lurks behind some of the most common scheduling and dispatching headaches (and what you can do about them) in our free ebook 10 Things We Hate About Manual Scheduling.

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