Greetings Professional Providers and Buyers,
I am looking forward to a very relaxing Memorial Day weekend – I trust all of you are doing the same. It is nice to have a three-day weekend, and especially one where we are free to basically do as we please, visit friends and family, have our cookouts, etc. While we are involved in all of these activities, we should also take pause to reflect on the past, present and future services and protections our Armed Forces provide for us. To the ladies and gentlemen who have served and who continue to serve, I say “thank you!” for your services and for keeping us safe from harm. We are all greatly indebted to you and words cannot express our gratitude. Again, thank you.
Continuing on, I would like to address some provider and buyer concerns. Everyone knows that even with a seamless and robust platform such as ours, we are still in the people business and issues will always arise when there are humans involved.
None of us are perfect and mistakes and miscommunication is bound to happen. It is everyone’s responsibility to work together to limit the instances where friction occurs. We always want to ensure a pleasant experience, and if conflict does arise, we strive to achieve a positive outcome. With that being said, please remember that the good old telephone is by far the best means of communication in an urgent situation. Also, be sure to record anything you have agreed to verbally in the message section of a work order since it is much easier to recall what was agreed upon if there is a hard copy. Messages are time and date-stamped for easy reference, and when there is a trail to follow, resolution and clarity of events are often easily realized. Additionally, external communications are more difficult to track, and it is simply easier and more streamlined to keep all of your communications in one location. We all need to keep track of what is going on with our work orders, and the message system is a very effective means to do so.
Friends, I continue to hear at times that there are counter-offer conflicts and delays on the approval of work orders. Again, I stress to all providers to keep your counter-offers as simple as possible. Buyers should also be sure to read any counter-offer in its entirety before accepting the work order; once you accept the offer, you are agreeing to it and it now becomes part of the work order. This also applies to spend limit Increase requests, otherwise known as SLI’s. Be sure you know what is being requested before you click “approve,” because once you do, the rate changes and it is now a part of the contract as well. Regarding approvals, all users simply must communicate better on this issue. Many times, the message that is sent is not read nor answers the request for approval. If we can all keep each other informed of progress and any issues preventing approval, the work order process will flow much smoother. Use the message system, my friends. It works and keeps all of your communication in the work order.
Additionally, service buyers should expect to be updated and service providers expect to be paid for their efforts – let’s all try to put in an extra effort on this concept and see if we can make our Tuesday and Friday mornings a bit easier to handle. Another thing buyers can do to assist themselves and the providers they work with is set up tasks in work orders so deliverables can be uploaded. Try and avoid email instructions or asking for emailed deliverables as it is very difficult to track these things on our end. When a conflict arises, we do not have the information in the work order that we need to assist both parties. If you need the deliverables emailed or faxed, that is fine. But, as a failsafe, please upload them to the work order as well. Did you know that if a user does not upload all of the deliverables, they cannot even mark the work order work as done? This saves you in case someone on your end approves the work order and you cannot find the deliverables because they were in an email. If you keep everything in the work order, you are protecting yourself from having to chase down deliverables. You also protect yourself from accidentally approving a work order that should not be approved.
I would like to share three interesting and helpful articles for both our service buyer and provider users, which are available to view on our Product Blog:
- How To: Create a Clear Work Order to Ensure Job Success
- How To: Get Work Done on Field Nation on Your Payment Terms & Rate
- Field Nation University: Field Nation 101
Once again, my friends, I would like to remind you about our PPEM system. Provider Performance Event Management is a big part of our day-to-day here at Field Nation. Anytime a provider is late, cancels a work order, is a no-call/no-show, etc., it is recorded and penalties are applied. These include, but are not limited to: verbal warnings, 30/60/90-day suspensions from the open marketplace, and even termination from Field Nation. So remember, there are terms and conditions everyone has to abide by and you simply must do that for the system to work.
Providers should be aware to always try and keep the buyer and Field Nation informed when there is the possibility of a problem. If you cannot reach the buyer, call our Support Staff and we will assist you. We are here to help. Additionally, buyers and providers should always rate the experience of working together, since this is important and reflects upon the relationship. “Relationship management” is the name of the game on both sides of a work order. Let’s keep everyone informed of the good, and when it does pop up, the bad as well. This is important because it will help improve the overall process for everyone. Please always try to reach out to the party you are rating to get a complete understanding of the situation; as we all know, things are not always what they seem.
Well that is it for this month. Please feel free to send me an email or give me a call if you would like to join my group “VP Customer Service Corner” in Field Nation.
HELLO SUMMER! Getting the Harley out this weekend, yes!
Thanks to all for your continued support of Field Nation. And, as always my friends, BE SAFE.