8 Handy Tips for an HVAC Dispatcher to Know in 2022

The HVAC servicing industry is growing at an incredible pace. Most business owners are expecting about 23.5% year-on-year growth. While the core business is servicing, installing, and repairing HVAC units, a lot goes on behind the scenes. For starters, HVAC companies have dispatchers that organize, schedule, and optimize service technicians’ routes to maximize efficiency. 

But what exactly does HVAC despatching entail? And, what role does the dispatcher play in the company? Below, you will find the answers to queries by reading  8 essential tips to help HVAC industry dispatchers stay on top of their games. 

What is the Meaning of HVAC Dispatching?

HVAC dispatching is essential yet overlooked part of the servicing business. It involves technicians’ route planning and scheduling to fulfill service calls for ventilation installations, heating, and air conditioning repairs, and maintenance of HVAC systems. HVAC dispatching also involves assigning work orders to qualified technicians and highlighting the most optimized route to help them complete maximum orders. 

What is the Role of the HVAC Dispatcher?

Dispatchers play an indispensable role in the HVAC maintenance industry. They have to look after the field service operations and ensure all the logistical cogs are working like a well-oiled machine. 

Established HVAC companies hire experienced professionals with excellent communication skills to act as HVAC dispatchers.

  • As a dispatcher, you plan which customers need your services and assign the jobs to the respective technicians. 
  • Then, you have to schedule their shifts and appointment times to reduce downtime.
  • You’re also responsible for planning the fastest routes for your technicians to reach the site fast, wrap operations, and are on their way to the subsequent service requests. Hitting a high number of cases daily helps increase your business’s efficiency. 
  • You also have to take care of troubleshooting all your technicians’ issues and providing logistical support on their way to the appointment. While planning and optimizing routes, you must also take care of all the contingencies. 

8 Essential Tips for HVAC Dispatcher

Here are the top 8 tips that HVAC dispatchers must consider:

1. Ride along with the technicians

HVAC dispatchers should be well-versed with the technicians and their different skill sets. If the dispatcher lacks the necessary working knowledge about their technicians, they may assign the wrong job to the personnel, thus complicating the process. To solve this, HVAC dispatchers should ride with the technicians to better understand their skills and work process. You should do this for recruits as they have limited in-depth knowledge about the company culture and processes. 

2. Plan in advance

Plan in advance - hvac dispatcher tip

Try to plan your technician’s schedule a couple of weeks in advance. It will help you stay on top of things and re-organize the schedules if necessary. Of course, you can never fully anticipate how events unfold. But planning helps you prepare for the contingencies. This tip comes in handy during the busy seasons. Planning in advance allows you to get more done using the same technicians and shows you if you need to hire sub-HVAC contractors during those times. 

3. Optimize routes

Optimizing routes is one of the most important jobs of the HVAC dispatcher. Optimizing helps the tech teams spend less time on the road, work on more cases daily, be punctual, and save money on fuel. However, doing it manually can be an intimidating task. If you do not already have one, you should consider getting advanced route planner software to do the heavy lifting for you. The software will free up more time which can be used to make better business decisions. 

4. Use real-time tracking

Real-time tracking is beneficial for both the customers and the dispatcher. The HVAC dispatcher can keep a bird’s eye view of all the technicians using reliable HVAC dispatching software. This enables them to make better decisions regarding rescheduling and re-routing. With ETAs and delivery status notifications, customers are also kept updated on when to expect the technicians on the site. This eliminates possibilities where customers are not present in the area due to a lack of transparency of delivery time and also cuts down on incoming customer service calls.

5. Streamline inventory  management 

Knowing the schedules of all the technicians and their cases will give the HVAC dispatcher a rough idea about the spare parts that the business may need in the future. As mentioned earlier, advance planning will help notice the trend and pre-order the parts. With critical parts always available at the base, technicians can offer better services. The customers will be elated with the faster turnaround times for their complaints. 

6. Determine priority levels for tasks

Determine priority levels for tasks - hvac dispatching tip

All service requests are not equally important—some are more serious and urgent than others, and they must be dealt with accordingly. It’s, thus, best for dispatchers to set priority levels for requests. This can be as simple as marking requests as low, medium, or high priority so that emergencies are serviced timely. 

An efficient route planning and optimization software can help you here. It enables you to mark individual requests low, medium, or high in priority and schedules considering request priority, route lengths (shortest is preferred), and costs (lowest is preferred). 

7. Enable offline payments 

Relying on any single form of payment will severely handicap the growth of your business. You can always set up a payment gateway on your website. But what about the customers that do not want to complete online transactions? In such cases, the HVAC dispatcher should equip the on-call technicians with card readers to collect payments and cash during their visit. 

8. Keep updating your methods 

Lastly, always tweak your systems and methodologies. As an HVAC dispatcher, your duty will be to reduce redundancies and increase efficiency as much as you can. You can achieve it by eliminating manual intervention and upgrading the capabilities of your software. You must also provide constant training to your employees and technicians. Using performance trackers will also help find the areas that need improvement. Consequently, you can establish systems to overcome these weaknesses. Hiring consultants to better your processes is a viable option. 

Perform Single-Click Dispatch with Upper Route Planner 

Manual route planning and scheduling appointments are areas where dispatchers spend most of their time. But, thanks to Upper’s route planning and optimization software helps you cut down 95% of the route planning time by creating the most efficient routes for multiple drivers. As a result, you will quickly optimize routes and accelerate the delivery process. 

  • Upper route planning and optimization software offers one-click dispatch, which allows you, as dispatchers, to quickly send out optimized routes to multiple drivers simultaneously.
  • With Upper, your drivers receive daily delivery routes via email/texts and do not have to go to the depot to receive them. 
  • Upper software offers smart scheduling so you can reassign a route to another driver if the former is unavailable due to an emergency. You can accomplish your daily goals without compromise.
  • Upper notifies you if you require more drivers to complete the day’s operations. This happens in case you have insufficient drivers to carry out the routes, route duration exceeds work timings, or the service window falls out of the driver’s scheduled time. 

Try our 7-day free trial to get your hands on a fully automated route planning process. 

Enable One-tap Dispatch on Upper

A single click is all Upper takes to dispatch routes. Let Upper make sure your HVAC technicians reach your client’s location on time.

FAQs

HVAC companies may have different criteria for HVAC dispatchers. But, the most common abilities required to become HVAC dispatchers are organizational, communication, and customer service skills.

The time spent scheduling and planning routes depends on the number of vehicles, HVAC technicians, and cases on that day. But primarily, it depends on whether the planning process is manual or automated. While the manual process is severely time draining, an efficient route planner reduces the hassle drastically and cuts down 95% of route planning time.

You can gauge the performance of your HVAC dispatchers based on customer and technicians’ feedback. HVAC service dispatcher should also increase the overall operational efficiency of your company. Upper route optimization software comes with advanced reporting abilities that will help you track your operational efficiency (good driver performance = good dispatcher performance).

Conclusion

The efficiency of dispatchers directly translates into the efficiency of your business. When equipped with the right tools, dispatchers are able to delegate better, thereby boosting your business’ operational efficiency. So, while it may not be visible to the outside world, most HVAC businesses heavily depend on dispatchers. 

These tips are sure to make you a better HVAC service dispatcher. If you are still managing the dispatching for your budding HVAC business, consider automating the scheduling and planning process to make it easier for you. 

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel is the founder and CEO of Upper Route Planner. A subject matter expert in building simple solutions for day-to-day problems, Rakesh has been involved in technology for 30+ years. Looking to help delivery businesses eliminate on-field delivery challenges, Rakesh started Upper Route Planner with the ultimate goal of simplistic operations in mind.

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