The National Grid has warned homes and businesses that they could face power cuts this winter due to gas shortages.
If blackouts are rolled out, they'll significantly impact field service customers and your business. We've put together an article detailing everything you need to know so you can prepare for the worst-case scenario.
A guide to rolling blackouts
- Blackouts are planned power cuts to households and businesses when the electricity supply cannot meet demand. When demand is higher than supply, it can cause an imbalance that can damage the grid, and blackouts prevent this from happening.
- The last time the UK experienced planned blackouts was in the 1970s, but this winter, that may change. The National Grid has told locals to prepare for blackouts in January and February between 4 pm and 7 pm to reduce total energy consumption by 5% to conserve the country's gas supply.
- The UK isn't the only country that has faced the threat of blackouts. Rolling blackouts began in Ukraine last week following attacks on their power stations, and countries like South Africa, Ghana, Botswana, Lebanon, Pakistan and Sri Lanka often face power cuts.
How to prepare your business for blackouts this winter
- Whether you own an HVAC or solar panel business or are a plumber or contractor offering insulation and glazing installations, the energy crisis will significantly impact your customers. You must prepare your business to provide the solutions they need to survive the season.
- If you're in one of these industries, find out how you can prepare your customers and your business for an unprecedented winter.
Create a winter marketing campaign
- Sharing educational content that answers people's questions and helps them find solutions will attract customers and help you establish your company as an authority in your industry. Focus on creating content related to blackouts and energy efficiency, including how customers can prepare for blackouts and what they can do to conserve energy and reduce their consumption. Increasing your marketing efforts before and during winter can help you get ahead of your competitors and keep your business at the top of customers' minds.
Train your technicians
- Training can help you prepare your technicians for a busy winter season. With the right skills and knowledge, your team will have the capacity to increase productivity and work efficiently, even as their workload increases. Identify the skills they need and provide training or refresher training to improve their performance. If you're planning to hire more staff before winter, it's crucial to conduct training before the season gets busy to ensure they can keep up.
Take advantage of automation
- If you're not already using software to automate admin tasks, this winter may be the ideal time for your business to start. The demand for your services will be high this winter, and the last thing you and your team needs is to be consumed by manual tasks like quoting, invoicing and job scheduling. Instead, you can use Field Service Management Software to automate repetitive tasks. With a reduced workload, your team can put their skills to work and increase their productivity.
Reduce your operational costs
- The future of the energy crisis is unknown. There's no knowing if blackouts will be rolled out, what will happen to energy prices, or how these events will affect your business financially. With so much uncertainty, now's the ideal time to reduce your operational costs to improve profitability. As a field service business, fuel is one of your biggest expenses. The most effective way to reduce this cost is to decrease your team's mileage with Route Planning Software. You can use the software to assign jobs to the nearest available worker to lower fuel consumption and fuel costs.
Prioritise asset maintenance
- Make sure your equipment is ready for the season by prioritising maintenance. Your assets need to be in excellent condition to ensure you can deliver quality service throughout winter. However, scheduling and monitoring maintenance can be challenging when your team is operating at full capacity. Fortunately, you can streamline scheduling and keep track of all maintenance tasks performed with Asset Management Software. You can manage all asset maintenance jobs from the cloud-based platform and record all maintenance work done.
Give your field service team the tools to tackle the energy crisis. Sign up for Eworks Manager to take advantage of our Field Service Management, Route Planning and Asset Management Software.