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The ability to manage your field services with the help of a good software is surely the best thing you can add to your business. Field Service Management has the responsibility to meet the rising customer expectations through a more optimized and efficient business. Software have been known to make our work easy and they can surely add tons of value to any business model. However, choosing the right software is not at all an easy task, especially when you have to shortlist one in the ever growing field service management sector.
Importance of Field Service Management Software
Successful Field Service Management operations play a vital role in customer satisfaction and loyalty. These software combine several functions into one consolidated solution that helps schedule and track field operations. A good Field Service Management System is basically a cloud-based tool that connects office to the field. It provides tools to:
- Help you save your time.
- Automate scheduling, dispatching & routing optimization.
- Help you stay in touch with service people in the field.
- Enjoy better customer experience.
- Enable better work management & employee tracking.
- Manage worker activity (logs, time tracking, job status updates).
- Integrate with inventory, accounting, and other back-office systems.
What to look for when choosing a Field Service Management Software?
Over the years, the cloud and mobile technologies have transformed the way we live and work. Every company has its own system in place before it considers migrating to a new software. This system is somewhat unique to the company and can be as simple as using paper work orders or just excel or time logs or as much as some built-in house program. Irrespective of the earlier system used by the business, there are some key factors that should be taken into consideration in order to evaluate a Field Service Management System for you.
Key factors to look for when choosing a Field Service Management Software
1. Pricing: It is said, “It’s all about money that matters”. Pay close attention to the Pricing module of the software. A Field Service Management Software offering all-in-one pricing will provide greater efficiency to the business in terms of its usage of capital and resources. A strong system needs continuous improvement and development. A nominal monthly or quarterly fee per license is the best way to go. You may even have the training and support included in this monthly fee for the term of your agreement.
2. Workflow: The basic essence of any Field Service Management Software remains in being constantly connected and responsive. That is the biggest reason as to why it is important look for a Field management Software System that can work across different devices, services and complimentary functions in order to keep the field technicians and the backend personnel in sync. A good Field Service Management Software should ensure smooth running of the workflow among the major channels involved.
3. Industry Specific or Not: While you choose Field Service Management Software, it is imperative to analyse the industry you are in and if the particular software is specific to your industry or not. Historically, the failure to address the specific needs of the field service industry has been witnessed as the major reason behind the cut out of the CRM and ERP solutions.
4. Mobility: When going for a particular Field Service Management System, ensure what is it exactly that you’ll be putting into the hands of your technicians or field workers. Make sure that the software is optimized for mobile devices and is easy to work on the go. Field service teams require high-functioning Field Service Management App for team members in the field so that they can keep a track of inventory management, sales and service quotes, etc. Mobility solutions provide real time visibility and a native mobile app is the one that can produce the best user experience!
5. Is the app easy to use or is it complex: This is another factor that needs to be considered before actually going for a Field Service Management Software. When deciding upon a particular software, analyse how it will be deployed and then decide what will work best for the organization. The software that is simple and convenient will work smoothly as your business evolves and scales.
6. Analytics & tracking at admin end: The main purpose of a Field Service management Software is to facilitate complex tracking and scheduling. Thus, the ease of analysis and its compatibility with other software is must to watch out. The time lag between service completion and invoice generation often leads to the loss in revenue which should be well taken care of by a proper Field Service Management App. With a Field Service Management App, the service completion and invoice generation is instant and thus, better revenue analytics and tracking is facilitated.
7. Customizable or not: Whichever software you choose, it would have some features which will never be used in your case or some which will be missing. So, before deciding upon a particular one, make a note to check if it is customizable to meet your unique business requirements or not.
8. Visibility: It is of utmost importance to access visibility into the field force activities. A typical day for a field service technician may involve a lot of dynamic elements that are interdependent. The lack of real time visibility into such activities may result in field service managers spending valuable time ensuring all tasks are carried out within appropriate timelines.
Which industry do you belong to?
Today Field Service Management manages resources in almost every industry. Each industry vertical is making use of Field Service Management App to manage and track its mobile workforce. This also leads to better services to the customers and enhanced customer satisfaction.
Industries that include Field Force Activities
1. Telecommunications and Cable industry: The telecommunications and cable industry has professional field workers who walk at your doorstep to provide you services like, install a cable or run the phone line. Such industry has a number of workers working in the field and without a proper Field Service Management App it is just impossible to track them effectively. On the other hand, the customer expects uninterrupted services with immediate restoration which can only be possible through an effective Field Service Management App in place.
2. Healthcare Industry: Over the past few years, the health care industry has emerged as one of the most promising sectors. There are mobile nurses who provide in-home care for elderly or disabled, there are technicians who take your blood samples directly from your home and deliver reports also, there is also an option for home delivery of medicines and much more. This industry demands a major requirement of “accessibility” and “availability” in case of any emergency. Health care professionals need to have a database wherein the customer details are inserted. This database may be helpful to them as they may have access to medical history of the patient and treat him accordingly. With the lack of a proper system in place, most of the times the earlier prescriptions, reports, etc. are often found missing, stale or inaccurate.
3. Gas Utilities: The Gas Utilities industry has a number of field workers in the form of engineers who get into the field to investigate and repair suspected leaks. Such engineers require an automated app wherein they can fill the data and send to the admin. The safety parameter is important for both the customers and the employees.
4. Heavy Engineering, Mining, Industrial and manufacturing Industry: In heavy engineering, mining, industrial and manufacturing, there are expensive industrial equipments that can cost millions when sitting idle. The technicians or the field service officers are sent for preventative maintenance and repair. Early identification of risk factors and possibility of failure reduces maintenance costs and untimely outage. The Preventive management increase the equipment uptime.
5. Food Industry: Do you belong to the food industry wherein the concept of home delivery is at its peak? To remain competitive in the market, all major restaurants provide option for take away or home delivery. This obviously requires filed workers who are expected to work with high productivity. Thus, if you belong to the food industry and require mobility platform that automates processes & field workforce, Field Service management App is the best suited for you.
6. Online Shopping Trends: The latest trend of online shopping draws our attention to the various logistics and the courier delivery field officers. They require a robust system mechanism wherein they can input data, track customers and customer preferences, optimise routes and dispatch, etc.
7. Personal care Industry: The personal care industry provides grooming services, hair cutting, etc. The industry has lot many field workers serving at the door step. Such professionals are required to work more efficiently and generate revenues. An effective Field Management System Software can assist these to reach the customer site as long as the request is made.
8. Electronics Industry: Electronics Industry has a large team of field technicians that work on a daily basis for operations including installations, service demo, repairs, annual maintenance, etc. It is very important for such an engineer to have real-time information on spare parts so as to enable him do the repair or commit a specific date of completion of the repair. The more accurate this committed date is, the more the customer satisfaction.
The Bottom Line - Conclusion
Every industry is different. They have different requirements and the way you run your business can never be exactly the same as someone other does. With the need for the organizations to continually review and redefine its current processes, Field service management has become a necessity. If you choose a software, you’ll be bound to that and will have to pay every month or yearly plan. If you want a permanent solution in the long run, the best thing would be to invest in your own customized Field Service Management App. A customized Field Service Management App will be tailor-made to the requirements of your business and thus, will prove to be more productive. It will facilitate the business to improve the standard of the services and the workforce productivity, which will ultimately lead to better growth and higher customer satisfaction.