Field Service Organizations (FSOs) are realizing the importance of embracing digital transformation to meet changing customer expectations, fluctuations in the economic landscape, and the challenges of remaining competitive. Likewise, investing in field service management software is an integral driver of digital transformation as well as an important approach to overcoming today’s challenges.
However, not all field service management software is able to handle the complexities of the modern workforce, such as blended staffing models and IoT-driven servitization. In this post, we’ll cover the basics, benefits, and top tips for choosing a field service solution. Armed with these strategic insights, your business will be better positioned to select the right field service software solution to drive success now and in the future.
What is Field Service Software?
Field service management software is a digital solution that aims to help field service organizations streamline the management of tasks, scheduling, dispatching, communication, customer insights, and more. Some field service management software– such as ServicePower – leverages Augmented Reality, mobile platforms, real-time data analytics, and AI scheduling to automate complex field service workflows, increase service efficiency and productivity, and maximize time to ROI.
Top Benefits of Field Service Management Software
Deploying innovative field service management software empowers FSOs with various benefits and solves numerous pain points, including:
- Removal of paper-based processes – The traditional paper-based approach to field service management is inefficient, time-consuming, labor-intensive, and error-prone. Going digital removes the need for printing, scanning, and filing different printed paper forms. Removing paper-based processes can also drive sustainability efforts while saving money.
- Real-time job information – FSOs and field technicians can access real-time critical information on parts inventory, pricing data, customer data, scheduling, work orders, and more. Real-time job information, such as customer data, makes it easy for technicians to better prepare for a job and therefore complete it on the first try.
- Access to digital forms and workflows – Depending on the solution deployed, field service forms can be used to track field tech work, collect data on appointments, record or initiate work orders, and customer interactions. Likewise, this streamlines repetitive field service workflows and reduces redundancies.
- Improved technician productivity and agility – Today, many FSOs are managing a blended workforce. Intelligent field service management software allows companies to automatically schedule, dispatch, invoice, and track performance across full-time, contracted, and blended workforces. Technicians can access this field service software via mobile devices – from smartphones, tablets and laptops – augmenting their efficiency and agility while in the field. However, this is best done with a user-friendly field service application that integrates with the overall software solution.
- Higher levels of control and visibility – The right field service software delivers increased visibility for FSOs including real-time data insights on the workforce, inventory, work orders, cash flow, and other critical aspects. Look for a solution that compiles all these insights in a centralized, easily accessible dashboard.
10 Tips for Choosing Field Service Software
While there are various marketplace solutions, some due diligence on evaluating field service management software providers can position your organization with more successful deployment, adoption, and benefits. The top 10 evaluation considerations include:
- A solution specifically designed for field service organizations – It is critical that you deploy a solution that is specifically made for FSOs and not for another industry. FSOs have unique needs and challenges so be sure to adopt a solution specifically made for the field service industry.
- Easy work order scheduling and management – Look for software that is easy for FSOs to manage and schedule work orders. Furthermore, field technicians also need to quickly and easily access schedules and work orders. Consider a solution that is mobile-driven to allow for quick invoice creation and estimates on work orders on mobile platforms.
- Built-in estimates, easy mobile payments – Look for a software solution that features a mobile application with built-in estimate, pricing, invoicing, and payment with signature processing so the field technician has all these features – and the related forms, documents – at their fingertips. This improves efficiency, customer engagement, and promotes sustainability efforts by removing paper forms.
- Real-time parts and inventory management – Select field service software that provides your business with real-time access to inventory databases. Inquire if the software has a mobile component for techs in the field to look for relevant information i.e. previous work orders, repair notes, and customer contact information. Real-time parts and inventory can help techs access the correct parts for the job and improve first-time fix rates.
- Data collection capabilities – Modern field service organizations need to be data-driven. Therefore field management software must have intelligent data collection capabilities that provide insights into field service jobs, customers, parts and inventory, location, invoices, and all the other vital data-based components. Armed with data – and more importantly, data analytics – field service organizations can strategically apply these data insights to move the business forward.
- Customizable – Select a field service software solution that offers a modicum of customization to support your business’ unique requirements. This flexible configuration can help tailor the software to fit your specific needs.
- Security – Data, which includes your business data as well as your customer’s data, needs to be protected and confidential. Select a field service software solution with cloud security so you can keep your sensitive information confidential and secure.
- Self-service customer portal – Consider a software solution that features a self-service customer portal. This may include communication channels, real-time location and status updates on field techs (i.e. estimating time of arrival), customer surveys, and more. FSOs can gain insights into how well their customers are responding to field appointments and augment customer retention efforts.
- Part of an integrated solution – An integrated solution is the ideal field service software solution. Deploying an integrated solution ensures that the features, functionalities, and experience is seamless between the various platforms. Avoid trying to use various point solutions that may not integrate well.
- Easy deployment, intuitive interface – Look for innovative technology delivered with an intuitive interface and easy deployment for the FSO business and field techs. Ask the vendor how quickly the software can be installed, how much training is involved for the end users, and if there is also offline support. Select technology that is easy to deploy, adopt and manage. If the solution is too complex to adopt, you run the risk of low adoption and ultimately, a wasted investment.
Partner with a Leader in Field Service Management Software Technology
Today, it’s not about whether field service organizations should digitally transform their business or not, but how FSOs can properly adopt the right digital technology. Fortunately, ServicePower meets all the evaluation considerations covered and has the experience of working with modern field service organizations like yours.
Discover how ServicePower’s Augmented Reality and remote support tools enhance the customer experience and drive increased revenue.