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Field Service Apps: Why You Need One and What to Look For

Digital transformation has taken the field service industry by storm, and not just from an office standpoint, but a mobile as well. Most of a field technician's time is spent in the field and on the go. Historically, writing notes down on pieces of paper and typing a report when they got back to the office was the way to keep track of schedules, missing parts and completed jobs. This manual system has proved to be inefficient, causing workforce management companies to invest in a robust workforce management system to help streamline this sort of process. However, that is not the only thing that workforce management companies need to be investing in.

Mobile technology has become a critical part of exceptional field service execution. The service council conducted a survey that said field technicians arrived on the site with no mobile technology at least 50% of the time. In 2020, mobile technology is more than a cell phone and it is also more than a fun bonus tool, it is an essential tool for a successful field service management company. 

What are Field Service Management App Capabilities?

When searching for a workforce management suite, look for one that comes with a mobile app to support your workers on the go. Mobile apps provide your field technicians with real time access to tools, chats and other information to get the job done right the first time. Mobile apps are highly customizable and easy to use, for blended workforces or for traditional employees. A mobile field service app is designed to ensure productivity and efficiency from all employees on the road. So if you are making an investment in a Field Service App, what capabilities should come with the product? 

1. Work Order Scheduling and Management

Technicians should be able to access their schedules and make requests from their mobile devices. Look for an app that also allows for invoice creation and estimates on work orders. This end-to- end capability allows for the entire transaction from beginning to end to be recorded. This creates a database for upper management while also allowing the field service worker to close out jobs faster.

 
2. Parts and Inventory Management

Your field service mobile app should have an inventory database that is easily searchable. Technicians can use this to find parts they may need, order new parts and track returns and usage of shared tools.  This part of the tool should also allow for historical information to be viewed, such as previous work orders, contact information and repair notes. 

3. Mapping and Location Services

Especially with COVID-19, it is important to understand where technicians are going to and are coming from. Customer transparency is also important. Providing a mapping and location capability allows for customers to track their field service worker’s location in real time. This feature can also help field service technicians locate where they can find the closest part needed to their job. 

4. Customer Engagement

As we mentioned previously, customer engagement has become increasingly important. Make sure your mobile app allows for online signatures, in field payment processing and messaging capabilities. This will allow for customers to feel a sense of control in how they experience field service and also gets the job done faster and in a way that is personalized for the customer.

Mobile apps are meant to cut costs and improve productivity and in some cases, can increase completed calls by nearly 43 percent. An efficient mobile app eliminates the need to return to the office to pick up paper based forms. This gives technicians more time to spend on site and less time on the road, which can lead to a decrease in company car maintenance and an increase in jobs completed per day. Not to mention, the end-to-end service capabilities that a mobile app can provide is unbeatable. For instance, service requests, signatures, and closing a job, can all be completed in a few clicks on one device, leaving less room for error and allowing both customers and field service workers to feel like a job has been seen all the way through in a timely manner. 

Why Cloud Security is Critical for Mobile Apps

Mobile apps are a dynamic and beneficial tool for field service workers, but as a modern tool in your digital transformation toolkit, they also require data protection and security. This means that your team needs to ensure that your field service app comes with cloud security.  

Data protection and privacy is non negotiable. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has led to an increase in cyber security challenges, with a whopping 63% increase in cyber attacks. Customers and employees alike are trusting you with all of their personal information and assuming that you will not compromise that information. Field service continues to be an essential service, so maintaining proper security measures will help ease the stress of concerned customers and keep your company's reputation intact. Make sure your field service app is properly secured so both customers and employees can reap its benefits. 

Mobile business management solutions, like field service apps, are a profoundly useful investment for workforce management companies. Mobile apps end-to-end capabilities truly streamline the field service management process and allow for centralized data to be easily distributed in a convenient and transformative way. 

Learn more about how to integrate mobility into your business model with ServicePower.

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