Easily Shortlist & Compare Field Service Management Software to Plan & Schedule Jobs, Monitor Field Workforce & Improve Service Delivery


What Type of Field Assets Do You Want to Manage?

Over 16733 Businesses Have Used Comparesoft to Compare Field Service Management Software

What Is Field Service Management Software?

A Field Service Management Software helps field service teams to:

  • Record details about the field assets, jobs, technicians, contractors, spare parts, quotes and logistics.
  • Log jobs against the field assets.
  • Plan and schedule jobs.
  • Provide a framework to complete jobs.
  • Ensure jobs are taken and completed safely.
  • Provide a framework to comply with health and safety standards.
  • Ensure spare parts can be ordered and made available for the jobs.
  • Quote on jobs.
  • Take orders for jobs.
  • Provide an iOS or Android mobile App for Field Service Technicians.
  • Report on;
  • First time fix rates.
  • Jobs completed per technicians.
  • Jobs open.
  • Warranty information related to spare parts and labour.
  • Replacement parts.
  • KPI’s and parameters decided by the field service management team.

It’s important to note that Field Service Management software means different things to different businesses.

For Small Businesses (SMB): Field Service Management for a small business is all about

  • Recording jobs, quoting for jobs and completing jobs.
  • There is less emphasis on complex planning and scheduling of jobs.
  • Van Stock, Insurance and completing jobs on time and for a profit quite often are the priorities.
  • Basic reporting.

For Medium Businesses: Field Service Management for medium businesses is focussed around;

  • Providing common visibility and clarity about field service jobs to office based teams and field technicians.
  • Moderate planning and scheduling based on skills, availability and cost.
  • Quotation creation and approval processes.
  • Time, Labour and Parts invoicing.
  • Fleet availability.
  • Van Stock.
  • Notes and messages management between field and office based teams.
  • Reporting on.
  • Quotes to jobs,
  • first time fix rates,
  • Spare parts,
  • Invoicing,
  • Productivity by teams,
  • KPI’s set by the field service teams,

For Enterprise Businesses (ENT)

Field service management for enterprise business is often complex. Evolution of ENT businesses, acquisition assets, legacy systems, ‘we have always done it that way’ approach and high volume jobs often require Field Service Management software which can be configured and reconfigured as the business changes.

Field service management software for an ENT business focuses on:

  • Relevant and contextual information about the field assets, jobs, technicians, contractors, spare parts, quotes and logistics based on a role.
  • Log jobs against the field assets.
  • Recommend solutions to jobs after they are logged.
  • Self-service solution to jobs.
  • Manual, algorithmic, automated and dynamic planning and scheduling of jobs.
  • Fleet assignment.
  • Fleet tracking.
  • Fleet maintenance.
  • Spare parts management.
  • Provide a simple framework to complete jobs.
  • Use of augmented reality for skilled technicians to assist new technicians on jobs.
  • Use of Machine Learning/Artificial intelligence to offer predictive service management.
  • Integration with sensors.
  • Ensure jobs are taken and completed safely.
  • Provide a framework to comply with health and safety standards.
  • Ensure spare parts can be ordered and made available for the jobs.
  • Quote on jobs.
  • Take orders for jobs.
  • Provide an iOS or Android mobile App for Field Service Technicians.
  • Issue certificates.
  • Report on.
  • First time fix rates.
  • Jobs completed per technicians.
  • Jobs open.
  • Warranty information related to spare parts and labour.
  • Replacement parts.
  • KPI’s and parameters decided by the field service management team.
  • Analytics on.
  • Improving first time fix rates.
  • Identifying service jobs before they are logged.
  • Improving remote fixes.
  • Reducing cost per service.
  • Improving technicians to jobs assignment.
  • Integration and data collection from sensors.

How to Find the Best Field Service Management Software

Summary: There are 5 ways to find the right Field Service Management Software.

  1. Map out the end user experience that you would like to provide and then work backwards to find the right Field Service Management Solution.
  2. Identify Your Field Service Requirements and then shortlist Field Service Management solutions.
  3. Identify the gaps in your field service delivery and then find the right field service solutions.
  4. Collaborate with your Back-Office and On-the-Field Technicians and Users to identify Field Service systems that will really get adopted by your team.
  5. Keep researching the internet till you feel you have found the right solution.

There is no one way to find the right FSM software for your business. Yet there are well-known considerations you can use to find the right FSM tool for your business.

Key points to consider before picking your Field Service Management System.

  1. Your team’s digital experience of using software tools and apps.
  2. Simplicity of your requirements.
  3. Clarity of your goals with the FSM system.
  4. End User’s expectations from your field service management.
  5. The importance of Field Service to your overall business.
  6. The Speed at which you would like to implement the new system.

Key Questions to Identify Your Field Service Management Requirements;

  1. How do end customers log service requests?.
  2. How are jobs scheduled? .
  3. (Either by priority, technical availability, parts availability, or completion time).
  4. How do field staff communicate with office-based staff?.
  5. Are services updated? Is it by the customer, job status, or billing?.
  6. How do office-based teams process service requests and information?.
  7. What are the top 3 gaps in your field service management?.
  8. Once current field service tasks are outlined, the next step is to identify gaps and challenges. When doing so, businesses should separate challenges into distinct groups:.
  9. Service Management Gaps.
  10. The key to improving efficiency is to have clear guidelines regarding operations. This is something that all field service managers can relate to. Logical service management challenges include:.
  11. Not meeting SLAs.
  12. Inconsistent job completion times.
  13. Delays to jobs due to inaccurate inventory.
  14. Not assigning the right field technician to a job.
  15. Information and Visibility Gaps.
  16. To improve the customer experience and increase job completion rates, information is essential. Several users require information about a job. Including field staff, supervisors, and customers. Having the right data helps to:.
  17. Assign a qualified worker to the right job.
  18. Increase first-time fix rate.
  19. Avoid delays due to the availability of spare parts.
  20. List Desired Field Service, Workforce, and Commercial Outcomes.
  21. Leading field service businesses set clear goals. For instance, if a business receives 300 job requests per month, its total service management costs will be £400,000. The average service time would be 90 minutes. But, with a field service system in place, a business can improve its targets. Instead, it can set a target to reduce field service costs to £300,000. Whilst also reducing the average service time to 60 minutes.

Example of Field Service Management Goals

Field Service ParametersTargets With Manual SystemTargets With Field Service Management Software
Number of Service Requests Per Month300300
Service Cost Per Equipment5.5% of the total equipment cost per annum4 to 4.5% per annum
Equipment Life6 Years7.5 Years
Total Service Costs£400,000£300,000 to £320,000

Focus on the Field Service Features that work for you.

Most Field Service Management tools have comprehensive features. The best field service teams focus on features that are important for them. Below are some of the questions that may help you to focus on the key features that your back-office and field service team will use.

  1. What value does this feature add to a service team?
  2. Can this feature be used by all stakeholders?
  3. Will this feature help meet KPIs?
  4. Is training required to use this feature?
  5. Are their legal requirements needed to use this feature? (compliance, GDPR laws, privacy policies, etc.)

Shortlist & Compare Field Service Management Software

Whilst most field service management products look similar, there are key differences. Each variation makes a big impact on a business’s ROI. For instance, some systems will prioritise ease of logging service information. While others may focus more on mobile planning.

When finding a solution, a company should have a list of products to compare. Ideally, this list should consist of five different solutions. Once listed, an evaluation team can begin to compare each field service tool:

  • Does it match core requirements?
  • Is it easy to use?
  • Would it be a good industry fit?
  • Is it easy to deploy?
  • Do teams and employees need to be trained?
  • What type of solution is it? (web-based, cloud-based, on-premise, or open-source)

Use the ROI of Field Service Management Software to get Buy-In from your decision makers.

Clear and fact-based ROI will get you the speed of decision making. Taking a numbers based approach to get the Buy-In is the easiest way to get the tool you want.

The challenges they face within their current setup.

How the right solution can improve the delivery of service to customers.

  1. A product’s projected ROI.
  2. For example, a business has budgeted £23,000 per year on Field Service Management Software. They know that this tool will save them £38,000 per year. Meaning they’ll recover their investment in nine months.

Access a Free Trial or Field Service Management Software Demo

An effective way to understand a product is to use it before purchasing it.

Key Considerations When Purchasing FSM Software

Get First Hand Product Testimonials

Most buyers don’t speak with a vendor’s existing customers. But, by doing so, it can give validation about the product. As well as how well the implementation was and how good the support is.

Your Contract with your Field Service Management Software.

Licensing conditions need to be clearly understood. When buying cloud-based software, businesses are only renting the software. As well as the storage space needed to hold their customer and job data. A business should be aware of what happens to their data after payments have stopped.

If purchasing an open-source field service management product, there are other considerations. A business will need to have a clear understanding of how to install the product. As well as how they’re going to configure it and get support.

Fully Understand Your Vendor’s Support and Training

Although the chosen product may seem easy to use, field and office staff will require basic training. This can be in the form of reading or attending webinars and classes. Most UK-based products come with support included in the pricing. Yet it’s worth cross-checking support terms with the vendor. Understanding a vendor’s training processes also indicates their quality of support. As well as how quickly they’ll be able to resolve problems in the future.

Best Field Service Management Software Products

The products below have been demonstrated to us. Our product management team have verified their functionality. We have also cross verified their features fit after recommending them to a hundreds of field service management teams

Best Field Service Tools for SMB Businesses

Clockwork IT Service Management Software

Clockwork IT Service Management Software

Clockwork IT offers a service management solution with powerful tools. Helping businesses to take control of their service quotes, stock, and billing processes. Clockwork provides strong mobile capabilities. Designed for field-based operatives to complete all ‘paperwork’ and compliance processes whilst on the job.

FaultFixers

FaultFixers

FaultFixers is designed for field service teams who want to move away from spreadsheets and paper. It is a simple mobile-app based product designed for simple field jobs. Simplicity, Ease of Use and SMB focussed pricing are the key reasons it is one of the best products for the SMB Market.

pro-Forms

pro-Forms

pro-Forms combines field assets tracking along with personalised forms so that SMB field service teams get a system which works for them. pro-Forms has a very experienced team who are adept at providing SMB field management systems hence are one of the best options for SMB teams

Best Field Service Management Software for Medium Businesses

INFRASPEAK

INFRASPEAK

INFRASPEAK uses field service asset data and your field service goals to deliver an intelligent field maintenance product that is light on data input. It takes a platform oriented approach which means it can address complex field service requirements and is yet fully scalable.

IFS Field Service Management Software

IFS Field Service Management Software

IFS Field Service Software offers a best-in-class service management system. Capabilities include spare parts management and service contract management. IFS is a true end-to-end solution that improves business efficiency. Ensuring fast response times and real-time reactivity.

Totalmobile-FSM

Totalmobile

Totalmobile’s service management solution aims to drive improvement. As well as increase control across all aspects related to the delivery of field-based services. It enables companies to manage upcoming tasks, schedule work, and collect data. Totalmobile aims to deliver a tool that improves cloud-based management.

Field Service Management Software for Enterprise Businesses

IFS Field Service Management Software

IFS Field Service Management Software

IFS Field Service Software offers a best-in-class service management system. Capabilities include spare parts management and service contract management. IFS is a true end-to-end solution that improves business efficiency. Ensuring fast response times and real-time reactivity.

SERVICEMAX

SERVICEMAX.

ServiceMax is for asset-centric service providers. It can automate complete service supply chain. It comes with pre-built service workflows and a 'No-Code' service workflow designer. ServiceMax is built by field service engineers so from the ground up is designed to deliver on field service goals.

Hitachi's Lumada

Hitachi's Lumada

Lumada from Hitachi is an enterprise field service management product for servicing critical field assets. It is hardware agnostic and built to manage high value critical field assets and service processes. It integrates with legacy systems and is implemented by Industry experts.

What Are the Benefits of Field Service Management Software?

The use of Field Service Management Software is on the rise. Most notably due to the increase of SaaS packages and affordable pricing models. Although 52% of companies still use spreadsheets and whiteboards.

Field Service Management Software provides service companies with efficient automation. This helps to improve how a business and its engineers deliver services to customers. There are several benefits of using digital service management tools to automate tasks.

Dynamic Job Scheduling

Field Service Management Software allows managers to be more dynamic and flexible with job scheduling. Managers can load data into a system and automate the tasks of dispatching engineers. Looking at skills, location, and workload to assign the right worker to the right job. Tools include:

  • Real-time calendar view to know which technicians are available and when
  • GPS tracking and route planning to calculate a worker’s proximity to a job
  • Access to a worker’s labour rate and job knowledge

Work Order Alerts

Managers can track jobs from planning to completion with the right service management tools. They can gain visibility of each job and work order from a centralised dashboard. This lets them know when a job is complete or if a job will be delayed. Work can be updated by an engineer at the job on a mobile app. Resulting in a live job status update for managers.

Real-Time Workforce Tracking

Real-time tracking is a key feature of any service management tool. It allows companies to track workers and vehicles with the use of GPS. This helps managers to assign workers who’re located near to the next job. It can also be used with a fleet monitoring tool to give updates on driver behaviour. As well as optimise routes to help save on fuel costs.

Mobile Field Service Management Software

Using mobile apps allows office-based staff to easily connect with workers in the field. Mobile access allows workers to have access to data anywhere at any time. Meaning they don’t have to travel back to the on-site office. Engineers can remotely access calendars, inventory, and resources. All of which can assist them in completing a job without delays. Effectively improving first-time fix rates and delivering good service to customers.

Digitised Invoicing and Payments

Mobile devices allow a field worker to receive payments as soon as a job is complete. This helps reduce the time-consuming process of chasing customer payments. A team of mobile workers can also create professional digital invoices on-demand. Either printing or emailing them to customers. As well as having the capability to collect a customer’s digital signature.

Real-Time Inventory Management

Real-time inventory management lets field workers know what spare parts are available. Making sure they have the equipment required to complete a job. If a part is not available, workers can place an order and track its delivery.

Digital Job Sheets

FSM tools allow managers to store all job information on digital job sheets. Enabling workers to have all of the information they need on their mobile. As opposed to using whiteboards and spreadsheets, which are time-consuming and error-prone.

Field service management software vs. manual field service processes

What Are the Common Features of Field Service Management Software?

Field Service Management Software ensures the delivery of services by field workers to customers. It refers to managing and tracking the jobs performed off-site by engineers. Including installations, repairs, and routine maintenance across sectors like utilities and construction.

Field service management provides a platform for businesses to effectively manage their field staff. Whilst seamlessly connected them with on-site staff in offices. Service management tools consist of several components that help maximise the delivery of services, including:

Job Management

Job management provides visibility for everyone involved in the job cycle. From worker dispatch to job planning to achieving KPIs. This workflow not only streamlines service operations but also improves job efficiency. Enabling managers to make informed decisions based on data.

Job Planning & Scheduling

Job planning is the initial process of assigning an engineer to a job. The planning process consists of setting service appointments and arranging employee schedules. As well as generating job completion times. Planning and scheduling jobs consist of multiple factors, including:

  • Planning by availability, expertise, and service type
  • Using shared calendars to book technicians
  • Incorporating the availability of external technicians
  • Planning jobs based on spare parts availability
  • Route planning

Assigning and Dispatching Engineers

The next step in the job planning process is assigning and dispatching workers. To achieve customer satisfaction targets, managers need to dispatch the right engineer to the right job. This means taking into account the worker’s skill level and travel time. Getting this right reduces operating costs and increases the likelihood of a first-time fix.

Field service management software increases the likelihood of a better first-time fix rate (FTFR)

Contract Management

Office-based staff have an overview of each contract a business has with its customers. This ensures service level agreements (SLAs) are being met.

Mobile Access for Technicians

Technicians and field staff can access job information via a mobile device when off-site. This is possible with the use of cloud-based software. As well as using devices such as mobiles and tablets with a dedicated app. Allowing workers to edit, upload, and add data at any time from anywhere. Having mobile access enables a field employee to:

  • See job information on tablets, mobiles, and laptops
  • Access job checklists
  • Update job progress and status
  • Track spare parts and inventory
  • Take customer payment and send digital invoices

FSM software with mobile features

Reporting and Analytics

Service teams use Field Service Management Software as a central place for information. They set it up to capture and relay data effectively. Using that data to draw insights and identify trends. Ultimately making transformational service level decisions based on data. Reports can be generated for serval tasks, including:

  • Service incidents and status by customers
  • Job completion metrics by technicians
  • Profitable service jobs
  • Loss-making service calls
  • Adherence to SLAs
  • Threshold ordering for parts
  • Spare parts management
  • Vehicle servicing management

What Are the Different Types of FSM Software Delivery?

Field Service Management Software can be delivered and deployed through various methods. Choosing which method is best depends on several factors. Including the size of a business and its operations. As well as a business’s software budget and the field service capabilities that are required.

Cloud Field Service Management Software

Cloud computing is a cost-effective method offering a fast-paced delivery of software. A vendor hosts their application in-house and on their own servers. Companies wanting to use that product then rent access via the internet.

To access cloud FSM software, service providers typically pay a monthly subscription. In the form of a pay-as-you-go payment. Cloud-based Field Service Management Software offers multiple benefits, including:

  • No hardware, up-front, or set-up costs
  • Fast deployment
  • Support from IT professionals
  • The flexibility of using it anywhere at any time
  • Receiving automated security updates

The delivery of cloud Field Service Management Software can be broken down into three categories. These include Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS). As well as software as a service (SaaS).

  • IaaS: The most basic category of cloud computing where companies rent IT infrastructure.
  • PaaS: Levelling up from IaaS, PaaS provides tools to build applications. As well as renting IT infrastructure.
  • SaaS: This is the most popular cloud computing service among field service companies. SaaS vendors host an application, provide the infrastructure, and handle maintenance. Including security patches and updates. Providing access over the internet on a mobile app.

Three Cloud FSM Software Services

There are three types of cloud-based Field Service Management Software. Each one provides users with different capabilities.

  • Public Cloud: Public cloud is the most common type of cloud computing. It refers to accessing a service, typically SaaS, over the internet from a third-party vendor.
  • Private Cloud: Private cloud services refer to an application used by a single service provider. It can be located on-site, similar to an on-premise solution.
  • Hybrid: A hybrid cloud service combines the qualities of both public and private. In some cases offering greater flexibility and security.

Cloud vs. On-Premise

Cost

Cloud: Costs are kept low, with no up-front or start-up fees. Maintenance and security costs are typically included with the rental fees.

On-Premise: Costs can be ongoing, including maintenance to servers and infrastructure. As well as paying for power consumption and rental space for hardware.

Security

Cloud: Data is stored safely in an off-site location and is usually encrypted. If data is comprised, it can be recovered when stored in the cloud.

On-Premise: Data is secured locally, but needs to be kept safe to avoid hacks or corruption.

Control

Cloud: Data is stored and encrypted by a third-party, meaning ownership of data can be a grey area.

On-Premise: Field service providers are in control of their data regarding operations and clients.

Open Source Field Service Management Software

Open-source Field Service Management Software is a free and popular choice for businesses. It is an application whose source code is openly available and operating with an open licence. Allowing programmers and developers to edit a software’s foundations. Helping to build unique features that a business requires. Such as appointment scheduling, job management, and contract management.

The benefits of choosing an open-source FSM software product include:

  • No licence fees
  • Unlimited modifications
  • No restrictions

However, there are risks when it comes to deploying open-source software, including:

  • Lack of security
  • No warranty
  • Quality of software

An opposite approach to open-source FSM software is proprietary software. This refers to a product that can only be modified by its creator. Be that an individual developer or an organisation.

Open Source vs. Proprietary Field Service Management Software

Cost

Open-Source: Open-source software is available to users free of charge without licence fees.

Proprietary: Users will have to pay to use a vendor’s proprietary software.

Security

Open-Source: Patches and security fixes are performed quickly with help from a community of users.

Proprietary: Businesses will have to wait for software owners to fix bugs and deploy security patches.

Control

Open-Source: Flexibility allows for open collaboration between developers and programmers.

Proprietary: Control is restricted to the owner of the software licence.

Typical Challenges of Manual Field Service Management

Service companies face various challenges with their field service processes. Particularly when managing large workforces across multiple locations. Three common risks include miscommunication, lack of data, and availability issues.

Miscommunication Between On-Site and Off-Site Employees

With cloud-based Field Service Management Software, all employees have access to a shared dashboard. This includes information that both on-site and off-site workers need. Such as job requirements and customer information. But, without a single point of access, workers rely on job details being sent via email or over the phone. This means information can be delayed or even false.

Availability Issues with Field Workers

With 52% of service companies using manual methods, scheduling and dispatch conflicts are a common occurrence. This can result in multiple workers being sent to the same job location and a drop in productivity. As well as a rise in expenditures such as fuel costs and job expenses.

Lack of Real-Time Field Service Management Data

For field service management tasks to run smoothly, data needs to be correct and regularly updated. This allows field workers to see what spare parts are available for jobs. As well as enabling managers to know the location of all staff when assigning jobs.

Who Uses Field Service Management Software?

Field Service Management Software is used to connect, assign, and dispatch workers in the most efficient way possible. The features found in an FSM solution allows it to be used by anyone working in the field service sector. Particularly those businesses that find themselves regularly moving from on-site to off-site locations. including:

  • Electricians
  • Plumbers
  • Energy providers
  • Landscaping
  • Pest control

Field Service Software can also be utilised by numerous personnel within a business. It is used by managers, engineers, office staff, customers, and fleet managers.

Managers use it to assign workers to job sites. Office staff use it to provide customers with real-time location updates. Accounting teams use it for invoicing and payments. Field workers use it to access information such as resources and inventory updates.

Managers and Supervisors

Real-time tracking and speedy communication have propelled the efficiency of assigning jobs. Managers can assign workers in the proximity of a job request and schedule jobs with advanced warning. As well as dispatch their more qualified workers to a particular job. This helps to increase the chances of a first-time fix as well as improve customer service levels.

Office-Based Staff

With the right FSM tools, on-site staff are easily able to connect with workers in the field. This helps to improve the collaboration between both teams and increase the speed of data input. Including hours logged, job status, job completions, and payments processed.

Field Workers

Workers have access to a shared dashboard that provides them with real-time updates. Including job locations and inventory details. This helps to accelerate job completions and ensures that each worker is prepared when going to a job. Without service management tools, workers are more reliant on office staff relayed job information. Resulting in a delay to job completions and unsatisfied customers.

Customers

Businesses have the option to share certain details regarding a job and their workers with their customers. This provides customers with real-time location updates to know exactly when a technician will be arriving.

Listen to the Latest In-Depth Podcasts from Field Service Experts

About this episode
Carl Hamilton, Field Service Engineering Manager at proAV Limited, shares his expert insight on manoeuvring in a reactive service management sector and gives advice on using AI and IoT to help increase customer returns. As well as opening the lid on the acronym, RTFM.

Helpful Guides for Using Field Service Management Software

8 Reasons Why Automation Is Key For Improving Your Service Scheduling Tasks

12th Apr 2022

Field managers use job scheduling tools to assign and dispatch the right engineers to the right jobs. They'll review travel time, skill level, and more. Finding the perfect blend of worker, job, and client.

Why Software Is Key for Managing Your Gas Engineers in the Field

20th Mar 2021

Achieve higher customer retention rates & generate greater revenue with the right Field Service Management Software for your gas engineers.

Your Quick Guide to Mobile Workforce Management

16th Mar 2021

Discover the essential tools that service managers need to elevate the management of their mobile workforces and improve overall customer expectations and satisfaction.

5 Ways to Better Understand Your Field Service Engineers

28th Aug 2020

Know the impact that a field service engineer has within your business and how field service management software improves efficiency.

5 Important KPIs to Improve Your Field Service Management

30th Sep 2020

Understand the benefits of using Key Performance Indicators and the KPIs you need to set up for your field service management processes.

What Is First-Time Fix Rate & How to Improve Yours

30th Sep 2020

Learn the importance of a high first-time fix rate and how your field service business can achieve the FTFR industry average of 80%.

How the Use of IoT Is Enhancing the Field Service Sector

17th Sep 2020

See how the rapid advancements in technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT) are helping businesses to increase profitability, improve customer expectations, and make significant improvements to their field service operations.

How Small Businesses Can Profit From Field Service Management Software

14th Sep 2022

You may not be aware, but field service management (FSM) tools are a great investment for not only large companies, such as utility and energy providers, but for small businesses too.

How Digitising Job Sheets Can Benefit Your Workforce and Field Service Management

30th Sep 2021

The importance of digitising your job sheets with Field Service Management Software to maximise efficiency for office-based teams and mobile workers in the field.

3 Signs Your Job Management System Is Failing and How to Fix It

6th Oct 2021

See the benefits of digitising the job management cycle with Field Service Software to maximising job efficiency for customers & engineers.

Why Your Purchasing, Parts, and Field Service Inventory Systems Need Automating

7th Oct 2021

Improving customer service to real-time warehouse tracking, automating parts & inventory management is essential for your field service tasks.

How Digital Field Service Invoicing Can Ease Your Billing & Payment Woes

13th Oct 2021

How embracing digital invoicing and billing tools in field service management can improve speed, increase efficiency, and give financial peace of mind.

Why the Work Order Creation Process Is Key for Your Field Service Operations

14th Oct 2021

Why using service management tools to automate and digitise work management is key for improving your delivery of services.

The Benefits & Impacts of Using Mobile Field Service Apps

1st Apr 2022

Discover the full potential and impact of using mobile field service apps and how they can benefit managers and technicians in the field.

Field Service Management Software FAQs

Q A

How Much Does Field Service Management Software Cost?

When it comes to implementing any form of software, businesses will always be wary of the costs. These costs can be associated with implementation, staff training, subscription fees, and hardware. This is a similar story when it comes to implementing Field Service Management Software.

The cost of Field Service Management Software can vary depending on several factors. Such as the size of a business. Whether small (2-20 employees), medium (21-100 employees), and large (100+ employees). Typical service management costs include:

  • Monthly costs: £15 - £300

  • One-time fees: £500 - £5000

  • Installation costs: £400 - £5000

The cost of Field Service Management Software can also depend on the vendor. Some vendors provide free solutions or demos with limited access. Such as Service Fusion and Service Cloud from Salesforce. Whereas other solutions require a monthly fee or a percentage of revenue. Such as SAP Field Service Management, Field Nation, and Oracle Field Service.

It’s also important to know the cost of a service management tool before getting buy-in from decision-makers. This means not only knowing the outgoing costs of purchasing a tool but also its ability to improve current field service processes. Giving an idea of a tool’s return on investment (ROI).

Q A

How Can Field Service Management Software Improve Job Management?

Job management is the approach taken by businesses to simply get the job done. This involves office-based and field workers executing all tasks within the job cycle. Helping to optimise and improve a business’s workflow. From quotes and estimates to timesheet management and invoicing.

The processes involved are typically performed manually. This includes managing communication between employees in the office and workers in the field. As well as inputting data into spreadsheets and tracking emails sent back and forth between clients and customers.

A manual job management approach can be time-consuming. It can also stunt the growth of a business’s workflow operations. That’s where a digital cloud-based tool can help.

With the use of various features, a business’s job management processes can be entirely digitised. This can benefit businesses in several ways, including:

  • Streamlining workflows

  • Capturing accurate data in real-time

  • Easing collaboration between office-based and field workers

  • Sending instant job quotes to customers

  • Accessing job data and schedules from mobile devices

  • Instantly actioning reports

Q A

Field service companies aim to deliver fast, reliable, and effective service to customers. As businesses move forward and scale, as does technology. Meaning service providers need to be continuously looking out for new tools and capabilities. Allowing them to keep up with competition and maximise their service delivery processes.

Most advancements in the field industry are focused on improving customer service and efficiency. Three key trends to back this up include:

Remote and Virtual Services

A leading factor in the acceleration of field service technology has been the Covid-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, field workers were unable to complete site visits and interact with customers. This has paved the way for virtual, contactless, and remote solutions to deliver services. The adoption of technology has been key in making this a reality for field service organisations. With the use of IoT, artificial intelligence (AI), and augmented reality (AR).

Customer Self-Service Tools

Another trend on the rise in the field service industry is the use of self-service tools. These include self-service portals such as knowledge bases and FAQs. Self-service tools allow customers to find a solution to their own issues. Without having to wait to hear from a technician. As well as communicating with chatbots and live chat to set appointments and track the status of tickets.

Predictive Maintenance with IoT and AI

Predictive Maintenance (PdM) tracks and monitors the condition and performance of assets during operation. By doing so, technicians can identify possible defects and fix them before they fail. IoT-enabled tools such as condition-based sensors enable workers to set up service alerts. As well as monitor health performance to reduce the risk of failure in machinery. This helps to reduce unplanned downtime. Reducing the costs associated with emergency repairs and replacements.

Q A

What’s the Difference Between FSM Software and Mobile Management?

The differences between field service management and mobile workforce management (MWM) are vast. Firstly, one caters more towards field work and the other towards mobile workers.

Mobile workers are employees whose jobs and tasks take place away from the office. Types of mobile workers include health care specialists, trainers or service providers, and home contractors.

Field service workers travel to sites to either maintain, repair, or install specialised equipment and systems. Because of these differences between mobile and field workers, the management processes for both types of employees vary.

Typical Mobile Management Features

Workforce tools are built with a greater focus on customers and employees. With a customer-centric approach, features of a mobile workforce system often focus on:

  • Flexible scheduling

  • Real-time job alerts and notifications

  • Seamless reporting

  • GPS location tracking

  • Proof of delivery and payment

Typical Field Service Management Features

Field service management is designed to focus on the maintenance, upkeep, and installation of physical products. This hands-on approach is found in most asset-intensive industries. Including manufacturing, utilities, and infrastructure. Features typically include:

  • Job planning and dispatch

  • Quote management

  • Contract management

  • Work order management

  • Spare parts inventory tracking

  • Mobile inspection checklists

  • Reports and analytics

Q A

Why Service Technicians Prefer Using a Field Service Management Software?

The role of a service technician is often underestimated; job details, health and safety compliance, instructions checklist, job checklist, quotes, approvals, interaction with customers, and KPIs for Service Management Department are heavily interlinked with their day-to-day activities.

Service technicians are quite often responsible for more than their title. They carry a lot of responsibility for field service to be successful.

Just a decade ago, working off pen and paper, where there would be 4 copies (one for the customer, one for the service technician, one for the back office, and one for finance) of a job card, was a normal practice. Whilst job sheets still exist, they are somewhat less visible.

Service technicians now fully understand the importance of good service data. Easily accessing the information on Open Jobs, Job Types, First-Time Fix Rates, Quotes, and many other aspects of the jobs, helps technicians to be more productive.

Most technicians also fully appreciate that tech, not pen and paper, is the way forward. Hence there is increasing adoption of the use of field service mobile apps by service technicians.

Q A

Is a Field Service Management Tool Necessary for Small Businesses?

This depends on two factors:

  1. What does Field Service Management mean to your business?

  2. How big is your Field Service Team?

If you are a team of more than 2 - 3 people, then investing in a Field Service App is very likely to:

  • Save time required to log jobs as most Field Service Apps offer the capability to take a picture of the job. This means you can log jobs from images and photos taken from a smartphone

  • Easily review jobs to help know the complexity of the jobs quickly

  • Log all jobs in one place

  • Quote for jobs from one place

  • Quickly know jobs and activities by each team member

  • Some Field Service Apps also offer the ability to put QR codes or barcodes on your equipment and machinery so that you can track your tools and equipment

  • Offer documentation to your customers

  • Report on profitability/income from jobs

  • If you use the Field Service App correctly then it will help you to be more organised with your jobs and hence improve your first-time fix rates

If you are a one-person team or doing less than 20 jobs per month then staying with spreadsheets is probably easier.

Q A

Cloud or On-premise Field Service Management Software?

Field service management software can be deployed in the cloud (which is a server that is not physically located on your premises) or On-premise (which is a server that is located on your premises).

The choice of deployment depends on your budget, your preference to buy or rent software, how users access your field software, and the size of your business.

Cloud Field Service Management Software

The core concept of cloud-based is that you’re renting software. The access to your software is via a server that is not installed on your premises. Typically these servers are with AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud Platform.

Who came up with the confusing term ‘Cloud’ for remote servers is unclear but it is widely used by the industry (Here’s the proof that nobody really knows who came up with the term ‘Cloud’).

There are 3 ways to deploy your software in the cloud:

  • Public Cloud:With this type of cloud, there are multiple data tenants who use a common server. You share the server, not your data. This is the most commonly used deployment method. It is also the most cost-effective.

  • Private Cloud: This is a single cloud server for only one tenant. Your server and your data. The costs go up but it can be more secure and robust than a public cloud.

  • Hybrid: Here, you can keep some of your generic data in a public cloud and your business-critical data in a private cloud. This provides multiple cost and control advantages.

Typical advantages of a cloud deployment model are:

  • No hardware, up-front, or server set-up costs

  • Fast deployment - Some field service vendors adopt template-based deployment giving you very quick access to your software

  • Security of your data is not your problem

  • You can access your software from anywhere via the web

  • Software updates are deployed automatically

Cost

Cloud: Costs are kept low, with no up-front or start-up fees. Maintenance and security costs are typically included with the rental fees.

On-Premise: Costs can be ongoing, including maintenance of servers and infrastructure. As well as paying for power consumption and rental space for hardware.

Security

Cloud: Data is stored safely in an off-site location and is usually encrypted. If data is comprised, it can be recovered when stored in the cloud.

On-Premise: Data is secured locally, but needs to be kept safe to avoid hacks or corruption.

Control

Cloud: Data is stored and encrypted by a third-party, meaning ownership of data can be a grey area.

On-Premise: Field service providers are in control of their data regarding operations and clients.

Q A

Why Open Source Field Service Management software should not be Ignored?

Open Source Field Service Management Software is an application whose source code is openly available. Technically known as an open licence, it allows programmers and developers to edit a software’s foundations and build unique features that a business requires.

This is a powerful solution particularly if your business requires customised features or logic around:

  • Planning and scheduling jobs

  • Field Asset Register

  • Field Service Workflow

The benefits of choosing an open-source FSM software product include:

  • No licence fees

  • Unlimited modifications

  • No restrictions

However, there are risks when it comes to deploying open-source software, including:

  • Having technical knowledge

  • Lack of security

  • Support is available on the software and not on how you have set up, customised or configured the software. So if people who have set up your software leave, then there could be issues

  • Open-source is still perceived as less popular, meaning there can be more hindrances to getting the buy-in to use it

An opposite approach to open-source FSM software is proprietary software. This refers to a product that can only be modified by its creator, be that an individual developer or an organisation. Most Field Service Management Software are proprietary solutions.

Open Source vs. Proprietary Field Service Management Software

Cost

Open-Source: Open-source software is available to users free of charge without licence fees.

Proprietary: Users will have to pay to use a vendor’s proprietary software.

Security

Open-Source: Patches and security fixes are performed quickly with help from a community of users.

Proprietary: Businesses will have to wait for software owners to fix bugs and deploy security patches.

Control

Open-Source: Flexibility allows for open collaboration between developers and programmers.

Proprietary: Control is restricted to the owner of the software licence.

If you have a team that is technical and data-oriented, then open-source software can be a meaningful option.

Q A

What Type of Field Assets Can Be Managed With a Field Service Solution?

Physical Field Assets such as:

  • Equipment

  • Machinery

  • Tools

  • Metres

  • Fleet

  • People

It’s important to note that most virtual or digital assets cannot be managed remotely using a field service system. For example, software installed on your equipment or machinery cannot be remotely updated.

There are a number of field service systems that offer Augmented Reality (AR) capabilities to monitor field assets remotely. The same technology can be used to train new field service technicians.

As an example, a senior technician can be at your office and a new starter technician on site. Using AR, the senior technician would be able to see what the junior technician is seeing and can guide them to successfully complete the job.

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