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

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Shortlist & Compare Field Service Management Software

A Complete Guide to Field Service Management Software

Buyer's guide

Field Service Management Software is designed to help optimise the management of your field workers and improve your overall field service operations. It is used by office-based teams, supervisors, managers, and mobile workers to improve the delivery of services to clients.

Field service management tools enable you to improve contact between office-based staff and field staff. As well as automating tasks such as job planning, work order management, invoicing, and inventory management. With the right tools, you can maximise your job management efforts and help improve the output of your engineers and technicians as they carry out repairs, installations, and maintenance work for your customers.

What Is Field Service Management Software?

Field Service Management Software is a digital tool that enables you to automate your otherwise manual field service processes and improve your overall field service operations. Using a field service management system allows you to speed up and improve your tasks, as well as increase the level of service that your engineers and technicians provide to customers.

The use of Field Service Management Software has many benefits, including:

  • Increased job completion percentages
  • Improved communication between off-site employees and offices
  • Reduced job delays
  • Increased first-time fix rates
  • Improved customer retention rates
  • Reduced fuel costs with route optimisation

Office teams, field service managers, and mobile workers can also benefit from the use of mobile field service apps, which allow them to perform tasks from anywhere at any time. This includes assigning the best engineers for the job, optimising vehicle routes, and tracking work orders. After all, it seems only fitting that an industry synonymous with mobile working should require mobile field service tools to enhance its operations.

Field Service Management (FSM) Software is commonly known to be adopted by large mobile operations such as waste management, healthcare, and telecommunications. But, with affordable subscriptions models and SaaS packages, FSM Software has become attainable for smaller operations such as plumbing, landscaping, pest control, and window cleaning.

What Are the Benefits of Field Service Management Software?

Deploy Dynamic Job Scheduling

Field Service Management Software allows you to be more dynamic and flexible when it comes to scheduling workers and jobs. Users can load data into a system and automate the dispatching of engineers by 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

Receive Real-Time Work Order Alerts

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

Track Your Mobile Workers

Real-time tracking is a key feature of any service management tool as it allows you to track workers and vehicles with the use of GPS devices. 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 and optimise job routes to help save on fuel costs.

Use Mobile Field Service Apps in the Field

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 to help them complete a job without delays. Effectively improving first-time fix rates and delivering good service to customers.

Digitise Your Invoicing and Payments

Mobile devices allow field workers to receive payments as soon as a job is complete, which helps to 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.

Access Live Inventory Management

Real-time inventory management lets field staff know what spare parts are available and where they're located to make 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.

Create Digital Job Sheets

FSM Software allows field managers to store all job information on digital job sheets. This allows mobile workers to have all the information they need on their mobile devices. 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 provides a platform for you to effectively manage your mobile worker, whilst seamlessly connecting them with office staff. FSM Software consists of several features that help you to 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 your field service KPIs. This workflow not only streamlines your 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 the best-skilled engineer to the right 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.

3 Typical Challenges of Manual Field Service Management

Field service operations can face multiple challenges, particularly when managing large workforces across multiple locations using manual processes. 52% of companies still use spreadsheets and whiteboards. Three common risks include miscommunication, lack of data, and availability issues.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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 allow 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 to relay job details. Resulting in a delay in job completion 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.

How to Find the Best Field Service Management Software

Field Service Management Software can be built to match the requirements of any company. For example, one business may want to improve mobile accessibility for field staff. Whereas another may want to improve the customer experience their workers provide. When it comes to finding and comparing software, businesses need to highlight their needs. As well as considering various factors that impact the way they use it.

Highlight Current Field Service Management Tasks

Typically, there are a few reasons why businesses choose to deploy Field Service Management Software. Either they’ve identified a gap in the way they currently manage their field services. Or they’ve seen an opportunity to improve their current tasks. Often needing to keep up with the competition.

A field service solution aims to improve a business’s current field service tasks. So, the first step for a business when finding a field service solution is to map out its existing tasks. This can be done by managers and supervisors questioning their operations and responsibilities. Such as:

  • How do customers log service requests?
  • How are jobs scheduled? (Either by priority, technical availability, parts availability, or completion time)
  • How do field staff communicate with office-based staff
  • Are services updated? Is it by the customer, job status, or billing?
  • How do office-based teams process service requests and information?

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:

Logical Service Management Gaps

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:

  • Not meeting SLAs
  • Inconsistent job completion times
  • Delays to jobs due to inaccurate inventory
  • Not assigning the right field technician to a job

Informational Gaps

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:

  • Assign a qualified worker to the right job
  • Increase first-time fix rate
  • Avoid delays due to the availability of spare parts

Gaps In the Delivery of Service

How a business delivers its service to customers is critical for improving efficiency. Without Field Service Management Software, all communication is manual. This can lead to various lapses in the way job information is shared. Resulting in poor delivery of service and a bad experience for the customer.

List Desired Field Service, Workforce, and Commercial Outcomes

When seeking a field service management solution, businesses need to identify their requirements. This includes the features and capabilities a field team needs. As well as understanding their desired return on investment (ROI).

Leading field service businesses will 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

Identify Field Service Management Features Needed

All varieties of Field Service Management Software are packed with features and capabilities. Each to automate field operations and improve efficiency. But, each product is different in terms of what it offers and how it works. Because of this, businesses need to have clarity on what they need from a field service solution. Especially when it comes to having the right features in place.

When comparing field service solutions, businesses should be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of each feature. For instance:

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

To understand their requirements, companies need to know their current tasks and challenges. Only then can they identify the tools needed to improve. Essentially helping to create a list of core requirements. Having a clear understanding of core requirements allows for a more focused approach. Especially when it comes to choosing the best Field Service Management Software.

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)

Calculate ROI of Field Service Management Software

When comparing and evaluating solutions, it’s important to understand the ROI of each tool. This is worked out by calculating a tool’s projected deliverables against the actual price of the tool. Ideally, this will help to reach clear value statements.

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.

This type of clarified thinking helps to drive confidence and speed of decision making. Especially when it comes to purchasing and deployment.

Access a Free Trial or Field Service Management Software Demo

An effective way to understand a product is to use it before purchasing it. During this free trial or live demonstration, businesses can see if the product is the right choice. A demo can be accessed by all stakeholders including office workers, field staff, and supervisors.

Get Buy-In From Decision-Makers

Getting approval from decision-makers for FSM Software is critical. All stakeholders will want to know the reasoning and need for implementing a tool. When pitching to stakeholders, field service managers should focus on:

  • The challenges they face within their current setup
  • How the right solution can improve the delivery of service to customers
  • A product’s projected ROI

Key Considerations When Purchasing FSM Software

With stakeholder buy-in and the desired product in mind, businesses can start implementing a new system. But, before doing so, there are still a few factors to consider. Especially when it comes to comparing both the product and the vendor.

Find Product Testimonials and Reviews

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.

The Type of 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.

Does the Vendor Provide 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.

What Are The Best UK Field Service Management Software Products?

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.

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.

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.

Infor Field Service and Workforce Management

Infor Field Service

Infor provides solutions for the public, hospitality, energy and gas, and consumer sectors. It empowers field technicians with a data-driven approach. Infor Field Service Management Software delivers service-focused functionality. As well as company-wide access to data with effective dispatch tools.

SimPRO-FSM

SimPRO

SimPRO delivers an all-in-one FSM Software that provides next-level solutions. Especially for service jobs, project work, and maintenance management. SimPRO service includes job planning and equipment management. Each aimed at field service teams in the electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and security industries.

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.

How Service Engineers Can Benefit From Having The Right Software Tools

28th Aug 2020

Know the impact that a field service engineer has on 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 to Grow Your Small Business With the Right FSM Tools

10th Feb 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 maximise 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, see why automating your 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.

The Telecom Industry Needs Field Service Automation Now, Here’s Why

5th May 2022

Telecom companies are facing multiple challenges in a new era of telecommunications, but these can be addressed with field service automation.

Faq’s

Field Service Management Software FAQs

Q A

What Is the Best Field Service Management Software?

Choosing the best field service management tool is subjective. It depends on the features a service team requires to improve your field service processes. So, what may be the best solution for one business, may not be the best choice for another.

When finding the best field service management solution, there are several factors to consider. Including:

  • Industry fit

  • Number of in-field employees

  • Field services provided

  • The type of software (cloud-based, on-premise, etc.)

  • Software budget

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

What Are the Benefits of Service Management Software?

By automating field service processes, businesses can improve efficiency throughout the workplace. Whilst maximising productivity. As well as this, other benefits of deploying Field Service Management Software include:

  • Quicker invoicing and payment

  • Increasing customer retention

  • Control travel costs with route optimisation

  • Track and monitor equipment in real-time

  • Monitor stock levels of inventory and spare parts

  • Quicker contact with workforce

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

What Are the Key Field Service Management Trends to Look Out For?

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

How Can Field Service Management Software Benefit a Field Service Technician?

The role of a field service technician is fundamental for most industries. Especially for delivering exceptional customer service and on-demand services. Whether that be maintaining infrastructure, repairing equipment, or installing security protocols.

Although the field service management sector is growing year on year, there are still challenges facing the market. Most notably, the slow adoption of digital management tools. This results in challenges such as:

  • Manual data collection

  • Slow service and response

  • An ageing workforce that is reluctant to change

  • Poor customer service

  • Reduced customer retention rate

But, as more and more field service companies shift to a paperless system, their operations begin to improve. Particularly the operations of field service technicians that have access to an FSM tool.

With a mobile field service management tool, service technicians can edit, upload, and access data from anywhere. Resulting in benefits such as:

  • Increasing first-time fix rate by analysing previous service reports

  • Accessing a shared calendar to operate on a more efficient schedule

  • Adopting a completely paperless system by collecting digital signatures and invoices

  • Identifying and meeting key SLAs

  • Viewing a real-time inventory of spare parts

Q A

Is a Field Service Management Tool Necessary for Small Businesses?

As a small business, it’s common to question the need to upgrade your old system to a new one. Although the cost may be a factor, businesses that implement Field Service Management Software enhance productivity.

Benefits that a small business can gain with the introduction of a field service tool, include:

Gaining an Overview of Field Staff

Keeping track of field workers is crucial to making sure jobs are carried out successfully. With a field service management system, supervisors can monitor workers remotely. This lets them see data regarding time spent on jobs and how many work orders are performed in the day. As well as tracking employee routes with the use of GPS trackers.

Tracking Equipment and Asset Inventory

Problems are facing the management of inventory across all types of businesses offering field services. But, as equipment is expensive to replace, smaller businesses with less of a budget must be tracking their valuable assets. By doing so, they can ensure appropriate maintenance to mission-critical assets and avoid downtime.

Collecting Data in One Centralised Database

Coordination is key to making sure services are delivered successfully. To ensure collaboration, the use of a centralised database is essential. A database can include work order schedules, contact information, and asset documentation.

Q A

Is Cloud-Based Field Service Management Better For Service Delivery?

A cloud-based field service management tool offers a vast range of benefits for all business sizes. The introduction of cloud-based/web-based software has revolutionised how businesses operate. With field service management being no exception.

The benefits of choosing a cloud-based field service management system include:

More Manageable Costs With a SaaS Solution

A Software as a Service (SaaS) solution is ideal for businesses on a smaller budget. By opting for a cloud-based solution there are minimal upfront costs. As well as no purchase of expensive infrastructure and no need to rent space to fit an array of servers. Most SaaS solutions offer an easy-to-manage payment structure that can be paid in monthly instalments.

Real-Time Information Regarding Assets and Field Workers

Supervisors can track and collect data regarding workers and services in real-time. Data can include worker locations, work order statuses, asset performance, and customer history. This data can be accessible to any business user at any time.

Q A

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

Field workers, technicians, and contractors require equipment and tools to complete jobs. As they’re performing services off-site, these assets need to travel with them. Whether they’re repairing, installing, maintaining equipment. This requires businesses to have a form of asset management in place.

Typical field assets include equipment, tools, mobile devices, and laptops. As well as larger field assets such as vehicles.

Most Field Service Management Software solutions have capabilities to perform asset management. Along with equipment management and asset tracking. There are several benefits when it comes to managing field assets, including:

  • Increasing asset visibility and availability

  • Tracking assets in real-time with asset tags

  • Creating a detailed asset register

  • Reducing assets being lost, stolen, or misplaced

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