In the field service management space, there is a higher demand for greater accuracy, efficiency in work and greater customer service. With those increased demands, field service software has had to keep up with the trends, with new features and technology that will assist in accomplishing those goals.
In 2017, the trends now lean towards a mobile age, with greater ability to use mobility and the Internet to conduct business, while also having expanded tools to increase the number of service calls, and integrate with other systems, such as accounting or CRM.
Five trends currently active in the field service industry:
1) Going Paperless
More companies are going green, which means fewer paper records and more use of computers, mobile devices, and cloud services. With mobility, field service apps are giving technicians the ability to complete work orders from a tablet or smartphone, while also grabbing signatures on those devices. Those can be sent through a field service software, and invoiced back to the customer through email, requiring no paper. Quoting, checklists, and purchase orders can all be done without the need to print off the paper, keeping the amount of paper that ends up in the wastebasket to a minimum.
2) Need to Expand
Many companies are looking to expand their business, either within their own service area due to greater service call volume, or nationally to other parts of the country. But they want to do so without the overhead of hiring full-time field service works or administration staff to handle the extra load. Field service software, including the field mobile app, is answering the questions of how to hire subcontractors and get them the information, work orders, and instructions needed to complete a job. Integration’s work with third-party systems to help hire subcontractors, allowing companies to expand their business into new territories without a large overhead. And between the field mobile app, integrations with accounting software and work order features, the process is streamlined for quick and easy business expansion.
3) Greater Reporting and Analytics
Information is key to making business decisions, and real-time information is now in high demand. But it also needs to be at your fingertips, so having analytical features built into the field service software is allowing managers a better look at their company’s position. From revenue and costs to the number of calls and the duration of time it takes, all forms of analytics are now being taken into consideration, and the deeper that data goes, the better the decisions can be. Just having a graph with revenue numbers isn’t enough anymore to satisfy the needs of great company transparency.
4) Not a ‘One Size Fits All’ Software
Every company has a different need and a unique want. That makes customization a critical feature when selecting a field service software. Each company needs a tailored service software to their specific needs, including integrations with previous accounting systems, to setting up work order escalation and scheduling practices. With options of going mobile and expansion becoming easier, the need to customize the look and feel of the software means companies are having more of their needs addressed, and can think out of the box for what they want their software to do.
5) More Data and Information
There is a growing need to capture more data in real-time, including the location of technicians, the progress of a work order as well as information for a job site. Big data has turned into a growing trend, as the more information we gather, the better the analytics, and the greater usefulness to the business. From simply taking a photo of a broken piece of equipment to share with future technicians, to having all quoting and inventory numbers on hand, the need to have more information at the ready is critical to the field service industry.