By now, field service organizations already understand the value of mobility regarding their field service operations. It’s such an important part of any field service management software that it’s a must-have now when organizations, big or small, are looking at implementing a field service software solution.
With advancements in technology, especially in the mobile device field, field service organizations have been able to take advantage of routing tools, greater insight into technician’s movements and a system that removes the manual processes of completing a work order and instead, puts it into the palm of the technician’s hand. It has increased the speed in which invoices are created, as they can now be completed from the field, as soon as the technician closes the call.
There are still advancements field service organizations would like to see from their mobile field service software and the adjoining field service mobile apps that make it possible for technicians to use their mobile devices in the field. Here are what field service executives are looking for in the future and the functionality they need to succeed.
Real-time information exchange
By far, the greatest want of field service executives is to see the expansion of the real-time information exchange between technicians in the field and the back office who supports them. Technicians can often feel alone on a job site and when problems arise, and they need answers or help, waiting on hold for someone at the back office can be not only costly, but frustrating for the technician.
Mobile field service management software has expanded the ability for technicians to see service history in the field and access every part of the field service software from their field service mobile app. They can quote from the field, check inventory for parts and supplies and review past work orders to help them diagnose a problem.
It’s also important for dispatchers in the office to be able to make changes to technicians’ schedules without having to communicate directly with their technicians to alert them to changes. Dispatchers can see a technician’s schedule, where they are in the field and on what call and make changes as needed in the event of emergency situations or additional work orders.
Mobile forms and checklisting capabilities
In industries that require compliance reports, such as Fire and Life Safety, HVAC and Medical Device maintenance, having the ability to use a mobile app for checklist purposes increases the speed at which the technician can complete their work, as well as make it easier to turn those checklists around and into electronic documents that are clean, without errors, and with every field filled out.
Advanced checklists can be built for each specific job and attached to the work order for a technician to use when completing their work. Smart answers are an enhancement that is speeding up the creation of these checklists and ensure a technician records the right information. Smart answers require the technician to input a number, such as how many of a certain piece of equipment is on site, and the checklist will duplicate questions for each of the equipment that the technician declared. It also has required answers, which won’t allow the technician to move on to another question or close the service call, without completing the answers. This ensures full and complete records are taken and nothing is missed on the checklist. They then can be available later, via the field service software, for technicians to use as a source of information, or to send again to a client if requested.
Work order management
One of the main reasons field service organizations are turning to mobile field service software is because of the ability to get work orders to the field quickly, while also removing the manual process of completing them. Manual processing takes up plenty of time, both in the back office to create work orders and process them when finished, while for technicians, they must pick up work orders from the office or print them off in paper-based, complete them and send them back, which could take time. For some organizations, it can take weeks to get work orders returned, which delays the billing process by weeks or months.
With field service software, work orders are created, sometimes automatically depending on service contracts, pushed to the field and to field service mobile apps, where technicians complete the call, gather signatures and close the call, automatically returning the closed work order to dispatch for immediate processing. And it also removes the filing cabinets of work orders for historical reasons and instead, stories them in the field service software, making them accessible to everyone by a simple search.
Visibility of technicians by dispatch and back office
A new growing trend is for dispatch and the back office to have full visibility into their technician’s travel and work. With mobile apps, technicians can transmit their exact location when driving, allowing dispatchers to communicate with customers that their technician is on their way. And when working, dispatchers can see the status of the work order and where the technician is in the service call to better optimize their schedule based on the time it will take to complete the call.
Many might think of big brother when thinking of this much insight, but when operating a field service organization that needs to know where their technicians are in order to better optimize their schedules and communicate with them and their customers, it’s an enhancement that executives are looking for to make their organization more efficient.
Expand Mobile Field Service Software, Expand Field Service Delivery
With mobility becoming such an important part of field service delivery, it’s no wonder why executives are wanting more enhancements in their mobile field service software and their field service mobile apps. It’s these enhancements that are going to drive service delivery forward and give more advantages to those who decide to implement a field service software solution to help optimize their organization. The general theme is more communication and insight, and the way to do that is by connecting everyone through a mobile field service software system that works both ways, from dispatch to the field, and from the field back to the office.