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Field Service Automation Software – Are We There Yet?

The Field Service Industry

The field service automation software market is a highly dynamic one. Over the past few years we have witnessed product modifications, mergers and acquisitions contributing to the competitiveness of new technology. Before my very eyes, I have seen a wide array of service management software suites that cover a broader number of features (i.e., work order management, scheduling/routing, checklists etc.) We see more specialized software and mobile development platforms allowing companies to integrate financial systems, CRM’s and more with backoffices.

Most companies are using some sort of mobile workforce automation software, such as scheduling, routing, work order management, and other applications. Therefore there are still a significant percentage of companies that have field service automation software planned. My question here would be – will these companies be able to play catch up?

Is it Too Late?

Will the late adopters be able to compete with companies who joined the automation band wagon at the beginning?  The answer is no because with technology it is never too late! It can be challenging for these service organizations to find software that is a good fit for their operations without significant customization. That tells us, these companies do not need a “download from our site” kind of solution. They are looking a field service software that has that flexibility of customizing to intricate, complicate service management needs. Here are some evaluations that I believe some of the late adopters need to consider.

Investment

Take the plunge when you can manage the investment. Great software that can be customized and configured to your complex business needs, will need a moderate investment. When we think of industries like HVAC, Industrial Equipment and IT Services, we are talking end to end service management. All the way from the work order through to the billing, they would need to work through several modules.

Workflows and Visibility

When service providers look at workflows, or consider implementing a modified or completely new workflow, many factors come into play. Automation is of course the goal. Increasing output, decreasing the number of labor-intensive human “touches”, and making it easier to handle exceptions are just a few of the many benefits that come from automation.

Integrations

Typically, enterprises need to integrate their service management system with software applications like sales (CRM), Manufacturing (ERP) and financial accounting. This ensures that enterprises are not working off several systems in silos. Some end goals here are –

  • Reduce Operational and Administrative Costs
  • Measure Real-time Performance of Your Service Delivery Strategy
  • Boost Enterprise Profitability
  • Improve Business Processes

 

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