As we move closer to 2019, some field service management organizations are starting to weigh options for the new year. What goals are they aiming for in 2019? What changes do they want to make? How will those changes come about? There is a lot to think about when the calendar changes, and it’s time to think investment.
Field service managers need to invest in their businesses with modern technology to continue making improvements. As the industry changes, innovative technologies are added and are designed to make things more efficient in the field service industry. With their eyes on the future of their company, here’s what field service leaders are looking to invest in heading into 2019.
New Mobile Hardware
Mobile is always top of the mind when it comes to the field service management industry, and no surprise, it’s the top investment heading into 2019. When it comes to mobile, there are many different reasons field service leaders are investing in mobile hardware. Many want to complete the digitization of their organization and go fully mobile. That will improve the efficiency of their technicians and back office staff, resulting in more service calls. Coupled with a field service software, it’s removing manual processes and automating as much as possible. With the extra time technicians are getting back, they are conducting more service calls while back-office staff are focused on other tasks and not the processing of work orders.
Reporting capabilities are high on the list of reasons why field service organizations are investing in mobile. With mobile field service software, they can track more Key Performance Indicators than ever before and make changes to their service delivery quickly before something becomes a problem.
Mobile hardware also includes technology such as Internet of Things (IoT), Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) tools. There is a greater push to have those devices utilized in the field service space, and especially ones connected to a mobile field service software. Wearable technology may not have seen the increase it did in 2018, but it’s still very popular among service leaders. With it comes the ability to train and support technicians in the field with AR and VR solutions to give technicians a greater connection to the back office when they need assistance.
Field Service Software
What has seen one of the sharpest increases is in the investment of field service software itself. Interest in a software solution to service delivery continues to rise across multiple industries. Field service management software can encompass many of the investment trends on this list because it is the thing that links them all together and makes it possible. Without it, there is no mobile solution, advanced routing tools, or project and job costing modules. Field service software is taking the manual processes of the industry and making them automated. And with so many built-in tools, it’s customizable to every business to work the way they need it to.
It’s being said now that if your organization doesn’t have field service management solutions, you are incredibly far behind the times. Paper-based work orders, whiteboards for scheduling, and sending out invoices manually is a thing of the past. Now it’s done through a fully integrated system that goes from office to the field and back, and straight to your customers’ hands with an invoice.
The main reason for moving to a field service software solution is to improve the customer experience. With customers demanding more, field service leaders need a system that can keep up and handle the volume of calls they are taking. With field service software, you’re getting:
- Work order management system
- Preventative maintenance contract manager
- Project and job costing solutions
- Business Intelligence for analytical reporting
- Advanced dispatching and scheduling tools
- Mobile solutions
- Integrations to ERP, CRM and accounting software
Mobile Field Service Apps
Field service organizations are looking for mobile field service apps to help their technicians in the field. It’s how they are reducing the time spent processing work orders, both in the field and in the office, but making them electronic. Dispatchers push them to the field and using the mobile field service app, technicians can fulfill any requirements and send them back quickly for processing. Mobile app technology has improved and today it offers:
- Routing tools
- Service history
- Expense reporting
- Increased communication
- Better tracking
- Greater security
The increase in visibility into service history is one of the main areas of focus for 2019 and why leaders are investing in mobile apps. Technicians can now access service history on equipment to help with repairs. It can help them complete repairs faster, getting the information they need instead of having to pull an older work order. Visibility, communication and tracking are the reasons mobile field service apps are seeing an uptake in investment opportunities. It’s all about offering greater insight, both into the life of the customer, the technician and back in dispatch.
Set Your Investment Priorities
The important thing to remember when it comes to mobile field service software priorities for 2019 is that trends are changing, and mobile is at the forefront. It’s why mobile solutions continued to dominate investment opportunities in the field service management space. Managers are needing tools to better communicate with their technicians in the field, and mobile field service software with field service mobile apps is the solution.
Every year, more flexible field service software is being released, with the ability to integrate with other programs. It’s more flexible than before, and field service software organizations are customizing software to fit specific needs. Those needs are trending heavily towards a fully mobile workforce. So, when 2019 comes around, set your sights on mobile field service software solutions.