There is a significant risk when deploying any kind of software solution. Field service management software is not immune to that. It’s not necessarily the software that is the problem, but rather, the business buying the software isn’t prepared yet. There is a lot of effort needed to successfully implement a mobile field service app into an organization. You need the people on board, the structure to implement it and the knowledge to use and expand upon its processes.
When it comes to purchasing, implementing and using field service management software, there are some best practices to follow. It’s important to get all your ducks in a row as it were, which includes the mounds of data that are going to populate your system. Many businesses don’t do the proper due diligence on the quality of their own data. And considering how important that information is to the start-up of any field service management software, it can grind a project to a halt quickly. Get off to the right foot with your mobile field service app and software solution with these best practices.
Get your people in order
There are a lot of people that are going to be using field service management software when it’s implemented. And there are a lot of people who have to make decisions on it as well. It’s not just a dispatcher and technician tool. Managers, CEOs and accountants all need some level of input. And also, not to mention, your IT department needs to be brought in if you decide to host your own cloud-based field service management software.
People are the users of the software and will be the main benefactors of a successful installation. So, it’s important to get everyone on board early in order to guarantee the success of the project. Technicians are notorious for being hesitant about new software. Throw a mobile field service app in front of them, and they may not be interested. That’s because some technicians are fine doing things the old way. They don’t need mobile devices when they are happy using paper-based work orders. However, it’s important to get them on the same page and keep them involved in the process to ensure they see the value of using the mobile field service app.
Field service management software needs structure
With your people in order, it’s time to get your processes in order. Where implementing field service management software can go very wrong is when leaders have little idea about how they want the software to work for them. The level of control, visibility, responsiveness and the efficiency it brings is totally new. And to say the least, if you’re still using old processes, you might not be aware of what field service management software can do.
It’s safe to say, start with what is most important to your business. Nail down the processes that matter to your most important operations. If you haven’t mastered the work order, working on complex projects isn’t going to help your business. That’s why a phased approach is generally a safe way to ensure a successful deployment. Get work orders and preventative maintenance contracts up and running. Integrate your accounting, CRM and ERP system. Deploy the mobile field service app to your technicians. And then work in complex project management. Walk, don’t run, is a great best practice when trying to ensure the success of software deployment.
Take advice for the expert consultants
Field service management software is complex. It’s not something you go to the store, buy in a box and plug into a CD drive (if those even exist anymore). It’s a cloud-based system that needs an expert hand in deploying. For businesses looking to use this software and mobile field service apps, it’s best to take the experience of consultants and put it to good use. Consultants can offer deep expertise into not just your software, but others as well. No two software implementations are the same, but there is plenty of crossovers. Consultants can provide insight into how the industry is using software to help and guide you towards implementing that solution.
These consultants will help you get your processes in order and then help train your people. It’s an approach that has worked many times before. Consultants can generally see the solution to your problem and offer ways to fix it or optimize it better. Don’t get overwhelmed in the deployment of software when you have an expert on staff.
Never stop learning your field service management software
Getting field service management software up and running isn’t even half the battle. It’s a digital paper-weight as it were if your people don’t know how to use it. If you hand your technicians a mobile field service app with no instruction, they could be missing out key functionality. Or, you could be not collecting the right data. That’s why training is such an important part of the process. Everyone from dispatchers to accountants to warehouse staff to technicians needs to know how to use the new system. That’s because field service management software puts everything into one portal. Everyone will be using the same information, the same system and have access to every part.
Get your people comfortable with using the software you are providing. In terms of best practices, this might be the most important. Show them how it works, why they need to use it and the benefits of it. That will get them more excited to use the mobile field service app in the future. Let them know how the field service management software is going to speed up their repairs. Or how it’s going to reduce their administrative work. And constantly keep learning and evolving. Don’t just stick to your original plan. Adapt to your software and continue to evaluate the processes and data you collect to better optimize your experience.