Whether you already have a field service management software, or you’re in the market for one, you always need to think of the future. Your decision on a FSM software today will have lasting effects on your business tomorrow. It’s too big of a decision to be making with a short-term mindset. If you’re not thinking how this software will help you today and how it will help you tomorrow, you could be asking yourself the wrong question and costing yourself more money in the future.
Purchasing a field service management software must be about current needs and future demands. Service organizations today need broad features in their software that will help them deliver effective service today, but also have them prepared to meet the demands of tomorrow. Think of the challenges of today and what will be need in the future. There is plenty of crossover, and you will need a field service management software that can:
- Manage data and analytics
- Automate processes
- Offer mobility to your technicians
- Effectively manage your resources
During the selection process, ask yourself, how can this platform help my business deliver service today, and how will it help grow my business tomorrow? How will this field service management software adapt to the changes in the field service industry? Ask yourself, is our FSM application ready for the future? If you have a field service software already and it’s not future-proof, you may find yourself spending more later to get the tools you need. If you’re selecting today, this is your chance to think of what you will need your software to do to prepare you for the future.
Create a Custom Workflow
Flexibility in field service is key. If you’re not willing to bend, your business will often break under pressure. If your field service management software can’t bend, it’s controlling your business rather than assisting its growth. Customization is the top way to future-proof your field service management software. A software that can be customized to fit the needs of the organization it serves has more value than one that is static. Flexibility is valuable in the field service industry and with the ability to create new workflows, you can adapt your field service business software to the demands of your business, both today, and tomorrow.
You only need to think of subcontractor management tools to see how important custom workflow is. Today, subcontractors are highly used in the field service industry because of the lack of new technicians filling the space. They are only going to be used more often as time moves forward and more baby-boomers retire. Workflow must be designed to handle the on-boarding, quoting, scheduling, dispatching, and payments to these subcontractors.
If your field service management software can’t change with the times, you’re only buying a software for today’s needs. You’ve forgotten about tomorrow’s demands. When in the selection process, make sure to ask how customizable your field service business software can be. Don’t settle for today, because as with most technology, what is new today is old tomorrow, and you need to be thinking of tomorrow to grow your business.
Ready to Integrate
Custom workflows are one thing, but you also need your field service management software to interact with other systems. They are only as powerful as the other software that feeds them information, such as CRM, ERP, and accounting software. But there is also industry-specific software for doing readings and calibrations, tax software, payment software, workforce management software, and sales software. If your software programs can’t speak to each other, that creates a disconnect and requires manual processing. That makes integrations important to industries running cloud-based field service management software. It’s all these systems working together that makes for an all-in-one software solution.
Ensure your field service management software is ready to connect with other software that is important to your business. This is how you achieve faster billing times, reduce errors in manual processes, and make your business smarter with more information coming from multiple software. It’s these integrations that will make field service organizations more effective. The more integrations your field service business software can handle, the easier it will be to adapt to future changes.
Ready to Handle the Customer Experience
The customer experience is here, and it’s going to be the focus of field service organizations for the foreseeable future. The centerpiece of most field service teams today is offering a better customer experience to their customers. It’s about being prompt, automatic, within reach at any time, and predictive. To think, there is a time coming when preventative maintenance won’t be good enough anymore. Customers will be expecting their field service teams to be predictive in their service plans. Hopefully that field service management software you selected is ready for the burst of Internet of Things (IoT) technology. This sensor technology is keeping an eye on equipment and sending automatic alerts back when things being to fail. It keeps equipment operational longer, keeps downtimes shorter, and reduces the number of repairs needed.
With the focus being on the customer experience in the future, field service management software needs to have a customer service focus. Just giving your technicians a field service mobile app isn’t enough anymore. They need access to inventory, the ability to quote additional service, and upsell customers and offer more services on-site. They are the front lines of field service, and customers are expecting more, so they need the tools put the focus on the customer. It also means deeper resource routing tools to get technicians where they need to be faster.
Plan for Your Future with the Right Field Service Management Software
Unless you want to change software in the future, make sure your field service management software is future-proof. Handle today’s challenges with a field service management software that can also be customized and adjusted to fit the demands of the future. There will certainly be bumps along the way in every industry, with new regulations, innovations and technology. So, you need to be sure that your software is flexible enough to handle those changes, without having to be changed.