Just a year ago, automation was the talk of the field service industry. Today, it’s a standard in every field service management software solution.
As the field service industry continues to see growth, field service automation will be behind it helping it grow faster. It today’s service world, things need to fast, instant and on-demand. Automation is the way to get there. There are plenty of ways automation and field service software are improving service delivery for organizations, such as with:
- Creating work orders automatically from preventative maintenance contracts
- Creating work orders automatically from customer requests
- Creating invoices automatically as soon as work orders are closed
- Internet of Things technology
Let’s look at how automation is making life easier in the field service industry and improving service delivery.
Automated Work Order Creation
Having work orders created automatically is one of the most important aspects of field service automation. It takes time to create work orders, but with automation, that work can be done for you. In your field service software, you can assign specific work orders to preventative maintenance contracts. Work orders in those contracts will automatically be created and ready to dispatch, without manual input. Things such as checklists, parts and tasks will all be included, making it simple to dispatch technicians for contract work.
But that’s not the only way field service automation helps with creating work orders. It can be initiated from the customers themselves. Field service software can be configured so that when a customer initiates service, a work order is created. They can do this through many different means, such as:
- Emailing a specific address
- Scanning a QR Code
- Accessing a customer portal
- Calling in through an automated phone system
This removes plenty of process from work order creation and limits any wait times for customers. Instead of calling in and having to answer questions on the phone, these tools allow for a work order to be created automatically, without back office having to do the work. Dispatchers can schedule them as normal, service can be delivered fast. Customers get more control, can order service on their terms, and can avoid long hold times.
Field Service Automation Creates Faster Invoices
Getting work orders created faster is only part of the process. They need to be billed for, which can be time consuming if the work order needs to be processed into an invoice. But with field service management software, automation takes care of the invoice creation. Work orders are closed from the field and through integrations with ERP system, such as NetSuite, Microsoft GP, Intacct and QuickBooks, invoices are created when the work order is closed.
Batches of invoices can be automatically created, using many different payment structures built in the field service software. Labor times, material costs and flat rates can all be applied, so as soon as the technician enters in their time and parts on the work order, the field service can calculate the final invoice.
It makes it so invoicing can be done in minutes, and the customer can have an invoice in their hand before the technician even leaves their job site. Field service automation will improve your company’s cash flow by getting invoices out the door faster than mailing them ever could. And the faster they are in the customer’s hands, the faster they can be paid.
The level of automation is completed through the built-in integration. Most integrations offer some level of automation, as two systems work together to complete a task. In this case, the information from the field service software is passed to the ERP and accounting system for fast invoice creation.
Field Service Automation and the Internet of Things (IoT)
Internet of Things technology is not new to the field service space and more companies are deploying some form of IoT to help automate their service delivery. IoT uses sensor technology to detect when equipment is not operating at peak efficiency or when it is failing. It will alert field service software there is an issue and automatically create a work order to correct the problem.
With sensor technology and IoT, field service organizations can turn from a preventative maintenance strategy to a predictive one. They can monitor equipment as it’s working, and rather than customers waiting for their equipment to fail, they will get a technician on site before a major problem occurs. This will reduce costly downtimes of equipment, increase their efficiency and offer an excellent customer experience.
Field Service Automation the New Future
Service delivery heading into the future will rely heavily on field service automation. In a world where organizations are trying to reduce administrative times, offer better customer experiences and improve the speed at which they react to work orders and invoice customers, the answer is some kind of field service automation and a field service software solution.
Having automation reduce administrative times will allow back office workers to spend more time on other tasks, while also giving customers the ability to be in complete control of when work orders are created for service. Find out how field service automation can help your organization and enter a world where your field service software is doing the administrative work for you, so you can focus on offering the best service possible.