What is Field Service Management?
As a general overview, field service management is the system of coordinating field service operations. At the very basic level, that includes scheduling work orders, dispatching service technicians, tracking labor hours and job status, and invoicing the completed job. However, field service management goes even deeper, by encompassing every aspect of service delivery and managing the people and processes that make a field service business efficient. That includes operations such as:
- Preventative maintenance contract management
- Service scheduling and dispatching
- Installation projects and job costing
- Workforce management
- Resource routing optimization
- Parts and inventory management
- Integrated invoicing
- Customer portals
- Advanced checklists for service technicians
- Reporting and analytics
Why Field Service Management Software
Field service management software is a complete management solution for anyone in the field service business.
Cloud-based software has all technicians, dispatchers and managers working out of one portal. For those looking to deliver exceptional service and have a full end-to-end experience, field service management software is the tool to deliver it with.
As customer demands change, the logistics of those demands become a challenge for any service-based business. It’s a complex challenge to deliver exceptional service to all your customers. So, many leaders started turning to a software solution that would handle all aspects of field service management in one cloud-based system.
Field service management software is designed for what it says – to manage field service. That includes everything from the work orders your technicians complete, to the contracts you sign to the invoices going out the door. And because of the advances in cloud-based technology, it’s now accessible to everyone in the business, from any location, giving the same access to vital service information to technicians, dispatchers and managers.
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Field Service Management Going Mobile
Field service is mobile by nature.
Technicians are on the road going to job sites to complete service work. The technology many field service businesses are turning to now simply must include a mobile app., a form of field service management that is built for the mobile nature of the job. These field service mobile apps support the service technicians by giving them the technology to complete work orders faster.
Mobile technology has advanced to the point where communication is completed instantly. Changes can be made by dispatchers and affect the technician. New work orders, schedules and routes can be planned and pushed to the technician’s mobile device. It allows for constant communication between the service technician in the field and the dispatcher in the office.
The days of paper-based work orders are gone, as service technicians now have everything they need (literally) in the palm of their hand. Technicians today need greater access than before, so through a mobile device, they can access service history, contracts and parts from one location. Whether online or offline, it’s the most trusted system field service technicians use to truly automate their job, work faster, and reduce administrative duties.
Integrated Field Service Management
Field service doesn’t work alone.
The most important backend information, such as your customer names and addresses, employee information and inventory, are all controlled by these outside systems. So, they need to be connected to the field service software in order to complete the end-to-end management cycle field service management looks to build. By having this connection, there is a reduction in data entry errors, lower operating costs and faster turnaround in work order and invoice processing.
Field service management with integrations is generally called an end-to-end solution due to the nature of handling the entire management of field service from one end to the other. That includes bringing in important information, performing service and generating invoices quickly. These built-in integrations often include accounting, ERP and CRM systems, but can include a wide variety of systems and software that any field service businesses use, such as:
- Tax software
- Subcontractor and workforce management software
- Industry specific calibration systems
- Inventory and sales software
Scheduling, Dispatch and Routing
Getting the right person, with the right skillset, with the right parts to the right job is no easy task.
Dispatchers are under more pressure today to get the right person to the job, while also finding more time to add additional service calls. To accomplish this, field service management software has advanced scheduling and routing tools for dispatchers. With a skillset search, they can find the right technicians with the right certifications and training to complete a job. Adding parts with integrations is completed quickly, and with turn-by-turn GPS driving directions, technicians can get to the job site fast.
Dispatchers also have access to resource routing tools that can help optimize the routes their technicians are taking. Reduce the amount of time service technicians are driving and gain valuable labor hours back. With a full view into each technician’s schedule, and a real-time map of the route they are taking, dispatchers can now make more informed decisions about the scheduling and dispatching they are doing on a daily basis.
Leverage Field Service Management Software
Managing an entire service team comes with plenty of challenges.
Becoming an efficient service delivery organization requires a significant amount of time and effort. However, to manage the numerous people that make up your business and the customer’s expectations, field service management software is giving field service businesses the tool to automate and enhance their productivity. With real-time information being analyzed, managers of today’s field service business have more access to information for decision making than ever before.
Thanks to field service management software, everything a service department needs to succeed is done in one system. It’s a mobile, integrated and highly customizable way to become the most efficient service delivery team possible.
Why is Field Service Management Important?
Now that we’ve answered the question, “what is field service management?”, you might be wondering why this needs to be a priority for your organization. In order to effectively keep track of your team of service technicians, you can’t rely on outdated methods that are prone to human error. Because this process is so complex, miscommunications and unforeseen delays can have devastating effects on a given project or on a customer relationship.
Because your customers expect cutting-edge technological solutions, it makes sense to prioritize an improved field service management approach in order to meet (and even exceed) their expectations.
Without the ability to accurately keep track of your technicians and the jobs they’re set to perform, you’ll inevitably risk your brand reputation and your ability to deliver on your customer promises. Now that cloud-based software has become more accessible, every member of your team will be on the same page and in a better position to provide the services your customers need.
Having a reliable way to manage every aspect of service work — from work orders to on-site adjustments — is essential for your business. Antiquated methods simply won’t get the job done. With help from field service management software, you can ensure that vital information is being relayed in real-time. Not only can this help your team do their jobs more efficiently, but it will also improve your customer service capabilities and encourage customer loyalty over time.
Signs You Need Better Field Service Management
You may know the answer to the “what is field service management” question, but can you recognize when your organization is falling short? Here are some signs you could benefit from investing in comprehensive, cloud-based software to manage your field service.
- You’re drowning in paperwork
- You can’t find the files you need
- You don’t have enough time to generate new leads and sales
- You’re consistently missing important deadlines or dealing with delays
- Your technicians don’t have the information they need
- Your scheduling leads to constant problems
- Your customer communication is lacking
- You’ve received complaints from customers and technicians
- Your team’s productivity has hit new lows
- You’re unsure if you’re assigning the right technicians for the job
- You struggle with billing and invoicing
- Your current system is too costly or too outdated
- You’re frustrated with managing your field service team
If any of these signs sound familiar, it may be time to consider what cloud-based field service management can do for your business. We’re here to provide the support you need to take your operations to the next level. For more information, contact us today.