Getting To The Bottom Of Your Questions…
What is Field Service? What qualifies as a field service industry? And what the heck is a field service management software? If you’re asking yourself these questions, it’s very likely that you are a field service business. Field Service is a broad term, but in general, it applies to any business that requires its employees to physically go to their customer to provide maintenance, installation, or consultation services.
Organizations most commonly associated with Field Service include:
- HVAC Installation and Repairs
- Medical Equipment Service and Repairs
- Construction Subcontractors
To get a better understanding of what a field service management software does, we need to understand some of the challenges these businesses face.
Field Service Challenges
When a piece of equipment breaks or begins faltering, Field Service businesses will be called in to fix the issue— this is reactive maintenance. Waiting for the absolute last moment for servicing means higher costs to repair and increased customer frustration with your product.
Field Service businesses are looking more and more towards solutions that will help them conduct predictive maintenance whereby they can provide a fix before the system shuts down.
A Low Number of First-Time Fixes
Customers want hassle-free servicing. They have busy schedules and are unable to allocate hours or days to fix something that should be simple. This frustration is harder to tide over if the equipment in question is critical to their home or business functions.
From the technicians side, inability to fix on the first visit is usually a result of a couple of a factors:
- Don’t have all/the correct background info about what needs to be serviced
- Don’t have the right tools to complete the fix
- Are unsure how to fix the problem
Little Data = Slow Dispatch
Scheduling customers in with a technician should be easy and instantaneous. Knowing who is where when helps efficient scheduling. Manual scheduling also means that it is difficult to match technicians with appointments based on specific geographic areas for faster service.
A lack of data on your technicians, route information such as time from one customer to the next, and average service times for specific issues means that giving a customer a time rather than a range of when a technician will show up is complicated.
There are so many other challenges Field Service businesses face today, which is why they are increasingly looking at software solutions to help. In fact, field service management is expected to be a $600 million industry in the next few years. Most enterprise-level organizations have already made a switch to mobile field service applications.
Field Service Management Software
A Field Service Management Software (FSM), is an application that works to automate a lot of field service processes. The features these applications have can vary from routing, inventory information, invoicing tools, contracts, etc. Some applications will work on the cloud, enabling field workers to access all the information they need on a mobile device with data connectivity. All of the features aim to solve some of the challenges we outlined above.
Field Service Management applications like Evron Field Service are on the cloud and integrate fully with your ERP system. The ERP is a singular system which a company can access to see information about their inventory, transactions, and more, all in one place. When an item is sold, the item is immediately subtracted from the inventory in the ERP and noted. Field workers can see this information in their FSM application as well as it updates immediately after the ERP does. Technicians can check out what tools are available to them to use so they know if they can complete a service job before going out on a job. When a technician takes out inventory, they can note this in their FSM app and the ERP will be updated accordingly.
FSM software is also equipped with features like deep analytics. There are many uses for this; for example, you can keep track of how long it takes to complete certain services so you can give your customers better time estimates. This form of intelligence can also show you how long it takes certain parts to malfunction. This way you know which parts are faulty and take action. Whether using the knowledge to better predict when your customer will need servicing, ahead of a break, or discontinuing a product entirely, the result is happier customers.
Routing, task information, contract and work management, are also other fantastic bonuses in an FSM because it makes your technician’s work easier. They can look up a customer’s service history, route the most efficient path, create contracts and invoices and send them instantaneously. User-friendly dispatch boards allow employers to schedule their team in quickly and easily with drag and drop functionalities. Once complete, technicians are alerted of their appointments immediately. All of this so field services businesses can increase their profits and get paid faster!
There is so much more to FSM, but this post serves as a primer. Hopefully, your understanding of Field Service Management has expanded a little bit more. We’d love to talk to you more about it, so please reach out!