See how you can use route optimization software like eLogii for field service scheduling. With benefits, use cases, and a step-by-step guide.
How to Manage Your Field Service Using Software?
In this post you will learn how to successfully manage field service operations using software. More specifically field service management software.
Running logistics operations in any business environment is a challenge. For field service companies, the task is even more difficult.
Continuously evolving circumstances and unexpected problems in the field means even the most well-structured plans can sometimes fall through and as a result, require consistent hands-on management.
This only adds to the complexity of an already complex process.
Depending on paper documents, Excel spreadsheets, or using disconnected apps to handle a small part of the overall operations isn’t a viable solution anymore.
Meeting these challenges head-on in the modern market will require you to look beyond traditional systems and adopt a new way of operating your business.
A powerful, cloud-based field service management software can help you overcome all of these obstacles.
As the central instrument for managing technicians in the field and a mobile field force, this new technology is fast becoming the industry standard. No more pen and paper, or spreadsheets!
Field service management tools allow organizations to fully automate their service lifecycle, as the end-to-end solution to everything from operational and workforce management, to ensuring customer expectations.
Successful implementation of Field Service Management Software starts with an understanding of what it is, what it can do, and how it might help you drive efficiency in specific areas of your field service operations.
What Is Field Service Management Software?
Field service management (FSM) software is a digital solution that automates the process of operating service teams in the field.
It provides managers with relevant data to plan, organize, track, and optimize technicians’ activities to maximize their effectiveness and productivity.
The software can either be Cloud-Based or On-Premise. Cloud-Based software is the most common choice among companies in today’s fast-paced environment, due to the ability to pay monthly (Software as a Service) vs. paying upfront all the costs involved with a perpetual license.
Cloud-based field service software is also always up to date ensuring that your business is never behind the curve.
With FSM software in place, service managers have complete oversight of all operations from one central location.
They can then act on information coming directly from the field, and adjust operations when necessary and in real-time.
Service managers can also rely on a number of other capabilities of field service management software to streamline other areas of the service process that can help technicians carry out their work:
- Route optimization to reduce the time it takes to reach the next service location with the least possible resources;
- Flexible task scheduling to ensure their realization (scheduled services vs. last-minute calls, etc.) of complicated or dynamic customer requests;
- Mobile field service management to select the right technicians for a specific job;
- Vehicle management to ensure the right vehicles with the correct equipment are selected for relevant jobs;
- Storing customer information to ensure specific operational details relevant to a particular customer are stored clearly for the best field service delivery;
- Real-time updates to ensure every stakeholder is always in the loop via real-time updates and alerts
- Ratings and feedback to gain actual insight into the customer experience.
Field Service Management software solutions also provide access to necessary information for everyone involved in the service process to execute their activities.
Technicians can easily receive input in the field on their mobile apps, while automatic synchronization gives managers complete transparency to make data-driven decisions at every stage of the lifecycle.
The interconnectedness between service managers and field technicians improves their communication and cooperation and thus driving efficiency.
This creates a field service management system that directly benefits the entire lifecycle of the service from operational and workforce performance, to customer satisfaction.
Strategic Implementation of FSM Software
Implementing the best field service management software doesn’t require a lot of time.
In many cases, new tools can fully integrate with existing systems within 24 hours, but there needs to be an element of planning involved before that.
Taking a strategic approach ensures the successful implementation of FSM tools and an easy transition for everyone in the company who will use the new system.
And while there are many ways to go about this, there are a few key steps you can take to create a winning strategy.
#1 Start with a Trial
Don’t rush into automation for automation’s sake!
There are a lot of SaaS and traditional on-premise vendors that offer field service management platforms. So, it’s worth the effort to consult your workforce before coming to a decision.
Consult your managers and field technicians to learn what features would be useful to them, since they are the ones running the day-to-day operations.
Before purchasing the software, book a demo to see what you are buying. Better yet, find a provider that offers a trial version.
Placing the potential new tool in the hands of key operational personnel permits them to make a genuine assessment of the situation, and let you make the right call.
#2 Allow Time for Training
Adopting new technology is not accomplished overnight.
Even with a handful of technicians who will get the chance to work with the trial version, there will still be a lot more to learn once the software is up and running.
Setting aside time and resources for a training period is a smart way to teach staff how to use the latest technological investment.
Start with tutorials and explainer videos.
After people get a better sense of what the software can do, you can initiate peer-to-peer training to teach more advanced features.
Once enough people have completed their training, let them use the software in real-life scenarios, and let your operations managers notify you when it’s time to make the complete switch to automated field service management.
#3 Anticipate Systems Integration and Data Flows
The final step is to consider the integration process.
Think about what you are using now to manage the field service.
Do you rely on paper for service orders and invoices?
Or do you use spreadsheets or other software packages?
How do you currently use and store data?
You should have answers to all of these when looking for a digital field service management solution.
And while each FSM platform is different, there are multiple integration solutions to choose from.
The easiest way is to automatically connect your internal CRM system through an API.
Some field service software, like this one, allows you to import (and export) customer information in bulk.
This is usually done via CSV files.
Apart from automatic integration, you should always have the option to manually upload information into the system.
Once you have a full grasp of how the integration will look like, you should prepare all the files from your end and anticipate an easy system integration within 24 hours.
And we can help you with all of this.
We have everything you need to start improving your delivery.