5 Ways an Integrated FSM Suite Will Improve the Competitiveness of Your Field Service Business
Are you using multiple software systems to run your business? We’ve come across companies that use one system for accounting and payroll purposes, one for invoicing, one for estimation, and another one for CRM. There is no explicit harm if each department of your business wants to adopt cutting-edge software to enhance their productivity. However, in the long run, you’ll end up with islands of information as all these standalone software require you to manually transfer data and create reports. Instead of focusing on growing your business, you’ll be spending your productive hours at the back-office. Not just that! A stand-alone FSM software may trigger actions based on wrong or incomplete data, with collateral damage. Poor integration and coordination will duplicate efforts, breed data silos, and impede real-time visibility.
So, here are the 5 warning signs of a poorly integrated field service software. This post discusses how an integrated, end-to-end FSM software like ReachOut Suite boosts field agent productivity, streamlines operations, and delights the customer.
WARNING # 1. Revenue Loss and Lost Customers
The first warning sign of a disconnected FSM suite is a low quote conversion ratio. Reasons include mistakes in the quote, delays, or uncompetitive rates.
Preparing quotes requires gathering information from various sources. Manual quotes are error-prone, may be based on outdated data, and ignore special rates promised to regular clients. An unexpected delay in giving a quote, or quoting high is sure to drive away customers to competitors. Similarly, a low quote estimated because of a mistake or underestimating the time, damages revenue.
Integrating your quote system with a connected FSM software helps in the following ways:
- Generate and deliver quotes fast
- Aid project execution as the details in the quote will constitute the basis for the work order
Related Reading: How ReachOut Helps Streamline Quote Creation for Service Companies
WARNING # 2. Missed Service Agreement Calls
Missing agreed-upon service agreements shows a dysfunctional FSM. Keeping track of deliverables as per the contract is a herculean task.
This is where you need an integrated FSM suite like ReachOut that can:
- Pull in data from the CRM, contract, and quote software to create work orders
- Generate timely alerts when a contract deliverable becomes due
- Sync scheduler and work order management to streamline service requests
WARNING # 3. Scheduling Challenges
Field technicians complaining about schedules are a telltale sign of a disconnected FSM suite. A recent field service management report states that nearly 89% of customers want to see modern, on-demand technology applied to their technician scheduling, which could be realized by a highly connected field service management software.
As said, field service scheduling is complex as the scheduler has to sync resources, equipment, staff availability, and match it all with customer preferences like when they expect the technician to visit their location. Volatile changes in the external environment, such as COVID-19 shutdowns, cause schedules to go awry. Business planners need seamless access to the resources available with the enterprise.
For instance, the scheduler will require information on:
- The technician’s availability for the next week
- The date when ordered raw materials will be delivered
- If the client’s area is a COVID-19 hotspot and other critical details
Poor integration of the FSM with other enterprise systems creates information blocks. The scheduler, deciding based on incorrect information, makes mistakes. The fall out includes loss of labor hours, frequent rescheduling, and false promises to customers.
WARNING # 4. Process Delays
A confused technician, following-up with the supervisor, indicates a dysfunctional FSM suite. An FSM suite not integrated with the CRM and inventory causes rework, delays, incomplete inspections, and hold-ups.
State-of-the-art FSM suites offer integrated dashboards. It pulls in data from various resources and delivers it through intuitive mobile apps.
An integrated and personalized dashboard helps in the following ways:
- Makes explicit the materials and parts required, cost per hour, technician availability, and other vital information. The technician may reach the service venue with knowledge of the machine, history of service, and the right tools and spares.
- Makes explicit customer information such as previous service requests. The technician gets insights on customer preferences, such as the best time to approach, precautions to take, and so on.
- Allows accurate and seamless inspections. The integration with CRM, inventory, sales, and other systems enables comprehensive checklists. A smart FSM offers a slew of handy features, such as skip logic, drop-down lists, ability to upload photos, make notes, and much more. Smart forms capture images and other vital data related to the work. The details get automatically updated to the CRM. Instant reports to the C-suite, regulatory authorities, and managers enable real-time action.
- Offers field technicians easy access to reference material such as fire codes and other resources.
- Updates inventory, enabling prompt re-orders. Delays in servicing, or inability to undertake emergency repairs for lack of spares, are the death knell for any service business.
WARNING # 5. Invoicing Inconsistencies
A disconnected FSM leads to invoicing errors and delayed payments.
When a field technician completes the work order, they can communicate the details to the finance team. The accuracy of the invoice depends on the technician:
- Listing out the tasks performed
- Remembering any omissions or additions as requested by the client
- Communicating time spent, inventory consumed, parts replaced, and other service details
The invoicing team has to cross-check the quote and refer to any maintenance contracts from the CRM. If the FSM is not integrated with the CRM and the accounts software, the result is errors and delays. A delayed invoice reduces the likelihood of timely payment. Mistakes or critical gaps in the invoice degrade the customer experience.
Integrating the FSM with accounts and CRM software suite enables auto-generating the invoice and emailing it to the customer on work completion. The FSM captures work pictures and delivers proof-of-work to the customers. The technician collects the payment, with the FSM software enabling contactless payment options.
An integrated FSM suite such as ReachOut has all the features mentioned above. ReachOut FSM enables your service team to pinpoint service gaps, improve first-time fix rates, streamline scheduling, and boost efficiency. Connect with us to know more.
ReachOut: Inspection & Work Order Management Software
Do you still use paper or Excel spreadsheets to manage your service business? ReachOut is a web and mobile solution for companies to schedule, dispatch and deliver inspections, work orders, ticketing and more.