If your organization is looking forward to managing operations and workforce within a closed work environment, like a factory or production plant, then your ERP software with a customized plug-in or add-on to enable employee communication would be more than enough to facilitate efficient management. However, if your business involves contractual on-site or geographically distributed work orders that require field associates to travel to customer locations to deliver the service, then your ERP may not be the best option for managing them. Same is the situation if you happen to be a company that sells products and services, and has a large workforce of sales associates who are always on the move trying to sell your offerings to potential customers.
For work that is dispersed over a wide geographical area, there is always a need for communication frameworks that allow smooth collaboration, transparent work order management and increased visibility into work progress schedules. As far as sales associates are concerned, they need to be empowered with technology-enabled tools to assist them with information that is vital to close sales deals. Also, they need to constantly communicate with their managers, as well as access customer lead tracking units back in the office that would then provide feedback for marketing campaigns.
Having a custom field management software or app will bring in the desired levels of operational efficiency for sales and marketing staff as well as for their reporting managers. Let us examine a few ways in which a custom field management app can make service delivery faster for field service companies.
If we look at the case of a sales personnel, a field assistant app would allow them to access crucial product or service info on the go and hence provide greater insights into how a potential buyer could benefit from the offering. This increases the chance of the sales deal turning into a reality much faster than it would be without an app to assist them. Consumer queries could be directly answered by searching the relevant info on their mobile app rather than having to call product specialists elsewhere to get details. Besides, sales and marketing folks can have instant communication links with their line managers to decide on spot offers and promotions to attract and convert leads into deals quickly. As for field service staff such as on-site engineers, technicians, etc. speedy access to information will allow them to quickly resolve issues at customer locations.
Thanks to easy availability of location information, it would be easier for organizations to allocate field staff that is in close proximity with the customer location. This would reduce costs considerably and also help to resolve customer complaints and issues faster.
Field service management apps facilitate transparent communication of work information between managers and field associates. Correct tracking of working hours, availability metrics, accurate resource allocation and other factors allow companies to offer the best deals for consumers in terms of billing. Besides, consumers can be billed in real time at their premise rather than having to wait for days to get the invoice from a centralized billing center. The field service app would transmit necessary data to billing resources to produce real time bills and offer settlement to customers instantly.
This is especially true in the case of marketing and sales associates who travel to customer locations. They can collect information about the customer or use information that has already been collected and analyze them to create personalized marketing campaigns on the go. With field apps, checkout processes can be accelerated since it would be very easy for field workers to address consumer queries without leaving their proximity. Thus increased sales is a big advantage offered by field staff management apps.
This is in the case of marketing associates who travel to potential customer locations to generate leads for sales. With transparent information access guaranteed by dedicated field service apps, enterprises are able to effectively monitor performance of their field staff. Information such as number of customers surveyed or visited, data collected, genuine sales leads for further follow-ups etc. can be easily tracked using such apps and further utilized to improve performance of associates. This would over time eliminate unproductive travels, lengthy sales cycles and ultimately bring in more revenue for companies from their marketing efforts.
Enterprises that involve in field services as well as those who employ sales and marketing professionals to drive ground sales, will definitely benefit from the convenience and operational efficiency guaranteed by field service management applications. The investments they make for implementing such a dedicated management system will yield results in a very short time period and it is easier to measure ROI in terms of productivity improvements. Rather than causing more load to their organizational ERP software, it would be a wise move to incorporate a dedicated field service management software to help your workforce become more competent. Contact us to get a demo of ReachOut Suite.