Field service management is in a growth phase! The industry has grown from $1.97 billion in 2015 to $5.11 billion by 2020, with a CAGR of 21%. The COVID-19 pandemic dampened many sectors, but field service continued its good times. Demand for many field services, such as cleaning services, increased.

The evergreen nature of the field service industry has attracted many new entrants who compete in price. Many new entrants forego profits to gain market share, running the market for everybody. Field businesses can no longer increase their profits by raising prices as customers move to competitors who charge less. But enterprises can reduce operational costs through efficiency improvements and differentiated services.

The best way to ensure operational efficiency is by installing field service software.

1. Automated ticketing and scheduling system

Automation streamlines workflows and boosts operational efficiency.

Service management software makes it easy to roll out automated workflows. Best-in-breed suites establish a ticketing system.

Work comes from various quarters. Some customers call the customer support team. Others use the company portal or email. Regular customers may prefer to call the technician who usually goes to service the machine. The latest technologies, such as IoT and Artificial Intelligence, leverage big data to predict when a device or a part will break down. The IoT system auto-generates a service request.

On receiving a ticket, the field service software opens a work order and assigns a technician for the task.

Scheduling is a complex and time-consuming task. Automated scheduling ensures the right technician reaches the right location at the right time. It eliminates scheduling conflicts and speeds up time for resolution. The field management software algorithms assign the nearest qualified technician for work orders. The software runs filters such as

  • The work already assigned to the technician,
  • Off days, applied leaves, and overtime implications if assigned the job,
  • Distance from the previous work site.

Changes to the set schedule are commonplace. Customers often request schedule changes, or the assigned agents may fall sick. The schedule goes haywire if emergency work crops up. The algorithm reschedules the allocations effortlessly.

Automated scheduling improves workforce productivity. Field agents travel less between work sites and use the time saved to service more customers per shift. The improved insights enable them to finish their jobs quicker and on the first visit. After implementing FSM software, first-time fix rates go up by 20% on average.

Read more: Why Do Your Dispatchers Need A Job Scheduling Software?

2. Dynamic Dispatching

Dispatchers view live information such as:

  • Commute time based on real-time traffic,
  • Distance to the work site through different routes,
  • Weather.

The service management software suggests the best routes considering all these factors. Empirical evidence suggests about 15% savings in travel and overtime through such information.

3. Improved visibility

Service management software ensures complete visibility into remote field operations.

Mobile apps, integrated into the field management software, pin-points the field crew’s location. Push notifications remind the remote staff of upcoming schedules and any changes.

Service managers track the progress of the work crew with baseline standards. If they detect a lag, they intervene to determine what is wrong and set the issue right. They can also notify the customer of any delay.

4. Easy access to data

The key driver of operational efficiency in field service is access to data. Easy access to information leads to higher transparency and operational efficiency. Employers and managers make better, informed decisions.

Data relevant to field service lies scattered across various databases.

  • The skills depository maps each field agent with their skills or certifications. Certain field jobs need specific credentials or qualifications.
  • The work order details, including the job details, reside in the work order management software.
  • The inventory management software includes inventory details, such as spare parts availability.
  • The rate quoted for the job and any applicable discounts are with the customer support agent.
  • The customer’s details, including service history, are in the CRM.
  • The relevant forms and checklists for field service jobs may need the installation of third-party apps.

The best service management software pulls data from these sources and makes it available to the field agent or service manager. The software offers native integration capabilities or robust APIs to ensure seamless data flow. Intuitive dashboards provide relevant information for each stakeholder, accessible through smartphone apps.

For instance, field agents may refer to their smartphone apps for all details on their assigned jobs. The dashboard offers relevant information to do the job, such as,

  • Service history
  • Customer contact number
  • Equipment troubleshooting guide

Still better, it hides details such as the rate quoted.

After work completion, the field management software auto-generates invoices, and the field executive collects the customer’s electronic signature as proof of work completion. The integrated payment collection portal gives customers various payment options.

Read more: How Mobility helps Field Service Businesses Overcome Serious Challenges in 2022

5. Automated reporting and compliance

Reporting and compliance are productivity drainers for field agents. Field agents spend considerable time filing reports and meeting compliance requirements. These processes do not add any value, and field agents would be better off servicing another client during this time. Service management software automates these tasks, leaving field agents free to focus on their core jobs.

The best field service software offers ready-to-download customisable forms and checklists. These electronic forms auto-populate form fields and auto-generate reports in the desired formation. Co-opting videos and images make reports much more insightful. Email client integration allows sending reports and compliance reports to the relevant stakeholders.

ReachOut Suite offers a comprehensive set of features. Advanced scheduling features, such as calendar views and drag-and-drop interfaces, ease scheduling. Integration with maps enables dynamic scheduling. The forms marketplace offers hundreds of forms and checklists to streamline workflows. Enterprises may also upload their customised, stylised forms and continue as before. They do not go through a learning curve while still enjoying the benefits of digitisation. Electronic data collection improves accuracy. Attaching photos and videos to form fields makes reports more powerful. Field agents capture electronic signatures as proof of work completion. Robust native integrations and APIs enable easy access to data from different sources. These options allow auto-generation of invoices and instant payment collection. Powerful back-end capabilities make the suite 100% reliable.

Connect with our experts today and learn how your business can benefit from robust field management software like ReachOut Suite!

Digitize your field service operations from scheduling to invoicing with ReachOut. Connect your technicians with the companion mobile app to execute jobs and reduce paperwork in the field. Try ReachOut now and give your customers the fast and quality service they deserve.

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Aarathy is a Senior Digital Marketing Analyst at ReachOut Suite. She is majorly into content marketing and focuses on getting the messaging right across a host of marketing collaterals. While not working on content, you can find her juggling SEO, social media, branding and more. She enjoys exploring new frontiers in digital marketing and the associated challenges keep her going.

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