Managing field service operations is challenging! With stiff market competition and increasing customer demands, it is imperative to maintain operational efficiency at all times. Although seamless operations depend on getting several variables right, many of which are outside anyone’s control. That’s why operations managers are now largely turning to technology to tackle common field management challenges, and drive productivity.

Enabling automation, digitization, and easy tracking on the field empowers field technicians and operation managers to perform better and achieve more. Can field service software help attain these capabilities? How can one choose the right FSM software to boost operational efficiency? We will discuss this and more in this blog. But first, let’s look at the key challenges operational managers face.

Key challenges facing operations managers

A business manager in charge of operations faces several challenges.

  • Customers may cancel or request changes at the last minute. The number of fickle and impatient customers has increased of late. They seek omni-channel experience and demand instant results. They move on and leave negative reviews if the business does not meet their demands. 
  • The assigned staff may call in sick, throwing schedules awry. They may even resign at the drop of a hat, leaving the manager in the lurch. With the Gen Z workforce not keen on field service jobs, many managers face staff shortages and cannot seize opportunities. 
  • Inclement weather, traffic diversions, or other holds up may disturb the best-laid schedules and plans.
  • Lack of direct supervision in field service means field agents are often on their own. They have to make immediate decisions, which may only sometimes be the best action. Some field agents may slack during company time.
  • Compliance and reporting need to take up precious time. Field agents waste time on non-productive tasks such as report filing and data entry. Mistakes in data entry have far-reaching implications. 

Such challenges make operations stressful. Success depends on paying attention to the little things and ensuring everything works like clockwork. 

Read more: 5 Warning Signs of a Standalone FSM Software and How ReachOut Helps Address Them

How does field service management software help?

A field service management suite allows managers to control operations from anywhere. Managers may make job assignments, structure and streamline workflows, collaborate with field agents, track job progress, and engage with customers. Customizable interfaces and integrated dashboards offer all functionality in UX-optimized web browsers or app interfaces.

The following features of FSM Software make operation seamless and improve efficiency.

1. Mobility: A good field service management suite comes with companion mobility apps. Field agents, supervisors, managers, and customers get their dedicated app with intuitive UX. These apps offer relevant information and enable the stakeholders to do the needful with a few clicks or swipes.. 

2. Easy scheduling: The FSM suite simplifies the other complex and time-consuming scheduling tasks. Service managers may make or change schedules, create job estimates, and do other essential tasks. Advanced scheduling capabilities allow changing schedules easily. When one schedule changes, the suite flags all possible impact points, including other jobs assigned to the field agent. 

3. Dynamic dispatching: Integrating the field service suite with live maps guides field agents through the best routes, saving cost, time, and fuel. Managers may track the progress made by their field agents and guide them through the most optimal routes.

4. Real-time tracking and analysis: The smartphone GPS enables real-time tracking and automated timesheets. The insights through these options overcome the blocks due to no real-time physical supervision. Managers may keep track of the time field agents take to reach the worksite, time spent on the job, and other vital metrics. They may compare these metrics with benchmark figures to ensure optimal operations. They may also track laggards and make interventions such as arranging training programs. Real-time monitoring enables managers to intervene to solve delays, theft, and other issues. Nipping such issues in the bud solves big headaches down the lane. 

5. Ready access to information: Field agents may use the app to access work orders, get reminders on upcoming schedules, capture field data, and generate reports. They may also connect with remote experts for assistance and spare a revisit. Improved first-time rates boost efficiency tremendously.

6. Streamlined workflows: Managers structure workflows through forms and, checklists, deliverables through the FSM suite. The field agent’s mobility apps highlight the correct form for specific tasks. The suite enables the auto-dispatch of reports, customized to suit the purpose. Automating reporting and compliance tasks frees field agents to do their core work. Agent productivity and enterprise efficiency improve manifold. 

7. Structured communications: Structured communications among stakeholders improve efficiency and customer satisfaction. The FSM suite combines VoIP and artificial intelligence with call tracking and routing. Customers can contact the technician without an intermediate support agent. Enterprise efficiency and customer satisfaction improve.

8. Automation: The field service software also automates invoicing, timesheets, payroll, and accounts. Automated backend processes improve efficiency and speed up things. 

How does ReachOut Suite fit the bill?

While field service software delivers tremendous benefits, not all FSM suites are equal. 

Among the many available options, ReachOut Suite is the best choice for operational managers. 

ReachOut’s advanced scheduling capabilities offer great flexibility to operational managers. Calendar views offer schedulers a bird’s eye view of staff allocations over the next day, month, or week. An easy drag-and-drop interface allows schedulers to assign jobs to individuals or teams. Managers can also set specific responsibilities for members of a team.

Dynamic dispatching capabilities, with integrated maps, allow field agents to use the best routes. The most optimal routes vary depending on the time of the day, weather, and other external factors.

Native integrations and robust APIs enable free information flow with other enterprise databases. Field agents may access the work order, customer details, service history, and further details through their apps.

Read more: 6 Reasons Why You Need To Switch To ReachOut Suite For Your Field Service Business

Co-opting GPS fleet tracking delivers additional benefits. The real-time driver enables calculating ETA to a destination. Customers who get Uber-like tracking remain happy. 

The forms marketplace offers hundreds of ready-made forms suitable for all operational tasks. Managers may also upload custom forms, replicating the existing pen-and-paper experience in digital mode.

Field agents may capture electronic data, generate custom reports, and send emails. Collecting electronic signatures offers a convenient way to establish proof of work completed.

Agents may mark work start and work completion, automating timesheets. Once they finish their work, they may auto-generate the invoice. Integration with email clients, including Gmail, enables auto-dispatch of the invoice. The field agents may collect the payment through integrated payment collection portals such as PayPal. Integration with QuickBooks or other accounting software automates accounting.

ReachOut eliminates paperwork and digitizes all critical operations tasks. All information goes to the cloud, accessible anywhere using robust backend infrastructure. 

ReachOut field service management suite makes the lives of operations managers easy. Managers who take advantage of the advanced features and functionality derive a competitive advantage.

Connect with our experts today to know more!

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.

Get Started

Ashmitha Chatterjee

Ashmitha works with ReachOut Suite as a creative writer. She collaborates with the Digital Marketing team to deliver engaging, informative, and SEO friendly business collaterals. Being passionate about writing, Ashmitha frequently engages in blogging and creating fiction. Besides writing, Ashmitha indulges in exploring effective content marketing strategies.

More posts by Ashmitha Chatterjee

Experience end-to-end visibility into your field service business and improve customer service with ReachOut.
Request a Demo

Discover the end-to-end capabilities of ReachOut in a matter of minutes!