Field service management (FSM) software improves the potency of a company’s onsite operations and customer service. An effective FSM suite enables managers to keep a tight leash on operations, gain visibility into all facets of operations to allocate workforce optimally, address pain-points promptly, and make necessary interventions in a timely manner. A field service management software improves the efficiency and productivity of the field service workforce manifold, allowing them access to complete information, enabling them to contact their command center for timely help, automate routine clerical tasks, and many more. For the customer, an FSM offers transparency.
The most common field management suites feature modules for work order management, service scheduling, inventory management, fleet tracking, and backend reporting. Advanced suites co-opt several innovative features, including collaboration platforms, analytics, and more. Almost all suites, as a matter of rule, extensively increase field service automation (FSA), sparing the workforce of manual repetitive tasks and improving accuracy in the process.
Modern field service management suites are powered by the cloud, accessible anytime, anywhere. Managers, field service workers, customers, and other stakeholders access and update relevant parts of the suite through intuitive mobile apps that connect to the suite.
Field service management suites are now common to telecommunication companies handling installations, services, repairs, and used extensively by utility engineers, technicians, field service providers, inspectors, HVAC workers, onsite managers, back-office analysts, managers, and other stakeholders. Relevant components of the suite are also accessible by customers and other relevant stakeholders.
Field service management is mostly a juggling act, requiring balancing critical tickets, upset customers, dynamic service routes and schedules on a continuous basis. Manual Excel-based scheduling is prone to inefficiencies, and the inevitable risk of critical requests falling through the cracks.
A good field service management suite offers an efficient and seamless system for managing customer appointments and trouble ticketing. It offers customers a way to raise complaints effortlessly, and automatically assign the complaint to the most component and available agent or technician.
The field service management suite goes further to sync complaints, routine maintenance schedules with the available technicians to schedule jobs, with optimized routing. Side-by-side, it manages inventor, fleet management, shift scheduling, and all other associated variables.
Consider the case of a customer with a snapped cable or a tower that has gone down owing to a technical glitch. On raising the issue through the mobile app, the system automatically assigns the nearest technician, offers an ETA to the customer, and also a link to track the technician’s vehicle. This is a big improvement from the hitherto practice of ad-hoc scheduling, and making guesstimates on when the technician would arrive, with the situation ultimately descending into a fire-fighting mode.
The shorter wait times experienced by customers, real-time tracking, strong collaboration between office and field workers, and faster time to completion deliver the twin benefits of improved customer satisfaction and improved internal efficiencies. These traits have a positive spiral, with improved efficiencies reducing costs, leading to happier customers, and genuine feedback which is worth its weight in gold.
Before FSM suites came of age, field service technicians were basically on their own. Modern Field service management suites allow field workers to communicate seamlessly with their office, other technicians, managers, and even customers. Mobile apps synced to the FSM system an include electronic work orders, real-time updates to inventory management, and other information arms the technician with the latest information. The facility to seamlessly connect with others, even co-opting Augmented Reality solutions, allow technicians to resolve complex issues drawing on remote help, without having to come back another day. At the very least, the technicians may request parts instead of racing to the warehouse.
A 2016 survey by Forrester Research indicates 73% of customers consider time as the most critical point of customer service. The faster time to closure facilitated by improved communications improve customer satisfaction, and by extension customer loyalty to no small extent. It also improves the productivity of technicians, allowing them to process more issues within the finite time available.
FSM software gives a big flip to predictive maintenance as well. FSM software powered by IoT and analytic capabilities gathers feedback about the state of the health of critical equipment such as modems, routers, towers, and other assets, allowing the enterprise to nip issues in the bud. Maintenance can be done proactively, and in the nick of time, without allowing matters to descend into downtime for customers.
Managing field service workers and technicians have traditionally been a hassle owing to the opaque nature of operations. The improved transparency and automation offered by field management software aid the human resource department in a big way. Accurate and timely information such as driver logs, job status updates, time logs and more, enable HR to keep track of the output of each individual worker and make proactive interventions to redress pain-points. The improved insights also enable a more equitable distribution of service calls and offer a working mechanism to implement incentive schemes.
FSM takes inventory management to the next level, a big jump from spreadsheets and counts taking place at wee hours of the morning. A good FSM suite co-opts barcodes and scanners, RFID tags, and the Internet of Things (IoT)-connected devices, and more, to enable companies to keep track of their assets and ensure it reaches the right place at the right time, without any hold-ups in other processes.
The global field service management software market was valued at $1.7 billion in 2016 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10% through 2025. The tremendous value addition provided in terms of helping companies schedule and track field operations, enforce greater control, improved transparency and greater efficiencies drive such growth.
https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/field-service-management-market http://www.crmsearch.com/call-center-workforce-management.php https://technologyadvice.com/field-service-management