Field service management is always chaotic. A field service manager is always busy dispatching workers or contractors to work sites and tracking their work. Field teams remain overwhelmed with installing, maintaining, and repairing remote installations. But the status quo is not an option, even if the business is currently happy with the state of affairs.

In today’s hyper-competitive world, the competition tries to porch customers by quoting lesser prices. The inflationary environment means that operating costs keep on rising. But businesses cannot increase prices beyond a point. The company’s survival depends on efficiency improvements, and field service offers one of the biggest cost-saving areas. 

Connected with the need for efficiency is staying focused and organized. Only focused, organized, and purpose-driven providers get their act together and seize opportunities. Today’s business environment is fast-paced, with fickle customers. They will leave if there is any delay in returning their call or addressing their queries. 

Going digital future-proofs the business. Ever since Industry 4.0 kicked in, enterprises have been digitizing. With the ecosystem digitized, companies have no option but to follow suit. If the business decides against digital transformation, customers and employees may go away. There is no turning back after the pandemic advanced the pace and extent of digitization. Today, customers prefer to engage with digital channels. Businesses that do not offer an Omni channel experience for their customers risk customer erosion. Even the young Gen Z employees prefer working in establishments with seamless digital systems. A field service suite automates routine, clerical, and non-productive tasks. Field employees can focus on their core competencies without wasting time on non-value-adding tasks. 

Read more: Why Field Service Businesses Cannot Ignore Scheduling and Route Optimization.

How to use FSM software to improve field management?

Most providers have deployed field service management software to streamline multi-faced operations. The FSM suite is often the central node that controls most field service operations. But not all field management software is equal. Here is how to get field service management right.

Good field service management software empowers field agents to deliver optimal service. To achieve such ends, make sure the field management software co-opts the following features:

1. Automate and streamline scheduling

Scheduling is one of the most significant field service management software utilities. Scheduling involves controlling multiple variables, which keep on changing. Manual scheduling is time-consuming, cost-intensive, and stressful. Even the best schedulers make many mistakes, leading to severe mix-ups and customer discontent. An automated suite generates schedules and changes as needed, considering all relevant factors. The algorithm, for instance, factors in agent workload, holidays, working hours, and skill sets before assigning jobs to an agent. Situations that cause changes to schedules are commonplace in field service. Inclement weather may force reschedules. At times, customers may want to change the appointment to another day. Or the assigned technician may call in sick. The algorithm may reschedule or reassign the job to someone else in such situations. While doing so, it considers the spill-over effect on downstream schedules and makes the necessary changes. 

2. Dynamic dispatching

The field management software allows dispatchers to integrate maps. They may 

  • Plot routes so the technician stays on track when proceeding to their next job site. 
  • Make sure the field crew leave with the spares and tools for the job.

Such efficiency improvements enable technicians to cover more jobs per shift. Productivity, asset improvement ratios, and profitability improve. The reduced wait time boosts customer satisfaction as well.

3. Instant collaboration and access to information

Mobility is a powerful tool that makes the lives of field agents and their handlers easy. Field agents equipped with mobile apps of the field management software may:

Communicate with their managers in real-time. Routing communications through the FSM suite makes the communication structured and traceable. Powerful options include group communications, follow-up reminders, and more streamlined work. 

Seek assistance from remote experts to resolve complex issues. Online collaboration improves first-time fix rates, boosting enterprise efficiency.

Access up-to-date information on customer details, equipment service history, and other relevant details. Easy access to such information saves time and improves the quality of work. Intuitive dashboards with neat interfaces integrate data from various sources.

4. Controlling workflows 

Forms and checklists allow managers to structure workflows to their liking. Routing remote work through a specific order enables managers to control the field agent’s work more. Checklists ensure the field agent complies with statutory requirements such as safety protocols. Electronic data gathering enables appending images and videos to forms and auto-populating fields. The field management software also customizes forms as per the recipient’s requirements. Reporting becomes flexible, dynamic, and powerful.

5. Contract management and other back-office tasks

Most field service providers underestimate the importance of back-office tasks. Inefficiencies in the back office can impact the delivery of tasks and cause customer discontent. Often, errors in back-office processing erode profitability. 

Good field service management enables managers to oversee and manage customer contracts. The suite also automates timesheets, invoice generation, payment collection, and updating accounts. 

Read more: Four Ways to Improve Customer Experience Using Field Service Management Software.

Tips for finding the best FSM software

The best field service management software offers comprehensive features. Service managers and technicians can do everything from a single app without going anywhere else. The best suite comes with the following standard features:

  • Dynamic scheduling capabilities. Functionalities such as easy calendar views and drag-and-drop interfaces enable easy job assignments. 
  • Mobile apps. Any field service management software today is incomplete without mobile apps for users. The mobile apps enable getting things done from anywhere. Schedulers may assign jobs, and field agents may access notifications without delay. The app also allows real-time tracking, generating auto-invoices, and downloading forms.
  • Notifications. Notifications to field agents and customers through the mobile app keep them updated.
  • Real-time tracking. Live tracking of field agents through the Smartphone GPS allows service managers to intervene in case of any issues. Customers also get assured that they can track their agent’s arrival in an Uber-like way.
  • Customization. The ability to customize raises the value of the field service software. For instance, service managers can customize forms to structure workflows to their liking.
  • APIs and native integrations to enable the free flow of data among various databases. For instance, APIs that link the CRM to the field service suite enables field agents to access customer information when moving. Integration with maps allows field agents to reach their work sites through the best routes.
  • Offline capabilities. Field service often takes place at remote locations without a stable Internet. The ability of the mobile app to work offline enables field agents to access and capture information and sync when online.
  • Robust backend. Secure databases and backups enable field agents to do their tasks hassle-free.

ReachOut field service management software offers all these features and functionality. This powerful software delivers huge efficiency boosts and reduces costs. Enterprises get things done with a customer-centric focus. 

Connect with our experts today and learn more about how ReachOut can elevate your field service management capabilities!

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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Sachin Krishna

Sachin works as a part of the digital marketing team at ReachOut Suite. He believes in a healthy and resourceful web and does his own little contributions for the purpose by creating and disseminating innovative and quality content.

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