Why Mobility is a Must-Have Feature in Field Service Software
Digitization triggered by Industry 4.0 has made field management software indispensable. But not all field service management software is equal. Best-in-breed suites co-opt field service mobile apps. Without mobility, enterprises cannot leverage the full potential of field service software.
Here are the top reasons to co-opt mobile apps and field service management software.
1. Seamless scheduling and dispatch
One of the top features of any field management software is scheduling and dispatching. A field service mobile app enables enterprises to deliver these features better.
Keeping stakeholders in the loop. Streamlined field operations depend on effective and dynamic scheduling. A mobility app lets field agents view upcoming jobs and notifications of assigned work.
Making emergency scheduling. Scheduling is a dynamic exercise. The assigned schedule may change as agents take leave or customers request changes. Also, an emergency job may force the diversion of resources and change the day’s shift roaster. A mobile app makes it easy to make changes. Schedulers can use their mobile apps to assign jobs and make changes from anywhere. Push notifications keep every stakeholder informed of such changes.
Changing work orders. When a technician reaches the work site, they may find the requirements different from the work order jottings. The damage may sometimes need a more complex fix than intended. Sometimes, the solution may be simple, and the work gets over in seconds. A mobile app configured for auto-updates or regular reports keep managers up-to-date. Field agents and customers get the flexibility to change work orders to reflect ground realities. Likewise, managers can tweak the ETA of downstream jobs depending on the extra or less time taken to complete the present job.
Efficient dispatching. Fieldwork profitability depends on efficient dispatching. A field service mobile app enables field agents to access live maps and reach their work location by following the best routes.
Work is routine and consistent on a traditional shop floor, with few exceptions. In field service, executives work outside the office and are always on the move. They take different routes and deal with different customers every time. Also, the spread-out nature of operations makes work unpredictable and uncertain. Too many factors remain outside the control of the supervisor or the field executives. The challenges compound when scaling operations.
Of late, the challenges have increased. Supply chain disruptions, cut-throat competition, and workforce shortages stress field operations. Businesses rely on field management software with mobility to cope.
A field service mobile app allows:
Managers to track technician movements in real-time. They may compare field agent performance with benchmark standards and intervene in case of delays.
Field agents to seek assistance. Agents struck on a complicated fix may connect with report experts for guidance and enable first-time fixes. They may also contact managers for other issues, such as billing or supplies. Communicating through other channels creates ambiguity.
HR and operations team to identify trouble spots. The HR team may identify field agents who spend more time than the benchmark metrics on customer premises. The HR team could intervene to train the employee. Likewise, if a crew takes less than the benchmark time to reach customer premises, it could indicate overspeeding or rash driving.
3. Seamless information flow
Information is power in today’s digital age. Before the advent of mobile apps, information flow was not smooth, and lack of information led to delays. Managers and other decision-makers had to wait until the field agent filed his report at the end of the shift. Often, field agents had to re-key information from their pen and paper jottings, and the process was rife with errors and omissions. Field agents also went to the customer with scant information about the work expected from them.
The mobile app:
Offers to field agents all relevant information on the project. The field agent may access the work order, customer information, special requests, service manuals, and more.
Capture field information in real-time and transmit it to the office. Best-in-breed software automates data gathering. It also enables capturing images and media files for deeper insights. These apps also work offline and sync with the cloud server as soon as an internet connection becomes available.
Generate custom reports in any format. The field service mobile app auto-populates form fields as much as possible. Users may also configure to auto-dispatch the report to set recipients at regular periods.
Time is money in field service. The time spent on paperwork has an opportunity cost of serving another customer. Field service management software automates data collection, reporting, and other clerical activities. Field agents need not bother with monotonous tasks and can focus on their core tasks. A single mobile app with a neat UX replaces reams of messy paper and files. Information sharing also becomes immediate. Enterprise efficiency, agent productivity, and customer satisfaction improve.
Field management software with mobile apps improves fieldwork.
The field service mobile app:
Automate timesheet and payroll. The mobile app leverages smartphone capabilities and enables real-time tracking. It logs agents’ time on the road, at customer premises, and other particulars.
Allow field agents to download relevant forms and checklists for inspections and audits. Managers may design checklists to structure the workflow and assign it to field agents. The accuracy of audits and compliance checks also improves.
Automate invoicing and payment collection. After completing the work, the field agent may generate the invoice from their app. The backend API collates the information from different databases. The suite auto-generates the invoice and emails it to the customer. The field agent may also use the mobile app to collect electronic payments from the customer, completing the process. Work efficiency improves, as does the company’s cash flow position.
ReachOut’s field service management software is flexible, scalable, and resilient. The suite offers robust mobile capabilities with a comprehensive set of customizable features. Different categories of employees get different mobile apps. For instance, schedulers get easy calendar views and the ability to assign work to each member of a work group. The forms marketplace offers hundreds of forms and checklists for all purposes. The field agent’s mobile app provides a neat UX with easy access to all relevant information. Businesses may easily configure the apps to their liking and make changes to adapt to the changing business needs.
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.
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.