The practice of overseeing your company’s service specialists and their on-site operations is known as field service management (FSM). This involves duties like planning work schedules and dispatch, monitoring the status of jobs, and billing clients.
Let’s learn more about field services first before getting into field service management. The term ‘Field Services’ describes a variety of on-site tasks carried out off-site rather than in the office. This necessitates sending experts to the client’s location. The duties typically include selling, fixing and maintaining things, doing regular checks, and consulting.
Organizations with field reps and technicians may struggle to manage their workforce. Additionally, their schedules, resources, both tangible and intangible, are advantages.
To all of these problems, there is a field service management approach. It incorporates procedures like work order scheduling and assignment with a help of various new-edge technologies. This entails assigning individuals to fresh projects and liaising with field staff. Additionally, processing bills, keeping track of product inventory, and gathering field data. By improving their field service management, businesses can streamline processes and increase efficiency. Both the field workers on the project site and the administrative personnel back at the office benefit from this.
The field service sector is constantly evolving and becoming more complicated. Let’s talk about field service management now and its advantages so you’ll think about trying the technology for yourself.
Field Service: Why is it important?
The term “field service industry” encompasses more than just an electrician repairing a damaged power line or a technician installing cable TV. It is expanding its focus to cover a wider range of non-desk personnel. These professionals include those working in the healthcare industry, the inspection industry, and more.
It is a reality that more than 80% of the world’s workforce no longer has a desk. Additionally, this field service has grown to include the manufacturing, automobile, telecom, and other sectors.
The field service industry continues to be a vital part of the services sector. Among the leading service organizations, it is also gaining importance. Following three aspects of a good service culture are essential for increasing revenues:
- Enhanced Customer Satisfaction
- Enhanced Customer Relationships
- Delivering and performing services with more consistency
An arrow that successfully lands on each of these three targets is combined with the field service management.
What is Field Service Management?
Time and money can be saved by using Field Service Management (FSM) to replace outdated analog and manual operations and fit the workflow of commercial contractors. Your workflow is streamlined when a lot of service technician management activities are automated. Every week, this frees up hours that would have been spent on administrative work.
There are so many important back-office tasks that must be balanced across a diverse workforce. Therefore, in order to stay current, it is preferable to digitize them by using field service agents or the industry-standard field service software. A field service app or piece of software enhances scheduling, dispatching, and communication. It makes it easier for back-office staff and field personnel to exchange information generally. This enables technicians or field employees to concentrate on their work at the site.
Businesses may better and more efficiently manage their employees and customers’ expectations thanks to the FSM phenomenon.
Advantages of Field Service Management
An organization can benefit from a field service management system in a number of ways. Let’s look at some of these:
Ideal Workplace Experience
Field personnel can communicate effectively and access crucial information. Their virtual or phone screens can display schedules and updates. The administrative tasks can be managed, which reduces workload. They can devote more time to the customers if they have better access to back-office support.
With greater data insights and back-office assistance, field techs can decrease errors. This translates into higher job quality and better technician first-time fix rates.
Tools for field service management lower administrative expenses. This is accomplished by digitizing paper documents and automating time-consuming procedures. Other advantages of the field service management system that reduce costs are as follows:
- Enhancing first-visit fix rates for technicians.
- Enhancing inventory control to lessen stockouts or overstocks.
- Eliminating the need for reporting and physical labour.
- Real-time analytics to save unnecessary costs, among other things.
The program assists back-office workers in gathering, monitoring, and analyzing important data. Better business decisions are influenced by work completion rates, average revenue per project, and expenses.
Field service management mistakes are frequently caused by inadequate coordination, ineffective processes, and poor communication. This results in missed visits, incorrect diagnosis, duplication of effort, and other expensive errors. Scheduling and dispatching inefficiencies are, according to the majority of field service firms, their top problem. By improving communication and coordination between managers, technicians, and customers, field service management software lowers error rates. Automatic dispatching and scheduling make sure that customers are informed of their appointment time and that the proper technician is allocated to each work. Tracking service and repair activities makes sure there is no duplication of effort and that everything is finished on time.
Improve Work Orders
The administration of business resources is improved with field service management software. It is simple for managers and technicians to handle job orders, schedule and dispatch work, keep track of service and repair activities, manage customer service contracts, and do a variety of other things. Businesses can improve customer service by streamlining their field service procedures.
Monitoring Service Technicians
The performance of a field service professional might be challenging to monitor and control manually. With the aid of a mobile app, field service management software can track technician locations, service requests, and performance metrics in real-time. The effectiveness of field service operations can be increased when managers foresee issues and find solutions before they arise.
For a company that provides field services, billing is necessary. Invoices are used by field service managers to keep track of the work that has been completed and to determine the cost of the services rendered. However, creating invoices by hand takes a lot of time.
Improved interaction between customers and technicians
Businesses are aware of how crucial customer retention is. Any business depends on its customers to survive and succeed. However, a lot of companies have trouble keeping up good customer communication, which frequently results in low customer retention.
Field Service Management: Useful Applications
The fields of healthcare, communications, education, and shipping are all implementing field service management. Due to the workforce’s mobilization, most industries now require field service management. Here are some examples of how various sectors employ field service management:
- Telecom: How do technicians using cables or repairing broken phone lines use FSM? They utilize it to keep track of work orders and job sites. The FMS iOS/Android apps allow users to file complaints and schedule maintenance.
- Utilities: Field service management is also used by transmission companies for gas, water, and electricity. They make use of it to allocate resources to areas that are in need. It is possible to assess and fix a power outage right away. technicians can arrive on site prepared by using IoT devices that provide them access to real-time data.
- Construction: Lack of materials and adverse weather can cause scheduling conflicts for building projects. It is crucial to be aware of the current inventory and weather predictions. It enables the foreman to schedule different building phases. FSM also helps with effective billing, tracking of tools and equipment, and reduction of paperwork.
- Medical Care: Healthcare field service management software has sophisticated scheduling functions. It can oversee both the upkeep of medical equipment and patient appointments. The patient is treated using field service apps. Diagnoses and assessments are made remotely or at home to avoid expensive hospital trips. This is advantageous, particularly for elderly patients and those who are disabled.
In addition, Field service management apps are used by HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) technicians to schedule frequent appointments. They perform HVAC inspections and repairs as well. Access to support is simple and available in real time during such maintenance.
Challenges of field service management
After discussing the advantages of field service management, it’s important to acknowledge that there are also challenges associated with implementing and managing field service operations. Here are some of the key challenges faced in field service management:
- Scheduling Conflicts : Scheduling conflicts occur when two events overlap, two technicians are double-booked, or a technician is unavailable for a scheduled slot.
- Travel Cost : Reduce travel costs by implementing route optimization technology, which recommends the best and safest routes for technicians, saving time and expenses.
- Work Order Management : Streamline work order management by identifying and addressing gaps in the process, such as selecting the right technician, organizing inventory, ensuring technician availability, and confirming client availability.
- Real-time Communication : Overcome communication challenges by using field service management software that provides a web interface for office users and a mobile app for technicians, enabling real-time and accountable communication.
- Reduced Team Efficiency : Improve team efficiency by gaining visibility into field service processes, identifying underlying problems affecting performance, and implementing measures to address them.
- Overhead Cost : Bring processes online to optimize overhead costs, increase effectiveness, accuracy, and resource utilization, and streamline operational challenges through a centralized digital platform.
- Invoice and Payment Management : Simplify invoice and payment management by using customized software that creates online forms, tracks and analyzes financial details, and supports online payment methods.
- Lack of Validations : Enhance service quality and validate task completion by leveraging digital tools that allow field service reps to record check-in/out hours and capture pre/post-task statuses for inspection manager validation.
- Opportunity Assessment : Capture customer behavior and feedback through a feedback system in your field service management software, allowing you to analyze customer satisfaction, address issues, and identify cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.
- Uncertainty : Build resilience by developing a team that remains productive during challenges, designing adaptable processes, and leveraging technology for omnipresence and business continuity.
What is field service management software?
Field service management software is a specialized software solution designed to streamline and optimize the management of field service operations. It provides tools and features to automate and enhance various aspects of field service management, including scheduling and dispatching, work order management, technician tracking, inventory management, customer communication, and reporting.
Field service management software typically consists of both a web-based interface for office staff and a mobile app for field technicians. The software enables efficient communication and coordination between the office and the field, allowing for real-time updates, job assignments, and data exchange.
Useful Applications of Field Service Management Software
Before delving into the specific industries, it’s important to highlight that field service management software finds extensive application across diverse sectors that rely on mobile workforce operations. By automating and optimizing field service processes, it improves operational efficiency, enhances customer satisfaction, and enables real-time tracking and communication. Now, let’s explore some major industries and their use cases for field service management software:
- Manufacturing : Streamline equipment maintenance in manufacturing facilities by implementing field service management software. It optimizes maintenance scheduling, tracks service history, manages spare parts, and enables efficient dispatching, reducing downtime and improving production efficiency.
- HVAC and Facilities Management : Streamline the maintenance and servicing of HVAC systems in commercial buildings by effectively scheduling technicians, tracking equipment maintenance history, and optimizing routes to minimize response times and downtime.
- Telecommunications : Efficiently manage the installation, repair, and maintenance of telecommunications infrastructure by assigning technicians based on their skills and proximity, tracking progress in real time, and ensuring timely service delivery.
- Utilities (Electricity, Water, Gas) : Facilitate the maintenance and repair of utility infrastructure by automating work order management, optimizing technician routes, and enabling seamless communication between field technicians and the central office to improve response times and minimize service disruptions.
- Construction and Engineering : Improve project efficiency by coordinating field operations, tracking equipment and materials, managing subcontractor assignments, and ensuring compliance with safety regulations, ultimately leading to streamlined construction and engineering processes.
- Medical Equipment Servicing : Optimize the servicing and maintenance of medical equipment by automating service scheduling, tracking service history, managing spare parts inventory, and ensuring adherence to regulatory compliance, thereby reducing equipment downtime and ensuring accurate diagnostics.
- Home Services (Plumbing, Electrical, etc.) : Enhance the management of home service operations by efficiently scheduling appointments, dispatching technicians, providing real-time updates to customers, capturing service details, and streamlining invoicing and payment processes, resulting in improved customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.
Field service management software offers extensive benefits in these industries and beyond, providing organizations with the tools and capabilities to streamline operations, increase productivity, reduce costs, and deliver exceptional service to customers.
What is the future of Field Service Management?
Scheduling and job management for field service professionals have been the main areas of traditional FSM software. But things are altering. FSM suppliers now give tools to help businesses manage their finances and accounting. This is a smart approach given that more and more companies are searching for all-encompassing solutions to handle all area of their service operations.
FSM suppliers must include accounting integrations if they want to remain competitive. Companies will find it simpler to control all facets of their service operations and make sure they are operating as effectively as possible as a result. After fully capitalizing on Assisted Reality solutions, FSM will also take a more data-driven approach in the future, making use of AI and machine learning to aid service providers in better anticipating and planning for customer needs. Field service technician data can be used by FSM providers to increase the precision of their schedule projections. In order to better predict client demand for their services, organizations might use data to uncover patterns in consumer behavior.
How Plutomen’s AR products will be helpful in field service?
Catering to more work-life, deadlines and safety advancements, Plutomen’s AR suite of products enhances efficiency, accuracy and accessibility in the field service sector. Connect people and equip them with remote experts-team-clients-vendor insights, so they level up anytime, anywhere. Plutomen’s AR solutions streamline work on the jobsite and off it with an end-to-end suite of tools in two modes – Capture Reality to save time & cost by eliminating travel; Observe Reality to work without limitations.
What Plutomen Offers
An AR-powered remote assistance & video collaboration platform that enables your frontline workforce to connect with your experts instantly. Through Connect, you can deliver quick incident response, and expedite your field servicing process with one-click connect. Enterprises can minimize downtime, improve first-time fix rates and conduct field tasks – MRO, Troubleshooting, Compliance & Audits checks remotely.
An AR-powered work assistance platform for accessing digital work instructions that streamlines workforce knowledge. The product digitalizes compliance audits and inspections, from execution & submission to data management. It comprises task checklists, work SOPs, and lets you design effective audits & inspections modules.
An AR-powered self-assistance platform for next-gen workforce training, digitalization of the process, and providing an interactive knowledge repository. Usage of Assist expedites performance of the onboarded workforce and upskill them with everchanging trends. Reduce the training time and boost new hire productivity through an on-click and on-floor immersive training experience.
Consider using field service management phenomena if you manage field service activities. It provides the resources required by your staff without desks. For more information about field service management, go to Plutomen. We have specialized AR solutions to satisfy your unique requirements.