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Field service management (FSM) software lets companies manage and communicate with their mobile workforce while workers are in the field. Field service management solutions improve employee productivity and customer experience by allowing constant contact between field personnel and their dispatch office, providing access to customer information, service histories, scheduling tools, and an organisation-wide knowledge base.
Field service management system manages workflows by reducing paperwork, handling dispatch problems, flagging urgent requests, matching technician skills to task requirements, and controlling fuel consumption by tracking optimised routes. These systems are mainly used by service industry businesses (e.g. plumbing companies, cleaning/maid services, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) companies).
The benefits of field service management software
- Enhanced customer satisfaction: Field service management system improves coordination between team members to help organisations decrease service request repose times. Managers can improve customer service by identifying the field technician who can reach a client's location the fastest and has the knowledge and skills necessary to address client queries/issues.
- Real-time information visibility: Field service management system lets businesses track worker location, customer history, job status, and asset information in real time, which helps operations run smoothly. This information can also be shared among office staff members to reassign tasks or reschedule appointments if a worker is unavailable.
- Activities automation: Field service management system automates routine business activities such as invoice and quote preparation, time and attendance tracking, client communication, and recurring task management. This automation prevents inefficiency if customer requirements change and frees managers up to focus on team productivity.
Typical features of field service management solutions
- Dispatching: Assign field technicians to customer service requests and track their location in real time.
- Mobile access: Allows workers to capture pictures, read onsite barcodes, and view optimised routes to work location. They can also record customer signatures and provide dynamic part pricing.
- Scheduling: Provides drag-and-drop interface to prioritise tasks and assign them to technicians. Users can set scheduling rules for task allocation and sync data to view job status.
- Work order management: Use preset templates to create, assign, reassign, or delete work orders. Technicians can also receive customer sign-off after completing the task.
- Contact database: Searchable database that stores customer information and details about serviceable equipment. Users can add custom fields to match their business requirements.
- Payment collection in the field: Offers integration with payment processing partners to accept online payment.
- Service history tracking: Tracks customer equipment service history to help technicians troubleshoot new problems and view previous actions.
Considerations when purchasing field service management solutions
- Configuration and customisation options: Though all service-oriented businesses deal with work orders, projects, contracts, and a mobile workforce, associated processes differ from business to business. When searching for a field service management system, look for a solution that allows modification based on your business needs, such as the ability to add custom invoice fields, report type, and availability, generate custom workflows, and white label functionality to match brand requirements.
- Integration with other tools: As most businesses use multiple software solutions to manage their daily operations, integration with existing tools is an important consideration when selecting a field service management system. Before purchasing field service management system, ensure its ability to seamlessly synchronise customer data, employee information, and inventory levels with your existing systems.
Relevant field service management software trends
- Chatbots' impact on field service management software: Currently, field service technicians search for client information by manually navigating through their business' software solutions. In the coming years, the adoption of conversational user interface tech in field service management system will allow technicians to interact with chatbots in real time; the bot can search customer data and equipment service history instantly. Chatbots also facilitate easier scheduling by letting clients book service requests via chat rather than over the phone, and send automatic real-time alerts, reminders, and push notifications to customers and workers.
- Predictive maintenance using the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI): Predictive maintenance helps businesses reduce repair costs, avoid equipment downtime, and fulfil maintenance agreements. As part of the increasing adoption of IoT and AI technology, sensors installed in a business' equipment transfer data about machine conditions to the cloud in real time. Using IoT and AI tools, businesses can access and analyse this data to predict machine conditions and schedule preventative maintenance.