10 Do’s & Don’ts For A Successful Field Service Management Software
If you own and manage a field service business, you must be thinking about easy and cost-effective ways to grow it further. Technical advancement is one way of doing that. But it is also one of those aspects that are probably left untouched because your business deals with field workers for the most part. Field workers are not known to be tech-savvy and this is one of the major hurdles that might keep you from growing in the first place. Field workers are more into the old-school ways of managing their tasks and handling their responsibilities. They can easily deal with their customers and contractors calling them on their phones, left, right, and center but what they cannot seem to wrap their head around is a complicated mobile app or a software platform that is difficult to understand.
Fortunately for you though, there are several reputable companies in the market that have come up with the most robust and easy-to-use field service management software platforms. You don’t have to be tech-savvy to be able to use those applications. They have a very simple interface with feature-packed dashboards. This makes the entire task scheduling and completion a breeze, of course, once you get the hang of it all.
What Is Field Service Management Software And How Can You Leverage Its Many Features To Run Your Business More Smoothly?
The first thing that you should understand is that no two field service software tools are ever going to be the same. They are not even going to be similar. You might find a few comparable features or aspects but that’s about it. FSM software tools are available as free apps that are convenient for small-scale or micro-companies. Others are different entities altogether and can be fully customized to meet the specific goals of a large-scale enterprise. There are also several other field service management platforms that fall somewhere in the middle. Depending upon your scale of operations and your budget, you will have to choose the right field service digital tool. You will also have to keep on upgrading it regularly to keep your business relevant and running smoothly. A typical field service management software is defined by what it offers for your business. Let’s have a look at those features right away:
- Easy and fast work order management
- Order and task scheduling on the go
- Simple and scalable mobile app for all your field employees
- A customer relationship management window/feedback forum
- Job costing and inventory management feature
- Quick invoicing tool
- Real-time technician and vehicle tracking
- Regular reports and analytics
Defining Field Service Management Software
Field service management software/system is any digital platform that is designed specifically to keep a track of your various technicians and their field operations. It is a mobile app or a digital tool that makes use of an easy-to-understand framework for the purpose of allocating tasks to technicians, inventory management, vehicle, and operations tracking work schedule, and much more.
You can understand it as a smartphone application that allows your technicians and customers to connect with each other seamlessly and manage and update the tasks, their status, keep track of tools and inventory, generate invoices, provide feedback, and a lot more.
When Is It The Right Time To Get A New Field Service Management Software?
Do not start looking for a field service management tool when the situation calls for it or when you find yourself in desperate need of an upgrade. You do not want your business to struggle and you to leave everything in the middle to start looking for field service management software. Look for a new field service management software when you are:
- Seeking advanced features
- Ready to implement and upgrade your systems
- Expand your business further
- Entering into a new sector
- Diversifying your services
- In need of better task management tools
- Looking for quicker reports and analytics
After this explanation, you should be able to choose the right field service management software for your company. However, there are a few dos and don’ts that you should always consider before you implement any such framework across your business. Let’s have a look at what they are in the following section.
5 Do’s You Should Wrap Your Head Around
1) Understanding The Core Needs Of Your Business
Are you trying to address the documentation and communication problems that are prevalent in your business? Are you trying to achieve timely deadline completions? Are you looking to bring all your technicians on the same page with regards to the job and task allocation? Are you attempting to document your business processes and streamline tools and inventory management? These are a lot of questions. Depending upon your needs and the operations of your business, you will have to make this choice very diligently. The field service management software that you choose must address these problems and any of those that haven’t been mentioned above. The right field service management tool is going to be your rescuer when you need to organize your resources and speed up invoicing and task allotment in addition to optimizing many of your functions.
2) Engaging All Your Field Technicians
All your service technicians are not going to be performing the same task. Some of them might be involved in maintenance work while others might be involved in inspection and others in value-added service delivery. There is going to be a certain degree of field resistance to the entire software system. You should be able to engage your field technicians and encourage them to adopt that software without resisting. This is only possible when the software comes with easy-to-understand features. Begin by identifying all your primary service technicians and have them select their representatives. Set up a systematic committee of every representative and invite their feedback. This will help you choose the right field service management software and will also assist you in its successful implementation.
3) Staying Up To Date With Software Trends
What have you thought about your strategy a couple of years down the line? Chances are that your current software is going to become obsolete by that time. What are you going to do then? You will have to make sure that your updated software is able to accommodate the new challenges that every digital advancement brings.
- You can opt for software as a service which is one of the most advanced software models that exist today. It is a cloud-based service that can be scaled up and down as technology changes.
- You can also choose a highly scalable mobile software that is easy to use and super responsive. Just ensure that you get regular updates and security patches on the same.
- Another feature that you can add to this platform is seamless integration with other systems. Look for a higher degree of automation and also CRM features that are attuned to the needs of your business.
- Web-based interfaces are also new and are easily upgradable. The deployment model is state-of-the-art and can easily incorporate new technologies whenever the need arises.
4) Taking A Closer Look At Customer Support
The field service management system that you choose is going to be running your business. There will be members on your team that will require constant assistance every now and then. Before you choose this platform, make sure that technical support is readily available. Some of your team members might require just a nudge while others might require personal hand-holding. The support team of your future FSM software should be there to help you out.
5) Implementing A Training Program
You are trying to implement field service software successfully. It is not going to be a one-step thing. You will have to ask the vendor whether they provide any training plans or orientation programs for your technicians and team members or not. This is probably the best practice to keep in mind whenever you are implementing any software solution in your organization. You will need to galvanize your team members around a particular system that is paperless and technologically advanced. Make sure to do the following:
- Appoint and implement a team leader.
- Make an official announcement and communicate it across your team members.
- Invite feedback and grievances.
- Address those pain points with the help of your tech support.
Now let’s come to a few don’ts or rather mistakes of implementing a field service management software. You can easily avoid them but for that, you need to be aware of them. Have a quick read-through below.
5 Don’ts To Always Remember
1) Avoiding Self-Assessment And Critique
If you think that it is possible to transfer your previous business solutions to a new platform indiscriminately and blindly, you need to think again. Field service management solutions came into existence for a reason. They were invented to provide you with wider possibilities and to digitize and organize your work. They are not meant to function as a model over which you can transplant your traditional business solutions. This is an entirely different digital sphere that can improve your KPIs and SLAs. So, make it a point to assess your business needs and address your shortcomings so that you can find the right field service management solution.
2) Underestimation Of Automation
A lot of entrepreneurs end up underestimating the power of automation. A field service management system is going to drastically reduce the involvement of your human resources and the element of risk and unreliability that they bring. You will be running a well-managed company in practically no time. Your failure to correctly estimate the power of automation is going to keep you far behind your competitors. Your inability to implement an effective and flexible technology is going to cost you heavily in the near future.
3) Overlooking Your Customers
Are you forgetting that your customer is becoming more evolved and involved every day? Your prospects and customers alike have become much more tech-savvy as compared to how they were a few years ago. There is a significant amount of transparency in different sectors and a field service management solution ensures just that in your business too. For example, if you are not able to connect regularly with your customers through a digitized customer portal, that will be counted as one of your drawbacks. If you do not have automated resources dedicated to providing 24/7 customer support to them, you will lose your market share. The time is of increased customer-centricity. If you are not able to deliver on that count, you might have to say goodbye to your field service business.
4) Rampant Digitization
We talk a lot about digitization but it is never to be implemented blindly. It should not be a rampant process. For example, paperwork is definitely out-of-date. But organizations still want to invest in hard copies. They do want to do away with huge piles of documentation but there is always a certain aspect of their business that they want to digitize gradually. Remember, automation and digitization should never come at the cost of decreased employee involvement. It should never come at the cost of reduced personal touch that your customers are seeking from your service executives.
5) Not Keeping Up With Trends
Losing the track of technological trends could be the worst thing that can happen to your business. You will have to watch the market constantly. You will have to come up with a roadmap to navigate through the technological changes that the industry is going through. You will have to be open to suggestions and changes to your field service management tool as the need arises. If you are not able to adapt a future-oriented approach, it might be too late for your business too soon.
You will find scores of field service industry research studies and reports both online and in various tech magazines and papers. The right field service management system like “DragonFlySM” when implemented in a proper manner, will give you the desired degree of automation and control. It will also ensure a higher technician utilization rate. It will eliminate any human error and give you better visibility of all the field activities that you want to monitor. It is time to invest in the most suitable and cost-effective field service management software for your business.