Field Service Management | 12 mins read

A Break Down of Field Service Management

a break down of field service management
Lauren Christiansen

By Lauren Christiansen

What is Field Service Management?

Field service encompasses any work that is conducted outside of the office, as opposed to on-site. It involves sending out team members to assigned places to fix or install a piece of equipment or computer system.

Field service management is an overarching term that describes how a company manages its field resources, which include workers, appliances, and any other related equipment. Aspects of field service management include -

  • 77% of field service operations use software management FSM solutions to control all processes
  • Data analytics improves customer retention by 42%
  • Data analytics increases profits of field service organizations by 18%
  • 52% of operators are still using some form of manual methods to collect data

1. Handling Work Orders

Operators first receive a service request on a software field system from a customer which is then transformed into a work order.

Work order management includes managing contracts and scheduling planned maintenance so it fits in with the customer's schedule. Most operators now utilize a self service software system to create and manage work orders.

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2. Scheduling and Dispatching

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To ensure an organization is running smoothly and efficiently, field schedules must be managed properly.

This requires understanding which service teams are available at which times, knowing who has the expertise/skill set to perform an assignment, and gauging how long the task will take to complete.

The field service manager must also take geographical location into account and consider whether the assigned individual can make it to the worksite on time.

3. Monitoring and Managing Technicians

Field service companies also monitor and manage all of the technicians assigned to work orders on a software field service to ensure they are performing their job properly and making it to the correct assignment on time.

Field service management software allows everyone to see who is responsible for completing a work order once a job is assigned.

The system also collects worksite data in the form of notes, videos, or pictures. Customer and worksite data can be easily accessed by field workers through their mobile devices.

4. Managing Inventory

Field service management requires monitoring any inventory that is used by service technicians to ensure it is fully stocked and maintained.

Management tools gather any inventory management data and send an alert to the operator when stock is at a certain point. Inventory can be reordered or replaced to ensure compliance with any industry-related regulations and optimize the efficiency of service.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

5. Communicating with Field Workers

Field management also requires regular communication between the back office and technicians to see where they are, how long it will take to get to the next worksite, and whether there are any issues of concern.

A management system contains a customer database that has all client-related data and notes of concern so the technician is well-prepared for the work order. The management platform can also integrate with GPS to automatically inform the operator of the technician's location.

Importance of Field Service Management

Any organization can produce a piece of equipment, but many industry-related workers will repair it. In other words, a company is easily replaceable when there isn't a field service team available to customers.

Employing field service management as part of a larger organizational strategy can be an effective way to make more money and maintain valuable customer relationships.

As organizations grow in complexity, it's become more imperative to track and manage fieldwork to improve customer service and gain valuable insights into field data.

A field service management solution informs when equipment is due for an update while providing a way to offer reliable and high-quality service. Other important reasons for field service management include

1. Maximize Profitability

Field service was originally a type of customer service, rather than a profitable enterprise. Businesses are now offering field service to gain purchase orders for high-priced repairs or installation services.

Because customers cannot usually install or repair machinery themselves, there is a large vacuum for manufacturers, retailers, and distributors to fill. When a customer is satisfied with efficient field work, he/she is more likely to become a long-term and loyal customer.

2. Gain Access to Valuable Data

More companies are integrating field service software with customer relationship management software in the cloud to connect customer data with equipment, technicians, and billing data.

This optimizes the quality of service by ensuring the correct technicians have the correct tools at the correct work sites. By collecting and taking advantage of this data through a management solution, organizations can vastly improve the customer experience and maintain a competitive edge.

Why Businesses Use Field Service Management

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Those involved in repairing and installing equipment were originally the only ones involved in field work. Most individuals consider field technicians as regular repairmen related to the construction or electrical industries, but there are now many different types of field work available.

Over time, other industries have recognized the potential profit in offering field work and added it to their list of services. These industries include

1. Fire and Safety Industry

Equipment systems should be properly maintained and running efficiently in the fire industry. Because there are many different government regulations to comply with, fire industry-related companies need to offer the most reliable installation services.

Many individuals in this industry are utilizing field service software to optimize service delivery and monitor the maintenance status of equipment on mobile field software.

2. Medical Device Industry

Field service software assists in improving compliance and the quality of service for those in medical device-related industries. These industries typically offer installations, repairs, and regular maintenance for all medical equipment.

They can also track important records to ensure compliance with the highly-regulated medical industry. Manufacturers can connect field service software and accounting software to optimize the invoicing process and improve customer service.

3. IT and Communications Industry

Internet service providers and other communication-related organizations are utilizing field service technology to meet the growing demand for computer and device repairs/installations.

An optimized scheduling system helps design and install internet systems. It can also be utilized to schedule regular maintenance to ensure any installed systems are running at optimal efficiency.

4. Oil and Gas Industry

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Those in the oil and gas industries utilize field service technology to streamline all of their projects. They collect and gather valuable data that optimizes project management and ensures compliance with government regulations.

It also streamlines scheduling and planning inspections by ensuring the correct team is assigned to the correct location with the proper equipment.

5. Construction Industry

Construction industries employ both on-site and off-site workers. As a result, field service software has been useful in optimizing and integrating all of their field work and on-site projects.

Construction companies streamline communication between workers and on-site managers while collecting maintenance and customer data that helps to improve customer service.

Because they employ field service management software to collect real-time data that optimizes decision-making, they build better and long-lasting relationships with their customers.

Benefits of Field Service Management Software

Successful companies can allocate and deliver resources effectively while maintaining high customer satisfaction. Businesses that implement both of these functions will gain long-term customers and generate profit.

A field management service that collects valuable data, schedules services, and regularly checks on the status of equipment can help a service-oriented company achieve these objectives. The top benefits of field service management software include

1. Improve Efficiency of Field Workers

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Field service management software can integrate with the technician's smartphone so he/she can view any new work assignment on a mobile app.

It includes the best route to get to the worksite, explains which equipment or tools are needed, and provides any related customer data that might help to perform the job. This can improve and increase the efficiency of these field work technicians.

2. Gain a Competitive Edge

An automated software solution gathers and manages all field work-related data in one centralized location.

This allows field employees to access any necessary data from their devices to ensure the best quality of service is provided. Modern solutions offer functionality that optimizes the user experience and gives a professional edge over the competition.

3. Easier to Allocate Resources

Field service management software makes it easier to allocate and utilize any field area resources needed to perform quality work.

For example, if a technician is working at a site that is close to another incoming work request, management can use software to immediately assign that technician to the new request.

Because these quick and real-time updates optimize decision-making, customer satisfaction improves, and less money and time are wasted on resources.

4. Improves Team Communication

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Collected data on field service management software makes it easier to communicate quickly with field service workers and make better decisions.

Technicians can see all relevant information about their new assignment and can easily make updates, which are then sent back to the on-site manager. This makes it simpler to problem solve and minimizes any bottlenecks that occur from a lack of communication.

5. Greater Accuracy

Traditionally, Excel sheets and notes were used to input and manage field data. This method increased the likelihood of human error and was mostly inaccessible to off-site field employees.

Automated field service management software solutions collect real-time field data that can be easily accessed through mobile or other devices. Updates are immediately uploaded into the system and sent to authorized individuals to improve the efficiency of service.

6. Improves Customer Service

By utilizing field service management software, it is much simpler and faster to respond to work order requests.

Customers track the location and status of their technicians to know the estimated time of arrival or whether there are any delays. This improved responsiveness assists in enhancing customer service and building long term relationships that generate greater profit.

How to Improve Field Operations

There are many factors involved in effectively managing field service work. Functions include tracking technicians, synchronizing work schedules, monitoring the status of equipment and tools, and maintaining optimal responsiveness in case of an emergency.

Most importantly, the company must ensure that customers are satisfied with the quality of work. This requires multitasking and wearing different hats, which can be very challenging.

Making improvements to field operations can systemize and streamline the entire process. The best practices for optimizing field service management include -

1. Shorten Response Time

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Customers can't reorganize their entire day to wait for a field technician to arrive because they have places to go and work to conduct. Though the majority of field service operators are prioritizing response time already, there is always room for improvement.

Technology can assist in this process by automatically assigning and dispatching technicians depending on their whereabouts, expertise, and availability. Field service operators can invest in a software solution that integrates with GPS and provides real-time updates to ensure customers receive high-quality service.

2. Perform Analysis on Field Data

Field management software automatically collects field data, but many organizations aren't sure how to use or make sense of it.

While operators don't have to review every piece of field data, they should prioritize the analysis of driver behavior, length of time at each worksite, transportation records, and routing data.

By pinpointing patterns and problem areas, operators can eliminate inefficiencies and optimize the scheduling process moving forward.

3. Expand Communication and Teamwork

Field workers should always have their mobile devices on hand at a work site to ensure they receive any new communications. Moreover, they need to have access to cloud-based software to view any related files or data that may optimize service delivery.

Improving communication and investing in different mediums assists in teamwork because technicians can quickly reach the operator for help or speak with another worker who may assist with a work site-related problem. This will help everyone perform their jobs with greater efficiency.

4. Provide Sales Team Access to Field Data

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By giving the sales team access to field operations data, they can improve relationships with customers. It allows them to gain a greater understanding of what is occurring at the worksite, which technician is performing the service, and the severity of the issue.

Technicians should also have entry-level sales training to make sure they know how to upsell items or offer additional services when on-site. This further increases the company's profitability and helps to stand out from the competition.

5. Schedule Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance will improve customer satisfaction, increase profitability, and decrease the organization's workload. Utilizing an optimized software system to track the status of equipment assists in managing an issue before it turns into a bigger concern.

It minimizes the number of accidents and breakdowns while allowing operators to maintain full control of field work schedules. This will improve customer service and make certain the company is complying with any industry-related regulations.

  • Schedule maintenance according to equipment usage
  • Ensure technicians are accountable for maintenance
  • Make certain preventative measures are beneficiary in accordance with manufacturer recommendations and specs
  • Plan ahead of time to account for different seasons
  • Write up a maintenance contract for the customer and stick to it

Key Takeaways

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In conclusion, here are the key points to know about field service management

  • Field service management includes work orders, contract management, scheduling, dispatching, monitoring technicians, managing inventory, and communicating with field workers. Effective field service management can increase profit and streamline data collection on an asset management platform that helps to improve customer service, increase productivity, and maintain a competitive edge.
  • Industries that employ field service management mobile solutions include fire and safety, medical device companies, IT and communication organizations, oil and gas services, and construction companies.
  • The benefits of field service management mobile systems include optimizing the efficiency of workers, gaining a competitive edge, improving the allocation of resources, streamlining communication, increasing accuracy, and enhancing customer service.
  • Operators can improve field service management by shortening response times, gathering and analyzing field data, expanding communication and teamwork, giving sales team members field data, and scheduling preventative maintenance.

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