Looking for Field Service Software? Don’t Forget the User
If you are looking for a field service solution, it is important to recognize that the people actually using it after deployment will play a vital role in its success. How quickly any solution is adopted and starts adding value can come down to whether it is being used properly, if at all, by those in the field.
Working recently with one new FieldAware customer was particularly interesting as they totally prioritized ease of use. We recently announced that Spark Power, a leader in the Canadian power and energy sector, is deploying FieldAware across its service operation of over 150 high voltage technicians to provide leading customer service, expand their current technology investment and support their growth.
Spark Power prides itself on delivering superior service to Canada’s renewable energy and power services markets across its portfolio of offerings. It wanted to enhance that initiative by better enabling their planning, scheduling, dispatch and execution of field work with best-in-class technology to be more responsive to customer needs. Already using NetSuite OneWorld as its ERP, it was important to Spark Power to utilize a NetSuite certified partner so they could integrate seamlessly and quickly, while mapping their new solution to their current business processes.
“FieldAware was chosen after a rigorous selection process,” said Jason Sparaga, Spark Power CEO. “We knew we wanted to work with a NetSuite certified partner who also had the advantages of a cloud-based solution but it was really the business user case that proved conclusive. The user experience needed to be strong to ensure adoption. During our evaluation, we were impressed with FieldAware’s user-interface and its easy and intuitive workflows.”
This focus on the user experience is so important.
At FieldAware, we have found working with many companies in different sectors that some of the same principals are true whatever the industry. The user experience is fundamental to the success - or not - of implementing software solutions.
Easy and Simple to Use
Managers and technicians, alike, report that the key to any technology implementation is ease of use. Taking time to learn new, complicated ways of working puts up barriers to adoption which workers may well look to by-pass and either go back to the way things used to be done or patch together their own and disparate ways of using the various solutions. Field technicians, by the nature of their work, tend to accept technology changes positively but how quickly they take to new solutions will again affect the ROI. A long drawn out adoption of any solution will have a serious effect on efficiency during the time taken and in the longer-term impact employee satisfaction with the technology.
Any field service solution should be easy and simple to use. Ease of use for technicians should also include how the device is used as well as the app itself, as one hand operation, for example, can be important. It may seem like a little thing, but allowing a technician to keep one hand free - and still operate the app - is a big advantage in the field. One hand operation is especially important when the technician is downloading and viewing the schematics of equipment or paging through a repair manual.
Of equal importance is how intuitive a solution is. Are the workflows easy to understand? Can they be configured for different job types to make it easier for the user? Can you capture information with just one click? All these questions will have an impact on whether you will get users on board and really get the most out of what you have invested in.
Once data is captured, being able to send and share it easily means that you have a more connected workforce who can not only document what they are doing more effectively but are then sharing that accurate data with the back office. This gives office staff the most up to date and fullest picture of what has been completed in the field.
By making it easy to use, the best solution can ensure not only quick adoption but actually make the lives of the users easier, their processes more streamlined and importantly, help them get more done.
So, if you want to make sure you are investing in the right solution, involve your users. Successful solutions are those that are easily adopted because they’re so easy to use. And its only users that can decide that.
To see how to find the right field service solution for you and your business download our FieldAware Buyers Guide. This simple guide sets out everything you need to know before you make any decisions on your field service investment and provides a step-by-step approach that ensures nothing is left to chance.