We like to refer to field service management as an "end-to-end" solution. But what do we mean specifically? The graphic below outlines all the different areas of a field service business impacted by a field service management software system. At the end of the day, any field service management software needs to be designed for the highly mobile nature of field service organizations and empower field personnel to deliver exceptional value to customers.
Work Order Intake and Scheduling
The scheduler provides a macro view of all jobs and gives office staff a single pane of glass view into work both planned and in progress. Filtered scheduler views allow schedulers to drill down into specific departments, crews, locations etc. As new work orders are created (whether on a mobile device in the field or in the office), scheduling staff need to be able to quickly assign jobs based on resources and skills available. Crews need to be assigned, deployed and managed easily by crew leads.
Dispatch and Routing
In addition to a schedule view, schedulers need a map view to locate field resources and customers and make smart job assignments. Being able to "ping" mobile technician/engineer locations in real time means and no more phone calls just to find out who's closest to the next job. Field teams need to know where they're going next and how to get there.
Making the Right Diagnosis
When a technician arrives at a customer job site, they need to get the right answers quickly so they can get to work. That means mobile access to the entire work history of a customer, including any equipment documentation, photos etc. Whether they were the last one to visit the customer or not, the information flow needs to be seamless.
Getting to Work
Consistent and complete customer service is difficult without uniform task management. Technicians need to know all the tasks to be performed on a given job as promised to the customer. They also need to know what customer assets need attention, where those assets are located and what the history is of each one. As tasks are completed and items (parts, forms, etc.) are used, the back office needs visibility. Any pre-work or post-work signatures need to be documented right on their tablet or mobile phone.
Don't Forget the Upsell
Discovering additional opportunities for revenue should be part of every workflow. Technicians need reminders to sell recurring service contracts, additional services, etc. as part of their normal routine. If an opportunity is unearthed, they need to create a quote right there on the spot while it's top of mind.
Track Time and Expense
Why wait to invoice a client by mail days after work is completed? Field technicians should have the option of emailing an invoice as soon as a customer signs off on the work. Field-based workers shouldn't have to punch a clock back at the office to keep track of time worked. Time tracking should be built in to their workflow. As technicians start jobs, end jobs and travel in between the system should keep a running log that can be pulled into time reports.