Organizations often work with a mix of ‘best of breed’ solutions for their day to day field service operations. This might be because the organization has outgrown original systems so other solutions have been brought in or have been bolted on or that the workflow is so specific to them, that they can’t find one solution that fits all their needs.
Whatever the reason the result can often mean that systems are used in isolation and data from one system doesn’t always work with others.
This can be frustrating and costly to a business as it can mean that data has to be entered into each system individually, taking time to do. If this input is needed multiple times there is also the risk of mistakes being made or data missed.
The Business Benefits of Integration
The ultimate of any field service solution is quite simply a better workflow to and from the field. Ease of integration is a key part of any new solution as there is no need to upgrade the entire end-to-end system to simply allow this better workflow. There will have been significant investment into existing systems and extending the life of these systems is important.
For a business an integrated field service solution means that the two-way flow of data and information is captured just once and in a consistent and efficient way. It means that no data is left unused or delayed while waiting on paperwork to be finished or for collected information to be downloaded and an audit trail is in place reducing the chance of any lost or missing information.
The Business Owner/Manager
For the business owner or manager reports can be easily accessed on any criteria as systems are linked and ‘speak’ to each other. The health of the business can be easily monitored and customizable reports can be run on jobs, revenue, inventory, employee hours, customer surveys, invoices and customer data. Profitability can be reviewed by customer, service or product allowing focus on driving higher overall revenue and increased margins.
The Service Manager
The service manager can see real-time status updates of all jobs (scheduled, started, paused, completed) across the teams and also assess the productivity of individual staff members across jobs and tasks. Workflow can become automated reducing paperwork and eliminating lost or delayed time through scheduling improvements and job completion rates. The team in the office can assign jobs faster with the improved scheduling and eliminate paper work with distribution of electronic work orders
The Field Technician
For a field worker an integrated mobile solution means they can do their job in the best possible way. Critical information can be accessed and shared in real time in the office and the field. Through integration with other back office systems, the field worker has access to the job history and customer records allowing for a more detailed understanding of not only the job they are going to but also what has happened before and why. Turning up to site and having this information on the job detail to hand or having access to it, means there is better chance of job resolution on this first visit and all the benefits this brings to an organization, the technician and the customer.
For those in the finance team invoices can be automated immediately upon job completion. A work order for example can be issued, then on job completion the customer can be invoiced immediately, achieving a quicker payment cycle through this order to cash automation. Data can be transferred electronically between systems, making accounting and payroll tasks more efficient and accurate. Financial reporting becomes more straightforward as customizable reports include all the relevant information on revenue, costs and employees.
Good integration of field service management solutions improves efficiencies, from the first call to the final invoice, by providing visibility throughout the business. This can feel like it is going to be an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be.
To find out more on how FieldAware is simplifying field service with innovative field service solutions – watch our overview video here.
If you want to get an in-depth view in to field service management technology, we are offering an exclusive report from Gartner, the leading field service management analysts. To access the Gartner report ‘The Six Categories of Field Service Management Application Functionality’ click here.