Productivity rates and operations management is more than just what happens inside the office. For many businesses, what happens outside the office is just as important. To streamline field management systems and ensure workforce effectiveness, many companies have turned to field service software to streamline their operations.
For businesses that provide services out in the field, management often juggles many people, tasks and communications. The importance of field service software for businesses facing these challenges is paramount. Productivity rates can only increase when effective field service software is in place. It saves management and employees valuable administrative time and assists businesses in meeting their customers’ needs, but what is field service software? More importantly, how can companies reap the benefits?
What Is Field Service Software?
Field service software allows business owners to organize their external business operations and increase productivity rates across the organization. For businesses that rely heavily on the performance of their workforce in the field, this software provides a means to streamline communications and maximize time management processes. Some common activities which fall under field service management include the following:
- Technical specialist appointments.
- Customer service and repairs.
- Sales meetings and presentations.
- Payment collection.
- Monitoring employee progress in the field.
As customer needs change, businesses must stay competitive with fast responses, excellent records and high-quality human resources management. Field management software makes these goals attainable for various operations with field-based workforces. Having team members working in the field requires a great deal of administrative effort behind the scenes.
Field services software is vital because it centralizes all the separate components in one place so businesses can run further efficiently. Before the invention of field services software, these processes were completed manually, leading to many errors, miscommunications and backlogs.
Leaving administrative and field-based staff to struggle with spreadsheets and databases lets small things slip through the cracks. The margin for human error is much higher and employees are more likely to burn out as they attempt to locate information in various formats from countless locations. Field management software will digitize the process, allowing employees and management effective communications systems and easy access to data.
Applications for Field Service Software
Many business applications around the globe require managing numerous individuals and their tasks simultaneously and this is where the efficacy of field services software shines through. Although the software has a wide range of applications, the most common industries that use field management software include utilities, waste management, public transport, contracting and telecommunications. An example of practical applications for these industries include the following:
- Telecommunications: Many organizations worldwide can’t function adequately without reliable telecommunications. Field service software allows for the fast dispatch of technicians and the dissemination of necessary information.
- Engineering: Whether it’s dealing with power outages or unstable infrastructure, engineers have to be able to dispatch teams almost straight away. Many of these projects require specialists with access to vast amounts of data. The software can monitor their positioning, get them to the point of concern as soon as possible and provide them with an overview of resources.
- Waste management: Safety is paramount when working in the waste management sector. Field management software ensures the timeous dispatch of specialists for any project and helps to accumulate accurate data on service providers in the field.
- Construction and contracting: Building requires many human resources and equipment. Teams are often multi-operational and the software ensures they have the required equipment and effective management throughout teams across lengthy projects. Users can also track expenses and create checklists to double-check they meet the necessary requirements.
- Security: Security is mission-critical within many organizations, and field service software allows service providers rapid scheduling, dispatch and processing of work orders. They can also benefit from the integration of site inspections with current business processing systems.
- Energy and utilities: Streamlining work order management is essential in this high-pressure sector. Field services software provides the perfect scheduling solution for high-volume service calls and provides technicians with up-to-date information for rapid troubleshooting and timely restoration of essential services.
Users can adapt good quality field services software to suit any application where a business has many people and projects outside the office. The integration of this software allows for increased effective processes and better record-keeping capabilities.
18 Benefits of Field Service Software
Integrating new software into your operational systems can be a challenge. Business owners and managers want to know how it can benefit the bottom line. Field service software is more than just a way to streamline the administrative process — it has many benefits for the company, employee and client base. Some of the benefits of field service software include the following:
1. Increased Collaboration
Miscommunications and human error hurt collaboration and team objectives in the field. Teams can communicate effectively and provide detailed information with field service software. Important messages can reach the correct recipients in real-time, minimizing delays and keeping team members aligned with business and operational goals.
2. Streamlined Work Orders
Instead of relying on outdated systems, field service software facilitates messages sent directly to workers’ mobile devices. The messages include all the necessary data to ensure workers are optimally prepared for their tasks, including:
- Customer service history
- Most direct routes to the site
- Required tools
With the correct software in place, technicians and other field workers can receive any relevant information that management deems, which assists with quicker turnaround times and increased worker productivity.
3. Quicker Emergency Response
There is always the chance of emergencies in service delivery. If technicians don’t attend to these as soon as possible, they could result in critical delays. With field service software, businesses will identify the worker closest to the emergency site and provide them with the fastest route to the location. Automated service requests eliminate the panic of trying to react in the quickest time. Instead of chaos, the nearest employee picks up the order and gets to work.
4. Enhanced Efficiency
There’s no doubt that operational efficiency is a keystone to a successful business. Route optimization is the first step to boosting efficiency in the service delivery process. Workers are increasingly productive overall when their travel time is reduced and transport costs are decreased. Providing workers will as much data as possible also allows for quicker troubleshooting and thus, a faster solution. Workers can therefore complete more tasks in their day.
5. Rapid Invoicing
Field service organizations can take weeks to correctly categorize and quantify the tasks performed in a given day. With industry-specific software in place, technicians can send all the information relevant to a completed job in real-time, including the materials they used, photographs of the finished job, applicable notes and time to completion. With this information on hand almost straight away, the software can generate invoices automatically and integrate them with up-to-date information about the client, including credit they may have or items covered by warranty.
6. Optimized Resources
With all the relevant information about technicians on hand, businesses can use field service software to dispatch the most experienced technician for the job. The proper use of specialists assists in rapid task completion and boosts overall productivity.
7. Upgraded Equipment Tracking and Inventory Management
Businesses must preserve company-owned equipment to reduce unnecessary costs. GPS tracking can retrieve lost or stolen equipment and prevent unauthorized usage resulting in wear and tear. Should a machine require maintenance in the middle of a job, the software can locate the nearest replacement and dispatch a technician to the location so the job can continue.
Inventory management can also be challenging with many technicians out in the field. The software allows technicians to scan parts and keep the digital inventory system up to date so management can place timely orders and try to eliminate work backlog.
8. Effective Communication and Better Reporting
Often, multiple team members are working on the same job. Each team member receives the same information simultaneously with one central application, leaving little room for misunderstandings. Field technicians can also contact management while on site should they require further input to complete their tasks. They can also keep records of work done, replaced parts and product testing and send them to management in real-time, elevating productivity.
9. Complete Data Access
For all team members to provide the best possible quality of work, they need the maximum amount of available information. Field service software centralizes data so relevant parties can have immediate access when needed. They can quickly retrieve information about the client, history, equipment and instructions. Technicians can spend time working on the project and less trying to access data from multiple sources without worrying about outdated or irrelevant information.
10. Automated Procedures
Much administrative work is time-consuming and repetitive. Field service software allows businesses to automate tasks such as scheduling, sending out payment reminders and invoices and issuing work orders. Administrative staff and technicians are free to pursue more productive work. Businesses can enjoy greater employee satisfaction and free employees to use their time for productive tasks.
11. Eliminated Data Silos
Data silos occur when departments within an organization compile and — intentionally or otherwise — limit access to their data by other departments. Often the data storage systems are incompatible, which could wreak havoc on business processes. Team members across all departments will struggle with responsible decision-making when they don’t have access to all the necessary information. Still, field service software stores all data in a central hub, accessible to anyone with permission.
12. Minimized Waste
Waste management is an unavoidable part of businesses. It’s labor intensive and takes time to manage waste from facilities throughout the disposal phase. Field service software helps eliminate waste by promoting the system’s core functionalities.
13. Mobilized Business Practices
Field technicians are expected to work from anywhere, but with field service software, administration and management teams are granted the same freedom. The software is designed with mobility in mind, so managers and business owners can access the core business systems wherever they are. Data is no longer restricted to those in the office, which has myriad benefits for management and employees.
14. Increased Data Accuracy
It’s critical that field technicians collect a large amount of accurate data while in the field, not just for billing purposes but to contribute to future business decisions and innovations. Taking unstructured notes is bound to lead to mistakes and lost information. If lost or inaccurate information affects decision-making outcomes, it could be costly for the business.
A completely integrated paperless system eliminates some of the inevitable human error in manual data collection, providing businesses with a reliable wealth of knowledge upon which to base their decision-making processes.
15. Reduced Production Costs
Businesses must always strive to reduce costs while maintaining quality products and services. This is a delicate balance that relies on maximizing productivity while at the same time eliminating erroneous waste of capital and resources. Every element of the field service chain needs to function at an optimal level to achieve this. With field service software in place, businesses can reduce costs in many spheres of operations, including transport and inventory costs, while at the same time enhancing and supporting worker productivity for the best bottom line.
16. Increased Operational Visibility
The central platform that hosts all the data tracks all service tickets, the technicians dispatched to the site and the nature and specifications of the job. Businesses with field service software have increased accuracy and built-in attention to detail. The software can help to reduce expensive oversights and adjust times. Management can make informed decisions based on the most recent data.
17. Improved Stakeholder Relationships
With a much smaller margin of error, businesses can foster more positive relationships with stakeholders. Customer complaints will decrease and each associated party will enjoy the benefits of a streamlined operation. As stakeholders notice the help of the improved operational processes within the business, owners and management may see increased reputational and economic value.
18. Competitive Business Growth
All businesses want to see an increased ROI and look toward expansion. Combining human resource management, inventory management and revenue management into one quality system leads to increased overall productivity and efficiency and more accurate data for troubleshooting and goal-setting.
Innovative systems that help digitize and automate business processes are a long-term investment that allows business owners and management to remain competitive in an ever-changing market. From scheduling appointments to timely responses and customer service, businesses can accelerate their growth by integrating field service software.
Optimize Your Workforce With Field Service Management Software
An increasing number of businesses seeking a competitive advantage are turning to field service management software to streamline their operational processes, cut costs and maximize revenue opportunities. If you want to do the same, look no further than PenguinData Workforce Management Inc. With our workforce management system software, you can rest assured you’ll always be within the curve. Please take advantage of our expertise and know our specialists are constantly adapting your software to meet the market requirements.
Increase productivity and profitability today with PenguinData’s innovative and user-friendly field service management software today! Our software is fully scalable for seamless integration with your business needs, so please contact us and book a free demo to learn more about how we can keep you ahead of the curve.