The management of employees who work outside the office is more complex. Field services management (FSM) is commonly needed by industries like HVAC, health care, and construction. Manage field employees efficiently and you can enhance customer satisfaction, engage employees, and reduce costs. Below are some insights on current and future FSM trends.
Field Service Management: What Is It?
A field service is any service performed outside the employee’s office. Field service management is the process of managing field services, employees, and equipment using software, workflows, and communication.
What does the term field service mean? Installing equipment or providing services on site. To provide customers with the most satisfying experience while maintaining service levels and improving efficiency.
A few key takeaways
- With field service management, you can automate key processes such as pre-populating work order forms, providing status updates to customers, dispatching, tracking assets, and scheduling routine maintenance of essential equipment.
- In developing a field service software strategy, it’s crucial to consider cost, customer experience, processes that can be digitized, and roles that need to be defined.
- Machine learning, connected devices, and using the data these solutions generate will greatly benefit field service management in the future.
What Are the Benefits of Field Service Management?
Inconsistent service, poor communication and delays annoy customers. Effective customer service relies on coordination between systems and employees. With field service management software, businesses can respond faster to customer needs and internal changes.
Field Service Management: Current Impact
Field service management is different depending on the business, customer base, employee needs, and external environment. Can you explain how it works?
In response to a more mobile, work-at-home workforce, FSM solutions are evolving. The widespread adoption of software solutions has led to dramatic improvements in productivity, cost, and service.
The advantages of field service management
You can improve customer service and control costs with field service management. FSM provides efficient field service for field employees.
Management of field services has many positive effects, including:
- Having employees (whether on the field or not) follow a standardized workflow process has many benefits
- Impact on efficiency and service immediately. Coordination must be a top priority for employees, especially when they aren’t at a central location. Coordination improves customer service.
- Reduced paperwork: Physical paperwork is unlikely to disappear completely. The field service management can use an electronic document management system (EDMS) to reduce paperwork and manual work, eliminating the need for outdated filing systems, overhead, and supplies.
Managing Field Services: The Challenges
Despite field service management software, distributed workforces may encounter challenges with dealing with customers, communication, and overall safety.
Field service management is challenged by:
- It is always a challenge to meet or exceed customer expectations. Customer service can initially be hampered when adopting new software because of confusion and frustration. With a well-planned deployment, an FSM solution can reduce dissatisfied customers while maintaining service levels regardless of upgrades, updates, and employee movements.
- The customer expects that their product or service will be delivered at a specific time and place with no hassle. Providing these services in the field adds another layer of complexity-traffic, unfamiliar environments for technicians, jobs taking longer to complete than expected, etc.
The FSM can, however, help address some of those barriers and improve the customer and employee experience.
- Real-time communication can be a challenge for employers and employees alike. You can provide information through a variety of methods (text, email, website, apps). In a field service management system, employees can have easy access to all the information they need about customers, tasks, etc.
- Monitor and identify resources in the field in real time with field service management. Tools, equipment, and vehicles can be tracked, as well as who has recently used the items.
- The ability to effectively manage travel expenses and monitor equipment and tools with FSM software can help control costs. Moreover, it helps eliminate unnecessary paperwork as well as digitize and automate tedious processes.
The Best Way to Improve Field Service Operations
Field service improvement is best achieved through customer feedback. Keep communication with customers and employees simple and clear. Utilizing mobile devices is also crucial for driving improvement.
Here are some suggestions for improving field service management:
- The most obvious way to improve field service is to integrate your field service management tools to create a reliable, optimized schedule.
Ideally, the software should integrate with scheduling, billing, asset tracking, and other enterprise resource planning applications. Integrating these systems will reduce customer wait times and improve on-time performance.
- Operation using mobile devices: Mobile devices facilitate data access and real-time communication across multiple databases and systems. Along with mobile phones, field workers can use GPS devices in vehicles, remote printers, customer devices, watches, laptops, tablets, and more. Employees benefit from the ability to access data and systems anywhere, which improves the bottom line.
Lastly, define a plan for getting all users, employees, partners, contractors and customers on board. It must take into account all employees and processes.