In today’s competitive business environment, companies are under constant pressure to manage costs, improve customer experience and increase revenue. Companies are working towards these goals by optimizing the efficiency of their field services process and increasing their field force’s productivity.
When it comes to field service management software, the objective is to simplify and improve the activities of your field force, as well as enhance the productivity of your field operations.
Field services are often characterized by higher customer satisfaction and limited resources, which makes it crucial to reduce expenses wherever possible. The goal is to get more done with less: a key driver is cost reduction.
As the business world becomes more competitive and the speed of business is increasing, it has become imperative for companies to keep pace. Field service management (FSM) software can provide you with real-time reporting on field team performance, as well as provide financial oversight for your company.
Furthermore, field service software helps improve employee productivity, and reduces redundant tasks and error-prone manual processes in the field. That is why most managers and supervisors in the field are optimizing efficiency through technology.
According to Zion Market research, the Field Service Market will reach USD 6.68 Billion by 2023. The field service industry is a thriving market, and if you are in it, it is best to have a proper and systematic approach to implementing the software. This will not only help you use the software better but also ensure that you remain in compliance with all the regulations and best practices.
The introduction of a new field service management system can be both exciting and overwhelming. You want the benefits that the new software will bring but fear the additional workload.
Before implementing any new software, it’s important to look at what constitutes good practices and consider where there might be opportunities for improvement within your existing field service management software.
We’ve gathered 7 top practices that will help your company get started with field management software and make your field operations more efficient:
- Review your existing organizational structure
One of the biggest challenges in implementing new processes, systems, and applications is that most organizations do not take the time to assess where they are in their current organizational structure and how these new systems will fit into their existing landscape. This is why you need to invest in identifying the gaps in your field operations before you jump head-first into field service management software.
This software is one of the most sought-after tools that help business owners streamline their operations efficiently. Since it’s an introduction to something new, every organization should understand what they are trying to achieve with this system. Furthermore, it should be able to leverage it to accomplish the goals that are being set.
- Get feedback from your field employees
Field workforce management is quickly becoming a necessity in today’s business world. It streamlines your field workforce and helps eliminate paper fraud, improves customer relationships, and eliminates costs. However, software deployment isn’t as simple as it sounds. You need to balance between maximizing efficiency and keeping your team happy.
Before implementing new software, you need to interact with your frontline employees, to understand their challenges and requirements better. The challenges of field service management are immense and require a great deal of attention.
From order fulfillment to customer communication, route optimization, etc, all these need to be managed with extreme precision so that both your customers and employees come out happy. Thus, interact with your team, take their inputs and opinions, and then analyze the options.
For instance, real-time interaction between the frontline and their managers. It might seem small, but it’s hard to imagine field service operations without real-time communication. Good field service software will help you attain that goal efficiently by providing an effective re-engineered solution for team management.
- Try the software before the final purchase
There is no denying the fact that there is a huge need for field management software among companies. It makes the life of frontline employees much easier and more efficient by providing them with everything they need to do their job better.
The only disadvantage associated with such a system is that it can be expensive to buy and maintain. Implementing FSM software involves a lot of upfront investment, so you should choose your implementation wisely and maximize its benefits.
Apart from the financial investment it involves many challenges, among which is the need to train your employees on the software. Many field service management system software providers offer free trials. But, you don’t know how effective their system is until you get your hands on it.
Therefore, you need to perform the pilot implementation before going full steam. The best way is to try a pilot phase implementation with a small group of employees who can try their hands at different features of the FSM software.
Further, it will make sure that the entire process goes smoothly by monitoring it continuously with your frontline team before starting a live run. Doing so will certainly provide you with a better insight into how to access data faster and reduce manual processes in field service management.
- Easy ERP/CRM integration
Bringing in a new software solution is always a challenge. You have to decide on the tool that will best meet your needs, then validate its functionality and finally integrate it into your existing ERP/CRM application.
But there are best practices that must be followed to make this whole process easy. One of these best practices is to check how easily the new software can be integrated with your existing ERP or CRM system.
The reason behind this is simple: if the two systems communicate flawlessly, then all of your business processes will be fully automated and streamlined, resulting in significant operational efficiencies, less manual work, and more time for your team. This way, you will be able to create accurate reports and analyze the details of your operation more efficiently.
- Easy Customization
In most organizations, businesses employ FSM software solutions to meet their business goals. These solutions provide powerful automation and are the best way to cut down time spent on manual processes and increase efficiency and effectiveness. However, one of the biggest challenges that FSM solutions face is that some of the customizations add extra burden and complexity to them especially if they have a large set of functionalities.
Adopting a customizable FSM software solution will help you achieve better ROI on every dollar spent on it by serving as an affordable yet highly flexible tool for the further development of your business automation solutions.
- An easy-to-use mobile interface
Field Service Management (FSM) software is an essential means for providing field companies with all the necessary information on the field. It enables them to manage their time, equipment, and personnel more efficiently.
While field management software comes with a lot of functionality, it’s nothing without a mobile interface. A field software platform should feature a mobility platform to equip your field force with all the necessary information on the field.
With the increasing adoption of smartphones and tablets, it is critical to use mobile apps for supporting your field force. A mobile app integrated with your FSM software is a great way to improve your company’s efficiency and user experience.
Mobility technologies have increased employee productivity for about 75% of field service companies while improving customer satisfaction for others.
Mobile apps add value by offering live tracking, route optimization, document capture, and much more. Many field service management apps also offer offline connectivity, which significantly helps the field force in any scenario. Seamless connectivity is crucial for the success of any FSM solution
- Communicate with your customers and stakeholders
The biggest problem that Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) face is a lack of quick, clear information as well as a lack of transparency. The result is often new software products being introduced with no real idea about what features these can offer or what benefits these might have for their business.
One key consideration is being proactive with the communication of these changes so that stakeholders and customers can better understand how they will be affected. Because this affects your customers and their perception of your business, it’s worth making sure you communicate the key aspects behind your new system by providing detailed product descriptions and demonstrations using screenshots and videos.
As a best practice, any change you make to your current system that affects your customers should be shared with your customers in advance. This will help them prepare their workflows and processes accordingly so that they are ready for an even smoother transition when the changes are implemented.
Implementing field service management software is an essential part of any business’s operations. With the right best practices, your software can help you streamline communication, improve customer satisfaction, and reduce operational costs.
We hope that our 7 tips have given you some insight into how to get started with your implementation process, as well as some of the key benefits that come along with using such a powerful tool. With the proper knowledge and approach, field service management software can be incredibly beneficial for businesses of all sizes!