You may work in a field service industry that relies on staff or subcontractors being deployed to customers’ homes or locations to do assigned jobs. In recent years, there has been significant development of office management-type software to support field businesses of all sizes. This guide is designed to help you understand what field service software is and how it can benefit your business. It will also give you advice on how to find the best provider for your needs.
Field service management software is a tool that businesses use to organize and manage their field workers. This covers tools that can assist businesses in managing various aspects such as leads, work orders, employee scheduling, dispatching, field data collection, time tracking, payments, and inventory.
Back in the day, if you had a plumbing issue, you would have to call your local plumber and work with their receptionist to schedule an appointment based on their availability. This process usually meant playing phone tag and rescheduling a few times before finally getting a date and time that worked for both parties. Once the plumber arrived, they would fix the issue and present you with a clipboard of charges to sign. You would then mail in a check to cover the cost of the repairs.
There’s a good chance that Town and City Plumbing hasn’t changed much in the way it does business over the years, and as a result, its efficiency and growth have been limited. The reason for this is that the company is operating under time and resource constraints that can’t be overcome. In order to see significant improvements, Town and City Plumbing needs to find a way to break out of these constraints.
The inefficiencies described above present opportunities for errors and double data entry. Field service software provides a solution by storing lead, customer, staff, and schedule information in one place so it is easily accessible. Customer data, job information, and schedules are available to anyone on your team with an internet-enabled device, such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
Nowadays, there are online scheduling platforms that make it much easier to book appointments and track payments. You can even schedule automatic payments so that you don’t have to worry about sending a check every time you need plumbing services. This is just one example of how technology has made it easier to manage businesses and get things done more efficiently.
Why would a field service company decide it needs software?
A field service company might seek out software in order to manage their business more efficiently and effectively. Other benefits of field service software can include winning more jobs and growing the company. Most companies who look for this type of software do so because they’ve realized that managing schedules with a whiteboard or sticky notes is very inefficient and often leads to errors. Field service software is designed to solve these problems.
Field service management software isn’t a new concept by any means – in fact, large enterprise businesses with hundreds (or even thousands) of field workers and billions in revenue have been using them for decades in order to help easily scale their businesses. However, this type of software can be complex and expensive to set up, which is why it hasn’t been accessible for smaller and mid-size businesses or those who don’t have the budget to support an entire system and staff.
If you’re trying to decide whether on-premise or cloud software is best for your business, here are some things to think about:
Cloud solutions tend to be more cost-effective in the long run compared to on-premise solutions. With an on-premise solution, all requirements and costs are determined upfront during purchase because there is associated equipment that needs to be installed; scaling up or down later is not as easy based on how the business is performing over time. However, with cloud storage, the amount of storage space (and the associated costs) can be adjusted more easily according to the decisions made about the business. This makes it a more favorable solution for businesses that are growing or downsizing.
Licensing and updates: Have you ever stopped to think about how often your favorite companies make improvements and updates to the software you use on a daily basis – in both your personal and professional life? The answer is really quite often. Having worked for companies that release software on a weekly basis, I know that most times these organizations release enhancements at least once a month and sometimes on a weekly basis. When you’re relying on an on-premise solution, you don’t get to take advantage of any of those new features that could support the needs of a changing market or customers. You’re stuck with the product as-is until your next scheduled physical update.
Equipment maintenance: Equipment like servers and computers are prone to breaking and they need constant maintenance – which is an additional, ongoing cost that comes with having an on-premise solution. With cloud software, you don’t have to worry about this because someone else will take care of the burden of updates and upgrades for you.
Mobile accessibility: For workers who are constantly on the move and need to access information while they are away from a computer, mobile accessibility is a top priority. Cloud-based solutions are designed with mobility in mind, so you can be sure that you will be able to access your data no matter where you are. On-premise solutions may not offer the same level of mobile accessibility, so if this is important to you, you should consider running your business with cloud-based software.
If your team has ever struggled to find a service order, customer history, or form, then you could definitely benefit from implementing field service management software. This type of software is designed to make it easy to locate the information you need so that you can serve your customers more efficiently. In addition, field service software can also help you keep track of work orders and schedule appointments more easily. As a result, investing in this type of software is a wise decision for any business that relies on field service technicians to get the job done.
Do you find that you’re spending more time than you would like on creating estimates and handling your billing? If so, you’re not alone. Many business owners find that these administrative tasks take away from the time they could be spending on developing their product or growing their business. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make the estimate and billing process quicker and easier.
Have you been struggling to schedule (and reschedule) your field workers based on customer needs? If so, you’re not alone. Many businesses have difficulty with this. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make the process easier.
Do your workers frequently have to return to headquarters, or can they access the information and work orders they need remotely?
Many field service software suites offer a wide range of tools to help with common business operations. This can make it easier to get the job done and improve efficiency.
Grow your business: Technology is an enabler. By design, technology is supposed to help the end user become more efficient and effective. However, this only happens when users invest time in learning how to use the technology properly. When you spend less time coordinating and executing on back-end operations, you have the ability to grow your business.
Deliver better service: Your customers will appreciate it if you can schedule their jobs quickly and provide accurate estimates. They’ll also be pleased if you show up on time, give them status updates, offer convenient payment options, and make it easy to request your services. Field service software can help you with all of these things.
Get better organized: Running a service-based business can be noisy and overwhelming, but software can help you make sense of it all. Instead of trying to handle everything yourself, software consolidates all of your mission-critical data into a system that simplifies everything. This way, you can focus on running your business instead of getting lost in the noise.
Save time: A good field management solution will automate scheduling, invoicing, and dispatching tasks. Rather than relying on paper or a legacy system, it will complete these tasks automatically based on requirements that you’ve set. This will save you time and energy that you can put towards other areas of your business.
Reduce costs: A field management solution can be very beneficial to your company and bottom line. With features like schedule optimization, routing, and electronic forms, you can significantly reduce costs in areas such as overhead, fuel, and missed opportunities.
Any new software is going to take some time for you and your team to get comfortable with – this is only natural. After all, change can be difficult even when we know it’s for the best. With field service software, you’ll find that there are some big changes in store for the way your business operates. It’s important to keep an open mind during this time and trust that the process changes are being made with your business’s best interest in mind. Your team’s cooperation is essential for a smooth transition into using the new software. Most importantly, remember that what might have worked in the past might not be what works best now or in the future. Field service software is designed to help your business grow and become more efficient, so keep that in mind as you and your team adjust to the new way of doing things!
Choosing the right Field Service Software can be a daunting task. There are so many options out there and it can be hard to know which one is the best fit for your business.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when making your decision:
-What are your specific needs?
-How easy is the software to use?
-What is the customer support like?
-What is the price?
Too often, business owners try to tackle too many things at once when they first start out and end up becoming overwhelmed, causing them to quit before they’ve even got started. In order to find the right product for you, it’s important to match your specific pain points to potential features the product offers:
Are you tired of your current scheduling process?
Have you lost track of too many work orders?
Is your billing process taking too long?
Do you think your field workers could do more jobs each week?
Once you’ve made a list of your top pain points, look for solutions that can address them. There are a few ways to quickly determine if a product is going to be a good fit for you, such as reading customer reviews or speaking to a representative from the company.
When you’re looking for a software vendor, it’s important to choose one that will help you manage the migration process and make changes seamlessly. A good software vendor will be responsible for tasks such as data migration (if applicable), integrations with other systems like accounting or payroll software, training your team, and providing ongoing support. This way, you can focus on running your business without having to worry about manual, time-consuming, and error-prone processes in your workflow.