Field Service Software: An essential tool for your company to operate efficiently
Field service management (FSM) refers to the management of a company's resources employed at or en route to the property of clients, rather than on company property. Examples include locating vehicles, managing worker activity, scheduling and dispatching work, ensuring driver safety, and integrating the management of such activities with inventory, billing, accounting and other back-office systems. FSM most commonly refers to companies who need to manage installation, service or repairs of systems or equipment.
FSM software eliminates uncertainty and confusion in running your business. Instead of the costly headache of keeping up with multiple employees by whiteboard or Excel spreadsheet, FSM software makes scheduling and tracking easy and intuitive. It can also make your business more agile. With field service management software that has a native mobile app, your workers can receive assignments in the field, rather than having to return to a central location.
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Key features of Field Service Software
Scheduling and order management
Vehicle/technician location tracking
Job status updates
Route optimization and GPS navigation
Time tracking and driver logs
Knowledge and asset repositories
Parts and inventory management
Integrated invoicing/payment processing
Regulatory compliance measures
Benefits of Field Service Software
Stock Visibility. A modern field service management system can provide visibility across the mobile workforce, something which would simply be impossible with either a manual system or an older technology platform. A modern field service management system will also help you identify which items are fast or slow moving helping to further extend a ‘Lean’ approach to inventory management.
Job Scheduling. Effective job scheduling sits at the centre of the argument for almost all modern field service management systems but in practice these fall into two separate categories which should be understood when selecting the field service management system that is right for your business.
At one end of the scale there is the simple ‘Call Allocation’ model, it simply allows an operator to decide which engineer gets which job based on their own estimates.
At the other end of the scale is ‘Intelligent’ or ‘Dynamic’ scheduling which constantly rearranges the schedule automatically based on prescribed rules and data.
Finally there is a newer, third type of system that bridges the gap and is becoming increasingly popular which is referred to as ‘Assisted Scheduling’. This combines the other two systems in that it utilises rules based logic to provide a suggested schedule but is adaptable by the operator. Understanding which type of system will benefit your organisation the most is an important factor in choosing the best field service management system for your organisation.
Time to Invoice. Ten years ago a delay of between 6-8 weeks between an engineer visit and an invoice reaching the customer was common place. As with understanding inventory, such a delay can put unnecessary strain on the P&L. With a modern field service management system the ability to invoice on a same day basis, even when the engineer is still onsite is very much a reality.
Costing. Keeping a track on costs is an essential, vital and fundamental element of any business. However, for companies with a field service division it is perhaps less transparent and therefore harder to achieve. When workload doesn’t always necessarily mean profit then it is absolutely critical that you are able to have real-time access to the visibility of your costs alongside effective business reporting to allow you to measure and then manage. This is again a key benefit of a modern field service management system.
Customer Relationship Management. Knowing and understanding your customers is the most effective way of doing business with them. A modern field service management system combines all the widely accepted benefits of a CRM system with the unique information relating to each interaction for every customer, including interactions with the field service engineers.
The greatest advantage is that this information is also available to every member of your mobile workforce, allowing for greater service as well as ensuring service contracts are up to date so work isn’t given away for free.
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