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field service management software
The Improving Technology Behind Field Service Management Software
Which Industries Use Field Service Management?
What is Field Service Management Software?
How Did Field Service Management Software Come About?
The idea of field service management software grew from the analog tools, calendars, and printed information files and work orders that field agents would use to plan their schedules. These tools had little capacity for those agents to coordinate among each other or with the home office while in the field. The eventual introduction and proliferation of pagers and mobile telephones made it possible for agents to remain in touch with their managers and their customers, but this still relied on direct, two-way communication; in order for a schedule change to be implemented, one would have to contact the agent by phone, and relay that change verbally, which could lead to missed calls or miscommunications.
As computers became more prevalent, digital organizational tools replaced analog ones, allowing for more accurate record keeping. The advent of the internet then made it possible for more detailed information to be shared almost instantaneously with a large number of agents.
However, these advances did little to address the issue of mobility among field agents. After all, how advantageous is it to be able to make up-to-the minute changes to schedules if the agent in question can only access those changes from the home office? The real game changer for field service industries arrived with the introduction of mobile, internet-enabled devices and field service management software.
Basic Benefits of Mobile Field Service Management Software
Choosing a Field Management Software Solution
Added Mobility Allows Ultimate Flexibility
Smartphones are used in everyday situations, but especially in business. Given that the world’s number of smartphone users is expected to reach 2.7 billion in 2019, forcing agents to rely on other devices for important business communication doesn’t make much sense. The convenience of being able to use personal portable devices benefits not only the agent, but also the customer, who can enjoy up to-the-minute service updates that come from mobile device-based communication. But while many field management software options are accessible on mobile devices, only those that are designed to offer full functionality on mobile devices (rather than the limited functionality of interfaces borrowed directly from desktop platforms) provide all the benefits associated with mobility. As such, user reviews and trial usage periods are the best way to get a feel for how optimized for mobile-specific field service software options are.
Cloud Storage Is Now Commonplace
Although the cloud has become industry standard for the best field service providers, there are some that still rely on outdated batch processing methods and in-house computer servers. The cloud provides not only real-time updating across all devices, but also allows organizations to save money on expensive hardware installation. At the same time, cloud data is automatically backed up and stored offsite, so that no local threats (such as fires, floods, and so on) can endanger the system. And for field service management software, cloud-based systems are generally better able to integrate with existing company CRM and related systems, for a more streamlined overall process.
Ensure Scalability for Future Conquests
Work Order Management Made Easy
Before an agent can complete an assignment, a work order must be created. Work orders provide the instructions and other details needed for fulfilling a particular job, but even more than that, work orders are used to assign personnel and manage the scope of the agent’s responsibilities. Because of this, work orders are supremely important. Field service software increases work order effectiveness by instantly creating work orders as job details are acquired, assigning jobs based upon availability and skill set, providing customers with invoices to help keep them informed and up to date, and tracking job progress. In fact, work orders are so important that work order management is the most sought-after feature by customers of field service software solutions.
Taking the Office With You
Field Service Management Software and Your Business
What does this mean for your organization? The answer all depends on the direction you decide to go. By applying the benefits of advanced field service software, your business will gain a competitive advantage over those competitors who are not. On the other hand, if you choose to continue viewing your mobile workforce as something that needs to be maintained in the office, then you’ll likely end up left behind. With advanced field service software, agents can receive work orders, coordinate with decision makers and other agents, schedule appointments, and access relevant data, all in real time, for service that customers and agents can get excited about. After all, when agents need to go where the customers are, then it only makes sense that they take the office with them.