Choosing the Right Field Service Management Software
The advent of technology today is massively transforming the way organizations do business and how they build relationships with customers. Every touchpoint of the business process brings an opportunity into identify new challenges, glean important insights, and retain customer loyalty.
While field service management companies are not excluded from the digital transformation bandwagon, it’s evident that field service operators are bound to experience their own unique challenges in dealing with siloed teams, outdated systems and new management software’s that can be hard to understand or even get used to . Anyone from service agents to technicians and managers all have a horror story of a field service experience gone wrong.
The first step in choosing the right solution is to evaluate the current business plan. Its also important to identify issues and pain points in the business process. When we find the source of our problems, its easy to find a solution that fixes these problems.
Here are some of the most common problems in field service management that we hear about:
“Our technicians find it hard to execute work orders with little knowledge of the equipment details, lack of instructions and/or no clear overview on the work history.”
“The planning is less efficient when it’s on paper or excel sheets making it harder to keep track of each technician and work order.”
“We need a better way to communicate effectively with our customers on schedules and billing invoices.”
“We find it hard to keep track of each technician’s location which causes delays in our operations.”
“How can we integrate other parties and subcontractors into our business process?”
There are several criteria’s to think about when choosing the right type of field service software that is able to solve some of the most common problems. With years of expertise in the automotive and heavy equipment industries and speaking to our customers facing these problems head on, we understand how crucial it is for these software’s to be reliable.
Flashy Features VS User Experience
During sales pitches, many companies are impressed by the dizzying number of features a certain FSM software has to offer and many times, managers think having more and more of these flashy features can automatically result in higher performances of a company. It’s important to note that companies need to only buy the software they need to effectively improve business now and for the future. Having features you don’t need results to more complexity, which workers may find difficult and overwhelming. In most cases, employees give up learning the software features and prefer to go back the old way. Remember, overbuying on a certain service has the potential to drive up costs.
Keeping Technicians in The Loop
Field service technicians are front liners to any field service management company and its very important to always keep them trained and informed on the deployment of new software’s. When management doesn’t properly assess the requirements needed from experienced field service technicians, this can cause such unwieldly burdens. There have been cases of companies purchasing dedicated hardware that might not support certain systems that can’t be customized. Oftentimes, management overlooks taking advice from the front liners and picks a solution that can be overcomplicated.
It doesn’t matter how capable the software is, if it can’t be used efficiently, it’s not going to work. Real world testing and in-depth analysis is the best way to avoid costly mistakes. The service provider should investigate current systems carefully to determine what works and what’s needed to solve the businesses problems.
Neglecting Past Bottlenecks
Many organizations think technology is the answer to complex process problems. Sometimes, this is true but often, the process needs to be re-engineered so bottlenecks, data flow channels, integrations issues and other problems are resolved. Implementing new FSM software without fixing underlying process problems or engaging the right integration stakeholders can reduce operational efficiency and pose as a risk to the overall business. It’s imperative to review current processes and deploy a software that seamlessly solves past bottlenecks.
Anticipating Future Needs
Sometimes, businesses invest in old systems when new systems could be developed and deployed for much less. Old system processes that work in silos can get intertwined with other new system processes and eventually makes the overall process look like a giant Frankenstein. As time passes, and businesses adopt digital transformation initiatives, deploying systems that communicate effectively with each other allows the business to reduce pain points and grow with time. FSM’s that work on cloud-based platforms over server hosted solutions allows the organizations to easily manage its own data storage and cuts the high cost of spending on hardware systems.
Annata 365 For Field Service extends its out-of-the-box functionality provided by Microsoft with industry specific capabilities that supports organizations in the automotive, heavy equipment, rental and fleet industries.
Creating a Holistic Continuum of Engagement and Experiences
Annata 365 Field Service integrates to and leverages the standard features of Dynamics 365 Field Service, as well as providing extensive additional features such as equipping mechanics and operators with 360 degree information to detect issues in real-time, troubleshoot issues remotely and resolve problems while keeping customers informed of every interaction of the service. The interactive schedule board on Annata 365 Field Service helps dispatchers assign work orders to the best resources based on location, availability, skill set, priority, and many more. The schedule board is extensible and can be used to schedule anything within Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement, including work orders, sales orders, projects, and custom entities.
These built in customer centric solutions that places the organization at the centre of all service interactions, allowing companies to retain loyalty and advocacy of customers.
The Future of Field Service is Going Mobile
Embracing mobile technology in your field service operations will be the best decision for the growth of your organization. Adopting mobility when choosing the right field service solution not only bridges the gap between field service technicians and back office operation but also increases customer satisfaction with the efficiency of each task.
Annata 365 Field service allows technicians to easily work using mobile apps to view work schedules, update details on assigned jobs, inspect faulty devices during site inspections, take pictures of each device, capture customer signatures and generate inspection reports on-the-go.
Annata 365 Field Service allows managers to optimize team routes by assigning the right technician to the job based on skill or location. This gives the technician the ability to make the most of their time in the field. It also lets managers know the whereabouts of each technician at any given time and inform the customer of any possible delays or reschedules. Field service operations can also integrate all the data gathered from technicians into their management system for invoicing and billing.
Going mobile improves communication makes any teamwork more efficient. empowering them to deliver a superior customer experience however complex the service.
Business Analytics for Field Service
Field service operators using the Annata 365 Field Service solution can also leverage on the extended capability of providing customer insights and advanced business analytics with Microsoft Power BI, a suite of business analytics tools that allows organizations to analyse data, share actionable insights and create rich, visual based reports.
The combined capabilities of Annata 365 Field Service and Annata Analytics allows organizations to react quickly to changing market, meet new opportunities and run multiple business models while automating all data and business processes.
Connected Field Service with Predictive Maintenance
Annata 365 Field Service allows service providers to intelligently collaborate and operate as one unified system with connected devices, IoT Infrastructure and cloud-based applications. Customers and technicians can now have a complete 360-degree view of all customer asset Information while providing scheduled maintenance at ease. This also allows technicians to identify, fine-tune and resolve issues quickly while improving resource productivity.