If your company installs, services, or repairs equipment on a client’s site or have other company assets deployed and dispatched off of your property, you fall under the umbrella of field services. This broad-based definition encompasses incredibly diverse business models, ranging from small business cleaning services all the way up to multinational mining operations. This vast set of enterprises led to a general failure of early field service management software.
Initial field service software offerings took a stab at job assignment and dispatch, but required cumbersome inputs for worker and equipment tracking. Most seminal offerings were geared towards mid-sized installation enterprises and fell short of the needs for both small businesses and large corporations. The weakness of the out-of-box solutions, high costs, and high technical knowledge required resulted in a fragmented market. Analysts estimate that these versions had a low market penetration of less than 25%.
Even if you looked at field service management software in the past, however, new breakthroughs in technology and accessibility have helped developers to create a new generation of software to track your assets. Flexible and intuitive, these products come at price points for any budget and are designed to be scalable with your business.
FSM Requirement Essentials
An excellent way to narrow your search for an appropriate FSM software solution for your company’s needs is to draft a lifecycle chart of your services. For example, does a client initiate the request? Does your company need to perform routine preventative maintenance on equipment?
For nearly all industries, basic requirements will include the ability to track the location of assets such as vehicles and equipment, manage each service technician on a high level, and easily plan and deliver field service scheduling to both clients and staff. The ability to dispatch and deploy technicians is an almost universal requirement for field service model businesses.
As many FSM industries are based on a fee-for-service model, consider closely your business requirements for back-office integration into billing systems, credit card capture, and mobile invoicing.
New FSM Software Technologies
If an early look at FSM software seemed cumbersome and ill-fit for your business, it’s definitely time to review the newest products on the market. Advances in GPS positioning, mobile platforms, customizable solutions, and a focus on client-driven development have led to a new generation of software that is intuitive, cost-effective, and easily deployable.
Look for cutting-edge services that provide instant dispatch and communication, push notifications and driving directions via smartphone integration, fluid apps for both customer and employee interaction, automatic positioning of individuals and vehicles, downtime predictions, and customizable integration with your MIS systems. For small enterprises, take a look at robust but fully mobile options that cost only dollars a month.