Implementation of field service management software can enhance employee productivity by 33%.

The aim of any entrepreneur is to optimally use their human and non-human resources to achieve high customer satisfaction. Whenever a business is able to do that effectively, you can only expect success.

For those who have field processes, field service management software can be a game changer. This article will discuss the benefits this software can offer you.

What Is Field Service Management Software?

This is software that helps field service technicians deliver effective onsite services.

It does this by tracking requests, managing personnel, and maintaining visibility during operations. Some of the common features that come with the software include:

• Work order management
• Inventory management
• Scheduling
• Dispatch
• Fleet tracking
• Reporting
• Analytics

These features allow companies to enhance coordination between their offices, warehouses, and onsite personnel. This saves the business time and money while speeding up transactions.

Benefits of Using Field Management Software

Technology has revolutionized many industries and has introduced new ways of doing things. Field service management software pushes the envelope when it comes to service delivery. The following are some of the benefits it presents.

1. Increased Efficiency

Whenever you dispatch your filed personnel to a project, the software sends the task to their mobile devices. Among other things the dispatch message includes:

• The tools and parts they require
• Necessary contacts
• Contractual commitments
• Service history
• Applicable warranties
• The most efficient route to the site

What this means is that your personnel will have all the relevant information in their fingertips. This will allow for efficiency and timely delivery of services.

As they labor on, the software checks off every completed task on their mobile device. It keeps planners and informs managers about what is happening in the field in real time.

The software also allows field personnel to record service notes, labor expended, and resources consumed on their mobile devices.

The FSM solution also tracks and manages things such as refurbishments, equipment returns, reverse logistics, and depot repairs.

This allows it to advise you on decisions such as if it is cost effective to return equipment for repair or replacement rather than sending your technician to the field.

Moreover, accurate resources dispositions make sure that refurbished resources are not overlooked or scrapped.

2. Increased Accuracy

Having all field service management activities being handled by one tool enhances the accuracy of your data and decisions.

For instance, field service management software enhances the precision of inventory tracking in the service supply chain.

This is because it records whenever parts are taken from stock or when they are taken from suppliers. This ensures the optimal placement of parts as well as accurate stock management.

This also helps in work planning. For instance, when you have such accurate inventory management, you will not have to make a lot of trips to the warehouse.

The software calculates the exact amount of tools and materials you need for a given period, so you do not have to return for more.

3. Responsiveness

When you do not incorporate intelligent tools in your processes, you will consistently be in a reactive state.

Situations in the field can change at a moment’s notice. This might cause your work plans to lose effectiveness. Necessary equipment or labor might be missing, or union laws might necessitate an extra worker.

The weather might not be in your favor, a task may take longer than expected, in addition to other unforeseen circumstances.

Using manual systems means that you will have to change your approach as these things occur. This will hinder you from being effective.

An FSM software offers you real-time communication that allows you to respond quickly to situations.

4. Oversight

This software allows you to have GPS tracking on your teams whenever they are on the field.

This enhances your oversight ability. For example, you can tell their precise location as well as the time they arrived. Thus, you will be able to know when a worker is not in the designated area.

Having such capabilities ensure that you can supervise your field personnel remotely. Thus, if someone is not doing as expected, you can take the necessary measures to rectify the situation.

5. Work Order Management

Work orders are both the bread-and-butter and one of the biggest challenges for service businesses. A work order communicates job details and invoicing between onsite personnel, office employees, and customers.

However, as with any other paper filing system, it can be unreliable. Without a proper filing system, these orders can quickly pile up, get misplaced, or not be completed.

Field service management software solves these problems by digitizing all functions involved in work order processing. The software allows both the technical and office personnel to effortlessly make new orders while searching existing ones digitally.

The software further eases work order processing by sending completed projects directly to invoicing or the client. It also matches the right skill sets to the right jobs.

When you have digital work order processing, you not only eliminate office desk clutter but also streamline operations for your crew and office staff.

6. Customer Relationship Management

Acquiring a customer is hard, retaining them is even harder.

Software for field techs can help you with both. Businesses usually lose clients due to disappointing customer experiences. This usually comes in the form of late appointments, canceled meetings, double bookings, and more.

All these leave a bad taste in a customer’s mouth, and they might start looking to your competitors for services.

An FSM software ensures that this does not happen through its scheduling feature. It offers real-time information to onsite personnel, which allows them to assess each situation timely.

This ensures that there is no miscommunication thus keeping the client happy. Improving your customer experience has a direct positive effect on customer lifetime value and revenue.

7. Analytics and Reporting

All the data that the FSM software collects allows you insights into your processes. You are able to see where resources are being wasted, thus allowing you to make the necessary changes to improve your processes.

You Can’t Go Wrong with Field Service Software

Field service management software can improve your business by making it more efficient. It streamlines the processes of every person in the company.

This enables you to provide services in a timely and efficient manner, thus minimizing resource wastage and improving profitability.

Do you have FSM software in your company? Try it today and experience its benefits.

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5 Simple Steps to Getting Started in The Cloud

All start-ups and small businesses have heard that the cloud is everywhere and can transform your business. But what is it and what can it do? Cloud-IT specialists Principal have the answers.

Confusingly, the cloud is used by providers, software sellers and businesses who want your money as a catch-all term for a variety of things. It can become quite complicated, but it doesn’t need to be.

The cloud is basically an on-demand storage or software resource that you can access immediately through the internet.

Tech giant IBM offers a handy definition of the various different types of cloud applications which is a good place to start. It’s likely that after reading that you’ll have more questions than you started with. To help, here are 5 simple steps to getting started in the cloud.

1. Pick your cloud

The first thing to clarify is, like the sky above, there isn’t one cloud – there are infinite numbers of potential clouds. As a business, you need to configure one that works for you.

As a small business you will want to focus on how the cloud can benefit you. For most, that’s likely to be moving certain data and applications to the cloud.

The first step is to analyse your data centre usage. This audit can identify your current software and storage requirements, enabling you to identify areas that could be better served in the cloud.

It’s important to recognise that to work any proposed move needs to improve efficiency and be cost-effective.

The bottom line is, if it won’t save you time or money, then think again.

2. Solid security

The cloud is as secure – if not more secure – than your own proprietary network, but you still need to be cautious.

Once you’ve identified the information and software you’d like to be hosted by the cloud then take the time to assess what this means for security.

The Data Protection Act and European Data Protection Regulation all have implications for how you manage and store data, and how you select your partners too – more on that below.

3. Simple strategy

Once you’ve done the groundwork, you can begin straight away. Microsoft, Adobe, SAP are just a couple of the huge names who have moved to providing software via the cloud. Dropbox is a leading name in cloud storage, but isn’t the only one.  All you need to do to get started in the cloud is get your credit card out and sign up.

If you do though, you could be making a mistake. According to tech bible ZDNet, what most cloud projects miss is a strategy – and we agree.

A solid cloud computing solution needs structure. This will help create a system that works for the organisation and your customer. It is also built with the future in mind, growing and developing as your business does.

4. Cloud culture

Your implementation strategy is important. Equally important is how your organisation embraces the cloud. It’s all about culture.

The cloud offers freedom to access information, work collaboratively, remotely and at all times of the day. But it comes with some new risks. These are particularly important to recognise as employees increasingly use their own devices for work.

Businesses need to develop working practices and approaches that are fit for the new world of the cloud. You’ll need to introduce new staff guidelines for document sharing and storage to help you and your employees work in a new way.

5. Provider or partner

If you’re tech minded it’s relatively easy to set-up a personal cloud, but you need to explore whether it’s the right approach for you.

Focusing solely on individual providers can leave you with a fragmented cloud system, with complex and inefficient interdependencies between different pieces of software from different providers.

In the end, you could end up paying for a system that far more complicated than the one it replaced.

One way of avoiding this is working with a partner who can help you configure a cloud solution that works for you. They can also take care of some of the security and access issues, helping you devise a strategy for success.

A successful transition to the cloud needs some thought and some planning, but genuinely does have the power to transform the way you work – increasing productivity, efficiency and profit.

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