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Is Unintegrated Software Hurting Your Field Service Management Process?

4/25/18 10:00 AM


Unintegrated field service management systems are costly

Visual South engages with many clients simply because these businesses recognize their non-integrated systems are costing them a bundle to manually integrate and maintain, and limiting profitable growth. Typically, companies use an accounting system, and some combination of Excel and small stand-alone, third-party applications to address immediate needs, but those “Frankenstein” systems are costly and limiting. It would be easy to say this is hurting the user’s field service management process, but in many cases, there are no firm processes to hurt because there is no supporting infrastructure. However, there are many non-related and redundant tasks performed to manually tie information together.

Three prime examples of how unintegrated field service management software can hurt your company’s performance

1. Redundancy Mistakes

Mistakes are more likely to happen when the same data is entered into multiple non-integrated field service management systems. For example, hours could be inaccurately recorded against a job leading to under- or over-billing. Materials purchased and used may not be recorded against the corresponding service order. Correcting mistakes from redundant data entry takes unnecessary time. In the worst-case scenario, the mistake is never found. An integrated system will accurately capture labor in the field as it happens and purchases when and where they occur.

Related: How to Select Service Management Software

2. Slow Billing Cycles

We help many service-related companies that have exceptionally slow billing cycles. A slow cycle adversely effects cash flow; the goal is to bill for services performed immediately to receive payment as soon as possible. However, this is not an easy task. Let’s say you have field techs turning in manual time sheets on paper or in Excel. Then that information is manually entered into another spreadsheet to record both labor and materials for the service orders performed. Once the information is gathered, it is then conveyed to AR and manually entered into the accounting system so that invoices can be sent to the customer. Does that sound familiar? It does for many of the service companies we work with. You want a single field service management system that can address all aspects of the business from opportunity (CRM) to cash (accounting), such as Infor Service Management.

Manual and non-real-time processes can delay billing for 10-14 days. That is a significant amount of revenue that remains outstanding simply because your systems can’t support a more efficient and accurate process.

3. Inefficient Use of Field Techs

Your field techs are revenue-producing assets. The goal should be to maximize every minute of their work day. Areas of focus include scheduling the techs qualified to address the service order, optimizing routes, performing inventory and distributing materials, and selecting proper tools for the order. You want to grow the business without adding techs and to do this you have to be efficient. An integrated field service management system will provide for scheduling and dispatch, matching the right tech to the right job from both a qualification and geographic perspective. The last thing we want is to have techs driving needless hours versus being clocked in to the service order. You want your techs armed with mobile devices for maximum utilization, cost capture, visibility of unit configurations and history, and customer sign off.

Customers want the issue resolved quickly and accurately, and an integrated field service management system can help you address those critical goals. Many of your competitors have these systems and tools, and lacking the same resources puts you at a competitive disadvantage.

For complete information on how a fully integrated field service management software system can positively affect your business, please visit the Infor Service Management page on our website.

Visual South helps companies understand the tools available and ways to improve their service business. We are also happy to set up a free consultation to provide guidance on managing your ERP evaluation. Please reach out to us for a free assessment.

Tim O'Brien

Written by Tim O'Brien

Tim has over 20 years of successful experience helping companies improve their processes and operations using enterprise software solutions. Those enterprise solutions include Enterprise Resource Planning for manufacturers, Service Management for service oriented companies, and Enterprise Asset Management in the process manufacturing industry.