Field Service Management App: What Features Do You Need?

    5/9/18 10:00 AM

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    Choosing field service management apps can be easy

    The Visual South team frequently discusses the need for a foundation and process to ensure success when choosing enterprise systems. The same is true with field service management apps – if you have a plan, then it’s easy. If you don’t, then not so much. One way to hit that easy button is to learn how to select service management software as it will give you guidance on the steps to create a process and a plan.

    Three examples of field service management apps

    1. Field service mobile apps that route and dispatch techs

    Field service technicians are your most valuable revenue-producing assets. Applications that help them be the most efficient and productive should be provided, and an easy way to do that is to have optimized scheduling and dispatch functionality in your service management software system. The field techs can then get their daily schedules and appointments while on the road, creating an ease of communication and the best routes, so customer needs can be addressed as soon as possible.

    2. Field service mobile apps that show asset configuration and work history

    Maximizing efficiency and ensuring first-time repair success is critical. Once field service techs have been dispatched, the goal is to complete the work as quickly and accurately as possible. A great field service mobile app to have is one that shows current unit configuration and history of work completed on that unit. For example, let’s say your tech is working on a pump that is under a service contract. The tech will be able to see previous work done, including break-fix and preventive maintenance activities. The tech will also be able to see the current parts on the pump, such as serialized parts and parts under warranty. The ability to know what has been done, previously addressed issues, and specific parts can lead to decreased troubleshooting time and speed up the replacement part ordering process. In short, a good mobile application will allow for maximum time usage, shortened repair time, better customer service, and improved mean-time to repair.

    Get a single field service management system, such as Infor Service Management, that can address all aspects of the business from opportunity (CRM) to cash (accounting).

    3. Field service management apps that capture time and materials

    Another important app is one that allows for the tech to tell the service management system how long a service order took and what materials were used. These apps are great because a tech can use them to clock into the service order and issue materials from his service truck inventory or purchase those materials. As any Visual South team member will tell you, it is critical to tell the system what you did and what was used at the time of the activities -- not later when things are forgotten or memories fade.

    There are several benefits of capturing labor and materials:

    • You have accurate labor costs on an order and can measure labor efficiencies for that job and also for the entire day. You gain the ability to track direct labor time for your field techs, which is critical for managing resources.
    • You gain accurate material costs for that specific service order that can be rolled up to a service contract. Knowing what specific inventory is on the trucks increases inventory accuracy. This helps your purchasing and material management departments optimize inventory levels and reduce bloated inventory, which ultimately frees up cash to use in the operations.
    • Total service order costs are collected immediately, not later that day or at the end of the week (as is often the case with manual and paper-based systems). You get to invoice immediately, leading to a shortened billing cycle and increased cash on hand.

    In summary, there are many field service management apps that can help your field techs operate more effectively, increase customer satisfaction, and make your company more competitive.

    For complete information on how field service mobile apps and field service management software can positively affect your business, please visit the Infor Service Management page.

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

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    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.