Before we answer the question: what is field service management, let us explain what is field service!
What Is Field Service?
Field service is the work done away from a company’s property. It deals with the employer dispatching their skilled employees to the “fields” for technical support, installation, repair and/or maintenance of equipment and systems.
The field can be a client’s location or any location where the client has set up a project, be it commercial or industrial.
While your idea of field service may limit to technicians working to fix a cable network or an electrician working on a power line, in reality, it is not limited to these traditional jobs. Today, the field service landscape is evolving like all other fields. About 80% of the jobs have evolved around field service including health care providers, educationists, sales representatives, real estate agents and beyond.
Now, what is field service management?
What Is Field Service Management?
In a nutshell, field service management is a management system that takes care of both: the employees and equipment; who work off the company property.
It works to optimize a company’s resources, be it manpower or equipment, by assigning work orders, scheduling them, dispatching employees for the required tasks, keeping connection with the employees in the field, managing the inventory for the field operations and collecting data from the field.
It also assists the administrative tasks at the company by streamlining the field operations and the related employees and equipment. It enhances the productivity of the company and aids in simplifying task handling at both ends – the office and the field.
The workforce is evolving, and so are their needs. If the companies do not cater to their evolving needs, they will be short of the required workforce. It has made the concept of field service complex. Employees today want flexible timings (not the traditional 9 – 5 jobs). They might not commit for a long-term period instead, they want to serve on a contractual basis. In addition, the companies are working in a hybrid mode catering to the needs of fixed-term employees along with contractors. This complex structure has made the need to use a field service management system evident.
Why Is A Field Service Management Important?
With the technological advent, companies have been handling their most crucial tasks in the fields. An appropriate management system is required to ensure all these tasks and related employees are working as per the company’s standards. An effective management system is crucial, therefore, to manage this complexity.
Field service management can help in traditional tasks like dispatching and assigning employees, scheduling field jobs etc. In addition, it can handle the following operational services also:
- Communication gap affecting the collaboration
- Billing cycle
- Inefficient scheduling and task assignment
- Lack of insight into the field operations
- Delay in dispatch and delivery cycles
- The data collected as a result of field operations can help in decision making
- Employee retention
- Compliance with the regulatory authorities
An efficient field service management system can help you with all this. However, a wrong decision can do the reverse. So, making the right decision is critical to the company’s performance.
What Are The Benefits Of Field Service Management?
As stated earlier, field service management can benefit your company at so many levels. The processes, tools and considerations incorporated in field service management are worth your money. Here are a few key benefits:
- Increased productivity – since the manual operations are replaced with the automated system, increasing employee productivity.
- Time-saving – its use helps save the time your employees spend documenting the details and can be invested in some other tasks.
- Improved decision-making – with the data available regarding task completion rate, inventory requirement, the time required or spent and expenses etc., the administration can make informed decisions.
- Enhanced employee experience – since all schedules, required resources and other necessary information are available at a centralized place, the employees can better focus on the actual job – the customers.
- Reduced overhead costs – the amount spent on scheduling and dispatching the resources and managing the inventory reduces, resulting in reduced overhead costs.
- Nominal benefits for employees and customers – reduced overhead costs translate into employee benefits, bonuses and reduced prices for the customers.
- Improved customer experience – field service management assigns the right employee at the right place, the schedules are accurate (no overlaps), and billing cycles are smooth. This results in efficient customer service.
What Are The Challenges Of Field Service Management?
Despite the benefits, field service management has some challenges. These include under-skilled field workers, a limited talent pool and growing operational costs. The lack of technological assets also adds to the challenges.
How To Choose Field Service Management?
Though it comes with a lot of benefits, choosing the right system for your company is essential to enjoy these benefits. Here’s how:
Take note of all the tools required by your field workers. Undergo examination of the software to see if it can automate schedules, enhance productivity, bridge the communication gap between field workers and the company as well as the company and the customers, and provide a centralized solution.
Field service management can benefit your company’s performance in the field by providing better administrative opportunities for your field employees. It also helps in keeping a record of the required equipment and other inventory. It enhances the customer experience resulting in building a good rapport with the clients. Choosing the right system is the key to all gain all these benefits.
But, which system will be suitable for your company?
It needs thorough consideration.
If you need help in choosing a field service management system for your company, feel free to contact us!