Organizations that deal with service delivery understand the importance of increasing visibility and accountability while managing physical and human resources that aren’t in-house. This is a problem that has plagued enterprises from time unknown and, until recently, they were reliant on emails, spreadsheets, and the word of the employee in question. There had to be a better way.
The Need for Field Service Automation
To be fair, emails and spreadsheets were the way that most organizations dealt with every process, not just field service management (FSM). However, where FSM suffers the most is that it deals with more variables than other processes. When you send a human resource out to the field, you deal with so many variables (like their attendance, what kind of transportation they use, what route they use with the transportation, their mobile connectivity, data requirements, etc.) that it becomes nearly impossible to keep track of by someone sitting in-house on their own. What further complicates things is that all these variable costs add-up in ways that ultimately cripple your bottom-line and customer satisfaction.
Field service management faces a few major issues that hamper service delivery and contributes to lower ROI:
- Incoherent employee communication
- Complicated scheduling and dispatch
- Remote inventory management
- Customer and work order management
- Employee tracking and performance
- Over-worked and under-skilled resources
A capable FSM automation tool can alleviate all these issues at once, and do more.
Growing Adoption of FSM Software
Although slower to adopt technology than many other sectors, field service management reached a tipping point around 2013, when 57% of the companies surveyed by Aberdeen group indicated that poor resolution times due to on-field inefficiencies resulted in lower customer satisfaction and retention. Combined with the growth of technology in areas such as messaging apps, the cloud, IoT, wearable devices, and mobility, FSM software was able to evolve. The road was paved for automation software that could eliminate human errors, miscommunications, delays, and incorrect information, and provided a sync between Project Managers/HR teams and on-field resources. Flexible SaaS payment modules also helped drive the adoption of FSM software by smaller companies. Today, it has been estimated that the global FSM software market will reach a net worth of $3.5 billion by 2019.
The Impact & Benefits of FSM Automation
The field service industry is rapidly progressing as FSM software streamlines existing processes. An example of this can be found in UPS, the world’s largest package delivery services that saved nearly $300 million by adding route optimization software to its vehicles.
Opting for an FSM automation tool provides benefits like:
- Efficient scheduling and dispatching (including redirecting technicians to customers based on expertise, location, and availability).
- Providing a singular window of visibility into all resources (including integration with backend systems like CRM, accounting, and inventory management).
- Comprehensive data analytics that provide insights into customer behavior and the ability to make better predictions.
- Technician location tracking with real-time job updates and vehicle tracking with GPS route optimization.
- Customer portals that facilitate real-time communication with technicians via messaging.
- Integrated payment processing and invoice generation.
- Regulatory compliance at every stage.
Evolution is Key for Survival
A recent survey by CSG International noticed that 89% of companies wanted an “Uber-like” tool that can track on-field technician locations and estimated arrival times. Around 86% of them also agreed to pay a premium for the services offered if they had increased options like choosing specific on-site arrival times, one-time resolution, flexible appointments, etc.
As such, if your business fails to leverage such technology, you risk losing your competitive edge. Don’t wait till it’s too late. Download our FREE guide on end-to-end field service management for a comprehensive guide on everything FSM can do for you.
ProV is a key partner to IFS. We implement, deploy, and supports IFS Applications™ for businesses in various industries including Aerospace & Defense, Energy & Utilities, Offshore Oil & Gas, and Engineering. Our expertise lies in configuring IFS tools to meet our clients’ needs and quickly adapt to change. Drop a comment below or contact us today to gain more ROI from your on-field resources today.