Maximize Productivity with the Right Field Service Management Solution

Daniel M. Horton, CIO, Sallyport Global
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Daniel M. Horton, CIO, Sallyport Global

Daniel M. Horton, CIO, Sallyport Global

Regardless the size of your field operations team, utilizing the right Field Service Management solution will empower your organization to work smarter, better, and faster. Management of the field service function has made leaps and bounds from the manual process it was previously, with technology contributing substantially. This advancement is allowing a more productive experience compliment by automation, increased communication, and accessibility of essential data.

More companies are investing in a reliable solution to get better insights and control over this everyday function while increasing employee productivity, client satisfaction, and performance. Field Service Management products have enabled a far more streamlined process by automating key processes, and placing valuable information in their employee's fingertips, whenever it is necessary. Ease of accessibility of this critical data permits quicker, more reliable decision making, and has favorably impacted businesses and their customers.

  Providing this degree of commitment to the client strengthens interactions by simplifying and streamlining communication between customers and personnel 

Lack of unification between the field and office should no longer be a pain point since your field employees will be capable of functioning outside of the office for longer intervals without a breakdown in communication. This real-time experience allows everyone to remain in-sync with work orders and permits your employees to work more proficiently and manage more calls while providing an increased degree of service. To help streamline operational procedures, there is also the ability to integrate into existing ERP and CRM systems to reduce manual or redundant data entry.

If you're operating a field service role and have not implemented a solution dedicated to streamlining that function, this is the time to get one set up. Deciding on the best solution can be time consuming, but since the product is an important area of the business and plays a part in so many areas, it's imperative to involve the right stakeholders right from the start. Decide on a team with representation from each piece of the business so there are knowledgeable team members that can present their requirements and discuss existing obstacles that need to be overcome. By appointing a project team and getting them alongside one another, you're less inclined to experience conflict later.

Much like any technology purchase, the main element to making an effective decision is to remain focused on the issues you want to resolve. I've always found it beneficial to develop a decision matrix that lists all the business requirements in a row and then devote a column for each potential software solution. As a team, determine the weight of each requirement and build a grading scale. After going through the evaluations, by the end of the exercise, the matrix will choose the solution that is the best fit for your requirements. This process also allows each team member to record their input for future reference.

Communication to the end-users throughout the implementation is key. It's important that you keep everyone informed in what is going on and the way the new system will support their function. Doing this will build anticipation and increase adoption levels. Selecting your Field Service Management solution should be used as an opportunity to make an announcement and celebrate the decision.

The capability of a Field Service Management system is as much for your customer as it is for your business. Customers can now submit their requests by using a mobile app, a web portal, or even by phone if that continues to be their preferred method. Once a request is submitted the customer can track its advancement and offer additional details or changes throughout the procedure. Providing this degree of commitment to the client strengthens interactions by simplifying and streamlining communication between customers and personnel. Their involvement in this process also ensures you can act quickly and efficiently to their needs. Fostering this type of relationship is a win-win situation that delivers a higher level of comfort with an increase in satisfaction.

Be sure to always partner yourself with a firm that is focused on the successful execution, training, and support of the product you have chosen. You are making a committed action for your business as well as your customers, so it is essential that you require the same degree of commitment from the solution provider. Deciding on a solution provider that is the best fit for your company is crucial and you ought to have absolute assurance in their capability to support you long term.

My last bit of advice is to ensure you implement a solution that provides the key features you need to streamline your processes rather than having a cumbersome manual entry system. This might appear evident, but it's an important necessity that the solution you are going to invest in is simple to use. Doing so will increase adoption levels and encourage usage. Ability to move online/offline options also needs to be a necessity considering the conditions field personnel can find themselves in. The mobile user interface should be benchmarked to the same standards, so be certain it is examined during the evaluation process.

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