The new technological solutions for Field Service Management, or FSM, guarantee an agile and efficient performance of the workforce, especially in maintenance tasks and customer service, regardless of distance, location or geographical difficulty.
The efficient management of a technical team, especially in the field, is one of the most complex operational tasks of any company, because it involves variables traditionally registered and monitored by human supervision.
The use of spreadsheets such as Excel, or similar, partly optimized this weakness, although it did not allow to completely overcome the risk associated with negative factors such as poor communication, delays, and delivery of incorrect or incomplete information. This inevitably translates into complications, failures and multiple errors.
However, the massification of mobile technology and connectivity allowed the design of new technological solutions that today help to manage, in a simple and efficient way, the performance of the workforce in the field.
These advances resulted in the development of modern Field Service Management programs, also known as FSM. This technology fully automates field operations, using digital applications and mobile systems that speed up processes and minimize the risks of failures and errors.
Technically, an FSM software is any system designed to keep track of the various components that make up a field operation. This includes everything from inventory management and vehicle tracking, to task scheduling and customer service, among many other variables.
Control of these tasks is generally carried out through a cloud-based portal, which is accessed from any connected mobile device, even if the teams work in the field.
To cover the external service of a company, an FSM application combines different IT tools, such as GPS, Cloud Computing, Internet of Things (IoT) and use of mobile devices, among others.
In practice, this translates into the integration of a wide variety of tasks, such as:
- Remote monitoring of technical equipment.
- Scheduling and monitoring of work orders.
- Inventory management.
- Management of inspection visits.
- Communication with the customer.
- Integration of invoices.
- Driver tracking (using GPS).
- Document shipments (such as Work Orders and Purchase Order).
- Analysis of data.
- Mobile access through a cloud-based platform.
Advantages and benefits of FSM
This technological advance automates field operations, allowing more efficient monitoring of scheduled tasks. Simultaneously, companies also save storage costs by centralizing information in the cloud, which also reduces paper use and improves monitoring.
In the same way, the administration staff working from the offices, can accelerate vital actions such as updating service tickets, and coordinate changes in the daily work route of the teams.
In turn, field technicians receive instructions in real time, and can exponentially accelerate their ability to respond to unforeseen requirements.
The efficient application of Field Service Management technology also significantly improves the relationship between company and customer, thanks to innovative forms of total interaction. This, in turn, modernizes the way in which organizational leaders understand and define the “customer experience.”
This level of innovation translates into various practical and operational benefits.
More efficient management
It improves the productivity of both managers and technical teams, thanks to the incorporation of algorithmically improved programming, and access in real time and from any device, to a greater amount of data. Supervisors can also more easily monitor job status through online analytics and live video feeds.
Field Service Management technology allows field service teams to provide excellent care and promptly answer any questions or queries from customers, streamlining the service chain. For example, customers no longer expect technicians to call around to fix an unforeseen event. And in turn, technicians access valuable backup information in real time, such as service tickets, sales data or customer billing history.
Intelligent use of human and technological resources
FSM technology has created new ways to make the most of and control the resources of companies, including vehicles, heavy machinery, tools, inventories of parts and pieces, route optimization, driving records, fuel consumption, and vehicle maintenance used to move teams to the field, among other various variables.
Integrate to innovate
Cloud-based Field Service Management solutions improve online integration and real-time communication between all departments in the organization. This reduces gaps in the internal knowledge chain, speeds up team response times, increases productivity, and increases customer satisfaction.
Multiple application possibilities
High-quality Field Service Management software has transformed field resource management in virtually every strategic area of the economy. For example, trucking companies use them to eliminate driving inefficiencies, saving fuel and increasing overall productivity.
Telecommunications companies, in turn, can optimize smart fleet management scheduling, reducing losses and customer complaints.
Engineering and construction companies, meanwhile, can better track their equipment maintenance needs, closely monitoring the progress of repair or replacement jobs, as appropriate.
And even modern medicine, so transcendent in the current context, has also benefited greatly, since doctors, nurses and paramedics now have accurate medical records in real time, thanks to the use of FSM applications on their mobile devices.
Maximum customer experience
Field Service Management software enables technicians to deliver more personalized customer experiences. In addition, it provides integrated data and comprehensive analytics that help decipher patterns in customer behavior for better future predictions. This helps, for example, to simplify predictive maintenance tasks.
This multiplicity of positive factors makes companies that manage teams in the field increasingly interested in adopting the FSM technology.
International experts estimate that this level of demand will reach US $ 4.45 billion in the year 2022, which represents an increase of more than 400%, compared to the records of 2016 (when the market reached an income of US $ 1.78 billion).
Currently there are multiple FSM solutions, which can be classified according to the scope of their technology, or by the sector to which they are directed.
The selection of the most appropriate will depend on the needs of each company, which can range from mobile applications to capture data in the field and platforms with centralized scheduling panels, to automatic analysis of new sales opportunities.
A highly specialized solution for field data capture and management, as well as related process automation, is Data Scope’s Keyword Field Service Management software. This allows to efficiently manage the work of the teams in the field, regardless of the location or geographical distance. Thanks to its multiple functions, users can optimize critical tasks such as creating digital forms, gathering information, transferring data, generating reports and analyzing data, among other multiple variables.