What is Field Service Management Software (FSM) ?
In a general sense, FSM is a system for coordinating field operations through a mobile workforce. At a basic level, this entails scheduling service orders, dispatching agents, and tracking vehicle locations and job status. The right software solution helps automate these tasks and provide mobile access through a (usually) cloud-based platform. FSM is prevalent in numerous industries, but particularly those that employ mobile agents or contractors, such as waste management, critical maintenance, utilities, telecommunications, public sector transportation, and even in-home healthcare. On the wings of mobile innovation and affordable software-as-a-service (SaaS) deployment options, field service management (FSM) software has been expanding rapidly.
According to some estimation, the overall market could be worth as much as $3.52 billion by 2019. But many smaller businesses are still practicing paper-based FSM and may be unaware of available solutions.
Before you compare systems, you need to have a fundamental understanding of what the software does, what kind of organizations use it, and what the key benefits are.
field service management solution can vary greatly depending on industry and use intent, ranging from “best-of-breed” applications for order scheduling to all-inclusive product suites for enterprises. In general, you can expect to see some or all of the following capabilities in a standard platform:
Scheduling and order management
Vehicle/technician location tracking
Job status updates
Route optimization and GPS navigation
Time tracking and driver logs
Knowledge and asset repositories
Parts and inventory management
Integrated invoicing/payment processing
Regulatory compliance measures
It’s important to understand industry trends that revolve around particular FSM features or aspects of implementation. This awareness will help you choose a solution that offers the most value and longevity. Here are a few notable industry trends:
Field service is mobile by nature. In most cases, an agent has to be physically on site to complete a work order or asset pick-up. The technology that best supports field service workflows is usually the technology that’s built to travel. Instead of re-entering data at the office, many field agents now work from tablets and smartphones, update job statuses while they do the work, print invoices and forms on a mobile printer, or even obtain digital customer signatures on their mobile devices.
In recent years, the introduction of software-as-a-service (SaaS) pricing models has made FSM an attainable pursuit for even smaller service companies, which gives them a chance to compete against larger corporations. Examples might include window cleaners, landscapers, or plumbing and HVAC technicians. Instead of paying for an expensive upfront license and even more expensive IT infrastructure, businesses can pay a monthly subscription fee to access cloud-hosted FSM software. SaaS deployment also enables greater mobility, since the system is accessible from any device with a web connection, rather than an allotted physical network. A good example of this is FIXSYS
Integration with back-end system:
Field service doesn’t exist in a vacuum, especially for teams who work directly with customers. Their task is to hand-deliver a solution—whether that be equipment repair, installation, or regular maintenance—in a way that is helpful and convenient for customers. If your agents don’t have access to the right information, accounts, and back-end systems, they can only do part of the job, which leaves customers partially satisfied. That’s why many companies are now adopting solutions with built-in access to other core systems like customer relationship management (CRM), inventory, and accounting. With better integration, field agents can deliver true end-to-end service.
Benefits and uses of FMS Software
Organisations that uses FSM software have seen an increase in jobs completed per day as high as 47 perent, which represents strong improvements in job efficiency. Service companies can leverage FSM to add value and cut costs in several other key areas. As customer grow savvier and more selective about the products and services they pay for, field service will become an increasingly competitive industry. An organisation’s ability to deliver fast, efficient solutions through a mobile workforce may be the difference between leading or trailing their competitors.
“Field service management software is no longer a secret weapon wielded by enterprises; it’s a necessary tool for survival, and one of the best gifts you can give your agents.”