Field Service Management is the center-point of every industry that offers field service of any kind to their customers/clients. Until 10 years ago such industries were driven by a huge number of field workers and an equally huge number of back-office employees who would engage with their customers, inform the technicians about customer requirements and a ton-load of paperwork regarding all the details of the job and more. The entire back-office process could be termed a ‘nightmare’ and the amount of time wasted in validating the entire flow was not only tedious and mundane but also time consuming and you know how important each and every second is when it comes to business!
We’d already been living in the age of ‘information’ but to the world, it seemed that simply collecting information wasn’t going to make a difference and hence we transcended to the ‘smart’ age. In the last few years, with the advent of the smartphone, the need to carry a bulky system around everywhere to make your enterprise mobile has even surpassed our thoughts. Smartphones have become so cheap now-a-days that every Tom, Dick, and Harry has it. Hence, the next question was ‘why not make it entirely mobile?’.
The world got revolutionized and so did marketplace. People rarely go to the local markets or grocery stores these days; they are more convenient with clicks. Mobile has transformed the consumers into ‘Aladdin’ who doesn’t even have to rub; it’s all tap – tap – tap. Technology can never make it this big if it cannot help the industry. In fact, the industry is what validates everything around.
Technology has changed the entire face of Field Service Management sectors. Papers have almost disappeared and so have most of the back-office desks. The field service technicians no longer need the help of others to know what the client needs and there’s no transitional loss in terms of communication since everything reaches directly to the technician. Also, with the advent of FSM software, an entire day’s job and the routes get optimized accordingly (thanks to google maps) saving a lot of time and confusion. But one of the finest things this new transformation has to offer is transparency and visibility.
Reports, billing processes and everything goes ahead and around with proper proofs, which is a win-win situation for both the employer and the employee since the trust factor is easily maintained, speeding up every process including payments; so whatever happens, happens in front of you. Honestly, even with all of these advantages computers were deemed to be unreliable sources since all this information were stored in the system run hardware that had the risk of crashing down and losing all their data. But with ‘cloud’ technology, unreliability will never be an issue and your data will remain forever and as long as you wish to.
Yet even with so much advancement, a lot of FSM software lag behind due to the repetitiveness of certain procedures and that too specifically when it comes to allocating jobs. A ticket has to be created every time there is a job and has to be individually assigned to the technician. Creating a technician’s profile is equally cumbersome and all the process that comes after allocation till the completion would want to make you pull your hair out. One word for it – repetitititititive. Yes, exactly! This repetitiveness is as odd as my spelling sounds.
Hence, what solution providers need to be focusing on the moment should be to cut down on this kind of monotonous processes and let the system handle the ‘boring’ stuff. The problem is not just that we are wasting time but also people and their skills. After all, technology is to make our lives easy and interesting. Smart solutions, smarter people!