Customer loyalty, reputational risks, as well as resource efficiency directly impacts the financial performance and growth of the company. Therefore, to successfully compete in the service business it is necessary to act proactively, reducing downtime to a predictable minimum and eliminating the cost of field service as much as possible. This is where service management software comes into play.
However, blindly choosing the first IT solution on the market does not bode well for the company. That is why it is important to understand the core features and the very essence of the FMS solutions.
What Is Service Management Software?
Payment terminals, access control, and video surveillance systems, printing service, electronic queues, coffee machines, and climate control systems – this is by no means a complete list of devices that require timely and high-quality maintenance.
The more equipment and services you have, the more difficult it is to efficiently allocate resources to support them and the higher the chances of increasing costs.
The best way for dealing with such risks is field service management software. Unlike Enterprise Service Management solutions, which automate back-office processes, FSM is tailored to the business needs of the company that manages the repair and maintenance of various remote facilities, and employees who are constantly on the road.
Today’s cutting-edge companies are eagerly adopting solutions that solve the problem of automating field service. Some of the mainstream solutions are HelpDesk, Service Desk, BPM (Business Process Management) solutions, and specialized FSM solutions.
In other words, when it becomes difficult and expensive for a business to work with on-site staff or control the placement of equipment or other devices, then FSM could be a life-saver solution. In this case, FSM software has features that use various mobile technologies and the Internet.
Who Can Benefit From Fsm Implementation?
Any business that depends on a distributed network of devices that require maintenance can benefit from FSM solutions.
This can include vending boxes and security systems – video surveillance, and access control systems – refrigeration equipment for restaurants and hotels, maintenance of air conditioners, cash registers, ATMs, professional and corporate coffee machines, vending machines in parks, and other systems that require constant field service.
Another area of FSM application is cleaning, repairs, trucking, off-site computer help, and private clinic with doctors on-call or delivery companies.
Any of these services imply the need to manage dozens of specialists who are constantly on the road, especially if it is associated with the need to monitor the condition of remote equipment. Therefore, classical ticket systems, even adapted for the needs of mobile services, are not quite suitable for productive management of the field services.
FSM features, in turn, should consider a greater number of factors such as staff competence, schedule, location, availability of specialized equipment, or stock of materials. All of this will allow optimizing the company’s field service processes as much as possible. So what are the most important features that FSM software should have?
Top Features for FSM Software
If you are looking for service management software it is important to follow up on all the important functionality with your software development partner. Some of the most important features to consider are the following.
Work with requests: Ability to integrate incoming requests with customer systems – that way you won’t have to input all the requests manually; history of change of requests with the possibility of tracking who worked what, where, and when; ability to parse and import requests through the mail.
GPS-monitoring of field personnel: GPS-monitoring of employees and displaying their actual position on the map; employees’ coordinates from the mobile application; ability to see on the map not only the location of employees but also requests, with the possibility of their distribution to employees according to their qualifications.
Mobile application for field staff: it should support iOS and Android smartphones and have the exact same features; offline mode; built-in chats; ability to add not only photos but also video files with a description of the problem to the request.
Check-lists: An ability to submit a request with a check-list while filling it out; prohibit adding photos and videos from the gallery, only from the camera – this will help prevent reuse of photos and falsification of results.
CRM-Features: Keeping client’s data and payment information; feature that allows linking serviced equipment to the company.
Work with schedules: Allocation of requests according to the schedule of employees on the map, displaying the rating of employees in the schedule.
Notifications: SMS, Push.
Automatic request allocation: here you can adjust all the features to your needs. For example, should the system select an employee depending on skills, types of work, and schedule?
Work with equipment and service objects: a database of different equipment; automated calculation of the work costs in the mobile application when closing the request; the feature to view the history of equipment maintenance; integrated list of employees that are capable of fixing the equipment; binding QR or NFC to the equipment.
These are basic yet fundamental features and practices that should help companies implement field service management software, automate services, or choose an FSM solution.
For field service companies, it is a must-have solution that increases customer loyalty, reduces costs, and offers other competitive advantages in the market through process optimization and automation.