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Go from Reactive to Strategic in Field Service

By Kevin AriesFebruary 2, 2020
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With the help of technology, field service companies are thinking and acting more strategically, and digital transformation initiatives are proving to be key drivers for this shift for many of these companies.

Field Technologies’ special issue “Embracing Modern Field Service” dives deep into how and why a strategic approach that intentionally capitalizes on a broad range of digital tools can deliver big benefits in efficiency, customer experience, employee satisfaction and profitability.

Technology is a great enabler

In the report, leading industry analysts weigh in on the challenges, opportunities and impact of technology in the coming year. Aberdeen’s Tom Paquin observes that while technology alone can’t make an organization strategic, effective and successful, it can act as a great enabler when incorporated into a comprehensive plan that also aligns people and processes with the company’s vision.

As technology use becomes ubiquitous, its impact is seen less in terms of seismic shifts in field service. Instead, the focus is on how companies can best optimize the technologies they’ve implemented – and the data they’re capturing – to better engage with customers, customize experiences, collaborate and improve productivity and efficiency.

Prepare to tackle the challenges ahead

With new technology, from AR and IoT to mobility and telematics, constantly streaming into field service management, determining when and how to best incorporate it presents an ongoing challenge for organizations. Based on its survey of field service organizations, the Field Technologies report identifies these other top challenges:

  • Meeting growing customer demands and expectations
  • Optimizing efficiency of mobile workers
  • Employee engagement and development, which is increasingly important in a tight job market
  • Improving first-time fix/decreasing repeat trips to boost customer satisfaction and prevent multiple, costly truck rolls
  • Lack of real-time visibility, seen as key to meeting both customer and technician expectations

Reap the benefits of field service automation

Field service management software plays a critical role in helping organizations of every size gain powerful insights and better control over daily operations, vital to meeting these challenges and supporting new strategic initiatives.

Learn more about field service industry trends by downloading this free eBook.

Here’s how:

  • Going digital helps you provide faster service while lowering operation costs. Automating invoicing and work orders empowers you to generate custom documents on-the-fly from your office or phone, track billing and send real-time notifications to customers. As a result, you can save money, ensure accuracy, work faster, stay organized, communicate more efficiently with field technicians, raise productivity – and boost satisfaction levels of customers and technicians alike.
  • Streamlining work orders helps you stay organized. Optimize efficiency with field management solutions that enable you to easily schedule work, increase service speed and keep your employees in the know via push notifications, SMS and email.
  • Manage your jobs, schedules, inventory, proof of service and workers with ease. Less paper equals more speed, less wasted time and energy, and less frustration. With the right field service management solution, you can react quickly when urgent jobs or emergencies arise, instantly update your technicians, and get them from Point A to Point B quickly and directly.
  • Resolve scheduling issues before they become problems. The right software provides the agility your dispatchers need to see exactly where each driver is and who can be routed to handle emerging issues. Last-minute work orders and changes can be updated in near real time, eliminating confusion and stress for customers and technicians.
  • Working smarter makes technicians more efficient and customers happier. Technicians can automatically be assigned a vehicle as they check in for work and easily be on their way. They can also collect and store job-related data, photos and customer signatures on handy electronic forms. And the faster and more efficient technicians are, the happier customers are.
  • Seamlessly plan, dispatch and manage jobs so you can focus on serving customers. With a field service automation solution, you can intelligently plan for territories, worker and driver schedules, and dispatch based on resource availability, driver delays and customer SLAs. You can also measure your actual performance against planned work to pinpoint issues or trends adjust accordingly, help you minimize costs and maximize productivity.

Create a solid foundation for going strategic

43% of field service organizations surveyed by Field Technologies, a significant increase over last year’s 30%, say they plan to invest in field service management software this year. They zeroed in on six top selection criteria:

  1. The ability to integrate with back office systems (45%)
  2. The ability to work untethered or without connectivity (39%)
  3. Ease of use or having the software mapped to an existing workflow (36%)
  4. Real-time vs. batch communication (28%)
  5. The ability to configure/customize the software (27%)
  6. Security (27%)

Important as it is to select the solution that best matches your organization’s specific needs, it’s also essential to optimize its value. For example, the Field Technologies survey found that while more than three-quarters of companies rank improving the customer experience their top strategic initiative, most fail to utilize software functions that enable this.

In essence, the right solution puts the information you need to work smarter and faster right at your fingertips, whenever you need it. To ensure you invest in a solution with the potential to make a big impact long-term and align with your strategic objectives, the field service management solution you choose should not only meet your current needs, but also provide the flexibility required to help you create a successful path forward.

Download this Field Technologies special report to learn more about how field management and other technologies can drive your strategic approach – and your future success.

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Kevin Aries

Kevin Aries leads Global Product Success for Verizon Connect, helping build software solutions that optimize the way people, vehicles and things move through the world.

Tags: Customer Service, Data & Analytics, Dispatching & Scheduling, Field management, Billing & Invoicing, Fleet utilization, Productivity & Efficiency, Payroll, Routing, Team Management, Vehicle Maintenance, Revenue & ROI