Field Service Management (FSM) Complete Guide

Field Service Management Complete Guide 12 December

Businesses require ample of software and tech in order to advance their motives. Without appropriate technology in hand, companies can fail to operate efficiently, compete in the market, and harness new opportunities. It can be difficult for businesses to provide efficient resources to their employees for working. Accordingly, organizations have now started to employ various software in order to work more effectively.

One such software is the field service management software. This software can make the most crucial operation of the business automated. Paper-based FSM is not only inefficient, but it also makes it very difficult to work on a particular job in a timely manner. Therefore, it is worth employing this software in order to make your operations more efficient and effective. But before you can do so, let’s understand what exactly does this software do and how you can benefit from it.


What Is Field Service Management (FSM)?

A field service management system is an operation by which the company’s resources can be managed effectively on the property of the client instead of the company itself—for instance, locating vehicles, billing, integrating activities with inventory, scheduling, dispatching, and management of the worker’s actions. FSM is particularly essential for companies that are responsible for repairing systems, managing installation, or merely providing on-site services. FSM can also loosely refer to the software and cloud-based platforms employed for field service management.

Some industries where this system is employed include:

  • Heaving engineering, industrial, and manufacturing industries where technicians are dispatched for maintenance and repair
  • Gas utilities in which engineers are required to investigate and repair leaks
  • Healthcare in which mobile nurses provide in-home support for disabled and elderly
  • HVAC industry where the technicians provide equipment and expertise to investigate units
  • Telecommunication and cable industry where the technicians may install cable lines or run phone lines to particular establishments

What is Field Service Management (FSM) Software?

Field Service Management Complete Guide

A field service management software is a software connecting and coordinating various field operations with the help of the mobile workforce. At the ground level, this software can be useful in assigning jobs, scheduling service orders, tracking locations of the vehicles, dispatching vehicles, and managing the inventory. The software is basically responsible for automating these crucial processes while providing mobile access with the help of a cloud-based platform. Some key features of FSM Software are as follows:

  • Initiating projects
  • Taking regulatory measures
  • Time tracking
  • Reporting
  • Workforce management
  • Contract management
  • Route Optimization
  • Job Costing
  • Maintaining Customer Portals
  • Integrating invoicing processing
  • Inventory management
  • Communicating with customers
  • Sharing job data
  • Managing product availability

The Current Impact of FSM

A field service management software allows the employees to improve the way they work and enhance their relationship with the customers. As already state, paper-based management is not practical since it is very time-consuming. It can also not be helpful because it might lead to errors. This is why it is crucial to have an automated system in place in order to improve the way most essential operations in a business are undertaken.

When the systems are automated, employees from different locations can easily access critical information and provide adequate services to the customers. In case of any delays and setbacks, the status updates can be performed in order to transmit the updated work plan to not only to the customers but also the management of the company. In case the technician is behind schedule because of any reason, another employee can be deployed to take care of the work. Similarly, if the technician is unable to find the location, the company can locate the vehicle and provide information about the available routes.

According to some studies in scholarly literature, customers now expect these services to be part of the company’s operations. As the use of technology is becoming more widespread, customers expect that such tech will be available to the company in order to facilitate their operations. Innovation in the marketplace is quite common that makes it ever so crucial for the companies to upgrade their processes.


The Field Service Management Software (FSM) Market in 2020

field-service-management-complete-guide

The field service management software marketplace amounted to almost USD 3.14 million in 2019. The rising growth of this industry reflects that its total value will continue to increase at a steady rate. According to some speculations, the full value of the market will become USD 7.05 million by the year 2025. The field service management industry is increasing with the need for cost-effective and timely solutions. Many services show that there is complete storage of the field service workers in some of the most competitive markets such as the US and Europe. This is pertaining to the changing demographic conditions and increasing technology. Accordingly, with the shortage of skilled workers, the need for such a software is rising.

Due to the changing nature of the industry, today, companies making this software are using various pricing strategies. By doing so, they are able to survive against the competitive marketplace. The software vendors are now focusing on customer-centric strategies. The preference for software-as-a-service is increasing as compared to the traditional on-premise software. This is due to the increasing demand for much more efficient services. The growth of cloud computing in the field service market as also made this software very important. These solutions decrease the need for on-paper external services.

Many companies in wide-ranging industries are now using the industrial Internet of Things for their services. Machine learning is also providing competitive advantages to these industries, as they are able to execute their operations successfully. Recently due to the emergence of the global pandemic, organizations are focusing on such solutions even more because they allow for remote working effectively.


Benefits of a Field Service Management (FSM) System

Benefits of Field Service Management

There are numerous benefits of employing such a system. Some of them are highlighted below:

Customer Service and Experience

Customers require efficient communication channels with the companies they are working. They want to ensure that the workers will arrive at the location at the required time and will work effectively, as promised by the company. However, unexpected delays can occur at any time. In this regard, companies should have some alternative options in place to ensure that the delay does not cause any issue to the customers. Accordingly, a field service management software is such a solution. In case any worker is unable to reach the location at a particular time, the matter can be communicated quickly to the management who can then deploy another employee to the site depending upon the schedules.

Inventory Management

Companies can use this software to easily track what products are available and which ones need to be reordered. Many companies make a mistake of accepting orders even when they are not sure there are products in the inventory or not. On the other hand, some companies order ample amount of products that might not even be used. In this regard, the inventory management system can help companies in managing their stocks much more effectively and in a timely manner.

Work Order Management

Work order management can help in managing different work-related processes and eliminating communication. When the work is assigned, the name of the technician can be recorded and stored for future purposes. Everyone can see who is responsible for the job and whether it is completed or not. The technicians can document any critical information about their work. They can take pictures, record audios, and make notes that can be useful in evaluating the work and providing information to the management, as well as the customers. When the work is completed, the technician can mark it in the system as well.

Scheduling and dispatch

Appointment scheduling software and similar technology are employed by the companies to help them managing job scheduling and dispatching. However, it is better to have a full-fletch system in order to take care of all the operations related to fieldwork. Organizations that seek to have efficient and smooth operations require such features in order to manage the schedules of the employees, see who is available in case of an emergency, and shuffle the jobs in case needed. In doing so, this feature also allows the company to know the expertise of the employees and make effective decisions.

Route tracking and vehicle maintenance

An essential feature of the field service management is the route planning. The field technicians are able to manage their routes, as well as the time and fuel. The administration can itself track the vehicles with the help of real-time using GPS. Many FSM solutions utilize these features in order to navigate through the routes and deploy the closest technician when scheduling the jobs. The management can also use this software to see how well the workers are managing their time.


FSM VS Other Management System

FSM vs Mobile Workforce Management: What’s the Difference?

It appears that mobile workforce management is a much broader concept, while field service is only a subset of this category. Many people make a mistake of using both the terms interchangeable. However, there are differences in both terms. A mobile workforce management system may be used by an itinerant worker who is providing any type of job at a location different from the office. On the other hand, a field worker is basically a type of mobile worker who specifically provides field service. In this regard, mobile workforce management comes with different features that might not be present in a field service management system always.

Field service software vs enterprise resource planning (ERP) software

A cloud ERP software is a management system that helps in managing processes like picking, packing, and shipping the inventory items. In this way, it can help in managing the warehouse, accounting, project management, supply chain management, procurement, and risk management. In other words, the ERP software comes with numerous dynamics while a field service software is explicitly designed to support field service.

Field service management (FSM) software vs customer relationship management (CRM) software

There are some differences between a field service management app and customer relationship management software as well. CRM software can help in boosting the sales of the company by specifically improving customer service and relations. On the other hand, customer service management is just one part of field service management, as it ensures the different elements of field service are also managed.


Who uses field service management (FSM) software?

A field service management software can be used by some of the most critical stakeholders in the company, including the technicians, dispatchers, financial staff, customer experience staff, and upper management. The software can ensure everyone is within an integrated loop of communication and collaboration.

In The End

The bottom line is a field service management can be constructive when integrated into your business. You should ensureyou understand your future goals, current needs, and the overall business processes. It’s time to cut the need for paper and switch to a fully automated system.

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