Imagine this: you are running your own service delivery business. The next thing you know, your business growth is skyrocketing, customers are calling from every corner, you are running from one site to another wishing you could be at ten places at a time, and to meet the increasing demands, you are on a hiring spree. Sounds amazing right? It has got to be because that is what the honeymoon period of business operations feels like. But beware! This is the crucial point from where everything can go downhill. Before you even realize it, the growth can turn into heaps of missed appointments, schedule conflicts, overworked employees, and as a result, poor cash flow despite the pouring work orders. However, things don’t necessarily have to be this bleak, for you can take advantage of digital tools and technologies to stretch that honeymoon period a little longer. This is where Field Service Management Software comes into the picture. And more importantly, this is the reason why everyone is investing in FSM software these days.
If you are thinking the same thing, now is a great time to get in the game. But before you take the leap, let’s take a pause right there and think about some crucial things. First of all, you have toiled quite a lot to earn this money. Therefore, let’s not spend it recklessly investing in any random field service solutions. Besides, you must never pick a technology because everyone is going for it. Do the research and find out how it suits your purpose. And most importantly, with the market overflowing with hundreds of FSM software, you have got to be careful in choosing the right one for your business. So, how do you choose one? The task could seem pretty daunting, but we have got you covered. Here is a list of factors that you must consider before picking FSM software. Use this as your checklist and you are good to go.
First things first, no technology is worth your valuable time or money if it does not provide convenience. Especially when it has a pivotal commercial application, it ought to be easy to operate and offer necessary functionalities. Research extensively and try to figure out whether the software crashes frequently, whether the navigation is difficult, or the UI is too complex to understand. All of these are major red flags. Not only you will get frustrated with this, but these will also have a direct impact on your wellbeing.
Features & Functionalities
The most important factor while choosing FSM software is its features. Before you put in any money, find out what it can do for you. With hundreds of software options with thousands of features available, it could be rather confusing. Therefore, you need to identify your needs and check whether your preferred software covers all those requirements. The following features are a must for any quality FSM software:
- Scheduling & Dispatching
- Work order management
- Mobile access
- Cloud-based storage
- GPS functionality
- Real-time access to data
- Billing & invoicing
- Electronic signature
If any software offers some more features at a reasonable price, it is indeed a great choice. For example, some leading FSM solutions such as Field Promax give you a comprehensive calendar view
and dynamic team management options, whereas ServiceMax offers an offline feature for your field technicians.
3. Customer Service and Support
As your customers expect round-the-clock support from your end, so should you from your software service provider. Picture this: you are stuck with a major malfunction or server breakdown and there is no one to help you out during an urgent job. Instead of making your life easier, it will further add to your problems. Therefore, make sure the software you choose offers reliable, seamless customer support both pre and post-purchase.
Training and Knowledge Base
Switching to new technology is never an easy task. Even if you are a tech-geek yourself, it could be challenging at times. But more importantly, you must familiarize your employees with the digital tool and make sure they are handling it properly. However, this could be too much to ask your field technicians to learn on their own. Therefore, high-quality training and onboarding are absolutely essential. And this must be provided by the software company that you are teaming up with. Most of the top field service management software offers tutorials and onboarding for the managers as well as the technicians.
No matter how efficient your FSM software is, it would be of no use if it confines you within your office to access the data and features. A quality FSM software should give your business ample mobility and access to the centralized database from anywhere, anytime. Simply put, it must be optimized for mobile devices. With the rising use of smartphones, this has become a necessity. With smart mobile services, technicians can access job details in real-time. On the other hand, you can monitor their real-time location and keep track of your business operations as well.
The advent of cutting-edge technology has radically changed the field service industry. From inventory management to accounting, from CRM to scheduling—the innovative tools are now taking over the manual processes every step of the way to make business operations more efficient, and in turn, more profitable. But the most popular digital tool in the service delivery domain has been this FSM software. It is essentially a smart, cloud-based software solution that effectively automates and streamlines field service business processes. It adds more transparency and scalability to the workflow, which is integral for your business growth. The rising popularity of Field Service Software is proof that technology is playing a key role in the business growth of all sorts of field service businesses, regardless of their size and strength. If you look around, everybody is using one or the other FSM software or at least contemplating investment into one of these.
This could easily make one consider the potential of this cutting-edge software solution. The benefits of this tool are almost limitless, and talking about them would require a different blog altogether. But to put things in perspective, those who have got the taste of this remarkable innovation once are not at all likely to go back to the traditional paper-based environment of field service management. And if you are still using the old pen and paper, it is high time you too make plans to invest in this digital tool if you don’t want to miss out on the competitive advantage.