How does field service automation software help to generate more revenues?
Field service automation software — The business benefits!
Field service industry has outgrown itself with the ever-changing dynamics of technology. Availability of smartphones and tablets, SaaS-based cloud platform and digitisation with bespoke mobile applications are the factors encouraging the adoption of field service automation software. Although the working case scenarios remain same, the ways to schedule, dispatch, allocate, monitor, complete and control the field service requests have been transformed. All the enterprises that are directly or indirectly involved in this business have been more than happy to accept this transformation with field service automation software.
Now, before we move ahead to the process, let us have a brief introduction to the basics-
What is Field Service Automation?
Field service automation (FSA) is all about replacing the futile paper-based approach with the modern cloud-based solutions for service management. A dedicated suite of software and mobile applications monitor and manage the complete service request lifecycle. It automates the process to receive incoming tickets, capture all the work details, use smart scheduling to dispatch the tasks, auto-route using GPS, gain visibility to their location, synchronise the data and update status to finish off the work. The entire procedure of handling service requests is managed without having the worker to travel to the office or carry the bunch of notes and files. Mobile applications govern the work progress and enable seamless coordination with service desk executives. Data is synchronized over the cloud, making it easy to access from anywhere!
That was a short overview of field service automation. Now we shall take you across the actual business processes that are optimised using software and mobile applications-
It’s hard to balance the load when your desk is occupied with tasks, customer requests, and worker profiles. Managing things can get ever confusing beyond your imagination and cause to miss the boat. With field service automation software, back-office dispatchers can take a sigh of relief! Auto-scheduling is useful for the desk employees to check every worker’s individual schedule and allocate new tasks to them in available slots. Also, worker’s specialisation and expertise are matched to ensure the right job is allocated to the right person. Any new job or reallocation of existing work order can be assigned to the field representative on the fly by communicating the details on their MobileWorker app.
Apart from that, FSA also allows the dispatchers to set workflow rules to map the actual business processes. It requires no specialised IT expertise to design invoices, user, and task forms, add custom fields, manage inventory and send notifications and emails to the customers.
The real success of field service can be measured in terms of flexibility and mobility. The tasks meant to be accomplished on a particular day should be completed leading to high first-time fix ratio. Field service mobile applications for the workers make it possible. The jobs are dispatched to the field staff on their MobileWorker application, saving time, efforts and fuel costs of travelling to and fro the office. A field representative can begin his day as possible with the nearest task location, moving along the shortest path planned by the app itself. He can access all the tasks and respective details on the MobileWorker, do the needful to complete it on the site and update status with signature capture. In another case, if the worker is at a remote location with limited or no internet access, he can still carry on his tasks and make updates on the app.
All the information is synchronised as and when the network gets connected. Thus, you can expect more from your employees without any extra effort. The information is available and work can be carried out 24×7 without device or network dependency!
If you cannot deliver as promised, be ready to lose out your customers. It is extremely important to pay attention to every service request and take necessary action as per the commitment. While manual errors may overlook a certain ticket or miss a deadline, field service automation saves your business big time! One can set the service level agreement (SLA) parameters for different categories of requests and incidents. These parameters shall notify the concerned persons and remind them to complete their tasks on a regular interval of time. This helps to win customer confidence as your team performs without any delays.
Key performance indicators (KPI) are measurable characteristics that suggest how well you are achieving the goals and areas of improvement to take corrective decisions for future. The company can keep an eye on the overall working and design the strategy for further progress.
Many businesses have suffered countless losses due to no proper or inefficient systems to manage their customer, partner, and employees contracts. If the entire contract lifecycle is dependent only on manual intervention or an unstructured system, there is no way to track the drafts, changes, conditions, members, renewal, termination, and cancellation. Automated platform to manage your service contracts simplifies the contract lifecycle stages with ease and keeps you informed of every development. It enables authorised persons to create drafts, quotes, share with other parties, negotiate and suggest changes with different versions.
Timely alerts are sent whenever the contract is due to expire, provision for auto-renewal, well-defined cancellation and termination policies and secured roles to give access rights. It reduces administration overhead of the desk employees as they can reuse the contract templates and fasten the contract cycle period without any trouble.
Field service is diverse and automation using SaaS and mobile apps can bring desired results for a variety of sectors like-
Cable and telecommunication repairs
The “cable guy” needs to run across homes, offices, and roads to install, repair and fix the cable issues. FSA is the bridge to coordinate between the cable technician, customer, and the desk executives.
Energy and utility service inspections
Field service automation aids the utility industries like gas, water, and electricity to connect with their technicians whilst they are out in the field for inspections, meter readings, leaks and maintenance work orders.
Mining, metal and heavy industrial tasks
Lone worker alerts with FSA is one of the most admired features for the workers going across dangerous locations. The back-office team can track their field workers and ensure their safety.
Local and national government authorities using field service software are able to accommodate citizens’ service requests in an optimised manner. It helps the council executives to reduce overhead & dispatch jobs to the workers based on their location.
FSA prompts timely visits for the nurses and doctors involved in treating elderly and disabled patients. The appointments are scheduled & dispatched via MobileWorker with accurate information about medical history, location & necessary documents.
Facilities and asset management
Service operatives dedicated to performing regular jobs like cleaning, plumbing, electricians, maintenance, servicing, pest control, gardening, etc use field service automation to complete more jobs in a day, report instantly & increase the value of resources.
Digitising your field service operations with automation will mark a new beginning for your organisation.
The scalable cloud platform provides end-to-end service request management to stay on top of the things with following benefits-
- Real-time worker visibility
- High productivity
- Reduced costs and labour
- Increased flexibility
- Availability on all devices
- Easy collaboration
- Enhance customer satisfaction
- No billing errors
- Efficient workforce
- Precise reports & analytics
- Accurate field operations
- Generate faster revenue
- Route optimisation
- Better accountability
Field service automation software and apps can be highly customised and configured to exactly match the requirements of an enterprise as per their core strength, employees and customers. We would love to connect to the companies seeking this channel shift with business intelligent solutions.
Originally published at www.itouchvision.com on August 22, 2016.