Field Service Management: Top 7 Things to Look For in a Software Solution

4 minutes read - April 30, 2021 - by Yondu Team
A Field Service Management System (FSM) helps organizations optimize field operations. Learn the necessary functions of FSM software in this blog.
field service representative repairs equipment

Industries and organizations that service equipment know that field service management can be complex. For this reason, companies need a well-designed field service management system to help them with their operations.

This article will tell you what field service management (FSM) is about and discuss what an FSM Software does. We’ll also give you pointers on finding the best FSM software in the Philippines.

To keep you on track, let us discuss what field service management is and what it entails.

Field Service Management System: Definition

According to Gartner, Field Service Management or (FSM) “includes the detection of a field service need (through remote monitoring or other means, inspection or a customer detecting a fault), field technician scheduling and optimization, dispatching, parts information delivery to the field, and process support of field technician interactions.”

And so, in simple terms, Field Service Management System is the process of managing workers, operations, and equipment off-site. It basically covers scheduling and dispatching, tracking, and managing services and people out in the field.

On the daily, field operations will involve vehicles, parts, field service technicians, and engineers. Indeed, that sounds like a lot of information to keep track of. 

To handle all these, modernizing your operations is key. FSM will not just improve efficiency but also build trust with your customers over time.

Now, moving on to Field Service Management Software

A Field Service Management (FSM) Software is a technology tool that keeps track, automates, and coordinates field service operations and off-site teams. 

Essentially, FSM software solutions enable business leaders to allocate field resources effectively and optimize operations through technology. Workers, meanwhile, get access to helpful information in the field through mobile tech tools, boosting productivity and customer satisfaction.

Things to Look For in a Field Service Management System

When searching for the best field service management system (FSM), it is essential to look at its features. Consider the following functions where field service management is necessary and can be most helpful:

1. Scheduling and Dispatching Functions

The essence of field service is deploying resources — parts, equipment, workers. Therefore, the critical functions of Field Service Management systems are primarily on scheduling and dispatching.

Inevitably, customers will demand quick responses and reliability. Accordingly, your system should be able to schedule short-notice emergency calls alongside regular, scheduled service calls.

Mapping and GPS should also be integrated into the system, allowing the scheduling team to respond to customer needs optimally. 

Also, your FSM software should integrate scheduling and dispatching functions with a repair and maintenance history. Such a feature ensures that the correct parts are dispatched along with the technicians for efficient service delivery.

2. Mobile Technology

Modern field service management must also be mobile-optimized. Today, this feature is exceptionally crucial in managing off-site operations.

Mobile technology like field service management apps keeps field technicians on top of their changing schedules. Equipment information, repair history is then readily available on-site or while on the go.

It also reduces manual recording of information which makes reporting quick and accurate.

3. Installed Equipment Tracking

Tracking installed equipment and its service history contribute to efficient and effective service operations. It assists in inventory, tracking maintenance and repair history, and keeping warranty records.

But it offers even greater value: equipment service history is essential in Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). Serial number tracking supports product improvement efforts, product recall, and configurations.

In addition, traceability is always a practical and valuable feature in customer service.

Take this field service example: Imagine a customer calls in and the service representative has the equipment information ready right in front of them. Seamless processes like these lead to exceptional customer experience.

4. Inventory Management

Controlling and tracking inventory of tools and repair parts are important. But daily operations can be complex, especially if they are spread across multiple vehicles and warehouses.

Your system, then, must help you in optimal inventory management to provide the best coverage and lowest cost.

Inventory should be deployed jointly with scheduling and dispatching. This function guarantees your technicians that they have what they need, where and when they need it.

5. Integration with Back-End Systems

FSM software eliminates delays and errors from manual entries when integrated with in-house systems like ERP and accounting software solutions.

Moreover, mobile device entry from the field is an added benefit.

This capability results in fast and accurate billing, good audit trails, and maintained history with the ‘one version of truth.’ The resulting unified database can serve as a basis for continuous improvements, cost control, and efficient reporting.

Integrated FSM software and ERP is the best solution to ensure that everyone in your business is on the same page. It gives company-wide visibility of customer activities, inventory status, and equipment performance.

Acumatica Cloud ERP offers the most adaptable ERP business solution with an integrated Field Service Management system.

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6. Flexible Billing

FSM systems should allow you to create and process invoices even with the many variations in contracts and customers.

Companies that do field service management need a system that can effectively assemble and process billing. It could be by project, time and materials for repair, maintenance, recurring revenue for a service contract, or consolidated billing. 

Your field service management system must also be rich in financial functions. It should be able to track and adequately recognize warranty terms, so billing, as well as non-billing, are accurate. 

7. Analytics

FSM, when integrated with ERP, manages a wealth of data. That’s why your system must be powerful enough to analyze varied, complex details to give you actionable insights for improvements.

All these analytical capabilities will heavily depend on the quality and unity of your FSM and ERP database. All the more reason to make sure that there is no redundancy or duplicates across both systems.

This integration is another critical factor when choosing the best field service management solution.

Field Service Management Software Provider

A well-designed and integrated Field Service Manage System streamlines your operations, controls costs, and delivers efficient services. Ultimately, this will give you happy customers while keeping your business smooth sailing.

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This content originally appeared in Acumatica’s white paper Top 7 Things to Look For in a Field Service Management System.

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