If you’re shopping for mobile workforce management software for a field service company, you’re not alone. Many organizations have realized that workforce management with paper and spreadsheets is no longer viable for a workforce that is out in the field and on the go. Some have already tried a digital solution, but it hasn’t worked out. Either way, if you want a field service management (FSM) application that makes a difference for your productivity and bottom line, it’s important to look for solutions that:
- Take little effort to learn and use
- Free employees from repetitive tasks
- Keep customers informed and happy
- Manage assets and equipment
- And help you grow business for the long term
1 Usability Leads to More Effective Deployment
The most important thing to look for in mobile workforce management software is usability. You may think usability is a second-tier consideration compared to a good feature list, but all the features in the world do you no good if your team can’t figure out how to use them. And when employees are in the field trying to get work done, they don’t have the time or patience to fumble their way through a confusing interface. They revert back to their previous inefficient but comfortable habits, and the software you’re paying for isn’t paying off for you.
When you’re researching solutions, look for a clean, simple design that prioritizes information most relevant to the user, such as today’s appointments or past-due work orders. The system should allow users to customize their dashboards based on their preferences. Menu options should be easy to find with informative labels, and the most common tasks such as submitting a work order or updating status should follow a logical, intuitive process that makes sense to your team. Finally, if a user makes a mistake, they should get useful error messages, and they should have a way to delete or reverse any action.
2 Work Force Automation Improves Productivity
Mobile workforce management software should make your life easier by taking some of the work off your plate entirely. Look for features that automate manual tasks. For example, if you have preventive maintenance or repetitive jobs, the system should automatically create work orders for those based on a schedule you define.
A typical workday is filled with tasks that could be automated to save you time and money. Workflow automation ensures notifications of status changes are sent to the people who need them. You can customize default values for forms and specific events, which saves entering the most common data. When your team makes comments, conducts chat conversations, or sends emails regarding a work order, the system should connect them all to the job record, so no decisions, instructions, or observations are lost in a chat history. And when employees snap a picture of work done or equipment in the field, a good FSM will automatically upload it and attach it to the record.
Other useful automation includes bulk editing, which allows managers to close work orders, change status, or add comments to multiple jobs at once. Import tools also automate the transfer of data into the system, which is especially helpful when you’re setting the FSM up for the first time. And it should be easy to export the data in an FSM to a spreadsheet or text file if needed.
3 Customer Portal and CRM
Many field service companies struggle with customer communications. Customers are happiest when they can get the status of a job anytime they want it. But they’re not always on the job site to see what’s been done, and techs are often too busy to fire off an email or make extensive notes on the work order. But an FSM with customer relationship management (CRM) features and a customer access portal make it much easier to keep clients in the loop.
Depending on what you want to share, an external portal will allow clients to look up service history, submit work requests, check status, download files, view contracts, and run reports. For an added bonus, look for the ability to customize and automate notifications so customers get proactive information about job status, appointments, and looming contract expiration dates. They should be able to access the portal from any connected device, and it should have security features, such as secure login and user permissions.
The CRM features helps your team serve customers better by making it easy to find service history, contacts, addresses, communications, and assets for every customer. With CRM capabilities, your team gets a picture of what each customer needs from you, their preferences, and their service history. This detailed information helps you determine how to serve them better. For example, you might notice that some customers call once a quarter for equipment fixes and they could save money and reduce business disruptions if you put them on a regular preventive maintenance plan. Customer insights derived from your CRM increases loyalty, drives new business, and raises the lifetime value of the account.
4 Installed Asset Management Drives Each Job
If it’s going to be useful for a field service business, mobile workforce management software has to provide asset management. Your techs square off against a wide variety of equipment and each machine has its own serial number, model number, and service history. Asset management keeps information for every piece of equipment in your care in one easy-to-find place, so techs never have to guess, call back to the office, or get stuck with the wrong manuals. It keeps track of warranties, fault codes, and past work, which helps you know when to schedule preventive maintenance and helps techs troubleshoot machine failures. Good asset management improves first-time fix rate, decreases time on task, and reduces the number of emergency calls.
5 Analytics and Reporting For Enhanced Opportunities
Any good mobile workforce management solution helps you collect, order, and manage details about your jobs, customers, and assets. But your FSM should also help you put that information to work. A good system will help you crunch data into reports, trends, and dashboards that illustrate where your business excels, where you need improvement, and what opportunities you can go after.
Reports will instantly assess key metrics such as service billing, profitability by job, labor hours used, and average expenses. You should be able to customize them for any metric you want to track over any time period, geographical location, work order, customer, or technician. Analytics and reporting capabilities give you the insight to drive constant improvement in your business.
Essential Features of Mobile Workforce Management Software in Field Force Tracker
Field Force Tracker’s FSM solution prioritizes the most valuable and useful features for field service companies. Over the years, we’ve listened to what our customers want and need, and we’ve designed a platform that delivers maximum value through simple, clear, intuitive interactions.
With Field Force Tracker, your team gets work done faster with fewer errors. Customers are delighted and jobs run smoothly from request to billing.
- Best-in-class usability and user-friendly mobile app
- Automated workflow, notifications, status updates, and import/export
- Preference-based customer portal for optimal communications and transparency
- Detailed asset management with custom fields and attachments
- Extensive standard reports plus build-your-own reports and dashboards for best fit to your needs