Today’s field service organizations are faced with the challenge of transforming decades old business processes (such as call-taking, scheduling, field data collection, inspections, etc.) into efficient, cost effective, and customer-centric processes using the technological tools available today. This transformation, done correctly, can deliver rapid, significant, and sustainable return on investment. Companies using old-fashioned business processes, however, continue falling behind those investing in up-to-date software.

Mobile Devices Combined with Field Service Apps Accelerate ROI

Once limited in capability and too costly for many field service organizations, the combination of Mobile device, app GPS advancements close the loop to save time, eliminate unnecessary steps of re-entering data and limit excessive communication between back office and field workers, ultimately profiting the company every step of the way.

Software Bridges the Field Force Execution Gap

Companies without the proper field service technology are often unable to execute critical business processes efficiently, creating a gap in services called the “field force execution gap.” Field service management software and related technologies enable companies to bridge this execution gap between the needs of the stakeholders and limitations inherent in manual processes. By bridging this gap, companies are able to reap the financial benefits from their initial investment in field service automation.

As the field force execution gap closes, companies begin to see steady improvements throughout business operations. Since field service management technology gives stakeholders the ability to increase service levels, reduce non-value added costs, streamline significant workflows, grow revenues, and increase company profitability, service departments that were once seen as only cost centers turn into profit centers too.

Technological Building Blocks for Field Service

The technology which will enable you to bridge the execution gap is typically some configuration of the following building blocks:

    • Enterprise Service Management Solution – Includes call center functionality, quotation capabilities, work order management, depot repair, asset management, contracts management, warranty management, spare parts inventory control, service billing, inspection management, and robust reporting capabilities.
    • Visual Scheduler – Allows service orders to be created, assigned, dispatched, updated, and re-assigned based on multiple filters such as technician skill sets, availability, and customer location.
    • Mobile Application – Automates the most common tasks performed by field workers like repairs, installations, and preventive maintenance to inspections, site surveys, and assessments.
    • Stakeholder Web Portals – Allows key stakeholders to access critical service data through a web portal by creating their own personal dashboards of key performance indicators.
    • Alerts and Escalation Workflows – Helps identify important business information by telling your system what to watch for and how to respond to certain conditions when they occur.
    • GPS Technology – Creates real-time mapping to show you exactly where your technicians, vehicles and customers are located.

Identifying the Corresponding Benefits

The benefits of enhancing your operational efficiency can generally be put into one of five categories:

1. Improved effectiveness— Increase first-time fix rates by 25% or more by providing in-depth service history on detailed asset records and identifying and scheduling the right technician, equipment, and parts for the job.
2. Increased utilization of service technician time — Increase utilization by 15% or more by including a robust scheduling application and GPS technology.
3. Higher field productivity — With mobile technology, productivity can increase up to 10% in the field and 50% in the back office.
4. Increased revenues — Improve revenue per call with better management of service contracts and warranties. Minimize un-billed labor, equipment, and materials by accounting for time and materials.
5. Increased customer satisfaction – Customer satisfaction is the most difficult to measure and may take the longest    time to show measurable returns. However, improving customer experience alone may more than justify your investment in the long run.

Learn how to Measure the Return on Investment

Measuring your return on investment requires a detailed review of process steps and identification of opportunities to reduce or avoid costs, increase revenues, and increase customer satisfaction. First, analyze each step in your process and determine where the opportunities exist. Then compare the existing process to the proposed process and quantify the estimated benefit of the enhanced process.

Is your organization considering an investment in a field service automation system? Learn how to calculate your potential ROI with our free, educational whitepaper: “Guide to Understanding ROI Calculations for Field Service Automation.