ServiceMax delivers the future of field service, today. The only complete suite of cloud-based, collaborative and mobile field service applications, ServiceMax gives companies unprecedented capabilities in field service management to optimize operations and delight customers. Companies use ServiceMax to handle everything from contract entitlements to scheduling workforce optimization, to inventory parts logistics and real-time customer and partner portal access.
Oracle Corporation supplies software for enterprise information management. The Company offers databases and relational servers, application development and decision support tools, and enterprise business applications. Oracle's software runs on network computers, personal digital assistants, set-top devices, PCs, workstations, minicomputers, mainframes, and massively parallel computers.
Microsoft Corporation, a technology company, develops, licenses, and supports software products, services, and devices worldwide. The company’s Productivity and Business Processes segment offers Office 365 commercial products and services for businesses, including Office, Exchange, SharePoint, and Skype, as well as related Client Access Licenses (CALs); Office 365 consumer services, such as Skype, Outlook.com, and OneDrive; and Dynamics business solutions, including financial management, customer relationship management, supply chain management, and analytics applications for small and mid-size businesses, large organizations, and divisions of various enterprises.
IFS develops and delivers enterprise software for customers around the world who manufacture and distribute goods, maintain assets, and manage service-focused operations. The industry expertise of our people and solutions, together with commitment to our customers, has made us a recognized leader and the most recommended supplier in our sector. Our team of 3,300 employees supports more than one million users worldwide from a network of local offices and through our growing ecosystem of partners.
Click Field Service Edge connects service professionals to the business and to customers with collaborative mobile tools that improve the experience for everyone. Click Field Service Edge is designed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of all business roles in a service company from your field staff to back-office users to top executives. Click Field Service Edge transforms field service from the all too frequent reactive fire-fighting into strategic customer engagements that build loyalty and customer lifetime value.
ServicePower is the only Field Service Management platform enabling “Hybrid Workforce Management,” enabling organizations to save money, improve customer satisfaction and drive new revenue by efficiently managing both captive and 3rd party service providers. ServicePower uniquely combines warranty and claims management, dispatch, scheduling, field mobility, customer portal, workforce management reporting and e-commerce for all field service interactions in a single solution. ServicePower also offers a fully managed network of 3rd party service providers to enable rapid and high-quality on-demand “spill-over” servicing at peak times and in hard-to-reach locations across North America and the United Kingdom.
Coresystems Field Service Software helps in creating Field Service analytics, reports and dashboards. It offers customer portals allowing customers to quickly communicate product or equipment information using QR codes, ensuring that the response includes the right parts at the right place at the right time. The software link parts to warehouses in real-time, so your field service technicians have a better chance of getting it right the first time. It proactively manages field resources and resolves customer issues in advance of failures.
HouseCall Pro consists of a mobile application as well as a cloud based web portal that helps services professionals run all facets of their business. HouseCall Pro also allows businesses to get rid of pen and paper scheduling and move digital, streamlining their operations and workflow. Finally, it helps small businesses transfer and import their existing client database with ease.
Fleetmatics Work is a powerful tool allowing greater control of their daily operations. Fleetmatics WORK help controlling of back-office and better manage mobile fleet. It reduces paperwork by taking schedules, invoices, quotes and more off your desk and onto the cloud. Fleetmatics WORK users are simplifying their day by knowing exactly what their staffs are doing without them having to dig through piles of paperwork.
PASKR is a cloud based construction management software.
THE FASTEST, EASIEST, MOST AFFORDABLE WAY TO DELIVER BETTER SERVICEmHelpDesk is a mobile field service management software that helps you spend less time on organizing your business and more time perfecting your craft.
ServiceM8 is a hosted application that allows you to manage all facets of a field service delivery business. It will guide you from job quoting (or job estimates) right through to invoicing on completion. You will have real-time information on what jobs are currently active, what quotes have been issued to clients, and where and when staff are at clients sites. ServiceM8 is designed to be used by everyone in your business, from each individual field staff member, to back office staff, through all levels of management. It is simple and effective, and best of all, it’s available anywhere, anytime.
Service Fusion offers complete field service management enabling customer management, dispatching and scheduling, integrated invoicing and payment processing system, QuickBooks Online Desktop Integration along with inventory management. It offers time tracking payroll reports, integrated voice and text messaging and easily customizable.
Jobber helps in streamlining workload by putting our features into play. From quoting to getting paid, in every area of your business, Jobber saves you time. The app assist in accounting sync, chemical tracking client communications, GPS tracking, invoicing to name a few.
GeoOp is an online job management solution that enables mobile staff to manage their jobs using android, iOS, and windows devices. Its GeoOp application allows real time job scheduling, GPS tracking, job updates, maps and directions, real time job sheets, quotes and invoices, and to import parts and materials, and photo and audio.
How to Compare Field Services Management Software
- Field Service Management is predicted to be among the fastest growing areas of software, projected to increase at a 13.8% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2016 to 2021 reaching $1.8B over the five years to 2021 according to IBISWorld Research.
- Scheduling and routing services (34.7%), logistics parts planning services (20%), invoicing and accounting services (12.8%), and customer engagement management services (12.8%) are the top four uses of Field Service Management software.
- By 2020, two out of three large field service organizations will equip field technicians with a mobile application that drives profitability by creating revenue streams, efficiency and customer satisfaction according to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management, 2016.
- Startups continue to create cloud-based Field Services Management platforms and applications as the diversity and scope of needs in this area of company’s operations proliferate.
Why do organizations need and use Field Services Management software?
- Streamline the most manually-intensive areas of Field Service Management including appointment management, scheduling, dispatch and invoicing.
- Optimize the limited time field services technicians have in the field by coordinating their workloads and relative locations.
- Gain greater insights into how to improve inventory management and improve employee productivity in service calls.
- Enable greater collaboration and communication across field staff and internal teams to increase customer satisfaction with excellent service.
- Improve employee satisfaction and morale by not burning out the best field technicians and providing entry-level technicians increasingly more challenging tasks and calls.
- Measure the growth in technician effectiveness and its effects on operational efficiency and quality over time.
- Gain greater time and cost savings by reducing wasted time on field service calls and having the inventories on hand needed to close customer calls in the first visit. Optimize field technician scheduling based on skill set, training and availability versus customers’ requirements.
- Improve the quality of decisions being made by having real-time data on field service operations and their related costs and revenues.
- Gain greater scale, speed and simplicity in all field service operations by having the data needed to make trade-offs on behalf of customers and exceed their expectations as a result.
- Drive up overall customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Score (NPS) by aligning all activity to meeting and exceeding customer expectations.
The proliferation of social media, smartphones and always-on customers globally makes field service responses from any company critically important to their growth potential and reputation. The many rating sites from Facebook where customers routinely leave complaints about companies on their business sites, Glassdoor for companies, G2Crowd for software companies, TripAdvisor for hotels and Yelp for businesses of all kinds have an immediate and lasting effect on any company’s reputation. Social media’s transparency and the always-on expectations of customers are combining to make Field Services Management an area every company must excel at. For additional insight into how essential Field Services Management is to excel at your customer’s decision journey, please see the McKinsey & Company article, Digitizing the consumer decision journey.
The first and most important benefit of Field Services Management Software is realigning all services functions of business back on the customer. From field service technician onboarding to training and continual professional development, the focus always needs to be on creating an excellent customer experience.
With the real-time nature of customer requirements and the competition emerging in many industries regarding field service technician performance, the advantages of Field Service Management software become clear. These include the ability to track technician effectiveness, customer responsiveness levels, the performance of sales and customer communication metrics and feedback management including NPS performance. All of these metrics in turn drive operational efficiency and quality metrics, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction and morale metrics. By combining all of these metrics revenue and gross contribution margin from services can be devised with Field Service profit contribution being the result. For additional details on the top 10 benefits of field service management software, please see a recent article from Plant Services.
Bottom line: Choosing the right Field Service Management software solution can accelerate revenue growth and gain greater customers on reputation alone. It’s important to consider the unique needs customers have and how these needs are accelerating and changing to stay ahead of them and always excel relative to their expectations.
Key Features Consider When Evaluating Field Services Management Software
Orchestrating technicians, tools, equipment, inventory and crew schedules in response to current and forecasted customer demand is the most important feature in a Field Service Management solution. From relatively simple approaches to constraint-based modeling that takes into account customer timeframes and needs first to state-of-the-art machine learning approaches to predicting customer requirements, schedule optimization is rapidly changing today. In the most advanced Field Service Management solutions this feature will include a constraint-based model for factoring in technician skills, availability, tool and equipment availability and the NPS scores of customers. Look for a Field Service Management solution that optimizes all resources around exceeding customer expectations. For additional details on how Field Services Management needs to be coordinated with Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures please see the article To Enhance Customer Satisfaction for Your Field Service Business, Calculate Your Net Promoter.
Case, Contact and Order Management
This is the area where the majority of Field Services Management solutions struggle as they are designed first for optimization instead of accounting and tracking cases. This feature is best assessed by having a Field Services Management solution provider provide an example of a customer who needs multiple service calls to get their problem resolved.The contact database for any application in this category needs to be available in any CRM system at any time; in other words the contact data must be independent and locked into the Field Services Management system. Case management needs to have integration into order management at the same data element level in the platform. In short, case, contact and order management must all be part of the same system of record if a given Field Services Management solution is going to scale and be a catalyst for excellent customer experiences.
Mobile Work Order and Call Resolution
The most competitive field service teams are entirely mobile-based today, with each looking to maximize every minute spent in the field. This intensity around delivering results is making mobile work order and call resolution one of the most important features to look for in any Field Services Management solution. The baseline level of performance for this feature includes relatively simple call scheduling and routing, with a clear service level and timing by call defined to ensure the highest level of efficiency. More advanced applications are supporting NPS score and Salesforce integration to provide field service technicians with more contextual intelligence on customers. This helps to personalize the service call and create a greater level of communication with customers. Guided service features provide field service technicians with the freedom to make non-standard decisions if it will result in a call being resolved on the first visit, which is among the most prized metrics of all. Excellent or best-in-class Field Services Management solutions also have real-time integration to GPS and GIS system and can offer recommendations for optimized route paths. For more information on how to get the most out of mobile field services management systems please see the article, Critical capabilities for mobile field workforce enablement.
GPS and GIS Integration to the Mobile App Level
Optimizing the field service technician routes throughout a large city are daunting without GPS and GIS integration within field services management solutions. GPS and GIS positioning is used for optimizing service routes and ensuring inventory locations have the parts needed to close customer calls in the first visit.Combining GPS and GIS data into schedule optimization areas of a field services management applications delivers time and cost benefits quickly, and is one of the catalysts driving the adoption of mobile-based apps in their area. Ensuring the mobile apps support full GPS and GIS integration through Proof of Concept scenarios is essential to ensure each application can scale for the workloads of a specific business.
Parts Inventory Management
The most valued metric or measure of performance in Field Services Management is the ability to close a service call in just one visit. Having real-time availability of parts inventory across all stocking locations is critically important to ensuring technicians in the field have what they need to replace defective parts, components and assemblies quickly. The best-in-class implementations of parts inventory management have the flexibility of supporting a variety of inventory management methods that coincide with a company’s main approach to inventory accounting. Parts Inventory Management needs to support automated ordering, inventory carrying cost adjustments, and configurable replenishment levels.
The four key advantages of implementing a Field Services Management system in your company are listed below.
Optimizing Call Scheduling To Drive Higher Close Rates
By having the best possible technician with the latest spare parts scheduled for the most demanding customers, companies can often close service calls in just one visit. Using the GPS and GIS integration within field services management apps, companies are also able to optimize the routes, pick up locations for parts, and improve the overall efficiency of service plans each day. Another aspect of call scheduling is determining which series of customer problems are best grouped and solved by a technician trained in a specific area. By being able to define the optimal mix of products, technical talent, and availability to solve a specific customer problem, it’s possible to attain higher customer satisfaction levels, further improving NPS performance.
Tracking invoices across cases is a challenge for any services business, and when more complex orders are being managed, invoices often aren’t managed to the level they need to be. One of the most useful advantages of having a field services management system is the flexibility of automating invoicing. The goal is to reduce the time-to-invoice by automating each step in the process. The most effective approaches to this challenge of streamlining invoicing are to evaluate field services management applications that rely on a single system of record for all transactions and have the ability to quickly analyze data and provide insights into how to improve the time-to-invoice workflow. With cloud-based field services management applications it possible to synchronize time-to-invoice across multiple production locations further improving company-wide profitability.
Mobility Improves Field Technician Productivity and Performance
Instead of having to return to the office or dispatch center for a specific part or assembly, field technicians will be able to send a network-wide text to see if any technician in their area has the part they need. Mobility combined with GPS and GIS also make it possible for technicians to find customer locations quickly, further increasing customer satisfaction. Mobility-based applications also have the ability to measure technical-level productivity and time required to complete tasks. Using this data for creating training and personal development plan is an area where many telecommunication companies are investing in today.
Reducing Wasted Time With Real-Time Parts Inventory Tracking
Knowing where specific parts are in the supply chain, when specific shipments will arrive by logistics provider and having insights into which parts are being consumed the most on service calls all help to optimize parts tracking. Real-time parts inventory tracking helps to optimize workload planning and ensures customer’s requirements are met on the first service call.
How to Evaluate Field Services Management Systems
Selecting a Field Services Management system for your company needs to reflect how different your field services management, inventory, sales and broader customer services departments coordinate activities between themselves. Focusing on how customers’ expectations can be met and exceeded needs to guide the overall selection process and technology decisions that need to be made in selecting a system. There are many Field Services Management providers selling systems today. Fortunately, SelectHub is here to help.
What’s wrong with how you are managing field service today?
- How many sales are you losing because your field service technicians failed to solve an existing customer’s problem?
- What percentage of your customer service calls are closed the first time and the customer received exactly what they asked for?
- What manual workarounds are you relying on today to get work done that your field services management system need to automate?
- Is your existing field services management system integrated with your CRM system?
- Is it possible to see how real-time inventory impacts customer response times and customer satisfaction?
- Can your accounting and operations teams track overall field services management costs and see how they are trending over time?
- Who uses the current field services management system?
- Which departments are everyday users, and which are only using your field services management occasionally?
- What are field services management users trying to achieve by using the solution, and how well can they carry out their goals?
- Is the system not cost-effective for your current users? Are you paying too much in monthly or annual fees for unused features?
- Is your approach to using field services management too difficult to use today? Is it challenging to learn?
- Was your field services management designed when your company had a different business model than it does today?
- What’s the information and insight you need to manage field services better that your existing field services management approach or system doesn’t provide today?
What kind of field services management system will you need?
- How can your existing field services management be modified or improved to increase first call close rates with existing customers?
- How much time does your company spend on generating field services management reports?
- Define the five field services management processes that most need improvement in your business today.
- What’s the typical lead time for your company to close a service call on the most complex product you produce? How can this be improved with better field services management?
- Are field services management and control automated or manually-based right now?
- Which metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) do you use today for defining success in field services management?
How will the field services management system perform once deployed?
- Is your company considering an on-premise or cloud-based field services management system?
- Who will be responsible for keeping the field services management system up-to-date and be its administrator?
- Are you considering having the inventory management system accessible from the technician’s tablets or laptops so they can optimize the time spent on every sales call?
- How customizable do you need the individual screens, applications, and platforms to be to support your business?
- Will the field services management be able to manage the wide variety of data reports needed to run your business today? How about in a year from now?
- Can the field services management generate reports that are easily comprehensible for executives of your organization so they can make an impact on customer satisfaction?
- How will the field services management integrate with your current technology? This specifically relates to case, contact, distributed order management and CRM systems.
- What support or training will the vendor provide during and after installation?
Every business has a unique set of needs, so the first step in a software selection project is to create a checklist of what your company needs most from a Field Services Management application. There are hundreds of criteria to choose from, but the framework can be broken up into four main categories:
Automated Schedule Optimization
Creating excellent customer experiences on each service call is the fuel market leaders use to drive themselves to service excellence. It’s a challenge to orchestrate every aspect of a service call so all systems, people and process are concentrating on exceeding customer expectations.. Automated schedule optimization is the software catalyst that makes it possible to orchestrate the many aspects of a company to excel very customer expectations. It’s possible to look at the extend to automated schedule optimization performance and the growth of NPS performance over time. The bottom line is that all supporting systems and processes to the field services management strategies for a company must be tightly orchestrated that they are optimized to deliver consistently excellent experiences.
The days of using Microsoft Excel to schedule technicians without taking into account their relative levels of expertise are over. Using a field services management solution, each technician can be defined as a resource to solve challenging customer problems. Instead of having to just grouping the entire team together, it’s possible to create precise, focused strategies for improving first call close rates. One of the added benefits of using this specific feature in field services management application is the opportunity to define teams that solve challenging customer problems together. This is seldom considered when a technician utilization is not available in an application. Best of all this feature in a field services management application can save technician teams for burning out by balancing their workloads.
Platform Independent Mobile Support
With speed being the feature every field services team must pursue and excel at to keep customers and win new ones, mobility is a must-have feature. The ability to scale any mobile field services tech workflow or application across any device at any time is also essential. The Salesforce1 platform is capable of enabling mobile device support regardless of device or operating system. As a result, many of the most effective field services management solutions are built entirely on the Salesforce platform. It’s essential to have GPS and GIS integration in any mobile-based field services management application as well.
Field Services Profit Contribution
Being able to isolate Field Services Profit contribution based on revenue and margin growth based on operational efficiency is elusive for many field services teams. Having a system that can provide this level of data is exceptional relative to the current state of the market. Of the field services management systems capable of reporting this metric, their approach is to include measures of operational costs, revenues, NPS and the profitability results of upselling and cross-selling that have occurred during service calls.
Please provide an overview of how I can close more service calls on the first technical visit.
Look for how a field services management application features are coordinated to close out initial service calls quickly. Specifically focuses on call and technician scheduling optimization, and how parts are coordinated for specific service calls. Ask to see how conflicts over technician’s time allocations and training skills can be averted through the use of advanced optimization techniques.
Can you provide an example of how parts inventory management has alleviated out-of-stock condition from occurring in the field?
Typically when there is a parts failure in a currently available product, an out-of-stock condition rapidly happens. The best field services management application suites have the ability to predict out-of-stock conditions and do the advance ordering, saving thousands of dollars in expediting fees. There’s also the need for having financial data to track the financial impact of an out-of-stock condition to measure the overall effectiveness of a field services management solution. The best solutions have the ability to define what is the dollar and time savings from planning for out-of-stocks and show the economic trade-offs of investing in inventory versus being caught in an allocation on needed replacement parts.
Can our company define our framework for field services management optimization or do I have to follow your predefined framework?
High-end, state-of-the-art field services management suites have frameworks included within them that make enterprise-wide deployments more efficient and quick. The mid-tier and lower-end suites don’t and often lack the core set of analytics to make the most use of ongoing activity. Look to see if the vendors of interest are selling add-on analytics modules, which is a common practice to boost average deal and maintenance sizes. The main aspect of the framework for field services management is that it scales to the specific growth areas of your business.
How can customer service, support, sales and senior management gain greater insights into customer satisfaction using the field services management system?
One of the most challenging aspects of field services management is enabling real-time collaboration across all relevant functional areas of a company. It’s important to ask about role-based access and how each decision maker will be able to get the field services data they need to do their jobs. The data model for field services management suites needs to be designed to flex with the unique requirements of your business model, scaling as your business does. With no common data model, there’s going to be limited scale and scope to support entirely new business models your company may be considered. Field Services has the potential to be the most significant source of revenue for many companies, and having a solid collaborative framework for sharing reporting and data including metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) is essential to get the most value from an investment in a field services management suite.
How will your field services management system improve my business?
Field services management will make or break customer relationships over time. Having the ability to gain insights into Field Service profit and revenue contribution is critical to continually fund and fuel new business models and initiatives. When a field services management application has operational efficiency and quality designed in at the system of record level with real-time integration to financial reporting systems, Field Services profitability is measurable. Be sure to check and see the depth of financial reporting included in a field services management perspective so the contribution of this suite to your overall IT strategy is measurable.
There are many field services management providers serving a broad spectrum of manufacturing and services industries. Leading vendors include the following:
Click Software – Known for the strengths of its integration, field service and depth of industry partnerships, Click Software has one of the best scheduling optimization applications and has deep mobility expertise. The company has also invested in analytics development. The company’s ClickSchedule Service Optimization Suite has approximately 600,000 users the majority of which are in larger utility and telecom organizations.
Oracle – Oracle entered the field services management market with the acquisition of TOA Technologies in 2014. Since then the company has place TAO Technologies in the Oracle Service Cloud pillar of its Oracle Customer Experience Cloud offering, now part of the Oracle Field Service Cloud (OFSC) Suite. Oracle’s engineering strength in the cloud is evident in how OFSC has been designed as a multitenant SaaS solution. OFSC has routing modules, work planning, parts planning, technician enablement, customercommunication and work order debrief workflows.
ServiceMax – Gartner has estimated that ServiceMax has between 140,000 to 180,000 global users across a broad spectrum of industries including manufacturing, medical products, professional and equipment services. ServiceMax has deep expertise in SLA definition,m mobile technical enablement and support for complex depot and parts inventory optimization. The company has also created OptiMax which provides scheduling operation for product and services support. ServiceMax also supports native Apple iOS apps on its mobile platform.
ServicePower – One of the most advanced vendors in the area of Field Service Management (FSM), ServicePower has expertise in the areas of scheduling and services team optimization, third-party service provider management. The company also has created the application suite ServicePower Unity which includes schedule and route optimization.
Choosing a field services management system provider is a task that should be given serious consideration. This field services management comparison is meant to be used as a starting point to guide IT professionals who are tasked with making this decision.