Effective field service management (FSM) is what propels the ecosystem of multi-billion dollar businesses today. Regardless of how any corporation is structured internally or how well chalked out its business strategies are, the on-field execution defines its success.
According to a market research study published by Facts & Factors, a global consulting and market research organization, “…the demand of global Field Service Management Market size & share was worth around USD 3,172.5 million in 2021 and is estimated to grow to about USD 6,161.9 million by 2028, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 11.7% over the forecast period 2022 to 2028.” But even before such static-based revelations, major IT players were already taking steps to make this whole “supply-chain” of field workforce.
Designing digital tools to help make service tickets’ assignment, scheduling, and supervision easier was nothing short of an industry in itself. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service, Field Nation, etc., were a few tools that had already bolstered their position in terms of managing field services in various domains. But the COVID and its consequences kind of provided an unfathomable upthrust to companies active/related to field service to take note of such tools or make a few of their own.
With new digital advancements across every business sector, the FSM is also not left behind; it has witnessed a tremendous influx of new-age tech developments.
The FSM IT infra is now a multi-channel communication network that works across various platforms. They have different use cases such as website management, supply chain solutions, 3rd-party service broking, analytics, etc. With their introduction into the market, businesses benefited from the convenience of real-time demand management, work-planning, debriefing of work orders, performing analysis, and seamless integrations.
Over the years, as new technologies surfaced, the FSM became more potent in service enablement, giving impetus to the growth of companies both in terms of expanded workability and overall sales. Some primary functions of tech-enabled FSM that can drive a brand’s success are:
- Process Automation: Orderly planning of field activities to carry out tasks flexibly; thus, helps to minimise operational costs by a significant margin while also reducing the cost of wasted time. It is an effective tool for streamlining field management.
- Cost-Efficient Operations: At the onset, it minimises costs by removing heavy paperwork required for official documentation and keeping a log of crew performance along with other data. Additionally, it increases the volume of jobs assigned and executed, thus generating more business conducted every day.
- Accurate Inventory Tracking & Management: Digitally powered Field Management Systems enable real-time inventory tracking crucial for brands to cope with the stark competition in the supply chain industry. FSM also helps to maintain a highly precise inventory management system.
- Increased Time Efficiency: With the ability of FSM software to automate all the processes involved in field management, such as filling forms, data entry, scouting, updating of logs, etcetera, employees can freely perform their tasks much faster. This in turn, also increases the overall production capacity of an individual as well as a team.
- Real Time Communication: As most of the field service management software enables real-time connectivity through an application, queries, tech support, and accessing of tools required for a particular job are easily provided by the backend staff. This promotes enhanced on-field performance and hence, gains better customer satisfaction.
- Enables Easy Expansion: In terms of scalability, storing and analysing big data with complex details of customers, employees, and technicians is better handled by FSM software; companies can expand their geographical presence without the fear of available tech support in any region.
There are plenty of challenges that field service management solves, and these obstacles are often recurrent in nature, making the need for robust FSM crucial. Customer expectations are always a challenge for any company, but as FSM enhances the productivity of each service member on the field, customer satisfaction is achieved.
When it comes to choosing the right field management software, there are plenty of factors a company must take into consideration before opting for the final one. The first and perhaps the most essential factor of all is its ability to handle massive sets of complex data and present them on a single interface for managing all field operations. Then comes the ability to customise billing and invoice formats to suit the company’s SOP. Another important factor is payment processing for revenue collection.
Inventory management is required for keeping track of equipment and resources; work-order management, i.e., generating, assigning, and monitoring the work order activities, keeps the work on schedule. The other set of factors involves automating any redundant activity such as weekly or monthly audit trials. Contact management is also vital in a good FSM software to have easy access to customer and employee details.
The multiple use cases of Field Service Management have led to its drastic growth over the years, and today it is extensively used across a broad spectrum of industries. Some significant industries where FSM plays an important role are:
- Telephone Communication (Telecom) Industry – Using mobile devices to access work order management via cloud storage, FSM helps in the execution of tasks, report problems, register query completion, and turn-around time for maintaining quality customer service.
- Logistics Industry – In order to ensure SLA, i.e., Service Level Agreement, the timely delivery of consignments is tracked via GPS routing; strategic and timely order scheduling and routing help to save fuel costs. Better order tracking provides higher customer satisfaction. Inventory management and warehousing services are also streamlined via FSM.
- Healthcare Industry: To assess patients and segregate areas basis patient count and allocate routine checkups without the hassle of going to the hospital not only saves time but also saves money. For many patients who suffer from health conditions that make mobility an issue, FSM assigns special services for them.
- Construction and Engineering – Everything from material availability, group management, task assignment, project analysis, etcetera is managed by field service tools. FSM also helps trace service calls and give job status and updates on any local delays. This data allows managers to alter the work plans and resource deployment.
The future of field management services has a high potential to grow further, and the tangent so far is evident of this. As technology continues to grow at an unprecedented pace, the capabilities of FSM software are taking giant leaps. Brands will be able to leverage the tech-driven field management service and grow their operations both nationally and internationally. Brands today are able to reach far-off places and conduct field-ops smoothly with the help of FSM, and consumers are also enjoying a quality service.
Hence, every brand should understand and embrace the convenience and practicality of Field Service Management, as it’s a potent tool to centralize data and allocate resources in accordance to real-time scenarios, thus, enabling faster and better service to the end customer.