Not every job can be done right at your desk. Many services include travelling and meeting the clients/ customers on the field and mostly termed field services. Field services are mostly seen for operators, sales teams, business consultation, manage installation, service or repairs of systems or equipment. Optimized work allocation to the field service personnel and providing them with all the necessary details when they are on the field is the key and is critical for the success of the business and enhanced customer satisfaction.
Field service management (FSM) is a operationally critical task for any organization.Delays, miscommunication, unavailability of information all create chaos and hamper with the efficiency and customer satisfaction. To address these issues, lot of field service management tools and services are being developed with high level of customized solutions for varied business and vision to help employees, managers and customers.
It has been estimated that the FSM market will be valued at over $3.5 billion by 2019!
What is driving the development of FSM tools ?
Ever increasing adoption and usage of smartphones and mobile applications, increased use of wearables, escalating demand for SaaS based FSM tools and applications are few of the key drivers for the development of field service management and automation. Improved operational efficiency, savings on service costs and time, increased workforce productivity are few of the expected outcomes of these field service management tools and applications.
Basic features of a typical FSM solution include:
- Contract and inventory management
- Mobile access
- Mobility/ route planning and navigation
- Centralized scheduling
- Easy reporting and communication
- Real time analytics
- Integration of multiple apps for easy handling, processing and data output.
- Work order management
- Billing and invoice generation
- Employee performance tracking
Trends & technologies influencing FSM
The deployment of FSM tools can be seen mainly in industries such as construction, IT services, mechanical parts and installation services, oil & gas sector, sales and marketing for different industries. Several startups have come up with different tools and apps with varied functionalities to help field service professionals and other players in the ecosystem.
Artificial Intelligence: AI is developing at a great pace and has set its foot literally everywhere. This technology allows field service managers to leverage a mass of data by integrating AI scheduling into their business functions. This form of intelligent planning allows them to quickly match the best performing service technician to the issue at hand. It considers the technician’s availability, location and skill set to ensure the right fit shows up for the task.
AR/VR technologies : The introduction of AR/ VR technology into the arena of FSM isn’t simply a means to improving business productivity or reducing expenses, but is in fact reshaping how business functions are carried out. It helps a lot for virtual monitoring and virtual training applications.
Wearables and IoT:The advantages of wearables of compact size and accessibility. It is being increasingly deployed in field service management. Communication and information exchange & Tracking will be much easier with wearables integrated into FSM systems.
Automation: The predictive capability of IoT devices, field service companies will not only take a more proactive approach to service, they’ll begin automating field service processes. Field Service Automation (FSA) helps organization’s strategic growth initiatives while reducing response times, lowering costs, improving first-time fix ratios, and increasing customer satisfaction.
Klipboard helps in removing paperwork out of field service, FieldPie offers cloud based software solution for FSM and has advanced scheduling capabilities and enables hassle free order management and team collaboration. FieldEZ offers on-demand mobile based solution focused on pharma, FMCG, construction, telecommunication, and other industry segments. Mobileforce Software promotes increased sales productivity by eliminating friction in the sales process and so on.
With the advancement of technologies in data analytics, wearables, cloud and connectivity, artificial intelligence and so on, a lot of innovations and new products are expected to enter the market in the near future.