If you’re running — or helping to manage — a field service organization and you’re still doing a ton of paperwork and having to constantly answer customer service phone calls, it might be time to change it up. Field service management solutions, also known as FSM software, are transforming the field service industry. If you’re new to the idea of buying one of these solutions, what do you need to know? Here are five key considerations:
1. What Are Your Priorities?
Different FSM software solutions prioritize different things. Ultimately, whatever you choose should be a tool that integrates the different aspects of your business. If the FSM software interface is intended for your decision makers to provide guidance, then it needs to support what’s important to them. Will it be easy to use? Then you should prioritize a system with the best interface and is the most intuitive to use, even if it’s not the most souped-up system on the market. If your senior leadership team wants quick access to data, then look for a FSM software solution that can pull up and sort data quickly and visually. What you’re looking for here is basically buy-in from senior decision-makers: you want to know what’s important to them and then make sure whatever FSM software solution you choose maximizes that.
2. What Can You Integrate?
You don’t want to be running from one screen to the next and then to a third screen to get your work done and keep things moving smoothly. You want everything in the same place. This should include:
- Customer data
- Sales information
- Technician contact information
- Invoices and billing
- Your e-mail
- Any task management systems you use
- Anything else important to your specific organization
Not every FSM software solution will give you 100 percent integration of everything you use, but you want to get as close as possible to that number. As long as the system is easy to use, you can have a seamless integration of software and business operations.
3. Can You Easily Deploy The System?
If you can’t get 100 percent of the way on integration, you will at least want a solution that can be implemented without too much effort. Many solutions market themselves as easy to use, but that’s not always true. This is where your research comes into play. Look at all positive and negative customer reviews. If you know others in your industry or vertical, talk to them about which FSM solutions worked (or didn’t work) for them. Research is vital; you want to make the system work for you. Almost every field service management solution in the market today will preach that their solution is easy to implement. Use your time wisely and pick the best FSM software solution for you.
4. Is Your Solution Adaptable?
Business needs and revenue models can shift frequently. Because of the constant change in the business world you need to understand the adaptability of a system. Decision makers should expect their software and technology to pivot as quickly their business models require. They don’t want to acquire and deploy another system
5. How Will You Collect, Present, and Report Your Data?
Most companies are trying to gain valuable consumer and business insights from the data they collect. In order to successfully present the data you need a field service management solution that can do the following things:
- Capture data accurately
- Present it in a way where you can assess its accuracy
- Make it easy to scrub messy data
- Provide multiple options for analyzing and visualizing the data to others
Data means nothing to a business unless it leads to better decision making or business growth. Otherwise, it’s just information – the data is not serving any purpose. Senior decision makers in many organizations have long admitted that they value data, but aren’t always sure what to do with it[i]. In order to make decisions based on data you should find easy ways to contextualize and present information. This involves having personnel who understand data analysis and can create effective presentations. It also involves having a system that allows for easier capture and organization of that data. Otherwise, you create a cluttered mess of information that senior leaders can’t drive decisions from — and that probably means you’ll be reinvesting in a new solution soon.
What other factors or considerations would you list?
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