Field service technicians have always been required to have a working knowledge of manual labor and technology. However, the rise of the service economy and digital transformation is placing new demands on this sector. Market shifts toward speed and convenience, along with rapidly progressing technological advancements, generate unique opportunities for automating a more significant portion of field service operational management.
A proper field service automation solution requires seamless transition between managers in the back office and technicians in the field. This can only be achieved through cloud software that supports real-time data management, even for personnel action in the area. Leveraging a solution delivered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), accessible from anywhere, your practice can capture the best operational value from automating your processes.
Enabling field service automation through the cloud can provide several benefits to your operations, including:
1. Automating manual, time-consuming activities streamlines your workflow.
Modernizing your service practice should start with streamlining, mitigating, or eliminating all manual tasks. This includes automating processes such as those performed by field engineers, who should spend less time entering data and more time servicing equipment. Administrative personnel also benefit from automating back office activities that further stall projects and endanger revenue.
Field service automation can be most valuable in streamlining the touchpoints where human interaction is required — enabling technicians, managers and customers to focus on what’s most important: problem-solving.
2. Use real-time planning to optimize routes
Route planning requires attention to several details, including location, travel plans and equipment status. Cloud technology allows companies to use real-time GPS data, inventory information and project data to plan routes more quickly and efficiently. Individual inputs can be adjusted on-the-fly, letting service managers stay on top of developments and ensure the highest customer experience.
3. Capture customer data on-the-go, and then take appropriate action.
Mobile technology is fundamentally changing the way in which field service is delivered. Mobile technologies have consolidated functions such as data capture and entry onto a single touch point that can stay in contact with the home office, provide technicians with critical updates, and allow technicians to input order and payment information at point-of-service.
4. Customer Service Should Be a Proactive Endeavor
Field service is a critical component of the “experience economy,” and as such, is naturally beholden to it. The data captured by field technicians – including every detail of every order and point of feedback – becomes a datapoint that can be leveraged to provide a tailored customer experience.
5. Go to the Cloud to avoid physical costs.
The downside of the digital age is that acquiring an IT setup can be expensive. However, cloud technology allows you to bypass many of these costs by removing the hardware expenses of traditional deployments. Cloud software does not have the exact physical requirements when hosted online, enabling you to access your technology through a simple browser from any device.
6. Integrate Field Services with the rest of your business operations.
When field service operations are burdened by equipment and functional segmentation, multiple systems must process the data received. This documentation division can create data siloes that leave back office and field personnel ignorant of what everyone else is doing. However, with a modern cloud ERP, field service extensions are integrated seamlessly with the primary database, automatically populating information gathered in real time into every dashboard.
7. Make Your Field Operations Profitable
Streamlining operations can help turn your service costs into revenue. Automating field services, for example, can allow you to capture more value from time, effort and money spent on field operations. By cutting added physical costs, eliminating waste from time and inaccuracy, and empowering technicians to act as customer service representatives armed with the latest information, you can improve the margins on your service practices.
Acumatica streamlines field service processes.
Acumatica is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning system that includes a fully integrated field service edition for streamlining service processes and capturing the most value from service activities.
Vijay comes with a vast experience in ERP and enterprise solutions space with about 20 years of experience in various packaged application like Acumatica, SAP, Orion, Salesforce.com, SugarCRM and, SalesLogix.