Field service automation is utilized to handle resources in various industries:
- In telecommunications and cable industry, technicians who install cable or run phone lines into residences or business establishments.
- In healthcare, mobile nurses who provide in-home care for elderly or disabled.
- In gas utilities, engineers who are dispatched to Investigate and repair suspected leaks.
- In heavy engineering, industrial and manufacturing, mining.
- In property maintenance, consisting of irrigation, landscaping and home plus office cleaning.
- In HVAC industry, technicians have the expertise and equipment to investigate units in residential, commercial and industrial environments
How is Field Service Automation Done?
There are 3 different ways we can perform field service automation:
- Mobile: Field service is mobile by nature. Usually, someone has to be physically present on site to finish a work order or property pick-up. The technology that best supports field service workflows is usually the technology that’s built to travel. As an alternative to entering data at the office again, numerous field agents now work from smartphones and tablets, renew job statuses while they do the work, obtain digital customer signatures on their mobile devices or print invoices and forms on a mobile printer.
- Software-as-a-Service: In current years, the preface of software-as-a-service pricing models has caused FSM to become an achievable chase for even tiny service companies, which provides them an option to contend against bigger corporations. Examples might include window cleaners, landscapers, or plumbing and HVAC technicians. As an alternative to paying for a costly upfront license and even costlier IT infrastructure, businesses can give a monthly subscription fee to access cloud-hosted FSA software. SaaS deployment also enables greater mobility, since the system is accessible from any device with a web connection, rather than an allotted physical network.
- Integration with back-end systems: Especially for teams who work directly with customers, field service doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Their task is to hand-deliver a solution—whether that be equipment repair, installation, or regular maintenance—in a way that is helpful and convenient for customers. Your agents can only do part of the job, if they don’t have access to the right information, accounts, and back-end systems, which leaves customers incompletely satisfied. That’s why many companies are now adopting solutions with built-in access to other core systems like customer relationship management (CRM), inventory, and accounting. With better integration, field agents can deliver true end-to-end service.
Ideas for implementing automation in field service:
- Automate scheduling
Various aspects of service scheduling and staffing can be completely automated. When service and dispatch professionals put in requests for desired work hours, software can bump these recommendations up against customer needs, finding opportunities for greater efficiency. In addition, alerts and real-time updates can keep leadership abreast of scheduling improvements.
- Streamline work order management
Human error is unavoidable when it comes to pricing, invoicing, and closing out costly jobs. Consider streamlining work order management through automation software. Various tools can provide work estimates to customers, forecast based on previous numbers, and send automated payment or invoicing reminders to all parties involved.
- Simplify dispatch
Field service personnel managers recognize how difficult communication can be. Keeping track of techs, and job completions are key to a dispatch manager’s daily grind. Dispatch automation and route optimization software can simplify dispatch by delivering real-time route information, tech activity while on-site, and notices when jobs are completed.
Main Challenges Faced During Field Service Automation:
- Making the System Responsive
- Keeping Things Moving
- Assuring Ease of Use
- Incoherent employee communication
- Complicated scheduling and dispatch
- Remote inventory management
- Customer and work order management
- Employee tracking and performance
- Over-worked and under-skilled resources
Field service will turn out to be an increasingly competitive industry, as customers become more choosy about the services and products they pay for. An establishment’s skill to deliver fast and effective results through a mobile workforce may be the factor between leading or trailing their competitors. Field service management software is no longer a secret weapon wielded by enterprises; it’s a necessary tool for survival, and one of the best gifts you can give your agents.