Field Service Management
Deciding Whether or Not to Invest in Field Service Management Software
By: Sam Darwish

Trying to decide if field service management software is worth implementing into your contractor business? A recent 2019 survey of EC&M, Contracting Business and contractor subscribers breaks it down.

There are many benefits to using field service management software. For starters, to measure the safety of employees, vehicles, and other mobile assets being used in the field. Second, managing productivity. 49% of those surveyed said they already use field service management software for real-time information about the location of their vehicles, 46% also use this software for real-time information about their field employees, such as location and status, as stated by an article about the survey on contractor.com. Having this information allows business owners a real-time view of their productivity which can lead to lower capital and operating expenses as well as preserving a positive brand recognition with clients and employees. Each of these benefits brings a competitive edge and enables greater market differentiation.

Time

Smart field service management software can give you up to date information on the location of your vehicles, equipment, or field employees. Having this ability allows management to evaluate allotted times given for specific tasks and gives dispatchers the ability to provide accurate ETAs to customers. Imagine trying to retask employees and assets to other job sites without this information available at the click of a button. Long are the days of waiting for a callback or a text message to come through from an employee in the field before a decision can be made. Twenty-six percent of participants in the aforementioned survey said it can sometimes take one hour to get a response from the field. Field service management solutions eliminate that waiting period saving fleet managers countless minutes. Custom software creates an interface to deliver the information straight to their mobile phone, tablet, or desktop computer. In addition to saving precious time, real-time updates can reveal scheduling conflicts and inefficiencies. As many as nineteen percent identified scheduling inefficiencies as their top business challenge when answering the survey on contactor.com.

DAVACO is a Dallas based company that manages and executes high-volume remodels, rollouts, surveys, and technology deployments across the globe. They needed a way to manage workforce utilization by showing the hours assigned to a task vs. the hours actually worked on the task. They also wanted to be able to provide their clients with real-time updates when one of their assets was deployed or serviced to quantify the asset's lifecycle cost. By implementing a custom project and field service management software unique to their needs, DAVACO was able to decrease travel costs by 18% and even acquire more jobs locally. Often their clients manage complex programs utilizing multiple vendors and the benefit of on-demand service technology allowed for consolidating vendors and efficiently scheduling their field workforce.

Another example is with Samsung SDS needing to increase the speed and accuracy of collecting data in the field before installations (done by third-party contractors) as well as create a mobile interface for survey scheduling and resource management. After implementing a field service management solution software they were able to achieve more consistent data capture and instant reporting, saving their surveyors up to 60% of their time in the field, while the centralized web portals allow the home office to view and manage the captured data efficiently at the site or portfolio level. Samsung was able to reduce install times by 25% using their field management software to plan the installs. Having a better understanding of the scope of work ensured their teams were prepared before being onsite.

Safety

Ask any service-oriented business and they will likely tell you that safety is their number one concern when it comes to their employees. Employee safety is especially crucial for businesses that employ those with trade skills. These people are particularly hard to replace when one of them is injured and could be out for weeks or months. A lot of times field workers are on remote sites and even working alone, which makes up to date location information imperative to their safety in the event of an accident. Especially with the number of 'delivery' style services we see today, there is an increased chance of injuries to workers while in transit. A field service management solution cannot decrease those risks but can certainly make the process easier to handle.

Speaking of driving, some field service management software can even give weekly reports or alerts on field employees' driving habits. Sure it may sound like micro-managing but when a company accumulates yearly damages in the $1 million, adjustments need to be made. Not only can you decrease the cost of damages by coaching specific employees with poor driving habits but fewer damages also equal lower insurance premiums and less wear and tear on vehicles and other equipment. All of these overhead costs should be considered when deciding whether to invest in a field service management solution.

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