Resource Type: White Paper
Published by: Exel Computer Systems
Title: Five benefits of a modern field service management system
About: Understanding what benefits a modern field service management system can provide is vital if you are going to be able to secure the investment required from senior management to take improve the productivity of your field service operation. The following is compiled from extracts of that white paper
It has been stated often and by many well respected industry commentators that a modern field service management solution is an essential tool for field service companies to operate efficiently...
It is imperative that companies no longer view the costs of such a system as an expense but an investment that can yield both increased revenue and reduced operational costs that will ultimately pay for itself.
A key element to building a successful case for securing the funds for that investment is understanding the benefits that a modern field service management can bring. In this white paper published by UK field service management specialists Exel Computer Systems we see five of the key benefits of a modern field service management solution.
1. Stock Visibility
Establishing a healthy cash-flow can be a challenge for companies of all sizes and stature and for field service companies one of this challenge is often magnified by costs being tied up in inventory.
A modern field service management system can provide visibility across the mobile workforce, something which would simply be impossible with either a manual system or an older technology platform. A modern field service management system will also help you identify which items are fast or slow moving helping to further extend a ‘Lean’ approach to inventory management.
2. Job Scheduling
Effective job scheduling sits at the centre of the argument for almost all modern field service management systems but in practice these fall into two separate categories which should be understood when selecting the field service management system that is right for your business.
At one end of the scale there is the simple ‘Call Allocation’ model, which does precisely what you would expect in that it simply allows an operator to decide which engineer gets which job based on their own guestimates. As you can imagine this model is heavily reliant on skilled operators.
At the other end of the scale is ‘Intelligent’ or ‘Dynamic’ scheduling which constantly rearranges the schedule automatically based on prescribed rules and data. As opposed to the ‘Call Allocation’ model which is reliant on human expertise an ‘Intelligent’ scheduler is reliant on having lots of incoming data which can be a costly exercise in terms of both initial resource and finance if it is to operate correctly.
Finally there is a newer, third type of system that bridges the gap and is becoming increasingly popular which is referred to as ‘Assisted Scheduling’. This combines the other two systems in that it utilises rules based logic to provide a suggested schedule but is adaptable by the operator. Understanding which type of system will benefit your organisation the most is an important factor in choosing the best field service management system for your organisation.
3. Time to Invoice
Ten years ago a delay of between 6-8 weeks between an engineer visit and an invoice reaching the customer was common place. As with understanding inventory, such a delay can put unnecessary strain on the P&L. With a modern field service management system the ability to invoice on a same day basis, even when the engineer is still onsite is very much a reality.
Keeping a track on costs is an essential, vital and fundamental element of any business. However, for companies with a field service division it is perhaps less transparent and therefore harder to achieve.
When workload doesn’t always necessarily mean profit then it is absolutely critical that you are able to have real-time access to the visibility of your costs alongside effective business reporting to allow you to measure and then manage. This is again a key benefit of a modern field service management system.
5. Customer Relationship Management
Okay so if we are completely honest the cliché that ‘the customer is always right’ may not always ring true in one thing is for certain, knowing and understanding your customers is the most effective way of doing business with them. A modern field service management system combines all the widely accepted benefits of a CRM system with the unique information relating to each interaction for every customer, including interactions with the field service engineers.
The greatest advantage is that this information is also available to every member of your mobile workforce, allowing for greater service as well as ensuring service contracts are up to date so work isn’t given away for free!