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What is Field Service Management?

Field service management (FSM) is a term that’s used a lot these days, but not everyone knows what it means – and that’s okay. In this post, we’ll talk about what it is, why it matters, and how good field service management software can profoundly impact your bottom line.

Field service management is really just a more efficient way of referring to the way a company manages its resources while they’re off-site and serving the business, and how it all integrates with the company’s back-office systems (like inventory, billing, and accounting). 

Dispatching employees to assignments, communicating with employees in the field, gathering data about employee performance out in the field, and sharing customer history or contracts between the field and the office would all be considered field service management issues. 

Not all businesses deal with field service management. Companies with fleets or contractors who visit customers off-site to provide goods or services are the ones where good field service management is essential. 

Examples of companies that benefit from good FSM:

  • HVAC companies
  • Elevator
  • Refrigeration
  • Electricians
  • Air Conditioning
  • Landscaping
  • Plumbing
  • Heating
  • Telecommunications
  • Network Service
  • Supermarkets
  • Security
  • Pest control
  • Restaurants
  • Mechanical

A Brief History of Field Service Management

Field service management has always been something highly mobile businesses have had to address. Where are your contractors? How do you get all your on-site paperwork properly entered into your records? How do you make sure your employees have the information they need when they’re out on the job? How can you get your employees to spend less time on the road and more time on the job? 

All of these things are issues of field service management, and they’ve traditionally presented big challenges to many businesses of all sizes. In this day and age, though, technology has allowed us to leap forward in nearly every area of field service management. In a time when computers and GPS units are tiny, fast, and connected almost all the time, field service management software makes sure everybody on your team has the information and instruction they need – in real time.

What is the Impact on Your Bottom Line?

The right field service management software can have an enormous impact on your bottom line – and in some cases, it could even be the difference between success and failure. In addition to managing your resources better, good field service management can also increase customer satisfaction and even employee morale. 

How, you ask? Let’s take a look at some examples.

Suppose your contractor is out on the job site with a customer, and the customer wants to know the details of what your company did to their master bath the previous year, along with how much it would cost to do a similar job to another bathroom in their home.

Without FSM software, your contractor would likely have to call back to the office, hope someone was free, and wait while they located the records. Worst case scenario, your office is short-staffed that day and they can’t get back with your contractor in a timely fashion. The customer is annoyed, your contractor feels uncomfortable, and the next job goes to a company that seems more organized and on top of things.

With FSM software, your contractor pulls the customer’s history while on-site and answers their questions about past services your company has performed for them. Afterwards, he or she can create a new estimate using templates you’ve created, easily selecting equipment, parts, and materials from inventory and labor amounts, using user-defined price sheets and margins.

Your customer is happy, your employee feels competent and pleased to be dealing with a happy customer, and your company gets another job out of it. It’s a win for everyone.

You’re trying to grow your business, but there’s a general sense of chaos that’s making it hard to grow without things falling through the cracks. Nobody can find the right contracts and permits, leads aren’t getting the right follow-up, and your bookkeeping gets behind every time business picks up. 

Field service management software cuts out a lot of unnecessary steps and data entry, and it makes it significantly easier for the right employees to get the right information (based on permissions you set). With SAWIN, we can either integrate with your existing accounting or provide a GAAP-based accounting system to make sure everything is accurate and integrated to make your life easier. Important project documents like contracts, estimates, and job permits are centrally located and accessible on the go.

You’re spending a fortune on fuel, but your drivers aren’t completing nearly as many jobs as you feel they should be. On top of that, you’re dealing with far too many issues of double-booking, missed appointments, and inefficient re-assignments.

SAWIN’s service dispatch solutions can help you more efficiently create, book, assign, manage, and complete work assignments for the day. If an employee is running late on a job, your dispatcher will know and be able to re-assign the job accordingly. If they try to create a booking with a schedule conflict, they’ll know instantly. 

By reducing errors and making better assignments, you’ll boost both your efficiency and your overall customer satisfaction. 

Every Business with Field Workers Needs Field Service Management

In this day and age, every business with field workers needs to be thinking about field service management. The technology at our disposal has incredible power to make businesses more efficient and profitable than ever before.  

Perhaps even more importantly, it’s good to remember that even if you’re not thinking about it, you can bet your competitors will be.