The growth of digital dependence means that businesses are more reliant on technology now than ever before. However, from time to time, this technology can fail us — that’s where field service management comes into play. In some businesses, operations are spread across the country through remote employees. Manned by a mobile workforce, field service management is a method of coordinating these remote operations and can include anything from scheduling service orders to dispatching engineers and tracking the progress of jobs.
When managed through non-digital methods, this was easier said than done. However, field service management software has revolutionised this. With the right software, all aspects can be controlled from one central — usually mobile-based — platform.
So, with this in mind, what features should field management software have? Datawright analyses the stumbling blocks many field service engineers face and how the right software can help negate the issue.
Live monitoring of stock
Problem: A replacement part is needed. In order to provide a realistic timeframe for the maintenance to be carried out, the engineer needs to have full awareness of available stock. If this isn’t possible, the engineer could commit to an unrealistic time frame which, once missed, will lead to customer dissatisfaction and negatively impact your business.
Solution: With live stock information that updates in real-time, field service engineers can eradicate this issue. An intuitive software system that can be accessed on the move and is connected to a stock inventory system takes the guesswork out of field service management, meaning realistic timescales can be given.
The main benefit of this is increased visibility across the stock inventory. As a result, engineers can have the right parts with them when they arrive.
Problem: Unexpected delays are not accounted for when using traditional scheduling methods. An engineer may arrive at a site expecting to carry out maintenance within a given timeframe, however, unforeseen issues can severely impact an engineer’s schedule. As a result, rescheduling tasks can be time-consuming and makes planning new service requests more difficult.
Solution: The right software solution provides a comprehensive view of schedules and work. GPS connectivity is essential from any software package in order to track the whereabouts of engineers. This means that should circumstances change and an engineer becomes delayed, a business can react and put resources in place to ensure service windows are met.
Enabling predictive maintenance
Problem: In many cases, problems are unexpected. Scheduled maintenance provides regular check-ups for machinery and equipment, yet does not consider the gaps in-between, where external factors like usage, equipment age and production schedules could have an impact.
Solution: Field service management software allows you to automate preventative maintenance. Once a certain milestone is hit — such as age, for example — preventative maintenance can be carried out to stop problems from taking effect and impacting your business.