What to Look for in a Mobile Field Service Management Solution

Mobile Field Service Management Software Office Functions

Office Function

Description

Customer File Maintenance
  • Interfacing of data originating from CRM, contact management and/or financial systems to provide up-to-date/synchronized information flows.
Installed Base Maintenance
  • Automatic updating of installed base records for moves/adds/changes, or when parts are used during a service call.
Service Agreements Administration
  • Interfacing of installed base, billing, call handling, and parts databases to determine entitlement and billables (becoming increasingly customized).
Order Entry
  • May range from a complete manual interface to a customer-controlled
    interface where the creation of a work-order is an escalation step; heavily dependent on the complexity of the equipment and/or software.
Scheduling
  • Utilizing real-time location functionality to make the most efficient dispatch decisions usually driven by response times as delineated in service agreements.
Dispatching
  • Assigns field technicians to customer sites, and balances the workload; should also have the capability to seamlessly allocate inventory and ship parts.
Installation Planning
  • Generally driven by equipment availability and supported by an interface with the logistics function and/or purchasing module (some complicated projects that include design/site readiness, software development, etc. may require an add-on project management tool).
Help Desk
  • Customer support functionality built on a foundation of electronic documentation, decision trees, case-based reasoning techniques, and knowledge-based tools.
Reporting
  • Financial, for billing, post-calculations and cost tracking/allocation; Operational,
    for process control and management; and Analysis, to assess processes and drive process improvement, inventory investments and customer satisfaction.
Logistics
  • Principal elements are forecasting, planning, purchasing, warehousing, replenishment/auto-replenishment, emergency parts ordering, returns handling, depot repair, and inventory control (often linked to ERP and Supply Chain Management systems.).
Purchasing
  • Provides a direct link between the cost of the purchased goods and services to the billing side of the business.
Selling
  • Facilitates the real-time ability to quote/price goods and services (e.g., service agreements, parts and accessories, T&M support, etc.).
Billing
  • Generally interfaced to the organization’s financial systems so that invoices can be created in real-time, directly from the field.
Communication
  • Real-time, wireless data communications enable organizations to instantly link their office functions with the mobile/field workforce.

Mobile Field Service Management Software Field Functions

Field Function

Description

    Maintaining the Schedule
  • Interactivity between field and office functions allows for scheduling information to be updated without the need for a telephone.
Activity Tracking
  • Direct integration into a front-end application, so that information can be transferred in real-time to update office records.
Time Tracking
  • Integrated into the front-end application so that a single entry will allow information to be distributed to multiple modules.
Expenses
  • Built into the front-end application, so that a single entry can be linked to multiple parts of the office system, expediting account reconciliation.
Inventory
  • Provides for real-time trunk inventory tracking, parts ordering, and automatic replenishment.
Reporting
  • An automated, easy-to-use, virtual Field Service Report, containing the appropriate information on areas including activity tracking, time tracking, expenses, parts used, etc.
Billing
  • Real-time field billing functionality (incorporating electronic signature capture) allows for automatic invoicing for service, parts and/or consumables, and accessories; linked to the main system for billing, and synchronization of information.
Notes
  • Functionality that replicates the field technician’s ability to record notes in the field about customers, parts, equipment, calibration, etc.
Documentation
  • Instant accessibility of support documentation (e.g., instructions, drawings, etc.) delivered via field communications devices.
Communication
  • Communication interface that can handle the required channels/carriers, for both voice and data communications.
Customer Information
  • Real-time access to customer information base, allowing for instant, and easy, updating of customer information from the field.
Installed Base Information
  • Ability to make installed base and configuration information available to field technicians in real time, and facilitate automatic updates.
Service Agreement Information
  • Ability to provide field technicians with real-time access to service agreement information to determine entitlement, customer billing, etc.
Selling
  • Provides field technicians with access to catalog and pricing information so they can sell consumables and accessories to customers while they are on-site.
Knowledge-based Systems
  • Provides field technicians with access to knowledge-based systems to assist them in the diagnosis process.

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