Inventory Management in a Field Service Software

Field Force Tracker provides integrated inventory management functions. It allows you to maintain inventory in the office and service vans.  It lets field technicians to  manage inventory in the field.

Impact of Inventory Management on Field Service

The service operation is complicated and must have a number of different and disparate functions work together to deliver a successful end result. When it comes to service delivery, the more visible and customer facing the function is, the more likely it is to get all the glory or blame.

The attention that customer facing service functions receive translates into a good amount of “buzz” in the media surrounding the new trends associated with exceptional service delivery, such as cloud-based applications, social media, and multi-channel tools.

Exceptional service delivery does not rely solely on field service technicians. Even though service parts haven’t received the same level of attention as field service, the importance of the individual parts of service execution cannot be overlooked. As shown in Aberdeen’s 2016 Field Service research, 51% of respondents reported that the most common reason why an issue cannot be resolved on the first visit of a field technician was due to part unavailability. Since more than half of all visits required a part, the report found that the rate of unresolved visits would likely negatively impact metrics for customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Inventory Management is very Important

The impact of efficient parts management on the customer cannot be overstated. Top performing organizations understand the important role that parts play in service delivery. In order to mitigate the risk of not having the right part when it is needed, nearly half of all top performing organizations (48%) in Aberdeen’s 2016 Field Service research have implemented tools that are used to link real-time updates of parts usage from a technician’s stock to their scheduling criteria.

In a recent Aberdeen research study on Service Parts Management, top performing organizations were 64% more likely than all other organizations to have a senior executive in place with oversight of service parts. This is not an idle position by any means. A senior service executive or Chief Service Officer with parts management responsibilities is integral for leading the strategic vision for parts operations, monitoring the revenue implications and opportunities of service parts, weighing the costs and benefits of carrying service parts versus new ones, and ensuring that parts operations seamlessly works with other functions within service and beyond.

Best Practices for Inventory Management

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In order to derive the type of gains from parts that these service leaders expect, top performing organizations have implemented a few best practices:

  • Field service organizations have access to parts inventories
  • Parts data is captured and analyzed to aid in forecasting service demand
  • Early warning processes have been put in place to alert management of stock-out situations
  • Service quality or continuous improvement programs (i.e., Six Sigma and Lean tools) have been implemented

These are just a few of the best-in-class practices that have helped drive higher part fill rates, improved first-time fix rates, lower inventory costs, and more accurate part inventories.