HVAC Field Service Software

HVAC companies face some unique challenges in field service.

HVAC service business is a demanding business requiring utmost attention and skills of technicians. Not only business is very competitive, the electricity companies are bundling services as part of their operations.

Hence, to be able to compete with large corporations, you need an efficient field service software like Field Force Tracker. The software enables HVAC companies to succeed and manage their operations more efficiently.

HVAC  Service Operation Management

For many, some or all of their work can be emergency calls, which come in that day. These then need to be prioritized and worked into the day’s schedule as soon as possible, but this then means changes to the planned work and it is understandably difficult to make on the spot decisions about what should give.

Many HVAC companies we speak to are still relying on paper-based processes to some extent in managing their workflow. This brings additional difficulty to making changes to schedules and allocating work to technicians as those in the office may not be working with all the information they need.

HVAC companies often also cover a lot of different areas of work. These are highly complex and require the right skills, parts or tools for the individual tasks. Workflows may have a number of dependencies which need to be stuck to, to complete the job. Many companies cover everything from design to install, renovation and service work, meaning each day is different to the last.

The use of paper-based processes can mean that up to date information is not available until a few days after the work has been completed, so delays occur in checking stock, re-ordering parts and getting out invoices.

A further issue that HVAC companies face is how fast the industry is evolving. Equipment is becoming smarter with HVAC units becoming much more complex and more connected and intelligent buildings are growing in their popularity. Customer expectations increase alongside this technological evolution and service delivery must keep pace with these advancements.

Here we look at how some of our Field Force Tracker HVAC customers overcame the issues they faced in their evolving businesses and see the benefits and results they achieved.

Eliminating Paperwork for Field Service

One of our customers had a paper-based work order system they’d been using for decades that was inefficient and expensive. Technicians had to visit the office every day, so travel costs were high and technicians had less time for jobs. Processing the paperwork meant significant administrative overhead and time as it took 7-10 days to invoice customers from the job completion.

Field Force Tracker solved the paper problem. All work orders are now generated and submitted electronically. As a result, the company:

  • Significantly reduced the number of office trips by technicians, cutting travel costs and increasing revenue-producing hours.
  • Eliminated the need for administrative overhead dedicated invoicing.
  • Decreased the time from service completion to invoice from days to minutes.

More Efficient Service Calls Management

Another HVAC company realized that cloud-based technology was the best way to make their business processes more efficient, and maximize profits. They have both residential and commercial customers, so wanted a solution that could handle both. Through using Field Force Tracker they now can connect with a specific technician or multiple technicians to assign jobs or alert them of a new/changed job, which they can see on the mobile app. The dispatch capabilities provide alerts, location tracking and GPS routing. It also works as a time sheet to ensure that work is being recorded. The price book in the app means that an estimate can be emailed, which the customer can sign off, saving time as well as keeping an accurate account of what has been done.

They estimate saving 40-60 hours a week.  No time is wasted, the technicians get jobs faster, and we can track the job status so they can immediately go to the next job. Jobs are completed more quickly, so we can schedule more jobs per day with the saved time.

The highest praise comes for the accounting features. The easy sync with QuickBooks eliminates double entry of invoices in our accounting system and we can simply e-mail invoices to customers.

Improved Customer Service

One of our HVAC customer was looking for ways to reduce paperwork and increase the profitability of their business as well as deliver even better service to customers.  Prior to Field Force Tracker the dispatcher would receive calls and dispatch jobs to the technicians through manual text messages. Technicians would write out paper estimates on site and then return completed work orders to the office at the end of day, causing extra drive time and lag time.

Now, the dispatcher can quickly review each technician’s status using the scheduler and assign new jobs to the next available technician. On site, technicians can collect more information with the mobile app. For instance, the tech can record the model and serial number of each piece of equipment. “With this type of information stored in the customer’s record, we can easily determine what parts are needed to complete the job.”

Efficient Inventory Management

They also use Field Force Tracker reports to predict customer needs. “If I see that 20 of our customers have the same furnace model, it makes sense to start carrying replacement parts for that model.” That means faster service since they no longer have to order parts through their distributor when the need arises. Instead, the trucks are fully-stocked with the proper parts.

Field Force Tracker leads the way in simplifying field service for HVAC companies. Our solutions let you automate your field work – from dispatching work to updating job info on site and instantly sending electronic invoices – all from our easy to use mobile app.

About Field Force Tracker

Field Force Tracker (http://www.fieldforcetracker.com) is a leading global provider of its award winning mobile workforce solutions for service-based businesses of all sizes delivered as software-as-a-service (SaaS). Our solutions enable businesses of all sizes (from 1 user to 10,000 users) to meet the challenges associated with managing and running complex service operations. It helps in improving the productivity of their mobile workforce.

With Field Force Tracker, customers can create service schedule and route quickly, dispatch sooner, collect correct information at once in the field and invoice faster. The field service software makes it easy for users to eliminate waste, get more done in less time and be more profitable.

Field Force Tracker is a wholly owned unit of Rapidsoft Systems Inc. (http://www.rapidsoftsystems.com). Rapidsoft Systems, Inc. has its main office in Princeton, NJ, USA, a US R&D Center in Mercerville NJ, and sales, support and development offices in Palo Alto, CA, USA, Singapore, Dubai (UAE), Bombay, and Noida (India).

Improving Field Service Using New Technologies

The most definitive qualities of a Field Service organization is well established practices and client focused set up. In any case, best-in-class service organizations. However, best-in-class service providers know that it takes more than that to stay ahead of the game. Here are three steps you can take to make your company more competitive in the field services industry.

Make Customer Satisfaction a Priority

Best-in-class service providers know that the most important metric is customer satisfaction. That is why they are taking great strides to adopt measures that consistently target this metrics. From tackling issues like real-time repairs to data analysis, successful service providers are capitalizing on all tools available to ensure their customer’ss needs are met quickly and efficiently.

• Make communications easier: Offering alternatives to phone and email-based customer service is one way best-in-class companies are adjusting their business processes to reflect customer habits. Not only is this the more flexible option for customers -available 24/7, no need to wait on hold for customer service representatives, adjustable to the customer’s own schedule – it is also a more cost-effective alternative for service providers.

• Focus on solutions: Working with field service management (FSM) software is making it possible for service providers to collect and assess large amounts of data across an extensive client base. By comparing and contrasting data sets, the best-in-class are able to detect repeated patterns in machine breakdowns and offset these disruptions with tailored maintenance schedules. This ensures less downtime for customers and stable productivity rates. In addition, accumulated data provides insight into recurring problems that helps improve first-time-fix rates and offer quality service.


• Keep customers involved: Keeping customers in the loop regarding scheduling, arrivals, and real-time status updates is key for customer satisfaction. Customers are looking for a transparent service experience that allows for their active involvement. Allowing customers to schedule appointments that work for them and track status in real-time gives them control over their service experience. Customers who knows that you value their time are customers who will value your services.

Explore new approaches to Field Service

Good service providers know the company and their customers better than anyone. They know what works and what does not. Best-in-class service providers take this one step further. They know that being good at something is not the same as being great at something. Sometimes a company needs to adapt its business strategy to new models and technologies. Keeping an eye on trends affecting the industry is essential for staying ahead of the pack.
• IoT and predictive technology: The inter-connectivity made possible through IoT is powering a number of other innovations triggered by the digital transformation. For example, the aforementioned messenger systems changing customer service often rely on QR codes that are scannable using mobile devices. And in much the same way, machines fitted with sensors are communicating with connected devices to alert service technicians and users to imminent breakdowns or repair needs. This kind of predictive technology is making it possible to fix problems before they occur.

• Crowd service: With predictive technology comes a greater need for manpower. The best-in-class are turning to crowd service solutions to accommodate the need for skilled and experienced service technicians. By integrating a crowd – a pool of service technicians made up of the company’s own employees, partners, subcontractors, and freelancers – into their labor force, service providers are sure to have ready access to a capable technician whenever necessary. This is making it possible to provide preemptive and real-time fixes.

• Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality: With the increase in data from machine sensors, FSM software, and crowd service technicians, it is becoming increasingly difficult to rely on manual scheduling. The best-in-class are turning to AI to help sift through all the data and determine the best possible scheduling solutions. Given the customer’s history, device issue, location, technician’s expertise, road and weather conditions, and more, an AI-powered scheduling system can immediately determine the best woman or man for the job. And should a service technician lack some of the necessary expertise, he or she can count on augmented reality solutions like AR goggles or mobile device overlays to help locate and fix an issue. Service technicians can even use AR to involve an offsite specialist in the repair process.

• Virtual reality and digital twins: Virtual reality has also been a game changer. It is making it possible for companies to create virtual models of devices, digital twins, before investing the financial and manpower resources into the manufacturing. These digital twins not only make it possible for companies to determine how a device will best operate or perhaps even malfunction, they can also track and monitor the manufactured device across their lifecycle. This is a real attribute for predictive maintenance.

Though your company might not need all these technologies to operate successfully, studies have shown that best-in-class are 45% more likely to monitor several parameters to perform predictive and proactive maintenance. They are also 70% more likely to offer their service technicians resources accessible while on site to help them get the job done. With this kind of dedication by the best-in-class to provide optimized service, it is a risk to your competitive edge not consider all the options available.

Promote employee development

Technology is nothing without the people implementing it. Employee engagement is essential for best-in-class service providers. They take special care to ensure their employees are motivated, well-trained, and an integral part of business development.

• Manage your workforce: There is of course a challenge to managing a mobile workforce. With service technicians scattered across a number of locations on any given day, service providers must work hard to optimize communications and training to guarantee consistent and reliable service. If service technicians do not feel like a valued and integrated part of the business, they are less likely to perform well.

 

• Adapt to the Changing Times: The demands on service technicians are changing with the digital transformation. By that same token, the way the future labor force is approaching career goals is also shifting. With a new generation of employees entering the labor market, companies need to take into account new demands for flexibility, mobility, and diversity. This is especially obvious when considering millennial, who are more drawn to jobs with flexible work schedules and locations, and a diverse set of responsibilities. Adapting your business model to align with these interests will be essential for attracting new talent.

It is not an easy to task to implement all these changes in one fell swoop. However, the best place to start when considering how to improve your business performance is with the people most affected by your practices. Engaging with your customers and employees will provide the kind of insight you need to transition from good to great! co-ops realize that it takes more than that to remain on top of things.

Using Field Service Software For Business Excellence

Field Force Tracker is designed to give visibility to internal operations of your business. It helps in organizing the operation better. Whether you are a one person operation or a company with thousands of users, field force tracker can help your business.

Service Managers with responsibility for operational and service areas of the business, need to know what is happening in their organization at any time, that is a given. The manager needs to have this visibility, from wherever they are. Whether they are in the office or out and about they need to have a good understanding of what is actually happening. Not from what was planned for the day or from what they are being told, but what is happening in real-time and at any time. Your ability to support customers depends on the tools that you have.

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Better Information Organization

Information needs to be simple to access. It needs to be easy to understand, accurate and instant. Ideally access to job status, customer information, location information, asset information and notifications should all be in one place. That would make life easier for every one.

The ultimate of any field service solution is quite simply better visibility of the workflow to and from the field. Ease of integration is a key part of any new solution as an integrated field service solution means that the two-way flow of data and information is captured just once and in a consistent and efficient way. It means that no data is left unused or delayed while waiting on paperwork to be finished or for collected information to be downloaded and an audit trail is in place reducing the chance of any lost or missing information.

All areas of the business can then have visibility of what they need to access, making their work more straightforward and productive.

Here we look at the benefits different parts of the business can get from the improved visibility that field service solutions bring:

The Business Owner/Manager Benefits

For the business owner, or field service manager, reports can be easily accessed on any criteria as systems are linked and ‘speak’ to each other. The health of the business can be easily monitored and customizable reports can be run on jobs, revenue, inventory, employee hours, customer surveys, invoices and customer data.

Profitability can be reviewed by customer, service or product allowing focus on driving higher overall revenue and increased margins.

The Service Manager Benefits

The Field service manager can see real-time status updates of all jobs (scheduled, started, paused, completed) across the teams and also assess the productivity of individual staff members across jobs and tasks.

Workflow can become automated reducing paperwork and eliminating lost or delayed time through scheduling improvements and job completion rates.

They have this visibility from wherever they are, whether in the office or not as all information can be easily accessed through their mobile device.

Service Administrator/Dispatcher Benefits

For the team in the office they can assign jobs faster with improved scheduling, increasing the number of jobs field technicians receive due to the reduced time. There is real-time visibility for scheduling and updating of jobs, significantly faster capture of customer information and service requests and the distribution of work orders is instantaneous.

There are significant time savings from the reduction or elimination of paperwork and the team or individual is then able to be more productive on other tasks.

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The Field Technician Benefits

For a field worker improved visibility, through an integrated mobile solution, means they can do their job in the best possible way. Critical information can be accessed and shared in real time in the office and the field. Through integration with other back office systems, the field worker has access to the job history and customer records allowing for a more detailed understanding of not only the job they are going to but also what has happened before and why. Turning up to site and having this information on the job detail to hand or having access to it, means there is better chance of job resolution on this first visit and all the benefits this brings to an organization, the technician and the customer.

Office Manager Benefits

As the work gets recorded, the work and travel time can be accurately recorded for allocating to customer accounts and also through integration with other systems, the data can be exported into HR applications. This part of the automated process helps to limit erroneous overtime costs and reduce payroll errors.

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Accounting and Finance

For those in the finance team invoices can be automated immediately upon job completion. A work order, for example, can be issued, then on job completion the customer can be invoiced immediately, achieving a quicker payment cycle through this order to cash automation. Data can be transferred electronically between systems, making accounting and payroll tasks more efficient and accurate.

Financial reporting becomes more straightforward as customizable reports include all the relevant information on revenue, costs and employees.

Real-time visibility provides many of the answers a field service organization will need to better-manage the day to day operations and deal with whatever the day demands across the entire business.

About Field Force Tracker

Field Force Tracker is a cloud based very comprehensive field service management software for all business types. It can take care of work-orders, customer management, scheduling, customer history, product history, invoicing, payments, inventory management, Timesheet, tracking, parts and assets electronic estimates, and service contracts, Warranty Service, customizable invoices with signatures, email notifications, recurring, Reports etc. It is a very feature rich system with many unique and advanced features for a business like yours. The Field Force Tracker offers many very powerful features to manage your employees.

The program has capability of editing the work orders in the field. The program also has capability to upload pictures, documents and take signatures and notes on the mobile and web. Our solution has GPS integrated in it so you can monitor your technicians when they are in the field. This will allow you to see them live on your map. Each technician’s status will be updated automatically but the technician can update it manually too. We can also integrate your QuickBooks with the Field Force Tracker software (Sage/ MYOB Planned). The solution is supported by mobile apps that work on iPhone, Android and on all tablets. 

Understanding Requirements of Field Service Organizations

Field Force Tracker is a leading solution for Field Service Management. In this article, we discuss how it can help different type of field service organization meet their challenges of optimum service. However, before we do that let us try to understand the results of study that tells how organizations can optimize their returns from field service software.

For field service organizations, automating manual processes using field service management (FSM) solutions is generally a good thing – but only as long as the solution actually addresses the inefficiencies the company is facing. Unsuccessful technology deployments often involve deploying solutions that don’t fix the Field Service Organizations (FSOs) actual problem, or that were built to solve problems they didn’t have in the first place.

Researchers at  cloud-based automation solution provider Field Force Tracker teamed up on a new report that outlines the types of FSM solutions available, their respective benefits, and what field service tasks they are were designed to improve.

field-service-software-for-enterprise

Field Service Organization Need Automation

FSOs need that guidance to ensure they get the most out of their investments. According to the report, 75 percent of organizations with more than 50 field technicians will own at least one field service solution by 2018, but they will miss 20 percent of the potential benefits because of “incomplete integration or deployment.”

In the report, researchers have helpfully broken down the field service automation market into six basic categories based on functionality in an effort to help guide field service organizations in their software selection efforts and “see where best to put their investment, based on the outcomes they need to achieve.”

Categorizing Field Service Software Requirements

There are lots of choices all around. You get software that is designed for mom-and-pop operation as well as that is designed for the big enterprise organization. Each software is unique. It is not a bad thing because service organizations themselves vary in terms of requirements.

The six main categories of field service software include:

Field Service Demand Management:

These field service software solutions allow FSOs to gather all work order demand in on place, including parts, tools, and skills, as well as demand signals generated by customers, connected assets, and field technicians themselves. These solutions tie demand to contract entitlements or preferences, SLAs, and warranty coverage.

These  step alone is enough for many organizations to meet their service obligations. This allows you to manage your work orders and service resources optimally.

Field Service Work Planning:

These systems simplify work order prioritization and automate scheduling optimization by using advanced algorithms and machine learning. The software can improve workforce optimization by predicting potential shortages caused by overtime cost, time off, traffic conditions and other constraints. It also takes into account customer preferences, SLA commitments, and regulatory requirements, along with ensuring the availability of required parts.

This software takes you to next stage of service delivery where you can control resources but also manage cost of delivery of your services.

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Field Service Technician Enablement:

This is software that can help technicians find equipment or other assets at a customer location, access repair histories, and view instructions for completing a repair. Technicians can also access support resources for diagnostics, source parts, initiate contract adjustments, and scope out new work orders. These solutions depend heavily on the use of mobile technologies, and require a much more active role for the technician in customer and work management.

By doing this, you are increasing the satisfaction of your employees. They are spending less time on fixing problems as they get all the information they need on their mobile devices.

Work Order  Management and Information Management:

This is probably the most familiar FSM solution, and combined with work planning makes up the heart of many work order/field service management solutions.

These systems reduce manual entry by replacing paper work orders and enabling technicians to capture work financials and next steps in real time. Technicians use a mobile device to record time, expenses, parts and tasks completed. In some cases, they can also collect customer signatures and payments, and take photos or videos to document their work.

Service Contract Management and Operations:

These solutions are more focused on back-office activities, and enable office staff to manage contracts, entitlements, billing and warranty. The software also manages the process of recording equipment maintenance histories and documenting coverages and planned maintenance tasks.

Service Analytics, Reporting and Integration:

Analysis is an increasingly important component, as it not only gives FSOs the ability to gauge the success of their technology deployments, but also helps identify and correct potential service problems, such as lagging productivity, parts ordering delays, or SLA compliance problems. Metrics typically include technician productivity (based on completed work orders), first-time fix rates, billable hours, mean time to repair, attach rate, SLA achievement rate, etc.

How Field Force Tracker Can Help

We believe the FFT will take care of the operational requirements of your field service business and we have made it very easy and affordable. We offer most of the key features that are essential to manage your business.

Field Force Tracker is a cloud based very comprehensive field service management software for all business types. It can take care of work-orders, customer management, scheduling, customer history, product history, invoicing, payments, inventory management, Timesheet, tracking, parts and assets electronic estimates, and service contracts, Warranty Service, customizable invoices with signatures, email notifications, recurring, Reports etc. It is a very feature rich system with many unique and advanced features for a business like yours. The Field Force Tracker offers many very powerful features to manage your employees. The program has capability of editing the work orders in the field. The program also has capability to upload pictures, documents and take signatures and notes on the mobile and web. Our solution has GPS integrated in it so you can monitor your technicians when they are in the field. This will allow you to see them live on your map. Each technician’s status will be updated automatically but the technician can update it manually too. We can also integrate your QuickBooks with the Field Force Tracker software (Sage/ MYOB Planned). The solution is supported by mobile apps that work on iPhone, Android and on all tablets.

Call us at support@fieldforcetracker.com

The ever increasing value of mobility in field service business

As part of Field Force Tracker’s current mobility campaign, we discuss what to expect from mobility as tool in modern field service.

Using Mobility to Meet Field Service Goals

Before we discuss what is needed of field service mobility, it is important to understand the goals of any successful mobility organization. A field service organization is a revenue enabler for the manufacturing organization. But for a small service business, it is the business in itself. So what should be the objectives? Lets discuss those.
Best-in-Class organizations have four main target areas (in order of priority):

  • Improve customer retention and loyalty
  • Improve service-related profitability
  • Improve quality / relevance of service data
  • Improve service information capabilities (i.e. mobility, knowledge sharing)

Focus on Mobility

With advancements in field service management software going hand-in-hand with the mobile evolution, the focus in service operations is quite firmly now on the field worker themselves.
This is quite right too. The technician or engineer has long been the face of the organization and often the only direct contact a customer will have, so the customer experience they are able to deliver counts for a great deal.
The technician needs a mobile solution which helps them to do their job in the best possible way.

The technician needs a mobile solution which helps them to do their job in the best possible way. The workflow to and from the back office has to be seamless as this quick and easy access to information enables better decision-making and ultimately improved resolution.
Through integration with other back office systems the field worker has access to the job history and customer records allowing for a more detailed understanding of not only the task at hand but also what has happened before and why.

Knowledge of the different elements of the task are often fundamental in the delivery of service excellence and turning up to site with this information at hand or having access to it, as we know from business or personal experience, delivers an improved customer experience.

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Maximizing Value of Field Service Mobility

Any mobility solution should be easy to use. Overly-complicated systems will be bypassed and worked around or ignored all together
From working with a range of companies, who are either looking at developing their mobile strategy or starting out from scratch, we’ve found that there are some common principals.

Ease of integration is key. You don’t need to have to think about changing your whole field service solution. Extending the life of current systems is all important so look at mobile solutions which will leverage and expand their use.

Implementation needs to be as quick and straightforward as possible. A lengthy implementation process will defeat its objective. So being up and running in days, not months, should be the realistic goal – delivering a much faster ROI.

telecom-maintenance-software

Any mobility solution should be easy to use. Overly-complicated systems will be bypassed and worked around or ignored all together. The easier to use, the quicker the adoption and the better the ROI.
All mobility software needs to be agile and able to move with the next generation of mobility. Developments are moving fast, so providers keeping their solutions up to speed is important.

It is crucial for any mobility solution to work across mixed digital devices. The apps will need to work across different operating systems too.

Vitally, mobility is about the anytime, anywhere access to information and it is essential that your solution makes it as easy as possible to achieve this.

 

Next Evolution in the Mobility

 

Real-time communication technology, combined with field service automation solutions will bring service businesses an entirely new way to communicate across the organization and with customers.
We’re excited about embedded communications in mobility, as with customer expectations higher than ever, the ability to streamline the service process and deliver faster, better service creates a richer customer experience.
Real-time communication technology, combined with field service automation solutions will bring service businesses an entirely new way to communicate across the organization and with customers.

As an example, innovative collaboration tools improve task completion through real-time contact with remote experts through a smart phone or tablet, for improved first-time resolution rates. These capabilities are akin to augmented reality without the prohibitive costs of the hardware. Remote experts can assist multiple technicians, so speeding up the completion and accuracy of the work, while balancing the cost of an organizations service delivery.

At Field Force Tracker we see this as a game changer for any company focused on enhancing the customer experience.

Tips for Improving Field Service Operation

For organizations wanting to improve the efficiency of their field service operations, investment in technology plays a big part in achieving this. For many companies, choosing and implementing a solution can become complex and potential efficiency gains are being missed, meaning organizations are not seeing the full return from their investment.

Field Force Tracker leads the way in simplifying field service and have compiled the following tips to help you get the best results from your investment.

field-service-software-for-enterprise

  1. Want to go paperless?

Most field service companies now use some form of technology, but there are a lot still operating with paper-based systems for all or part of what they do. Those that still work on paper report that they understand this is a disadvantage and affects their ability to be competitive. With an automated workflow, a service call comes in, it’s captured electronically, dispatched to a field technician’s smartphone, and then available for invoicing upon completion – all within one system. The core workflow is processed instantly without the unnecessary bottlenecks of a paper work order.

  1. Need to accelerate your payment cycle?

It goes without saying that the longer it takes to get payment for your work, the more it impacts your business. As a result, you should do everything possible to reduce the time it takes to get an invoice for completed work to your customer. That requires the information for the invoice to be in electronic form so that it can flow directly from the work order without any additional data entry. A work order, for example, can be issued, then on job completion the customer can be invoiced immediately, achieving a quicker payment cycle through this order to cash automation.

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  1. Want to simplify scheduling?

Improving your ability to handle service requests efficiently has a direct impact on your business, but the day changes as emergency jobs come in, jobs may take longer than planned and traffic delays affect the original schedule. To improve efficiency, service companies use scheduling tools to streamline the process of capturing and dispatching service requests, saving as much as 80% over the effort of a paper-based process. Electronic scheduling also provides visibility for real-time monitoring of assigned jobs and field staff availability. Additionally, centralizing the scheduling data allows all required staff to view it as needed, reducing the number of status requests your dispatcher has to fulfil.

  1. Confused by mobility?

Today’s mobile technology gives businesses an opportunity to communicate with their mobile workforce more efficiently than ever. If you are not leveraging the everyday technology of smartphones, for example, you’re missing a golden opportunity to increase your overall efficiency through improved communication.

By using technology you may already have (or your technician may be happy to use their own) means you can make use of field service software without the need to buy servers, hardware or other expensive wireless equipment for field staff.

  1. Looking to improve customer satisfaction?

Customer satisfaction is critical to a successful field service business. An automated field service solution can make sure you seamlessly deliver the level of service your customers are looking for. Your solution should be centralized so that all of your staff have access to the same customer information. It should be available 24/7 from anywhere you might be when you need it. It should include service history so that you and your field technicians know the full story.

  1. Need to understand your business better?

In order to really understand your business, you need to be able to measure the performance metrics that are important to you. Analytical reports that can illustrate any aspect of your operational workflow means you get real-time business metrics at a glance, while also having access to ad hoc reports that can answer any anomalies that occur. While it’s good to know that your field techs are completing 30% more jobs than they did last month, it’s even better to know why so you can capitalize on it.

For the best results, you need a solution that meets your business needs. Field Force Tracker helps field service companies simplify this decision-making and is provided via technology you already have: smartphones and the internet.

To find out more on how Field Force Tracker is simplifying field service with innovative field service solutions, send an email to support@fieldforcetracker.com

 

Field Force Tracker – Gets Better For Future Growth

Field Force Tracker has been slowly building a presence as a rising star among field service management (FSM) software providers for the last several years. However, across the last twelve months or so they seem to be distinctly focusing on pulling together a enviable list of good customers, and a  lot of new features. They have revised new apps and added many features to the system.

The addition of experienced engineering team and marketing leaders has added a depth of industry knowledge and understanding of best-practice in the field service software, go-to-market strategies on the communications side of the business.  The team has experience in successfully working with top-tier enterprise account sales, but also a strong knowledge of product development within FSM systems. Field Service sector will see Field Force Tracker getting new momentum in the sector and competing with established players.

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New Momentum in the Field Service Software

There has been a lot of momentum that has been building over time, but now it is beginning to become more visible as things are all coming together around the product, around the marketing and around our go-to-market strategy. We are becoming more visible in the market, but in a controlled way. From the board’s perspective it has been building up the momentum and now they are bringing in key personnel that will drive the company into the next field service market environment.

There seems to have been a very clear plan from the senior team at Field Force Tracker to get the product right, before then building the team that can firmly establish the company as a key player within the FSM software community.

Indeed, as the company CTO explains there was a lot of behind the scenes work in developing the product in order to be able to integrate easily with others that had to be completed before Field Force Tracker could really begin to move forward into the enterprise.

Addressing the Enterprise Field Service Software

Whilst the company were operating primarily in the small to medium sector, we invested heavily in developing a mobile led, innovative solution that was built on an enterprise approach architecture. We wanted the ability to have a field force management solution, where we could have custom objects associated at multiple levels, so the application could through configuration be quickly tuned to the needs of different customers in different verticals.

To then expose that flexibility to all of the communications channels – so out through the API, into the integration layer out to the mobile and then out to the web, as you can appreciate it takes time to build that kind of product, but it was where we saw future.

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However, listening to CTO speak it is not just care and attention that Field Force Tracker have put into the development of their product – he is keen to outline how they have taken a very different approach than some of the more traditional vendors in the market have done in the past.

“Our focus has been to develop a mobile application that is very intuitive and easy to use – everything we do is about intuitiveness and being thumb friendly. Successful solutions are always easily adopted because they’re so easy to use.”

“Everything we do is about intuitiveness and being thumb friendly. Successful solutions are always easily adopted because they’re so easy to use…”

“Our approach has been to really focus on empowering the people in the field, the field service technicians that are working directly with their customers and can therefore have the biggest impact on a brand when service is being delivered. By making sure that they have an application that is simple to use but also offers access to rich data that is embedded within the service call (so they don’t have to be reliant on syncing up, it’s all there for them, they can just go ahead and use it) the aim is that it all leads to them being able to deliver better service.”

“So we’ve really been focusing in from that perspective. We’ve been taking into consideration how service manager think when they are in the field and how do the older members of the workforce think whilst they are in the field too.

It’s a different approach from the traditional world of big optimizations that are focused on macro management of a workforce and then driving that work out. In fact, it’s a very different approach.

Field Service Software – Upgrading with New Features

Whereas before the focus has been, both from a technology and a management point of view, about ensuring field service teams are working as efficiently as possible – i.e. on task such as processing the workload and optimizing the work schedule, now with customer service rising to the forefront of most conversations about company wide KPIs, the focus is very much on empowering the field service engineer with the tools at his disposal to be able to delight customers on each and every visit.

Indeed the landscape is ever changing, and Field Force Tracker find themselves in the interesting place of being able to compete with other FSM software but also at the same time offering a solution that can also fully compliment such competitor systems due to their focus on integration.

“Applications like ours enable companies to effectively digitise the last mile – i.e. get all the work instructions, all the processes out to the workforce. They can use it online or offline depending on their connectivity, but is has to be intuitive.’

Of course one trusted route to speeding up adoption which we have discussed a number of times in various Field Service News articles is getting the involvement of some of the field service technicians in the selection process of any given new tool they will be using.

This is a trend that Mason admits he has seen growing in recent years with more and more field service organizations involving a selection of service technicians to give their insight into any potential new solution.

carpet-cleaning-software

“We’re seeing a growing trend where the selection process will include some members of the field team,” Mason agrees. “What this does do is enable both us and the customer to accelerate the time to value because it allows the customer to see how the tool will work within their wider system, but also allows us to better understand the challenges we’ll have to work through in the project.” He concludes.

It is a sensible route and one that is quite indicative of the customer-centric approach that company has adapted.

So could 2017 potentially be Field Force Tracker’s year? They are certainly getting themselves in the right place at the right time…

 

Mobile Apps Revolution in Field service

This is an era of Mobile apps. All areas of life are being revolutionized by the use of mobile applications. Smart Mobile phone are everywhere, and mobile networks have become very reliable. This is the right time to deploy Mobile applications for field service and benefit with increase productivity.   This article describes some changes how mobility will impact field service in the future.  Using information here, you can develop a case for field service software in your organization.

Moving From Paper Based Solution to Field Service Software

Service  companies are trying to move to electronic model of providing services. Paper based operation is too slow to address customer concerns. Field Force Tracker is the most comprehensive software for field service management.  It takes care of everything from customer management to the payment collection for a service company. By using this software, our clients can see major improvement in their productivity and the customer satisfaction.

The question is asked about what mobility will look like in future.  A recent study in field service technologies states that an interesting starting point for this is to look at what their survey respondents said when asked about why they were investing in field mobility.

The Field Service Technologies survey found that nearly half of all respondents state their primary objective with their field mobility investment is maximizing productivity. This was followed by 35% saying that improving the customer experience is most important.

Benefits of Mobile Apps in Field Service

Whatever your reasons for looking at investing in field mobility this year,  You can always benefit by deploying mobile based software. Below we describe four ways to maximize  your advantages from any investment that you make in a field service software.

  1. Easy Integration With Existing Processes

Organizations with a team of workers out in the field often use a mix of different solutions and technologies to carry out their work. There are many different parts to the workflow and different systems are used to oversee these. This can often mean that systems are used in isolation and data from one system doesn’t always ‘talk’ to others.

Back office processes are essential to any service operation, so a field service solution which integrates easily with the existing systems is important. This means that all parts of the business and the workflow can be connected. There is visibility of the work and the day’s performance and decisions can be based on real-time information.

  1. Make Better Use of your Existing Systems

Integrating with back office systems (such as accounting systems, ERPs or CRMs) means that the worker out in the field has access to the job history and customer records. They can get information about the job they are going to and also, if they need to, see what has happened before and why. Knowing the details of the job like this can make the difference between being able to sort out the problem first time or not. This means delivering better customer service, as well as reducing the need for further visits to fix the problem.

  1. Get Up and Running Quickly for a Better Return

With any new solution, how fast you can be up and running is key. A solution which integrates easily with existing systems will be far quicker to implement – a great benefit in any technology choice. Being up and running in days, not weeks, months or even years, means your business is not affected and you get a better return on your investment as it starts straight away.

  1. Keep it Simple

Managers and technicians all report that the difference between good and bad technology choices is often how easy it is to use. Taking time to learn new, complicated ways of working can mean that workers don’t like them and may go back to the way things used to be done or patch together their own way of working round it. With a solution that is easy to use alongside existing systems, the implementation is easier and the quicker people start using it, again the better the return on the investment.

Even if you are not 100% sure of your field service technology needs today and where to make that investment, with an easy to integrate solution you are able to future-proof your requirements because of the flexibility it can bring. It is provided via technology you already have – smartphones and internet – and upgrades, changes and adaptions can all be quickly and effectively made as your business needs change and develop.

For the best results, you need a solution that meets your business needs. Field Force Tracker helps field service companies simplify this decision-making of where to invest.

Mobile enabled, cloud-based field service software was designed to provide ease of use with incredible flexibility. Along with the ease – and speed – of our implementation and the ongoing support service that we provide we enable companies to take full advantage of today’s mobile field service.

Field Force Tracker’s power mobile apps for iPhone and Android are available to all new and existing Field Force Tracker customers. They can extend the feature set with the enhanced mobile forms capabilities, and better system integration.  Field Force Tracker, a mobile enabled web-based field service management software, streamlines technician scheduling, dispatch, customer management, vendor and employee management, work orders, equipment maintenance, inventory tracking, contracts, estimates, invoices, payments and accounting. It is considered one of the most feature rich software of its kind.

About Field Force Tracker

Force Tracker (http://www.fieldforcetracker.com) is a leading global provider of its award winning mobile workforce solutions for service-based businesses of all sizes delivered as software-as-a-service (SaaS). Its solutions enable businesses of all sizes (from 1 user to 10,000 users) to meet the challenges associated with managing and running complex service operations. It helps in improving the productivity of their mobile workforce.

With Field Force Tracker customers can create service schedule and route quickly, dispatch sooner, collect correct information at once in the field and invoice faster. The field service software makes it easy for users to eliminate waste, get more done in less time and be more profitable.

Field Force Tracker is a wholly owned unit of Rapidsoft Systems Inc. (http://www.rapidsoftsystems.com). Rapidsoft Systems, Inc. has its main office in Princeton, NJ, USA, a US R&D Center in Mercerville NJ, and sales, support and development offices in Palo Alto, CA, USA, Singapore, Dubai (UAE), Bombay, and Noida (India).

Making Use of Field Service Reports – Part 2

Service managers need to understand the quality and effectiveness of their service delivery. The lack of service measurements is one such area that lacks in paper base or simple home grown systems. This article describes how field service software can help you better understand the effectiveness of your service delivery.  Using extensive analytics information of Field Force Tracker’s reporting module, you can measure the effectiveness for field services  in your organization.

Service  companies are trying to move to electronic model of providing services. Paper based operation is too slow to address customer concerns and cannot provide suitable data analysis. Field Force Tracker is the most comprehensive software for field service management.  It takes care of everything from customer management to the payment collection for a service company. By using this software, our clients can see major improvement in their productivity and the customer satisfaction.

Field Service Reports can Make a Big Difference

Managers with responsibility for operational and service areas of the business, need to know what is happening in their organization at any time, that is a given. The manager needs to have this visibility, from wherever they are. Whether they are in the office or out and about they need to have a good understanding of what is actually happening. Not from what was planned for the day or from what they are being told, but what is happening in real-time and at any time.

Information needs to be simple to access. It needs to be easy to understand, accurate and instant. Ideally access to job status, customer information, location information, asset information and notifications should all be in one place.

The ultimate of any field service solution is quite simply better visibility of the workflow to and from the field. Ease of integration is a key part of any new solution as an integrated field service solution means that the two-way flow of data and information is captured just once and in a consistent and efficient way. It means that no data is left unused or delayed while waiting on paperwork to be finished or for collected information to be downloaded and an audit trail is in place reducing the chance of any lost or missing information.

All areas of the business can then have visibility of what they need to access, making their work more straightforward and productive.

Different Stakeholders of Field Service Reports

Here we look at the benefits different parts of the business can get from the improved visibility that field service solutions bring:

The Business Owner/Manager or Company CEOs

For the business owner, or manager, reports can be easily accessed on any criteria as systems are linked and ‘speak’ to each other. The health of the business can be easily monitored and customizable reports can be run on jobs, revenue, inventory, employee hours, customer surveys, invoices and customer data.

Profitability can be reviewed by customer, service or product allowing focus on driving higher overall revenue and increased margins.

The Service Managers or Service Directors

The service manager can see real-time status updates of all jobs (scheduled, started, paused, completed) across the teams and also assess the productivity of individual staff members across jobs and tasks.

Workflow can become automated reducing paperwork and eliminating lost or delayed time through scheduling improvements and job completion rates.

They have this visibility from wherever they are, whether in the office or not as all information can be easily accessed through their mobile device.

Service Administrator/Dispatcher

For the team in the office they can assign jobs faster with improved scheduling, increasing the number of jobs field technicians receive due to the reduced time. There is real-time visibility for scheduling and updating of jobs, significantly faster capture of customer information and service requests and the distribution of work orders is instantaneous.

There are significant time savings from the reduction or elimination of paperwork and the team or individual is then able to be more productive on other tasks.

The Field Technicians

For a field worker improved visibility, through an integrated mobile solution, means they can do their job in the best possible way. Critical information can be accessed and shared in real time in the office and the field. Through integration with other back office systems, the field worker has access to the job history and customer records allowing for a more detailed understanding of not only the job they are going to but also what has happened before and why. Turning up to site and having this information on the job detail to hand or having access to it, means there is better chance of job resolution on this first visit and all the benefits this brings to an organization, the technician and the customer.

People Management  Managers

As the work gets recorded, the work and travel time can be accurately recorded for allocating to customer accounts and also through integration with other systems, the data can be exported into HR applications. This part of the automated process helps to limit erroneous overtime costs and reduce payroll errors.

Finance and Accounting Managers

For those in the finance team invoices can be automated immediately upon job completion. A work order, for example, can be issued, then on job completion the customer can be invoiced immediately, achieving a quicker payment cycle through this order to cash automation. Data can be transferred electronically between systems, making accounting and payroll tasks more efficient and accurate.

Financial reporting becomes more straightforward as customizable reports include all the relevant information on revenue, costs and employees.

Real-time visibility provides many of the answers a field service organization will need to better-manage the day to day operations and deal with whatever the day demands across the entire business.

Mobile enabled, cloud-based field service software was designed to provide ease of use with incredible flexibility. Along with the ease – and speed – of our implementation and the ongoing support service that we provide we enable companies to take full advantage of today’s mobile field service.

Field Force Tracker’s power mobile apps for iPhone and Android are available to all new and existing Field Force Tracker customers. They can extend the feature set with the enhanced mobile forms capabilities, and better system integration.  Field Force Tracker, a mobile enabled web-based field service management software, streamlines technician scheduling, dispatch, customer management, vendor and employee management, work orders, equipment maintenance, inventory tracking, contracts, estimates, invoices, payments and accounting. It is considered one of the most feature rich software of its kind.

Best Field Service Software

About Field Force Tracker

Force Tracker (http://www.fieldforcetracker.com) is a leading global provider of its award winning mobile workforce solutions for service-based businesses of all sizes delivered as software-as-a-service (SaaS). Its solutions enable businesses of all sizes (from 1 user to 10,000 users) to meet the challenges associated with managing and running complex service operations. It helps in improving the productivity of their mobile workforce.

With Field Force Tracker customers can create service schedule and route quickly, dispatch sooner, collect correct information at once in the field and invoice faster. The field service software makes it easy for users to eliminate waste, get more done in less time and be more profitable.

Field Force Tracker is a wholly owned unit of Rapidsoft Systems Inc. (http://www.rapidsoftsystems.com). Rapidsoft Systems, Inc. has its main office in Princeton, NJ, USA, a US R&D Center in Mercerville NJ, and sales, support and development offices in Palo Alto, CA, USA, Singapore, Dubai (UAE), Bombay, and Noida (India).

Making Use of Analytic for Improving Field Service

Service managers need to understand the quality and effectiveness of their service delivery. The lack of service measurements is one such area that lacks in paper base or simple home grown systems. This article describes how field service software can help you better understand the effectiveness of your service delivery.  Using extensive analytics information of Field Force Tracker’s reporting module, you can measure the effectiveness for field services  in your organization.

Service  companies are trying to move to electronic model of providing services. Paper based operation is too slow to address customer concerns and cannot provide suitable data analysis. Field Force Tracker is the most comprehensive software for field service management.  It takes care of everything from customer management to the payment collection for a service company. By using this software, our clients can see major improvement in their productivity and the customer satisfaction.

We have described in our previous article that an improved understanding of what is happening at any given time can help managers make better decisions. Through the improved visibility that field service solutions deliver, managers and other staff can have confidence that they have the right information and, as such, can make the best decision based on this. Nobody wants to leave anything to chance or to give answers based on gut feel so being able to see at-a-glance the information that is most important to them means they are on top of performance.

For you to track the performance of your service operations and understand your business, in the immediate term and longer term, you’ll need visibility of the right information, when you need it and in a way that is meaningful to you.

Making Use of Reporting Capabilities of Field Service Software

A day in field service operations can often change and be unpredictable as even the best laid plans are affected if emergency work comes in or jobs overrun. On-the-spot decisions need to be made to keep up with and manage those changes and get the day back on track.

Lack of visibility into what is happening out in the field may mean poor decisions are made, which can have further impact on the day’s work. Having access to information can mean that better decisions can be made then and there, keeping the most effective plan for the work. The impact of making changes can be seen immediately and decisions can be based on that, taking into account this impact and any potential outcome on service performance, cost and the rest of the day’s work.

So, field service management technology gives you greater visibility into your field service operations. With that visibility comes a lot of data which is useful to the business, but the amount of data can often feel overwhelming in where to start or how to analyze what is needed. It can sometimes feel so overwhelming that data then sits unused.

Understanding your Business  Metrics

You don’t want to be overwhelmed by data, neither have the time to wade through masses of numbers, so let your field service management solution organize the key information for you to identify the crucial stuff you need at any time to make decisions.

With this view into your field operations, you will be able to answer questions like:

  • Which services are most profitable?
  • Which are the most productive crews and technicians?
  • How are changes affecting specific operations?

The visual presentation of data in dashboards needs to be easy to understand and should be easy to filter by service type, individual, crew or any other data point collected.

Business intelligence (BI) dashboards do just that and organize key metrics about your company’s service operation so that you can make fully informed business decisions.

Longer-Term Planning Based on  Service  Data

Day-to-day access to data is critical to the management of daily performance, but business intelligence is also vital in the longer-term view. Week-to-week or month-to-month comparisons can surface meaningful trends that can help fine-tune a service organization to run at maximum productivity – while maximizing profit.

Identifying business trends is critical to growing revenue, retaining customers and increasing the productivity of field workers.  It’s important as a means of discovering problems before they can impact the business.

Improved visibility from field service solutions brings greater understanding of what is happening. Straightforward reporting and being able to access the relevant information easily and quickly is fundamental. This information will then help manage not only the day’s operation, but also feed into the more strategic business planning around budgets, resources, targets and areas to focus on driving performance in the future.

For the best results, you need a field service solution that meets these business needs. Field Force Tracker simplifies field service management to generate a large number of reports.

Mobile enabled, cloud-based field service software was designed to provide ease of use with incredible flexibility. Along with the ease – and speed – of our implementation and the ongoing support service that we provide we enable companies to take full advantage of today’s mobile field service.

Field Force Tracker’s power mobile apps for iPhone and Android are available to all new and existing Field Force Tracker customers. They can extend the feature set with the enhanced mobile forms capabilities, and better system integration.  Field Force Tracker, a mobile enabled web-based field service management software, streamlines technician scheduling, dispatch, customer management, vendor and employee management, work orders, equipment maintenance, inventory tracking, contracts, estimates, invoices, payments and accounting. It is considered one of the most feature rich software of its kind.

Best Field Service Software

About Field Force Tracker

Force Tracker (http://www.fieldforcetracker.com) is a leading global provider of its award winning mobile workforce solutions for service-based businesses of all sizes delivered as software-as-a-service (SaaS). Its solutions enable businesses of all sizes (from 1 user to 10,000 users) to meet the challenges associated with managing and running complex service operations. It helps in improving the productivity of their mobile workforce.

With Field Force Tracker customers can create service schedule and route quickly, dispatch sooner, collect correct information at once in the field and invoice faster. The field service software makes it easy for users to eliminate waste, get more done in less time and be more profitable.

Field Force Tracker is a wholly owned unit of Rapidsoft Systems Inc. (http://www.rapidsoftsystems.com). Rapidsoft Systems, Inc. has its main office in Princeton, NJ, USA, a US R&D Center in Mercerville NJ, and sales, support and development offices in Palo Alto, CA, USA, Singapore, Dubai (UAE), Bombay, and Noida (India).

The Best Way to Manage Field Service Operation