7 questions to choose the right mobile field service management software
7 questions to answer when choosing mobile field service management software for your service technicians.
The upcoming introduction of a new mobile field service management software makes every company nervous. This is especially true if core processes are affected such as resource planning and the execution of work orders. At the same time, these core processes are only supported to a limited extent or by complicated software according to the current state of the art in the company.
This means that there is a lot of potential for improvement and optimization for the interface between service management and service technicians.
So how can a service company ensure that the introduction of a new software works smoothly? In the next three blog posts, I will tell you about the most important factors that make a software introduction successful, both for the decision process for a mobile field service management software and for its introduction and daily use.
The tips essentially refer to mobile software for field service management and service technicians used as an interface software and are the result of numerous implementations of Mobile Field Report (mfr) in service companies - including Rotex Systems GmbH, Dirks GmbH and Hörburger AG.
Question 1: Will I get rid of my island solutions?
At least that's what a new field service management software should do. After all, what's a new digital tool supposed to do if it's just another one in the company's inventory at the end of the day? You can decide which isolated solutions are to be replaced by the new mobile interface software based on your own requirements and structures. However, I recommend at least the following functions:
- Scheduling and order planning (previously Outlook, calendar software, Excel, if necessary ERP)
- Route planning (previously Google or Apple Maps)
- Capacity planning and scheduling of the service technicians (previously Excel and Outlook, if necessary ERP)
- Complete digital administration and processing of order documents including instructions, protocols, meeting notes, defect reports and confirmations (previously Word, Excel, Adobe and paper)
- Recording and assignment of maintenance or repair photos (previously external camera)
- Maintenance of all customer data (previously Excel, Word, if necessary CRM)
- Communication with the customer and - order-related - the respective employees (previously Outlook)
Question 2: Will the workflow of my employees be simplified?
No one needs software that complicates internal processes. The workflows should already be simplified by dissolving or combining the isolated solutions (question 1). Make sure that no additional work steps are created. Rather, these should be clearly reduced. For example, can checklists be created automatically? Are the signed protocols converted into professional maintenance reports at the push of a button?
Question 3: Does the software adapt to our processes - not vice versa?
Most software solutions are "out-of-the-box" products. Developers have developed the software according to a - in their opinion optimal - working process. This process must now also be taken over by the company if it wants to work with the software. Adaptations are not possible or only very complex (and cost-intensive). The result is that established work processes often have to be restructured because the software requires it. This is not efficient and can lead to chaos and it won't meet with much approval from your employees either. A good mobile solution should therefore be so flexible that the software can be easily adapted to the desired process of the company - and not vice versa.
Question 4: Can I seamlessly integrate the software into existing systems?
Mobile software for field service management and the coordination of service technicians is of course not the only software in the company. Possibly an ERP system is already in use, in addition a CRM or a document management system. Traditionally, software companies pay well for the connection to their existing IT systems - usually in the form of expensive addenda. Therefore, make sure that the new software offers standard interfaces that allow a simple connection to your ERP & Co.
Question 5: Is the operation easy?
A new field service management software is only as efficient in daily use as it is actually used. In addition to simplifying work processes, the software must therefore be fast, uncomplicated and user friendly. I would even go so far and demand that the software must be fun. This is the only way to ensure that your employees really integrate the software into their daily work and that your investment is worthwhile. Therefore, make sure you have an uncomplicated software surface and intuitive operation.
Question 6: Can my employees work with it anytime, anywhere?
Of course, I expect mobile software to be usable anywhere. However, this should apply to both online mode and offline mode. There are software solutions that require access to the Internet at all times (whether via mobile network or WiFi) in order to function. Especially in a basement, where the supply is often located or on remote places, but also in production facilities, where external radio networks are forbidden for security reasons, this causes problems. Mobile software must therefore also be able to be used offline and then allow smooth, automatic synchronization.
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Question 7: Is the system flexibly expandable?
Service companies grow, work together with partner companies or outsource departments. Work processes need to grow and change, but still maintain high quality. Therefore a mobile software should be evaluated with farsightedness and/or the view for the larger picture. Rotex Heating Systems GmbH, for example, has integrated Mobile Field Report into 80 of its subcontractors. So make sure that you don't have to buy new software in two years' time or that the costs explode in the event of a license extension.
If you can answer "Yes" to these questions seven times when selecting your mobile software, you are one step closer to effective and simple interface management for your service technicians and managers.
And if you want to find out what such software looks like in real life: Simply make a non-binding appointment for a live demo of our Mobile Field Report (or firstname.lastname@example.org).
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