Why digitization does not equal efficiency.
What does mobile document management have to be capable of in order to be truly efficient?
Contrary to frequent assertions, many service companies have digitalized their field service management to a certain degree from a certain size (usually 20 employees or more). Orders are managed with MS Navision or SAP as ERP system. The technician receives his appointment confirmation via Outlook. A prefilled pdf report contains all work order points that have to be processed at the service object. The technician can edit this pdf on site and log the service. After completion of the work he sends the pdf back by email to the service planning, where it is deposited by Active pdf or as a whole document in the document management system.
At first this sounds very efficient and "state-of-the-art". Unfortunately it is still a long way off.
A little digital is not equally efficient
Ultimately, this process is only a pure "digitization" of the earlier analog processes. Paper waste is saved, but there is still no real increase in efficiency as a result. Because:
- How do you associate photos taken for logging with the order document?
- How do you process the collected data electronically?
- How do you create a (possibly multi-year) history of the service object from the individual pdf reports?
- How do you completely reconstruct the course of the conversation with the customer if there are questions or discrepancies?
- How do you inform the customer about the history and results of an order if the technician is ill or has left the company?
- How do you inform your customers about order dates, report completion and how do you send them the finished report?
Of course there is a supposedly logical answer to all questions:
The photos are stored in the same folder as the pdf. The data is extracted from the Active pdf via another system. For the history and conversation processes you simply search all pdfs, emails and conversation notes (digital and on paper) and place them next to each other. And you send the customer all appointment confirmations and reports by email. In short: You can answer all the questions by storing the required data in different systems, managing it and searching for it when required - and by doing everything manually. Does that sound efficient?
Efficient order management with mobile document management
But what is efficient?
We can speak of efficiency if:
- all data and documentation types (work order, protocol, report, photos, meeting notes, appointment arrangements) are automatically linked to each other and do not have to be managed, assigned and selected individually.
- All activities (communication with the customer, order planning and order processing) can be processed in one system.
- Some of the activities (for example, notification of the customer of order completion with the sending of a download link for the report) can be automated.
- If there is an interface between two systems to ensure smooth process.
In the field service it is therefore not only about the pure question of document management. A comprehensive management of service technicians and technical customer service is required. In short: mobile workforce management.
Mobile Workforce Management with mfr
Service companies actually need more than "just" mobile documentation. They need lean processes that go hand in hand. You need complete documentation of customer communication, order planning and order processing. In short: you need an integrated, mobile order management system that includes the ability to perform all order processing activities - from customer communication to results filing - in one system and retrieve them at a glance. This also includes the fact that photos can be assigned directly to the service object and order report when they are created and that they are always linked to it without any further effort. Finally, at the push of a button, a notification can be automatically sent to the customer, in which he is not only informed about the completion of the order, but also receives a direct download link to the report. Then we can talk about efficiency and true quality assurance.
Find out how Mobile Field Report can further streamline your technical customer service. Arrange a free appointment with us today: firstname.lastname@example.org.