Field Service Management: Software, Significance and Potentials

There are many reasons why the demands on the technical field service in industrial companies have increased in recent years: The pace of innovation is increasing, customer demands and competitive pressure are rising. Digital applications for field service management are one way in which companies can organize their technical field service more efficiently and increase service quality.

Digital engineering reduces development costs

What does Field Service Management mean?

Which sales representative is qualified for which customer assignment? How can routes be optimally utilized and empty trips avoided? Is there sufficient material available to the service technicians? Dispatchers in the office take care of precisely such issues as part of field service management.

What is Field Service Management?

Field Service Management describes the planning, control and optimization of technical field service. Companies typically use digital applications to coordinate field operations. What role Augmented reality in Field Service Management, you will learn in this article.

Reasons for professional field service management

Digitization has changed all areas of the company, including the technical field service. In the past, assignments were coordinated on paper schedules, but now most companies have converted their field service management to digital applications. But digital is not always better or more efficient.

A number of companies still use Excel lists or similar applications for deployment control and quality assurance. As a result, evaluations are complicated and mobile access is not possible at all or not convenient.

Another construction site is communication with customers and technicians. It is mostly done via e-mail, without transaction assignment, so that field managers have to deal with a flood of messages from the various contacts every day. Efficiency looks different.

And last but not least, there are various media discontinuities in the process from customer inquiry to invoicing: data has to be transferred manually from the technician’s paper log to the digital system and there from one application to the next. This costs speed and potentiates the probability of errors.

Regardless of the moderate digitization efforts, professional field service management is worthwhile in terms of cost pressure alone. Industrial companies are increasingly competing with suppliers worldwide. They are forced to organize their processes more efficiently and increase the quality of their service. This is exactly where Field Service Management comes in.

Field management software centralizes and simplifies technical field operations, helping companies achieve productivity gains and cost reductions.

Current challenges in the field service

  • Increasingly complex processes make it difficult for field managers to optimally plan resources
  • Unnecessary idle time
  • Employees are not always deployed optimally to their qualifications
  • High workload leads to unpunctuality and errors
  • Customers complain about delays and high costs
  • Customers have excessive expectations of products and services
  • Inefficient communication
Professional remote maintenance with tablet

The advantages of Field Service Management

Field service software makes it easier for field managers to deploy their employees optimally and plan routes efficiently. If they can see at a glance and even in real time where employees are located, they can quickly determine which colleague with free capacity is nearby and can take over in the event of a postponement or illness of a technician.

Since all processes are organized in one platform, from communication with technicians to material and work scheduling to documentation of inspection results, evaluations can clearly indicate where processes are faltering and where there is potential for optimization. Companies thus need fewer dispatchers overall to coordinate the same number of technicians.

On-site employees can enter their status or material consumption into the Field Service Management application with just a few clicks via tablet or smartphone. If you have any questions or need assistance with repairs, please contact us. Smart Glasses and AR Software are available, through which they can use remote support. In this way, additional appointments are avoided.

Find out here which Remote Software is the best.

Customers also benefit from strategic field service management: thanks to optimized routes and improved communication processes, technicians are not only more punctual. Customers generally no longer have to wait as long for repair appointments.

The appointments themselves usually take less time, as field staff can prepare better thanks to professionally planned Workflows and predictive maintenance can prepare better. The fact that a technician discovers on site that he is missing material or know-how is practically no longer an issue. A real benefit for customers. Perceived service quality increases, its costs for Maintenance and Maintenance decrease.

The 5 most important reasons for Field Service at a glance

  1. More transparency about internal processes: All processes run via one platform, evaluations show potential for optimization
  2. Optimal utilization of service staff: digital deployment plans provide a better overview, flexible adjustments through real-time localization
  3. More effective customer deployments: Smart maintenance functions allow optimal appointment preparation, second appointments are avoided
  4. Improved customer satisfaction: waiting times for appointments shortened, predictive and remote maintenance reduces costs
  5. Cost savings: Fewer dispatchers are needed, higher order volumes can be mapped
Reduce maintenance costs with the right remote maintenance and teamwork software

Field Service Management Software: What should it do?

Field service management software is available to companies for the digital organization of their technical field service. There are now a number of providers whose digital platforms bring different functionalities.

Integration & Interfaces

To reach its full potential, the application should be able to integrate with the company’s ERP in such a way that invoicing and customer communication (CRM) are also linked to it.

Cloud application

The software should simplify the work of both field managers and service technicians. The latter, in particular, must be accessible from any device – smartphone, tablet, Mixed Reality Glasses or Head Mounted Display – be able to access the platform. Professional field service management applications are therefore cloud applications.

In this way, technicians can document their work while still on site with the customer, for example. Dispatchers in the company have a real-time overview of the location of technicians and the progress of their work. Important: Even without an Internet connection, the core functions of the application should be available in offline mode.

All-in-one solution

Ideally, the field service management platform with web application and mobile app is the only environment in which all steps of maintenance and servicing are organized.

The technician can:

  • view its route and open orders
  • retrieve all the documents he needs for the respective order processing
  • Fill out checklists and create reports
  • Retrieve instructions for maintenance operations
  • Make video calls for remote maintenance
  • record his working time

The dispatcher can:

  • Perform deployment planning and automate the workflow
  • Create templates for placing orders
  • Add necessary documents digitally to the order
  • Perform evaluations for process optimization

Remote maintenance

Powerful field service management applications are compatible with AR glasses and support remote maintenance. This offers several advantages for users.

When service technicians wear smart glasses such as the HMT-1 they can call up checklists and instructions by voice command without having to interrupt their work. When challenging problems arise, they easily get support from an experienced colleague by transmitting their field of vision to them in real time via the Field Service Management app and letting them guide them through the process.

Plant operators, in turn, can use such AR glasses to get remote assistance from a manufacturer’s technician in case of minor problems. This eliminates the need for simple field operations and helps customers avoid extended downtime.

AR technologies and their software

Product recommendations for Field Service Management applications

The best application to choose for Field Service Management depends on your individual requirements.

We can recommend three providers that are also optimized for the use of AR glasses:

  • Workheld: For companies of any size, integration with various ERP applications (e.g. SAP) possible
  • Intoware: For small, medium and large enterprises, all-in-one platform for field service management with mobile-first approach
  • SAP Field Service Management: For larger companies already using SAP, deep integration with ERP system

Field Service Management Software as a Competitive Advantage

Companies with technical field service are under considerable cost pressure. At the same time, customers have become more impatient due to digitalization. Long waiting times for appointments, unreliable employees – no provider can afford that anymore.

Field Service Management digitizes, centralizes and simplifies processes. With the help of service management software, companies can complete maintenance assignments up to 25 percent faster, significantly reducing their costs.

However, field service control via a central digital platform is also a benefit for customers: the scheduling tools ensure that customers receive appointments at shorter notice, technicians can solve many problems remotely or at the first appointment, and thus increase customer satisfaction.

Companies that use smart field service management software positively stand out from the competition. Especially for providers who do not sell unique technology, contemporary field service management is the best way to convince customers and retain them in the long term.

Do you still have questions about Field Service Management? Feel free to give us a call.

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