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What to Look for in Good Field Service Management Software

Field service management software is a vital tool for employees outside of the office, a way for management in the office to orchestrate the day, and much. Few kinds of software face the same range of demands that these programs do. Since they’re often remote employees’ only real connection to management and direction, this type of software also experience a lot of pressure. How do you choose a good program, though? What features set apart great field service management software from the rest?

Variety


Field service management software faces a high volume of incredibly varied demand. It must fulfill the role of mobile office for employees in the field while simultaneously serving as a remote manager. On top of that, this software must monitor the location and condition of traveling vehicles, in-transit products, and orchestrate all activity in the field. In addition to all this, the software needs to tie back to the office, warehouse, and storefront. Field service management software doesn’t just handle what happens in the field. It also keeps tabs on what products are still available, which have left inventory, and more. It’s a lot to expect from a single program. That’s why variety is so important.

Even if you’re looking for field service management software tailored for your specific industry, keep in mind that this software has to fill many roles. Make sure any software you consider offers more than just the tools employees need in the field. You need monitoring and management features you can access remotely. The software also needs inventory tools to keep you apprised of the latest chances in your available products. This is especially important for businesses that offer brick and mortar storefronts in addition to online order and delivery services. A single miscommunication can have significant consequences.

Integration


Feature and function variety lead naturally into integration. Field service management software fills roles occupied by other software in the store or online. For example, QuickBooks POS software gives cashiers and managers access to inventory details from a front of house work station. If your field service management software keeps separate inventory information than your front of house POS system, you will have two inaccurate records. This hurts customer satisfaction, finances, and sales figures. Simply picking apart the mess to see which customers actually purchased the last few items consumes precious time and labor.

Integration does more than limit interruptions to work flow and shipping. It offers chances to get ahead and use your resources more efficiently. Look for software products that offer automatic updates or easy syncing with other, in house systems. Integration for inventory is essential. Integrative features for things like bookkeeping software is valuable, too. If you don’t have to manually transfer data from the field into your in house system, you cut down errors and drastically improve efficiency. Any work your software does for you increases its value. Since field service management software is designed for remote labor, integration and communication options with other software are the most useful features.

Remote Accessibility


How easy is your software to use, and who can use it? When you have a delivery en route to a customer, is access limited to whoever has the mobile hardware your field service employees use? Can you check in on the delivery remotely? The best field service management software allows managers and orchestrators back in the office to monitor and direct what happens in the field. Features like real time trackers, checklists, and updates are the most effective.

Emergency services absolutely have to have these kinds of features. Dispatchers must see where available units are in relation to the latest emergency in order to rapidly analyze which units are best equipped to assist. Although most businesses don’t face the pressure of life and death situations, speed and efficiency are still important for many industries. For example, no one wants to sit and wait longer than necessary for their cable repair person to fix their television.

Field Service Accessibility


Access goes both ways. Some field service management software is little more than a glorified, digital checklist. If service providers have a problem in the field, their software should let them reach management for help. Software that offers helpful features for busy, remote employees is invaluable. Accidents happen outside the office, and people have questions no matter where they are. Make sure you choose software that can keep up with these demands. If your software can’t help management teams in the office or provide extra support for field service technicians, then you might as well print out a checklist instead of relying on software.

Every business is different, and your needs will ultimately determine the best product for your situation. However, all field service management software needs a wide variety of features in order to perform all the roles needed. Software also needs integration options and accessibility. These features set great software apart from glorified checklists.

 

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About Marjorie Adams

Our head QuickBooks trainer and guru, Marjorie Adams, is Founder and CEO of Fourlane, Inc., an award-winning consulting firm and Intuit’s #1 QuickBooks Reseller Partner. Fourlane’s team of experts offers several QuickBooks oriented services including consulting, training, programming, integration, and more. Over the years, Fourlane has helped over 10,000 customers across many different industries with their QuickBooks accounting software. Marjorie Adams is considered one of the top QuickBooks trainers in the country. She was listed on CPA Practice Advisor’s 40 Under 40 in 2014 & 2015, and has been recognized as Intuitive Accountant’s 2015 QuickBooks Desktop ProAdvisor of the Year. Marjorie sits on Intuit’s VIP Program, is a frequent contributor to Inuit Accountants News Central, and has developed Intuit’s QuickBooks Enterprise Certification training. She has also been published in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, BusinessWeek, American Express Open, the Huffington Post, and Inc. Magazine.

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