Field service management
) is an attempt to optimize processes and information needed by companies who send technicians or staff "into the field" (or out of the office). Optimization is difficult, since it involves intelligent scheduling and dispatching of multiple technicians to different locations daily, while minimizing cost and maintaining good customer service
Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase.According to Turban et al. , “Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer...
. FSM most commonly refers to companies who need to manage installs, service or repairs of systems or equipment.
Field service management faces many challenges that ultimately dictate the creation and implementation of processes.
- Service commodization
- Customer demand & high expectations
- Rising cost of fuel, vehicle maintenance, and carrying inventory
- Pressure to bolster service-related revenue
- Missing analytic & service data
- No Real-time Communication
To resolve the issues that many of these challenges present, enterprises deploy a FSM solution.
Four critical areas of a FSM solution
- A customer management capability that includes account, selling, technical support and customer portal
- End-to-end parts management
- Dispatching and workforce optimization
- Integrated mobile enterprise applications
Role of mobility in field service management
Companies have started using mobility
Mobility may refer to:* Mobility * "Mobiliy" , a song by Moby* Mobility * Mobility , the ability of military units or weapon systems to move to an objective-See also:* Academic mobility* Apprentices mobility...
to improve communication with the field, increase productivity, streamline work processes, and enhance customer service and loyalty. Mobility simplifies many field service processes, like data collection, with features such as: barcode scanners, RFID , and GPS . Field service software combines many functions into one unified solution. Providers of field service management solutions frequently offer customers software applications for scheduling
A schedule, often called a rota, is a list of employees who are working on any given day, week, or month in a workplace. A schedule is necessary for the day-to-day operation of any retail store or manufacturing facility. The process of creating a schedule is called scheduling...
Dispatch or dispatches may refer to:In literature* Dispatches , a 1977 book by Michael Herr about the Vietnam War* dispatches , a magazine edited by Gary Knight and Mort RosenblumIn radio and television...
Inventory means a list compiled for some formal purpose, such as the details of an estate going to probate, or the contents of a house let furnished. This remains the prime meaning in British English...
, and data management
Data management comprises all the disciplines related to managing data as a valuable resource.- Overview :The official definition provided by DAMA International, the professional organization for those in the data management profession, is: "Data Resource Management is the development and execution...
. Mobile software may also utilize databases containing details on customer premise equipment, access requirements, and parts inventory. Many Field Service Management solutions integrate with other software such as accounting programs like IFS Applications, QuickBooks, MYOB, SAP, Mainpac, Oracle, MFGPro etc.Overall, many users believe that mobility allows field technicians to be better prepared, make smarter decisions, and serve more customers.
- Fleet and inventory tracking
- Access to detailed customer and asset records
- Automated or manual service order dispatch
- Update work status remotely
- Simple customer and asset data capturing processes
- Create notifications and service orders on the spot
- Integrations with third party, backend systems
Benefits of mobility
- Technicians are more prepared to quickly and effectively complete and prevent breakdowns
- Real-time analysis of mobile work status
- Increase first-time-fix rate
- Reduce overhead or administration costs that are associated with paper-based field service management and data entry
- Preserve e-audit trail for full regulatory compliance and fine avoidance
- Increase productivity
- Reduce the costs of SLA compliance and carrying inventory
- Retain customers
- Minimize lost revenue and shorten billing cycles
Gartner, Inc. is an information technology research and advisory firm headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, United States. It was known as GartnerGroup until 2001....
estimates that market penetration for field service applications has reached 20% of the addressable market. Software sales in the FSM market can only be approximated. Privately held vendors and some large vendors (for example, Infor, IBM
International Business Machines Corporation or IBM is an American multinational technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas...
Oracle Corporation is an American multinational computer technology corporation that specializes in developing and marketing hardware systems and enterprise software products – particularly database management systems...
SAP AG is a German software corporation that makes enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations. Headquartered in Walldorf, Baden-Württemberg, with regional offices around the world, SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software...
) do not disclose software sales in the area of FSM. Gartner research puts the revenue for packaged field service dispatch and workforce management software applications, not including service revenue, at slightly less than $300 million in 2009 (expected to rise to $325 million by 2011).
- Mobile enterprise application framework
A mobile enterprise application platform is a comprehensive suite of products and services that enable development of mobile applications.-Purpose:...
- Field force automation
Field force automation refers to the use of technology to capture field sales or service information in real time. This involves use of technology, typically handheld PDAs, wireless devices, tablet PCs or mobile phones to capture data...
- Computer-assisted dispatch
Computer-assisted dispatch, also called Computer Aided Dispatch , is a method of dispatching taxicabs, couriers, field service technicians, or emergency services assisted by computer. It can either be used to send messages to the dispatchee via a mobile data terminal and/or used to store and...
- Workforce management
Workforce management encompasses all the activities needed to maintain a productive workforce. Sometimes referred to as HRMS systems, or even part of ERP systems...
- Strategic service management
Strategic service management is a business strategy that optimizes a company's provided services through the effort of synchronizing: service parts and resources forecasting, service partners, workforce technicians, and service pricing....
- Service management
Service management is integrated into supply chain management as the joint between the actual sales and the customer. The aim of high performance service management is to optimize the service-intensive supply chains, which are usually more complex than the typical finished-goods supply chain...
- Route accounting
A route accounting system is a business software system or ERP system that captures, records, and costs sales transactions for distributors with mobile warehouses, usually trucks, operating as direct store distributors, van sales, pre-sell, delivery confirmation.To be a full route accounting...
- Service chain optimization
Service Chain Optimization is the application of processes and tools that embrace all functions for improving the efficiency, productivity and, eventually, the profitability of service organizations....