Field service is a broad category that covers mobile workers who work at locations remote from their employers. It may be a form of customer service where a technician resolves an issue with or performs maintenance on a product at the customer’s location. Sometimes the service itself is sold to the customer. Field service is full of complexities and logistical challenges that become very costly if not effectively managed.
The challenges include:
- Tracking customer warranty coverage. Warranties are dependent on the particular customer, the product, the date of purchase or installment, and other factors related to the specifics of a service contract. If these factors are spread out across non-integrated spreadsheets and legacy systems, confusion over which jobs are under warranty can result in work being done for free. When warranties expire without your knowledge, the opportunity to offer maintenance service plans is lost.
- Inventory bloat or shrinkage. Excess inventory of parts is tied up money that doesn’t grow your business. Inventory shrinkage is lost money on parts that are either lost, damaged, pilfered, or are not on record. Unlike inventory kept in a warehouse, a sizeable portion of the spare parts inventory of your field service is scattered across the multiple trucks, vans, or cars of your field service personnel.
- Giving field service personnel access to the data they need to do their job. Specifics about a job such as the parts and tools required as well as knowledge of and access to the pertinent people are essential. Access to information about previous service issues, what was done, and who dealt with them is also important.
- Efficient technician dispatch. Technicians must be dispatched according to which customers have the highest priority, which technician is best qualified for a job, and which technician is currently closest to a customer. This requires real-time information on a dynamic situation.
These are just four challenges in which a satisfactory field service management solution doesn’t exist for businesses across many industries such as telecommunications, manufacturing, utilities, and healthcare. The reason for this is that one-size-fits-all off-the-shelf software cannot possibly accommodate the unique needs of these varied field service situations. Only custom software development can do this.
At Spiralogics, customized software applications have been our specialty for over fifteen years. Contact usfor more information.