It’s no secret that having a good field service management (FSM) system is key to keeping your business organized and increasing your business’s growth potential. You want your FSM solution to make it easier to manage your daily operations, especially when things get busy.
So if you’re not currently using FSM software or if your current setup isn’t cutting it, now is the time to consider upgrading to something more efficient. The key is to do your research or do-diligence beforehand and understand the considerations you need to take. It’s going to be a significant change but think of it as a change for the better.
Why Do I Need a Field Service Management Solution?
Among the many benefits of a solid FSM system is that you’ll start to notice improvements across the board.
For example, you’ll see your business become leaner and more organized – taking on more jobs, automating service agreements, managing employees better, decreasing the likelihood of human error, and increasing profitability.
On-Premises vs. Cloud-Based
These days, you’ll see a lot of talk about on-premises vs. cloud-based solutions. On-premises FSM systems were more common in the past. Today we see many more cloud providers.
More FSM solutions are moving to cloud-based services because of increased convenience and security for users. Going to the cloud enables you to use any computer or mobile device to access the software. Also, cloud computing offers many perks for you to consider, including:
- No installation or maintenance costs
- Automatic updates pushed by the software provider to you
- Access to various app integrations
- Accessible anywhere at any time, even in off-line mode
- Encrypted data to protect against hackers
- Information Technology support team. This type of support group can access your system and help with any issues you may encounter.
When you do things using pen and paper or with an on-premises solution, you can lose valuable information if paperwork is accidentally thrown away or your computer crashes. Cloud technology protects against both disasters.
Going Mobile with FSM
The great thing about most FSM solutions is that they provide mobile apps your technicians can use when they are on the go. Apps provide the perfect way to ensure that employees in the office and the field are constantly communicating with one another.
In other words, think of the mobile app as a condensed version of the software with features and functionality technicians need to complete jobs. Using the mobile app, technicians should create work orders and invoices, provide good-better-best options, view customer and/or work order histories, track their time, provide job status updates, and collect payments.
Transferring Legacy Data
When you decide to upgrade your FSM system, the biggest issue to keep top of mind is data migration, especially if you’re moving from one solution to another. To prepare for the migration process, make sure you clean up your data and create a full backup, just in case.
In addition, software providers usually have an in-house data team that helps you manage the entire migration process.
Your data consultant should work with you to get everything ready and in a good place before the migration process begins. These experts should ensure that all of your information is set up to be migrated securely and successfully.
Be Patient and Ask Questions!
When you first begin using the new FSM system, it may be a little overwhelming, and that is normal. Be sure to ask any questions you have.
This process is called onboarding, and most vendors have support teams to help you out.
Onboarding is the perfect time to ask questions and learn how to make the best use of this new tool.
Some software providers even provide training programs that you can take advantage of for you and your employees.
In the end, if you do your due diligence upfront and take advantage of the training your vendor offers, you will end up in a far better position than where you started.
It’s going to be a continuous learning process. Still, you want to come out on the other side feeling ready to start using your new, upgraded software, improving your team’s productivity, and ultimately, driving more dollars to your bottom line.
Metz Bizzell is the Strategic Partnerships Manager at FieldEdge, a field-service management software provider in the mechanical contractor space. FieldEdge has 40+ years of experience in HVAC and provides software solutions that allow contractors to go paperless, streamline operations, and increase profitability. To learn more about FieldEdge, visit NCI’s Partner page at ncilink.com/partners and take advantage of our TIPP partnership. Or visit their website at www.fieldedge.com.