Adresse: Nám. 14. října 1307/2 CZ-150 00 Prag Tschechische Republik
Adresse: Nám. 14. října 1307/2 CZ-150 00 Prag Tschechische Republik
Telefone: +420 606638183
What is a Field Service Management system? In simple words it’s the tool that helps to manage the work of the field force in the real time. It solves the complete path of the customer's request, starting from the order to the last mile, i.e. the work of a technician at the customer’s place. It has the number of proven benefits that we would like to comment on in this post in detail..
Everything starts with the services standardization both for the dispatchers and field service staff. The company is less dependent on the dispatcher’s expertise which means that the system generates most of the information automatically. The dispatcher operates with the overview function, so the planning and scheduling may run automatically. For example, the system automatically calculates the expected duration of the service appointment which is crucial for proper scheduling.
Using Field Service Management the field technician follows the steps in the proper order which are defined in the mobile application and no work is forgotten. The quality of the work also doesn’t depend on the quality of the technician because everything is in the system, which helps also to avoid mistakes.
Thanks to Field Service Management all information is gathered and kept in digitized documents in the mobile app, moreover they are even signed with the digitized signature. So there’s not only less paperwork but there could be even no paperwork at all.
360-degrees view on each use case
Field service technician has a 360-degrees view on the customer because Field Service mobile app helps him to be informed about all customer’s connections. In fact, not only a field technician has access to a 360-degrees view, but it’s also available for the dispatcher, service agents at the headquarter and salespeople who are in touch with the customer. It means that the customer, when talking to the field service technician, feels that this very technician knows everything that's important for the customer and is able to provide him with the best service possible.
Better overview of the situation for the management
Both the dispatchers and the management know in real-time who’s doing what, where and how much time it takes, if some rules are broken or not. Before Field Service they got this information the next morning after the technicians came back to the depot and placed the order report from the paper into the system.
Speaking about the field service staff it’s also important to understand that when using the Field Service application people don’t need to visit the branch every morning to receive the docs and to return them back in the evening as well. Everything is in the application.
There’s an online communication between the dispatcher's part of the Field Service Management system and the mobile application of FSM system which means that all documents gathered or signed at the site of the customer within seconds are also on the main server.
Let’s say you have an asset and every 6 months it should receive proper maintenance. You need to plan a visit to keep the maintenance schedule. At the same time you receive the service demand from the customer that something is broken. Without using Field Service the technician mostly comes twice to this asset because he doesn't know that there's maintenance planned for this asset. Using the Field Service app, it enables to put both the maintenance and another service case together so that the technician visits the site only once to complete both cases at the same time (during one visit).
Improving the compliance of the SLA
SLA means a service level agreement which is signed between the customer and the service provider that defines the reaction times. For example, if the customer reports that some part is broken, the service provider needs to send a technician to the customer, let's say, within 6hrs and fix it within another 20 hrs. To keep the SLA here is very important, otherwise when the company doesn't meet the terms stated in the SLA, it pays the penalty. Therefore Field Service helps the company to keep the control over SLA’s compliance. Based on the research made by Salesforce, most of the companies without Field Service are able to keep only 50% of the SLA’s. It means that in the other 50% cases they pay the penalty. Field Service allows to increase this rate up to 90% which is really crucial. Since keeping the SLAs is very complicated, time-consuming and depending on the staff skills’ quality, some companies don’t even offer SLA or try to avoid it because they’re afraid not to keep the terms and as a result to pay the penalty. But when using Field Service, it empowers the companies to start providing SLAs to their customers which improves the service quality, the brand name and there’s extra payment/additional income for the SLAs in case the provider keeps the terms.
Field Service allows to increase this rate up to 90% which is really crucial. Since keeping the SLAs is very complicated, time-consuming and depending on the staff skills’ quality, some companies don’t even offer SLA or try to avoid it because they’re afraid not to keep the terms and as a result to pay the penalty. But when using Field Service, it empowers the companies to start providing SLAs to their customers which improves the service quality, the brand name and there’s extra payment (additional income) for the SLAs in case the provider keeps the terms.
A human brain can’t work with optimization as effectively as the computer. For example if you have 10 service appointments per day per 1 technician, there are 4 mlns. variants how to calculate his route. And definitely it’s not possible in human brain capabilities to calculate it. Such optimization helps to reduce the time that field technician had spent on the road between the customers and not only the time but also the mileage. According to the data provided from the companies using Field Service, there’s up to 20% time reduction on the road between the appointments and about 12% mileage reduction.
Time-slots reduction and more service appointments
When you plan manually it means that you need to work with wider time slots of the technician’s time arrival. For example you inform the customer: please expect our technician tomorrow between 8 and 12 o’clock. It’s quite inconvenient for the customer because he/she doesn’t know exactly when the technician will arrive and simply can’t wait for 4 hrs in his/her apartment. But using the FSM you are able to make these time slots narrower because they’re planned by the computer. So instead of 4 hrs you can inform your customer to expect the technician between 8 and 10 oclock which is much more convenient. Such time reduction on the road gives the possibility to spend more time on the customer’s site which means more service appointments (up to 33% increase) per technician and per day.
Internet of things - IoT
Let’s provide an example here. When some equipment has built-in sensors they monitor the functioning of different parts. And if there’s any chance that some part might be broken, the sensor sends this information to the system and FSM automatically generates the service appointment which is also automatically planned afterwards. So it means that a Field Service technician when coming to the site of the customer may repair the equipment before it’s even broken.
Along with the benefits Field Service Management has also some challenges that both the customers and FSM integrators face on the stage of the negotiation process. We’re trying to eliminate these so-called fears by providing the necessary training and complete follow up during the whole integration process. So what are they:
There's a fear that they will lose their jobs due to the automation of their work. From our customers’ experience those dispatchers who were laid off were offered another position within the company. Using FSM leads to significant reduction in the number of dispatchers and as a result to cost reduction as this function becomes more automated. For the moment it’s a challenge which is completely in the company’s management hands.
Senior employees have a fear that they won’t be able to work with the system as they’re not very friendly with the computer. As the pro argument we can say that the application is designed as simple as possible. It helps the person to go step by step very easily just by clicking the button “next” so it’s intentionally simple. Moreover before going live there’s always a training on the FSM app usage.
The company has to work with the right data which is the source for the calculations. For example, the company needs to calculate the estimated duration of the service appointment and if the data which is put into the system isn’t reliable the calculation goes wrong. It brings dissatisfaction to the customer and people working with it and creates mistrust. We help to gather all necessary data, make proper assumptions and calculations, foresee all possible errors to make the usage of FSM as effective and friendly as possible.
Summing up we would like to add that digitalization is no longer a fancy in our modern world. It’s a must-have on the way to customer’s loyalty, satisfaction and trust to your brand. The sooner you get into this train, the higher chances you have to join the ranks of the market leaders, increase the revenue and market share. Fansfactory, being the digital enabler, is always ready to help you on this journey.