Service technicians are the visiting cards of your organization. When they perform well, this has a direct impact on customer satisfaction. And of course on the profitability of your company. Automation plays an important role in this. Whatever industry you are active in, these are 10 features that every field service application should have.
The key element in every field service application: time registration by the service technicians. What have they been working on and for how long? You can choose to fill in the times afterwards, e.g. after every job or at the end of the working day, or you can use a start-stop button with which you keep track of the exact times.
2. Object Information
Of course you want to be able to register as much information as possible about the object, machine or installation that a technician carries out service and maintenance on. What type is it, what characteristics does it have, what is its configuration, what has happened to it in the past. This information helps the technician to execute work orders properly.
3. Work Order Information
At least as important; information about the work order. Is there a problem or defect and what is known about it? What is the possible solution for this? Which parts do you (probably) need? What skills should the technician have? How long will the job take?
4. Customer Information
As a service technician, you want to know which customer you are visiting. What is the address? Which branch should you be at? Who are your contacts? Where can you email the service report to?
5. Real-time connection
A real-time connection between the backoffice system and the field service application is extremely valuable. When the service planner assigns a new work order to a technician, he/she will immediately receive a notification. Vice versa; when the technician completes a work order or takes a break or travels, this is immediately visible to the back office. And with a real-time connection, data on, for example, parts inventory and service planning are always up-to-date.
"Whatever industry you are active in, these are 10 features that every field service application should have."
6. Offline Capabilities
Today, you have an excellent internet connection in many places. However, service technicians who are active in the field will sometimes be unable to connect or will not be allowed by the customer to connect to the internet. It is important that the technician can also continue his/her work offline and that the information is exchanged with the back office as soon as the connection is restored.
7. Barcode Scanning
Scanning barcodes, QR codes and other codes is becoming more common. It is a quick and easy way to identify an object or obtain information.
Every mobile device nowadays has a high-quality camera. And that is nice for service technicians. For example, to take a picture of the damage or of the job that has been completed.
9. Signature Capture
After executing a work order, you want the customer to sign off for the work. If the customer agrees, he/she will sign and the service report can be completed.
10. Service Checklists
Many service jobs consist of checking a fixed number of things and performing a number of standard activities. The easiest way to do this is with a service checklist; carry out the checks and tasks step by step. In the checklist you want to have the option for open questions, yes/no, multiple choice, entering values, etc.
With these 10 features you are not there yet. Depending on the industry in which you are active and the service activities that your organization performs, you need many other specific features. To do this, talk to a software partner specialized in your industry.