Investing in a field service management (FSM) platform is a great way to maximize your company’s resources and increase productivity. A good platform can help automate many tasks, so that your employees can focus on more important things such as customer success. What originally began as staffing software has now expanded to include employee and contractor management, document management and more. Further, it can help increase efficiency by analyzing performance and delivering actionable insights.
Choosing a field service management platform is an important decision, and it’s important that you consider a number of factors before selecting one. After all, this investment can significantly impact your business, so it’s essential that you find one that matches your organization’s unique needs. Here are a few characteristics to consider.
1. Must-Have Features
Before you start comparing FSM platforms, take a few minutes to write down everything you’d like the software to do. Do you need a solution that helps you track your inventory? Or maybe a platform that streamlines your workflow? By defining your “must-haves,” you’ll know exactly what features you need to look for in each platform. It’s also a good idea to include some nice-to-have features, too, as they can be helpful in determining your final decision.
Most platforms will include automated invoicing, scheduling, task management and time logging. After all, this is how these platforms began. Many, though, also include things like vetting surveys and the ability to manage talent pools to access when needs arise.
2. Enhanced Features
In addition to defining your priorities, it helps to research the special functions that platforms often add to differentiate themselves. For example, some can re-assign technicians based on their current location which, in turn, can increase efficiency and save company resources. Others offer more involved statistical tools to help you analyze data even further. Familiarize yourself with these add-ons and then consider which ones your organization would benefit from most — that way you’re not overpaying for features you won’t use.
3. Ease of Use
You and your employees will be spending a lot of time on this platform. It should either be intuitive or very easy to learn, otherwise you’ll be dedicating too much time to training. Many of your technicians will likely be logging into the platform while on the road to log their projects and access the documents that are stored there. Make sure there’s either an app or a mobile-friendly way of accessing the platform. Cloud-based software works well for this type of platform because techs can access it smoothly.
4. Reporting Options
Field service management platforms can deliver detailed reports of jobs, time logs, customer feedback and more. If you want to be able to not only access this information in an easy-to-read way, then you’ll want to look into each platform’s reporting options. Some platforms offer detailed, real-time reports that show you everything you’d want to know about a particular job. This feature can be helpful for reliability, transparency, and regulatory compliance.
5. Software Integration
Interoperability is incredibly important in today’s era as many companies have various software providers. When choosing a new platform to integrate into your current system, you should research how well it will work with your existing software. If you already have a customer relationship management tool, for example, you’ll likely want a field service management platform that is compatible with it. Consider integration before choosing your FSM platform to save yourself the hassle of retrofitting the software later on.
So there you have it: five of the most important factors to consider when choosing a field service management platform. By taking the time to research and compare various platforms, you can find the best software to ensure that projects like retail IT deployments go smoothly and that your techs have easy access to everything they need. If you still don’t know which platform to choose, give Kinettix a call. We have a history of helping managed service providers and IT services companies leverage their FSM platforms to their fullest potential.