It’s that time again. The fourth quarter is here, and that means it’s time to finalize 2018 business plans and budgets. You’ve probably already developed a rough draft of your budget and you may already be finishing up the last few details. However, before you mark your budget final, you might want to consider one last item.
It’s field service management (FSM) software. If you rely on IT field professionals to serve your customers or support your branch locations, FSM could be the missing piece you need to cut costs, improve efficiency, and boost your business outcomes.
Like all software, FSM comes with some upfront capital investment and ongoing costs. However, those expenses are often easily recovered through reduced business costs and improved performance.
Below are a few ways in which FSM could transform your business, and suggestions on how to justify its inclusion in your 2018 budget. If you haven’t considered FSM software, now may be the time to do so.
1. Reduce Field Management Costs
Perhaps the best justification for an investment in FSM software is the anticipated reduction in field management expenses. Your field team may be critical to your business, but it’s also costly to support. You have to scout and hire workers. You have to deploy information about jobs. You have to manage the administrative side, like tracking hours and processing payment.
All of those tasks require effort and time. If you don’t have a system in place, you may have staff members who are performing redundant, inefficient functions like manual data entry or typing out lengthy text emails to field techs.
You can eliminate those time-consuming tasks with FSM software. Your FSM software serves as an information hub for you and your field team. You can load jobs into the software and then delegate them to the appropriate field tech. The tech has immediate access to everything they need. They can also record notes about the job and other information, like parts needed or hours required.
The FSM can also serve as a communication center. Your techs can access the software from their phone, tablet, or other device, so it’s easy for them to communicate with your office or other field techs in real-time. This immediate transfer and sharing of information eliminates the need for inefficient manual tasks and data entry, freeing up your team to work on more important projects.
2. Improve Performance and Hit Critical KPIs
Cost is an important metric, but it’s not the only metric. You probably have other metrics and goals for your field team. Perhaps you want faster response times. Maybe you want higher satisfaction from your end users. You might need your field team to keep you on-schedule and under budget with a major tech initiative.
Whatever your objectives, your FSM can give you full, real-time transparency into your performance. Your techs can input data as they complete jobs and the software can aggregate that information and present it an easy and accessible dashboard. That gives you the transparency you need to stay on track and hit your objectives.
3. Source, Hire, and Deploy the Most Talented Field Techs in Every Market
Hiring might be the most challenging part of field management. You have to sift through applications and resumes, and you don’t really know what you’re getting until they start doing work for you. Field service management software gives you a bit more control over the hiring process.
You start by asking potential field techs to apply through your FSM software. Some systems may even have an existing pool of talent for you to scout. You can view data related to their performance and then deploy them to a job straight from the software’s dashboard. You can even use the software to manage their hours and payroll.
Don’t finalize your budget without thinking about FSM software. It could reduce your field service costs and boost your IT field platform performance. You may want to consult with an FSM partner who can help you review your software options before you put the final touches on your 2018 budget.