Field Service Management Software

The capabilities of Field Service Solutions benefit service-based orgs, from lowering operational costs, to reduced resolution time.

David Sigler

Principal Consultant

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Table of Content

    Field service management software delivers a ton of benefits to service-based orgs.  

    It can lower operational costs, reduce resolution time, and streamline scheduling and dispatching. 

    FSM tools provide in-context support to field techs and easy, on-demand access to valuable resources like service histories, customer records, training docs, and even a direct line to veteran experts who can support them from afar.

    FSM software also unifies field operations with everyone else. Meaning, field managers, support staff, and C-suite decision makers gain access to real-time information re: financial performance, customer communications, the status of every work order, asset, and technician in the system. 

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    Those insights can then be used to drive strategic decisions, process improvements, or new innovations that boost profits and elevate customer experiences.

    The list goes on. The point is, even with the best technicians and the most attentive support staff, field service orgs are nothing without their tech. 

    In this article, we’ll look at the full spectrum of software solutions from CRMs and ERPs to scheduling modules, call center operations, asset tracking, and everything in between. 

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    Types of Field Service Solutions

    FSM software has the potential to really transform a business. It’s just that, there’s no one piece of software that does it all. 

    Software Advice lists 701 different field service tools — each with different capabilities for different niches — which includes everything from HVAC and medical device suppliers to ranchers and religious groups. 

    Below, we’ve included a list of “core” capabilities that belong in any modern field service stack – with links for those looking for further reading on each topic. 

    1. CRM

    No field service stack is complete without baked-in CRM capabilities. After all, FSM, as a practice, exists in service of the customer. 

    Inventory management tools ensure that technicians have all of the parts they need to complete each job. Knowledge management solutions boost first-time-fix rates and service quality. Fleet management and route optimization capabilities give clients real-time ETAs, so they’re not held hostage to eight-hour service windows. You get the idea. In this post, we’ll look at some of the key benefits CRMs offer field orgs – and their customers. 

    2. Accounting 

    No matter what business you’re in, accounting is the glue that binds everything together. 

    For field orgs, building a strong FSM stack begins with the ERP, which serves as the foundation that supports everything else – from inventory and sales to forecasting and field operations. 

    This article will look at the important role accounting solutions play in the broader FSM ecosystem – ensuring that everyone has access to the accurate, real-time data they need to drive positive outcomes for customers and the bottom line.

    3. Quoting & Billing 

    Running a field service company means you’re relying on multiple revenue streams, service contracts, and many moving parts to turn a profit. Staying out of the red means you’ll need a system that tracks and manages all of those moving pieces – SLAs, inventory, field teams, operations, etc. – and can handle complex billing and revenue management tasks. 

    Read the full piece to learn more about why quoting and billing capabilities are so vital to the FSM stack.

    4. Time-Tracking

    FSM solutions must make it easy for field employees to submit timesheets and expenses, as well as record what parts were used to complete each job. 

    Like quoting & billing, time-tracking has a direct impact on your financial performance. If technicians fail to submit reports on time (or at all) or provide incorrect information, it prevents you from getting a clear picture of how your business is doing – and makes it difficult to make decisions and meet customer expectations. 

    For example, if a technician uses parts for a job and doesn’t report it, it skews your inventory data, making it difficult to know when it’s time to place an order. 

    Customers also expect a detailed breakdown of what they’re paying for. How much did each part cost, how much are you charging for labor, what’s covered in the SLA (or not)? The more information you can provide upfront, the less time you’ll spend answering billing questions and the faster customers will pay their invoices. 

    In this article, we’ll dig into this topic more – looking at the indirect (but critically important) impact time-tracking has on all parts of the business. 

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    5. Reporting & Analytics

    These days, most field service software includes robust reporting and analytics capabilities straight from the box.

    FSM software providers promise deep insights into business performance, customers, and daily operations – allowing service orgs to track critical KPIs and identify opportunities for improvement.  But, it’s important to understand that canned reports alone won’t unlock the full potential of your data. 

    To do that, you’ll need to create an ecosystem that allows all users to effectively leverage data to drive outcomes, solve problems, and uncover unexpected opportunities. In this article, we’ll explain what that looks like in practice.

    6. Contact Center Management

    Contact center management is just as crucial to effective field service operations as the field technicians themselves. Big picture: the contact center serves as a triage center, a repository for capturing valuable insights, and an opportunity to build and nurture customer relationships. 

    See, the contact center represents this central hub where all customer communications, work orders, service histories, and more are managed. Here, agents respond to incoming calls, chats, and web queries, and capture critical customer information that can be used to assign work, route service requests, and dispatch technicians. 

    This blog post will focus on the link between effective contact center operations and success in the field.

    7. Scheduling & Dispatch

    Scheduling and dispatching capabilities are the bread-and-butter of FSM software – without them, assigning work orders and mapping routes is a complex, error-prone mess. Emergency calls inevitably mess with plans forcing service managers to make tough decisions about which customers get bumped and what counts as an “emergency.” 

    There’s also the issue of finding nearby technicians with the right skills, tools, and parts to tackle unexpected calls. And, on top of that, dispatchers must reroute technicians – already in the field – to accommodate incoming service calls. 

    Getting it right demands real-time visibility into service histories, inventory levels, tech availability, and what work orders are already on the books. In this post, we look at some of the ways new AI-driven tools are helping field orgs get ahead of these challenges.

    8. Inventory Management

    Field service orgs need a comprehensive inventory management solution that allows them to add inventory to work orders and invoices, adjust stock levels, and process returns. But more than that, they need an integrated platform that delivers real-time inventory counts to everyone in the organization. 

    While you might not realize this right away, the fate of your entire operation hinges on having access to accurate inventory data. Without it, finance teams can’t predict future cash flow and budgeting decisions are rooted in a false reality. Salespeople end up closing deals by making promises they can’t keep. Procurement teams don’t know when to place orders, and service managers are forced to cancel services at the last minute because they don’t have the right parts in stock. 

    In other words, poor inventory management has ripple effects that can compromise your reputation, employee morale, and profitability. Here, we’ll focus on inventory management and its central role in effective field service management.

    9. Asset Management

    Field service operations typically center around assets – thousands, possibly millions of assets both they and their customers rely on. 

    No FSM platform is complete without robust asset management capabilities that help them centralize asset information, proactively ID and fix issues before they turn into bigger problems, maximize asset performance and utilization, and develop more effective lifecycle management strategies. In this article, we dig into asset management solutions and explain why they’re an essential part of any good FSM platform.

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    10.  Route Optimization

    Inefficient routing is a serious problem for field service orgs. It impacts everything from fuel costs and SLA agreements to scheduling and customer satisfaction. Manual routing is now virtually impossible – and siloed solutions aren’t much better. These days, you need real-time insights into traffic patterns, weather conditions, tech/vehicle location, booked services, available parts, and countless other variables that might possibly impact service outcomes. 

    The most sophisticated route optimization solutions take scheduling and dispatch to new heights. Techs can maximize the number of calls they can tackle each day. Business leaders can cut costs and customers consistently receive fast, effective service. 

    But, it’s important to understand that transformation doesn’t happen overnight. Here, we explain why route optimization happens in phases, and how to find a solution that can carry you through this entire journey.

    11. Knowledge Management

    Knowledge management solutions are about so much more than storing and securing documents and data. These tools allow orgs to provide guidance and support to field employees and empower customers to find the information they need to troubleshoot problems, find solutions, and book services on their own. 

    They’re crucial for making sure that you get the most out of your field service software, assets, and employees. And – they preserve institutional knowledge and democratize access key information, support training and onboarding efforts, and help employees progress in their career. 

    The point is, effective knowledge management paves the way for higher employee retention rates, better customer outcomes, and bigger profit margins. Here, we’ll discuss some of the key benefits knowledge management can offer

    12. Fleet Management & GPS Tracking

    Fleet management and GPS tracking software overlaps with many of the solutions we’ve included on this list – asset management, time-tracking, dispatching, routing, and more. 

    That said, you may need to invest in solutions that augment and enhance these capabilities by embedding, say, geofencing data into your core stack. Or – outfitting your fleet with sensors that capture data points you might otherwise miss. Think – tire pressure, gas mileage, tech location, time spent driving (or not), etc. These insights help decision makers in the office understand how techs spend their time, how to optimize schedules and routes, and allow them to embrace a proactive maintenance strategy for their own assets.

    This post looks at fleet management and GPS tracking solutions and how they’re transforming everything from dispatch and time-tracking to project management and customer service. 

    13. Project Management

    Most field service management platforms don’t include project management capabilities straight from the box. And, when they do, you’re likely just getting a handful of organizational tools like shared calendars and Kanban boards that anyone can get for free from their preferred app store. 

    Field orgs that perform large-scale installations and long-term projects need something better – a project management solution that integrates seamlessly with field operations, finance, sales, and the rest. In this article, we’ll go over what capabilities to look for, as well as what the right project management software can add to your stack.

    14. Process Automation

    Modern field service orgs can’t compete without automation. But – everyone is at a different place in their automation journey. For some, process automation means getting away from spreadsheets and patchwork solutions and finding opportunities to streamline really basic workflows. For others, it’s layering these really sophisticated algorithms on top of existing automations to further optimize performance and profitability.  

    No matter how far along you are in this journey, you’ll want to look for an FSM solution that allows you to keep building out your automation capabilities, one phase at a time. In this post, we’ll explain what, exactly, we mean, and how to find a solution that can mature alongside your digital strategy.

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    Final Thoughts

    Field service management is a broad practice, involving many moving parts, people, and technologies. 

    Ultimately, success hinges on your ability to build the right stack for your business — then effectively leverage it to achieve critical outcomes. And, in most cases, you’ll need to team up with the right partner in order to make that happen. 

    Velosio offers innovative field service solutions and hands-on support — designed specifically to help service-based orgs transform business operations and continuously evolve as customers and conditions inevitably change.

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    David Sigler

    Principal Consultant

    Follow Me: