FSM Software: Knowledge Management

Knowledge management solutions are transforming the field services space by keeping everyone informed and ready for action.

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    It’s easy to assume that knowledge management is mostly about storing and securing valuable data and docs. But, it’s really about something much bigger – enabling seamless, real-time data flows between the field, the office, the job site, and everywhere in between. 

    More than that, though, knowledge management is part of the foundational core you need not only to transform field service operations but unlock the agility and data-driven decisions that will make or break your business. 

    Here, we look at some of the key ways knowledge management solutions are quietly transforming the field services space by keeping everyone informed and ready for action. 

    Unlock On-Demand, Anywhere Access for All  

    Knowledge management is a broad term that describes the process of generating, using, managing, and sharing data and information within an organization. Though, really, it’s about access. 

    Field Service Role Based GuideField Service Role Based Guide

    Since we’re talking about the field service sector, accessibility and mobility are really one and the same. Meaning, you’ll want to start by looking for FSM solutions that directly support field teams. 

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    According to a recent Salesforce report, remote field teams need real-time, mobile access to critical docs and data – inventory counts, training docs, work orders, customer assets, service histories, and so on. 

    D365 Field Service goes a long way in connecting field techs with the information they need to be successful on the job. 

    For example, the mobile app provides real-time information about bookings, inventory availability, and step-by-step instructions for inspections or repairs. 

    As you can see in the screenshot below, technicians can instantly pull up all information related to each job – customer assets, necessary parts, even a support contact they can call for help with a single tap. 

    On Service Guided Tour


    You might also look toward more immersive solutions like D365 Guides, a mixed reality add-on that offers real-time collaboration, 3D instructions, and access to shared OneDrive files. 

    Help remote employees work together in Field Service- knowledge management


    We should note that knowledge management isn’t about prioritizing field teams over everyone else. It’s just that, most of your business value comes from field-based services. So, you’ll want to focus on that part of the business before you start thinking about, say, marketing or sales, which exist mainly to support field ops.

    That said, investments that enable field techs to access key information from any location or device – even when cell service or WiFi is hard to come by – are a big win for everyone. 

    For example, knowledge management enables remote, hybrid work for everyone – which is crucial whether you’re fully committed to the old 9-5 office life, flexible WFH, or just need to get through the latest public health crisis or natural disaster. 

    Help Customers Help Themselves

    Again, knowledge management empowers everyone in your org to positively influence customer outcomes. It also allows customers to engage on their terms – chat, email, SMS, and even the good old-fashioned landline. 

    Per that same Salesforce report, most customers know that not every field tech, sales rep, or support agent has a nuanced understanding of their problem right away. 

    They do, however, expect those front-line employees to have access to tools that allow them to instantaneously find the right answer or connect them to a live expert who can help.

    So, if you’re using D365 Customer Service, you can configure agent workspaces to include relevant knowledge articles in the sidebar. That way, agents can share links to relevant resources without leaving the conversation. 

    D365 Customer Service


    What’s more, effective knowledge management enables you to create self-service resources that help customers help themselves. Or, at least, give them the insight and understanding they need to ask for help or set up an appointment. 

    One option is creating a knowledge base with articles/video tutorials that help customers diagnose problems, or, in some cases, perform minor repairs. 

    You might also deploy virtual agents across all support channels to help customers troubleshoot problems. 

    Chatbots can even be configured to pull data from IoT-enabled assets and perform diagnostic scans remotely and automatically book services if human experts are needed. 

     D365 Field Service ap


    Data from IoT sensors and chatbot interactions automatically sync with the D365 Field Service app, agent workstations, and the rest of the business, so everyone has all of the historical context they need to pick up where they left off.

    Optimize the Flow of Information

    At first, your goal is an ecosystem that allows for data to flow freely  – between techs in the field, agents in the office, decision makers in the C-suite, and so on. Don’t worry too much about “removing silos” altogether. 

    Business Leaders Guide to the New Digital AgeBusiness Leaders Guide to the New Digital Age

    People are always going to do some work “in a silo.” That’s just a reality of life in the 2020s. 

    But, orgs can take steps to accommodate user needs as much as possible, then add in extra protections. Think — IAM solutions, data governance policies, data access and sharing restrictions, etc. that prevent personal preferences from becoming a problem for everyone. 

    For example, we created a Teams and SharePoint integration to facilitate collaboration and knowledge sharing between different user groups. Users can access reports, docs, and data from the Teams window, but SharePoint’s built-in security features protect those digital assets – no matter how users access them, where, or on what device. 

    Now, “optimizing” knowledge management can mean a lot of different things. For example, you might automate parts of your onboarding or training process to quickly bring new employees up to speed – and continuously build on existing knowledge. 

    Or – you might create a workflow that automatically delivers new docs and resources to the entire field team when you roll out new service offerings or customers start upgrading their assets. 

    Gartner recently featured a case study explaining how they helped one company, Alpha, leverage learning coverage insights to achieve org-wide alignment. 

    The firm worked with Alpha leaders to determine whether existing learning initiatives were capable of preparing employees to achieve digital transformation goals, then flagged areas lacking adequate support. 

    Transformation Contribution Scorecard


    Ultimately, it’s about orchestrating complex workflows that ensure that the right person receives the right information at the right time, allowing them to take quick action when there’s a problem. 

    Final Thoughts

    If businesses run on real-time data and AI insights, it only follows that knowledge management is a pre-req for any sort of digital initiative. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first major leap to the cloud or your sixth round of process optimization. 

    Either way, Velosio’s field service experts can help. With decades of experience – both in the field and supporting clients – we know what it takes to win in this challenging environment and can help you put together an FSM stack and strategy that gets results.

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