Field service management

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Field service management (FSM) refers to a hosted or cloud-based system that combines with hardware and internet service to support companies in locating vehicles, managing worker activity, schedule and dispatch work, ensure driver safety, and ideally integrate with inventory, billing, accounting and other back-office systems. FSM most commonly refers to companies who need to manage installs, service or repairs of systems or equipment.

Challenges[edit]

Field service management solutions address a range of common challenges that face managers and technicians of field service organizations:

  • Safety of drivers and vehicles on the road and while on the job site
  • Customer demand & high expectations
  • Rising cost of fuel, vehicle maintenance, and carrying inventory
  • Pressure to bolster service-related revenue
  • Missing analytic & service data
  • No real-time communication
  • Inefficient routing and dispatch

Six critical areas of a FSM solution[edit]

  • Real-time automated and on-demand vehicle location
  • Inventory management
  • Dispatching and routing optimization
  • Driver and vehicle safety monitoring
  • OBDII or engine bus interface to track and report engine status (idling, harsh acceleration) and fault codes
  • Ability to work across a full spectrum of wireless carriers (in the US, this would include AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, etc.)


Field service management platforms[edit]

The large majority of FSM companies are fee-for-service and offer differing features and functionality that vary from one company to the next.[citation needed] Whereas one company will provide most, if not all, of the desirable features in field service management, another will be missing one or up to several functions. Pricing is dependent on several factors: a company’s size, business needs, number of users, carrier selection and planned data usage. Some popular fee structures are pay-per-franchise, pay-per-use/administrators, and pay-per-field technician/employee. Costs can range from $20.00 per month for an unbundled solution that does not include carrier data charges to upwards of $200.00. It is not uncommon, although not always the case, for there to be other fees incurred with the use of the FSM platform; namely, fees for software, extra technical support, and additional training.[1]

Role of mobility in field service management[edit]

Companies have started using mobility to improve communication with the field, increase productivity, streamline work processes, and enhance customer service and loyalty. Field service software combines many functions into one unified solution. Providers of field service management solutions frequently offer customers applications for scheduling and routing optimization, automated vehicle location, remote vehicle diagnostics, driver logs and hours-of-service tracking, inventory management, field worker management and driver safety. Mobile software may also utilize databases containing details about customer premise equipment, access requirements, and parts inventory. Many Field Service Management solutions integrate with other software such as accounting programs.

Potential benefits of mobility[edit]

  • Provides real-time analysis of mobile work status [2]
  • Increases first-time-fix rate
  • Reduces overhead or administration costs that are associated with paper-based field service management and data entry
  • Preserves e-audit trail for full regulatory compliance and fine avoidance
  • Increases productivity
  • Streamlines workflow
  • Enhances customer experience
  • Minimizes lost revenue and shortens billing cycles

Market[edit]

Gartner estimates that market penetration for field service applications has reached 25% of the addressable market. Software sales in the FSM market can only be approximated. Privately held vendors and some ERP vendors (for example, Infor, IBM, Oracle and SAP) do not disclose software sales in the area of FSM. Gartner research puts the revenue for packaged field service dispatch and workforce management software applications, not including service revenue, at approximately $1.2 billion in 2012, with a compound annual growth rate of 12.7%.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]