Field service management
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Field service management (FSM) is an attempt to
- firstly schedule and then
- secondly optimize for
- thirdly dispatch
for service processes and information needed by companies who send teams of technicians or other staff "into the field" (or out of the office). Optimization is difficult (but not impossible, since it involves multiple scheduling and dispatching of technicians to different locations, while minimizing cost and maintaining good customer service. FSM most commonly refers to companies who need to manage installs, service or repairs of systems or equipment.
Field service management faces many challenges that ultimately dictate the creation and implementation of processes.
- Service commoditization
- 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
- Service chain optimization
To resolve the issues that many of these challenges present, enterprises deploy a FSM solution.
Five critical areas of a FSM solution
- A customer management capability that includes account, selling, technical support and customer portal
- End-to-end parts management
- Dispatching and workforce optimization
- Integrated mobile enterprise applications
- Calendar (or calendars) displaying information on jobs to be done in such a way so as to make management of schedules for all employees and teams more manageable and more efficient
Mobility and field service management
Role of mobility in field service management
Companies have started using mobility to improve communication with the field, increase productivity, streamline work processes, and enhance customer service and loyalty. Mobility simplifies many field service processes, like data collection, with features such as: barcode scanners, RFID, NFC, and GPS. Field service software combines many functions into one unified solution. Providers of field service management solutions frequently offer customers software applications for scheduling, dispatch, inventory, and data management. Mobile software may also utilize databases containing details on customer premise equipment, access requirements, and parts inventory. Many Field Service Management solutions integrate with other software such as accounting programs like IFS Applications, QuickBooks, PENTA, MYOB, SAP, Mainpac, Oracle, MFGPro and the like.Overall, many users believe that mobility allows field technicians to be better prepared, make smarter decisions, and serve more customers.
- Fleet and inventory tracking
- Access to detailed customer and asset records
- Automated or manual service order dispatch
- Update work status remotely
- Simple customer and asset data capturing processes
- Create notifications and service orders on the spot
- Integrations with third party, backend systems
- Full reporting and analysis on customer, asset and technician workload
Benefits of mobility
- Technicians are more prepared to quickly and effectively complete and prevent breakdowns
- Real-time analysis of mobile work status 
- Increase first-time-fix rate
- Reduce overhead or administration costs that are associated with paper-based field service management and data entry
- Preserve e-audit trail for full regulatory compliance and fine avoidance
- Increase productivity
- Streamlines Workflow
- Reduce the costs of SLA compliance and carrying inventory
- Enhances Customer experience
- Minimize lost revenue and shorten billing cycles
- Technicians have access to work and job list in areas of reduced or no connectivity.
- Since 2005 there has been an explosion in mobile phone technology and Telco bandwidth for mobile devices, allowing for a huge increase in new mobile Apps and Software as a service solutions for smaller businesses.
- Mobile devices have become much more powerful
- Mobile devices have become much cheaper
- Telecommunication companies are able to provide better data transmission speed.
- There are now software as a service solutions being developed for small business leveraging the new smartphones and data capabilities.
- Multiple Mobile technology options available  to build field service management solutions
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%. 
The industry is served in the UK by the trade journal Field Service News which provides daily news, insight and analysis.
- Mobile enterprise application framework
- Field force automation
- Computer-assisted dispatch
- Workforce management
- Strategic service management
- Service management
- Route accounting
- Service chain optimization
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- Enterprise Mobility Service Provider. "Mobile Technology Options to build FSM Solutions".
- Gartner (2013-10-09). "Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management". TOA Technologies.